UF Review – Vermont Smoke and Cure Meats

Meat lovers paradise - Vermont Smoke and Cure

Meat lovers paradise - Vermont Smoke and Cure

I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this, but their product is worth a review.

A while back I received a “cold pack” in the mail from the fine folks at Vermont Smoke and Cure. I had only once received “Meat by Mail” so I was curious to see what hey had to offer – they sent me a sample pack with some awesome products to try out including ham steaks, thick sliced Vermont Maple Brined, Corn Cob and Maple Smoked Bacon, Summer Sausage and Smoked Pepperoni.

My faves were the pepperoni and the bacon. I have been suffering through turkey bacon hell for the past year as the wife and I are watching the weight, and I am here to tell you that breaking my (pork) bacon fast with the Vermont Smoke and Cure Bacon was just the ticket. I actually made a real breakfast with eggs and bacon, I made a Corn Chowder that was to die for. It flat out rocked with a perfect bit of sweetness from the maple brining and the corn cobs.

The Smoked Pepperoni was spicey, smokey and delicious and was awesome on it’s own and was OTHERWORLDLY on a grilled pizza. I simple took some fresh pizza dough, slathered it with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic, threw on some crushed tomato’s with basil, some mozzarella cheese and some of the pepperoni and cooked it on my Traeger Grill for about 15 minutes on high. Their pepperoni has that mouth feel and intense flavor delivery that you can only get with real pork (fat)without being overly greasy or slimey. Gourmet Magazine has actually recognized their Smoked Pepperoni in the past, so I’m not alone in my praise.

Un-freakin-believable.

If you are looking for a real treat, check out Vermont Smoke and Cure – they are artisans who deliver a quality product clearly made with pride and love.

I have a man-crush on my Traeger Pellet Grill

Wade's Traeger Junior Pellet Grill

I have to admit I was really skeptical when I got a call out of the blue a couple of months back from Bruce Bjorkman, the Marketing Director at Traeger Grills and all around BBQ god.  He’d checked out the UltimateFoodie Podcast and asked if I would be into reviewing a Traeger Grill – he asked for my address and a few days later one was on my doorstep.  After my wife and I put it together (not too tough of an assembly job) I was anxious to get cooking.  It’s been a love affair ever since.  Bruce has become a friend and a favorite UltimateFoodie.com guest as well/

The Traeger Grill is a different kind of animal from my gas grill or from my charcoal grill in that it runs on compressed “pellets” made of different hardwoods.  Instead of adding chips to get flavor, the pellets function as fuel and flavoring all at once and the smokey flavor you get from the Traeger is outstanding.  Coolest of all is that you have your choice of a ton of different “flavors” of pellets including Hickory, Alder, Apple, Cherry, Maple, Onion, Garlic, Mesquite, Grape Vine and more.  I have found myself mixing and matching chips like I would spices in a rub to get subtle flavoring combinations in my grilled food.

The Traeger is really set up for “Barbecuing” as opposed to “Grilling”  it is all about indirect heat provided by a small auger-fed firebox with a blower – so no direct flames are ever all that close to your food.  The Traeger Grill is essentially a convection over powered by natural wood and with the associated wood smoke flavors. This convection action also makes it possible to do some nice baking on the Traeger – I have used mine to make some dynamite hot sandwiches, baked potatoes and best of all PIZZA.  Traeger actually partners with Papa Murphy’s Pizza and it is a winning combination for sure.

Traeger Pellet Grills are not something you can pick up at Walmart – they are not cheap – but are worth every penny.  They are hand made in the USA by folks in Oregon here in the great North West with pride.  If you are  a serious outdoor cook, I highly recommend that you pick one up either directly from Traeger at http://www.traegergrills.com or through one of their local dealers.  Tell them Wade from UltimateFoodie sent you and before long you will have a man-crush on your Traeger Grill too.

I’ll do some follow up posts with recipes and reviews of the food I have made on my Traeger in coming weeks.