Get smokin’ on Father’s Day

Using a smoker is a great way to cook a delicious Father’s Day meal. Pictured clockwise from top left are smoked mac-n-cheese, jalapeño poppers, smoked cabbage with bacon and easy smoked meatloaf. (HERALD PHOTO/Jamie Durrant)

Since Sunday is Father’s Day, I have really been doing a lot of searching for the best recipes to feed the dads in our lives. I realized after looking at all my ideas, the most chosen recipes were those that were cooked in the smoker. My husband is the barbecue/smoker guy at this house, so I feel like I really took on a new task and I have to say the results were amazing!

The jalapeno poppers are a regularly-smoked dish at our house and I decided it was time to share with you one of our favorites. The mac-n-cheese is actually a frozen store-bought brand of mac-n-cheese. I have tried to make homemade mac-n-cheese and I have yet to find one that I like, so we cheated, but, oh my goodness, it was one of my favorites of the night. Just make sure to give it a good stir halfway through the smoking.

Cabbage is also a favorite and when I saw the recipe to smoke it, I was dying to try it and we were in heaven. And now for the meatloaf — it was simply delicious. That is saying a lot because there are three in my home (myself included) who are not big fans of meatloaf and every one of us cleaned our plates. Thank you to all of our dads who work so hard to provide for our families, love us and keep us safe. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Poppers

12-14 Jalapenos

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

12-14 slices of bacon

Set smoker to high smoke  (260 degrees) and let preheat while preparing the poppers. Cut jalapenos in half length-wise and remove seeds and ribs. Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese. You can determine how much you would like. We like them full. Wrap each jalapeno with a slice of bacon and place on a tin foil wrapped baking sheet. Smoke for 45-60 minutes. 

Smoked Cabbage

with Bacon

1 medium green cabbage

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Seasoning of your choice

8 slices of bacon, chopped

Set smoker to high smoke (260 degrees) and let preheat. Using a sharp knife. Cut cabbage into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over the slices of cabbage and use a brush to evenly coat each slice. Sprinkle your seasoning of choice i.e. salt, pepper, garlic or onion salt. Top with uncooked bacon pieces. Smoke for 45-60 minutes.

Easy Smoked Meatloaf

2 pounds of ground beef 

1 pound of pork sausage

1 large onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup of BBQ sauce

8 slices of bacon, cooked but not crisp

Set smoker to high smoke  (260 degrees) and preheat. In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients until well combined. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Dump meat mixture onto the sheet and form a long loaf about 2-3 inches thick. Place in smoker and smoke for 45 minutes. Baste the loaf with 2/3 of the BBQ sauce, top with bacon slices. Brush remaining BBQ sauce on top of bacon and smoke for 15 more minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. Slice and serve immediately.

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