Seasoned With Smoke

Story by A.J. Neste

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The main reason I hunt is because I love to cook. I enjoy chopping onions and mincing garlic just as much as I enjoy trekking through the woods searching for new deer sign.

  "The 34 Pro Series is our go to for every big gathering where we need a long consistent smoke or to crank up the heat and load up the grill with venison burgers."   Photo by Matt Katsolis 

"The 34 Pro Series is our go to for every big gathering where we need a long consistent smoke or to crank up the heat and load up the grill with venison burgers."

Photo by Matt Katsolis 

So for me, the best way to fully respect the food I have harvested, is by the care I use when preparing the meal I am cooking. After all the effort it takes to prepare a wild game meal, what I choose to cook on is the crescendo of many different passions colliding into one. At that point, the cooking devise I choose must match my desire to put out the best meal possible. 

I am no chef, but most at home bbq enthusiasts like myself, enjoy the inevitable pressure that comes from being the one that provides the food at a cookout. As everyone else enjoys all the beer, wine, chips and dip. For hours on end I have always been perched over my grill with a dirty rag on my shoulder making sure nothing is over or under cooked.

 

In my earlier years, I had dreams of the big trailer smoker in the back yard, billowing blue smoke out the stack, making me look like the brawny man while I hurled freshly chopped oak wood into a firebox. In my dream you could barely see through all the manliness consuming my backyard, my wife would drool not only over the food but also at the meat grilling Adonis she has married.

But in reality my first smoker was an old, giant concoction of rusty, wood eating metal, that would be 150 degrees in one corner, then spike straight to hades in the summer on the other. I spent lots of afternoons a sweaty, smelly, defeated mess. Something had to change.

 

  "The tailgater is the perfect grill for our hunting trips. The collapsable legs fold up under to sit on a table or fold out to stand on its own."

"The tailgater is the perfect grill for our hunting trips. The collapsable legs fold up under to sit on a table or fold out to stand on its own."

 

 

Enter Traeger into my life.

  "I never would let my kids around my old smoker. Now the kids are always excited to lend dad a hand. "

"I never would let my kids around my old smoker. Now the kids are always excited to lend dad a hand. "

 I have used a stack electrical smoker before so I didn’t expect much when I got my first Traeger. But what I discovered wasn’t only my new favorite way to cook food. But I got my bbq social life back. I didn’t have to ignore everyone and stay fixated on my old smoker anymore. I became a guy that got to think more about ingredients, take my time to express myself in the food, discuss cooking strategies with friends and season my food with smoke, rather than fog it out with bitterness.

My Traeger allows me to raise and lower the heat at the click of a dial. I could crank it up to grill venison burgers perfectly, or go low and slow for a traditional smoke ring on a hog ham. It gives me the opportunity to set the temp exactly where I want it to be for hours on end, while the hopper gently glides my desired flavored wood pellets into the fire pot . 

  "The Traeger producing a perfectly cooked wild hog round roast. With very little fat content you have to be careful not to over cook your game. That's why a Traeger comes in so handy. It gives a traditional smoke with the ability to adjust your heat temps insuring your meal comes out just the way you want it to. "   Photo by Matt Katsolis

"The Traeger producing a perfectly cooked wild hog round roast. With very little fat content you have to be careful not to over cook your game. That's why a Traeger comes in so handy. It gives a traditional smoke with the ability to adjust your heat temps insuring your meal comes out just the way you want it to. "

Photo by Matt Katsolis

 

What you find when you look deeper at the Traeger brand is a team of passionate professionals that have come together to design modern, versatile smokers filled with new age cooking techniques. Through their hard work, we reap the benefits of being able to bake, grill, dehydrate or produce the authentic sought after smoked bbq flavors that so many of us love.    

The best selling point for me is the way the grill cooks wild game.

Because of the lack of fat, not over cooking meat is one of the hardest things to do when cooking wild game. With the probes, I can check the temp at any point without lifting the lid and adjust the heat at a click of the dial . Most people do not like wild game because of a bad past experience they had. So my goal every time I cook wild meat is to create a positive environment for everyone in attendance. Sharing the entire process, from the way we harvested the animal to how the smoker guides our meal to perfection.

For us, we learned that when you go hunting for your food there is a story behind every meal. We have never shared passionate tales to our friends about our last trip to the meat isle in the grocery store. But when you gathered the main course with your own hands, you can’t wait to find the right stage to relive the experience. Now we match our favorite hunting stories in front of the best grill we can find, while enjoying a drink with our friends. If you are a serious hunter that is excited to take your cooking game to the next level, do yourself a favor, and try cooking your meat on a Traeger.

  "Our favorite way to cook lobsters is a slow roast in the Traeger then drizzled with a white wine, grilled garlic & butter dip ."   Photo by Matt Katsolis 

"Our favorite way to cook lobsters is a slow roast in the Traeger then drizzled with a white wine, grilled garlic & butter dip ."

Photo by Matt Katsolis 

To learn more about Traeger Grills and the awesome products they make visit : www.traegergrills.com