Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™

I’m starting an equipment & technique section on this blog. This post is the first entry for the new section … the subject is Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™; specifically some techniques for setting up and using a Weber Smoky Mountain cooker.

In the past Ditalini and I have smoked and devoured salmon, turkey, chicken, duck, […]


Smoked Beef Brisket, Redux

What is this “redux?” I blogged about preparing and smoking beef brisket once before, but am doing things differently this time around. Ditalini and I hate fat, so I cut away a lot of the fat you’d normally leave on the top side of a brisket. Mindful that the fat is necessary in keeping the […]


Our Smokin’ Dinner

I didn’t live blog dinner (that would have been pretty rude, wouldn’t it have?), so I’m posting a final smokin’ update this morning, long after the big family meal. Because we all deserve to see how it turned out, right?

Baguette, son of Crouton, prepares the beans

The table, […]



This blog hasn’t exactly been smokin’ lately, and I apologize for that. Tomorrow, though, I will be literally smoking: two racks of ribs, two chickens, two salmon filets. I prepped the ribs and coated them with dry rub two days ago and they’re resting in the fridge. I halved the chooks and coated them with […]


Thanksgiving Dinner with Crouton & Ditalini

As always, Crouton and Ditalini had a big crowd over for Thanksgiving. We had traditional turkey, smoked turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, Waldorf salad, and apple and pumpkin pie.

Everything was from traditional recipes, so I won’t go into details here, but I did […]


Crouton’s Smoked Pork Spareribs

Ditalini and I love pork spareribs. Full slab, St. Louis style, Kansas City style, baby back, they’re all good. In an earlier entry, I offered an easy recipe for dry-rubbed baby back ribs that are first cooked in the oven and then finished off on the barbecue grill. This time I’ll describe something a bit […]


Smoked Beef Brisket


3-5 lb brisket of beef brown sugar kosher salt chili powder black pepper garlic powder


Prepare dry rub: 3 parts brown sugar, slightly less than 1 part kosher salt, 1 part chili powder, 1 part pepper, and 1/3 part garlic powder. Coat brisket with dry rub mixture 24 hours before smoking, store in […]