Grill and Smoker Recipes

Here in Florida at what I’ve come to refer to as the Family Compound, my sister’s family and my husband and I have been grilling (with propane and on the smoker) several times a week.

Recently, my brother in law James made pork ribs and chicken wings in the smoker.  I’m sharing these recipes here, including James’s custom dry rubs and sauces.

James, Master of the Smoker

James, Master of the Smoker

James’s Special Sauce

Great as a dressing on smoked Pulled Pork and for grilling Chicken Wings. The blend cuts down on heat and creates a  complex, tangy, savory finish. In a jar, mix together:



James’s Pork or Chicken Rub

Ideal for a smoker but can also be used for grilling.

  • 1/4 C each Brown and White Sugar
  • 1/4 C Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 C Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
Blend all in a food processor until well mixed. Dry rub ribs or pork at least one day prior to smoking, ideally 2 days. Store rubbed meat wrapped in saran wrap in fridge. Let meat rest from fridge 30 minutes and unwrap before cooking. Grill over propane or charcoal, or smoke the meat.


How Zesty Do You Like It London Broil

Choose a large flank steak meat from your butcher or grocer. In a shallow dish, marinate it covered at least 4 hours and up to one day with 2 cups of Italian Dressing (brand of your choice, we use Kraft Zesty Italian) and Montreal Steak Seasoning.  To get a nice medium rare, 10 minutes give or take on each side on high heat should do it. Use a grill-safe meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature gets hot enough.


Smoked Pork Ribs

You can do St. Louis Ribs this way, but we find babyback ribs to be tastier. Rub and let sit overnight in plastic wrap, or at least an hour or two. James started smoking 2 racks of rib for 4 hours, and then cooked them in foil another 4 hours. They were ridiculously tasty and falling off the bone. We dressed them afterwards with James’s Special Sauce.


Grilled Chicken Wings

Get some skin-on wings. Rub with the rub or coat with James’s special sauce. If you don’t have the rub or sauce handy, coating them with Badia Complete Seasoning (certified gluten-free) and a bit of olive oil spray lends a nice summer chicken flavor without being saucy or too oily. Grill on a very hot grill for 45 minutes to an hour, turning and moving often to avoid flare-up charring (although some char on the saucy ones is nice). They become crispy without any breading needed.


Smoker Tips:

Ideally keep pork around 200-250. If you don’t have an electric smoker, you’ll need to supervise your fire constantly to keep it at a food safe heat. Soak your wood chips. We used a hickory chips and it tasted really great. Our smoker has a grill in it so you can slow cook meat and grill other stuff, too.

Grill Tips:

Whether charcoal or propane, getting the grill hot for a nice sear helps seal in juices. Don’t press down on hamburger patties or meat because that makes the juices leak out. Let meat rest 10 minutes before carving.


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