Smokenator 1000 – Product Review

I was totally surprised this past Father’s Day. Not only did my wife and kids treat me like a king, but they surprised me with some awesome gifts. Who would have thought that my wife knew I needed to upgrade my smoker! As they brought me out to the van (I knew they were up to something), my son opened the back, and low and behold there lied a smoker. Excited? Yes! completely excited. As I had no knowledge of the brand, nor type of smoker, I said I would do some research and see if this was worth keeping for the long run. Unfortunately the reviews were not all that great, and we agreed to do some research and find one that would fit my needs, and work within budget. She was not disappointed, however I kind of was because I wanted to break that smoker in like you would not believe!

Anyway, after some research, I decided that I would pursue the Smokenator 1000. Yes, that’s what it is called. I was a bit cautious at first as their website is a bit dated, however, the reviews were rock solid, so I went ahead and purchased it. The Smokenator 1000 works with my Weber Kettle, 22 inch grill, and that is perfect as I did not have to have another large item to store in my garage.

Smokenator 1000 Product Review - Pulled Pork Sandwich
Smoked Pork Shoulder Sandwich using the Smokenator 1000.

I was anxious for the product to arrive, and it arrived rather quickly as I ordered it from The setup was totally simple. Basically attach the supporting grill to the support tabs of the grill. It snugs up against the grill perfectly. Then, add coals into the holes, and heat about 20 coals in your chimney starter. Once the coals have heated through, add them to the middle section where the water container goes, and move around with the metal rod that comes with it. Add in the thin wood chips to your liking, insert the water pan, fill with water, and then you are good to go.

It does note to keep the bottom vents open, which I did, and also when placing the cover on, to keep the top vents facing away from the Smokenator 1000. I should also note they somewhat stress to keep the top of the vents open only about the size of a pencil, I believe it was 5/8″.

I tried my luck with a pork shoulder, rubbed the way I like, and I’m not joking, this was probably one of the best smoked pork shoulder’s I’ve made to date. Even my wife and kids agreed.

They note to check the water container about every hour. I did, and the water held it’s own. I should note that I did add more water about two hours in, and after recently smoking other meats, I did have the water evaporate within the hour, so go ahead and check every hour.

I’m not sure how this holds a steady heat, but it held for hours at around 230 degrees, and to me that’s a great temperature for low and slow cooking.

After my second attempt at using the Smokenator 1000, I was completely sold. A great investment, especially for those using a 22″ Weber Kettle grill. You can find out more information from their website.

Question. Are any of you using the Smokenator 1000, and if so are you pleased with the results?

Read More

“Slap Ya Mama” Cajun Seasoning – Product Review

Like many of you, I turned another year older <Sigh>, but with that said, we had a great time celebrating with family. I’m not sure why folks still buy me gifts for my birthday, but I’m lucky to have been provided a huge bottle of Sriracha, and this Cajun seasoning known as “Slap Ya Mama”. I’ve never seen, nor heard of the seasoning so I was intrigued.  About a week later, I decided to look at the ingredients on the back of this Cajun seasoning, as I making my breakfast. The ingredients were simple, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic.

Slap Ya Mama Product Review

I sprinkled some onto the eggs I was making, and as I forked my first bite, I was really, really pleased. The simple blend actually turned out to be one of my favorite blends that I’ve tried in years.

I’ve been using “Slap Ya Mama” on a ton of my recipes, from roasted chicken, to soups, the blend just adds a great balance.

What I did not realize is that they have an array of spice blends, hot sauces, and a variety of mixes. I will definitely be looking out for their hot sauce, and hope to try more of their products.

Read More

COCOZIA 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – Product Review

Recently, I was sent a jar of Cocozia’s extra virgin coconut oil to sample. I was honored to say the least, to be asked to give my opinion on the product, and as I reviewed Cocozia’s coconut water in the past, and really enjoyed it, I was intrigued with the coconut oil. First, it is a big jar of coconut oil, and upon opening it, you get this awesome aroma of coconut. It’s awesome. I did not realize this, but my wife also had purchased some coconut oil to be used on her skin, and comparing the two, it was like night and day. Cocozia’s was not only more aromatic, but it was also all organic, and the color was intensely white.

Cocozia Coconut Oil - Product Review

I tested this coconut oil a couple of ways. First, I heated a cast iron skillet, melted the coconut oil, and seared chicken breasts. The flavor was great. You could totally taste the coconut coming from the chicken, which worked well with some of the Thai flavors I had incorporated with the meal, and second, both my wife and I used a little bit as a skin conditioner. We both loved it. Not only was it super smooth, but it also had that great coconut aroma.

We are definitely big fans of Cocozia’s coconut oil, and the thing that makes this even better is that coconut oil is really good for you. Give this product a try if you are looking for an oil that is great for cooking and great for your skin among other things.

Read More

Butter Crayon – Product Review

I was recently approached by a group responsible for creating a new kitchen gadget known as the Butter Crayon. Their goal is to raise money to get their product out to the masses, and after review, I think it is a pretty good product.


The Butter Crayon is made from a high temperature silicon that can be used on hot surfaces, up to 450 degrees, and is FDA approved. It is simple in its design, and size, of which I liked. I’ve used a similar product in the past, of which was metal, and overall seemed like a pain to use, but not this one.

The size of the crayon is about 4 inches long and holds one half stick of butter. I actually liked the half stick butter idea as they claim it keeps fresh, longer, in the refrigerator, plus I like the idea of the half stick.

Inserting the butter was a cinch. Simply remove the internal block, insert the half stick of butter, place the block back inside the house, and remove the cap.

Butter Crayon Review

I gave this a test, and tried both buttering my skillet to cook eggs for my wife and kids this morning as well buttering a piece of toast.

I ran the Butter Crayon along the warmed toast, and it worked like a charm, but what I liked even more was running the crayon along my warm skillet as I could pinpoint just the right amount of butter and not overdoing it which can sometimes happen.

Is it a kitchen gadget? Absolutely. But in this day and age when I open my kitchen drawers, I have quiet a handful of gadgets, and I would recommend this one if you are looking to control your butter, eliminate some mess, keep butter fresh, and remove all of the knives you get when dealing with toasting butter.

To learn more about the Butter Crayon, and contribute to their Kickstarter, visit their website at

Read More