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  • Family Fun Outdoor Gift Guide

    With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start the mad rush of gift shopping. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a couple things that you’d love, too. In fact, there are a few gifts this season that your whole family will love. We’ve come up with a list of our favorite family fun outdoor gear, so you and all your loved ones can enjoy your gifts together.

    1. For the Movie Buffs

    An outdoor movie screen is the perfect present to ramp up your family movie nights. Forget searching the couch for the remote—head outside and watch in the fresh air. Popcorn, hot chocolate, and blankets are definitely recommended.

    Family watching a movie on an outdoor movie screen

    2. For the S’more Chefs

    Nothing draws people together like a glowing fire and melting marshmallows. Enjoy chatting and singing around a classic campfire without any of the mess, smoke, or cleanup. Then, add roasting sticks into the mix for s’mores, and you’ve got a recipe for family fun.

    Family around fire pit

    3. For the Dessert Lovers

    This is for all the sweet tooths out there. These mini cast iron skillets work perfectly for fresh-baked cookies with ice cream on top. And the sizes are such that everyone can munch on their own personal dessert from each skillet.

    Skillet cookies with ice cream and chocolate syrup

    4. For the Pizza Artists

    Friday night pizza, anyone? This pizza oven will bake your homemade pizza in minutes, so you can line up a variety of personal pizzas or put together a few larger ones to share. Either way, your kids will love putting the toppings together and watching the pizza bake before their eyes.

    Outdoor pizza oven and spatula

    5. For the Car Campers

    Now you can bring the kitchen with you wherever you go. An oven at the campsite means fresh rolls at dinner, brownies for dessert, and cinnamon rolls in the morning. Enjoy all your favorite dishes right in the middle of nature.

    Outdoor oven at a campsite

    6. For the Breakfast Enthusiasts

    If you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed in your family, then the Flat Top Grill is the cooking system you need. Its huge surface area can cook up enough eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and pancakes to keep your family full and happy. Try it out for breakfast on Christmas morning, or even lunch and dinner.

    French toast, sausage, and egg cooking on a Flat Top Grill

    7. For the Indecisive

    Want to bake pizzas, grills burgers, fry bacon, and all of the above? We have an option for those of you who can’t choose just one—it’s our versatile Pro 90 Triple Burner Stove. As part of Camp Chef’s 16-inch cooking system, you can mix and match stovetop accessories like a pizza oven, a BBQ box, a griddle, or even a Dutch oven. This is truly an all-in-one family gift.

    Barbecuing on a Pro 90 triple burner stove

    Have your eyes on a few other gifts for your family this year? We’d love to hear about them! Let us know in the comments below what outdoor gear you’re gifting this year.

  • Two Ways to Brine a Turkey

    With Thanksgiving coming up in only a couple of weeks, you've started gathering all your favorite recipes. Some dishes have been part of your family feast for as long as you can remember; others you cycle through each year, trying to find the next best way to make pumpkin pie. But of all the items on the Thanksgiving table, the turkey takes all the attention as the centerpiece. Unfortunately, turkey is also one of the most difficult types of meat to cook well.

    According to Serious Eats, lean meat like turkey is "made up of long, bundled fibers, each one housed in a tough protein sheath. As the turkey heats, the proteins that make up this sheath will contract. Just like a squeezing a tube of toothpaste, this causes juices to be forced out of the bird. Heat them to much above 150° F or so, and you end up with dry, stringy meat." In other words, drying out your favorite Thanksgiving bird is almost inevitable.

    That's why you hear so much about the brining process around this season. Soaking meat in a salt water solution causes it to absorb more moisture before the cooking process; and if you start with more moisture, then you'll end with more moisture as well. Taking the time to brine your turkey, either with a water solution or dry-brine method, will give you a juicier bird that your guests will be talking about until next year.

    Traditional Brine

    You'll need...

    • -Cooler (50 L)
    • -1 gallon chicken or vegetable broth
    • -1 cup Kosher salt
    • -1 Tablespoon rosemary
    • -1 Tablespoon thyme
    • -1 Tablespoon sage
    • -1 Tablespoon savory

    How to Brine a Turkey:

    In an large stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add in the salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory, and stir until dissolved Remove the brine from heat and let it cool to room temperature. When

    Meanwhile, prepare your turkey by removing the giblets and rinsing it inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel.

    Pour the brine into a 5-gallon bucket or a cooler. Set the turkey inside breast-down, ensuring that the liquid fills the inner cavity too. Add ice water, then shut the lid if you're using a cooler; store in fridge if you're using a bucket.

    Refrigerate the bird in the brine overnight, or 12-16 hours. When you're ready to cook, wash off all the brine and pat dry again. Get ready for a tender, juicy bird!

    Dry Brine

    Many turkey lovers comment on the taste of a traditionally brined bird. Since most of the moisture absorbed in the meat is just plain water, the juiciness of the meat doesn't carry a strong flavor. Even when you brine in a flavorful liquid solution like the one above, the meat will mostly only absorb the salt and the water. But that doesn't mean your only two options are a dry Thanksgiving turkey or an overly-moist one.

    Dry brining is a salting method that helps maintain the meat's moisture content without forcing the absorption of extra water. The result: tender meat with more flavor.

    You'll need...

    • -Cooler (50 L)
    • -1/2 cup Kosher salt
    • -2 Tablespoons baking powder

    How to Dry Brine a Turkey:

    Prep the turkey as described above (remove giblets, wash, pat dry). Then mix the salt and baking powder together.

    Sprinkle the mixture over all surfaces of the turkey, so it is evenly coated. You don't want to cake the bird in salt, but you do want a thorough coating. You may not need to use all of the salt.

    Transfer the turkey to a cooler or pan in the fridge, and let brine for about 12-16 hours. You don't need to rinse off the salt when you are ready to cook; just be aware that you might want to adjust any salt measurements in your turkey recipe so your meat doesn't taste too salty.

  • 2016 Gear Guide: Home & Patio

    It is time to make your back patio your go-to outdoor space. With fifteen different items to elevate your outdoor experience, you can truly make it your own. With items ranging from cooking, organization & seating, to entertainment, you will easily be able to entertain a few to a few dozen with ease.
  • 2016 Gear Guide: Camping

    Whether you are a camper or a glamper, there are some creature comforts just about everyone needs to make a trip in the outdoors memorable.
  • 2015 Gear Guide

    2015 is the year of accomplishing your goals. Whether to achieve that goal in one month or six months from now, this is the year to go for it. The key to making those goals a bit easier to attain is having the right gear. Whether it be spending more quality time with family and friends, or staying warm on a cold spring night watching the stars, our 2015 Gear Guide will help.
  • Emergency Preparedness Guide

    Having the ability to cook in an emergency is an important part of preparedness. Now is the time to start planning what you'll need in case of an emergency. Mother Nature is always unpredictable and can without warning create havoc in our daily lives. We've all seen news footage of people struggling to cope with a natural disaster such as heavy winter storms, floods, earthquakes, and any other natural disaster. Needless to say, it pays to be prepared for just such emergencies by having plenty of food, water, and medical supplies on hand.

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