Football eats: Turn up the heat and flavor for the big game

Hosting a Big Game watch party? By following the playbook of BBQ experts, you’ll have your friends and family cheering for your game day spread.

“The trick to achieving tasty BBQ is real smoke flavor. And to get real smoke flavor, you need quality, natural hardwoods, with or without a pellet grill,” says Levi Strayer, of Bear Mountain BBQ, “Start grilling with pellets, and everyone will immediately taste the difference. It’s a game changer.”

With that philosophy in mind, Bear Mountain BBQ ambassador Jennifer Danella is sharing two BBQ winning recipes. Both incorporate the brand’s premium pellets to bring unbeatable flavor to the table.

Sweet Heat Barbeque Wild Turkey Bites

1 boneless, skinless turkey or chicken breast,

approximately 2 pounds, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon loosely packed light brown sugar

1 package center-cut bacon, cut in half

Sliced green onions

Ranch dressing

Barbecue pellets

½ cup sweet barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons buffalo sauce

1 tablespoon minced garlic


1. Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Place 1-inch turkey pieces into a medium size bowl. Sprinkle chili powder, paprika, cayenne, garlic salt, black pepper and brown sugar over top. Mix well.

4. Wrap half a slice of bacon around each turkey piece. Secure with a toothpick and place them onto the parchment paper.

5. Place the baking sheet into your preheated grill and bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the barbecue sauce, buffalo sauce and garlic in a small bowl. Brush the turkey pieces halfway through cooking. Brush another layer of sauce five minutes before the cook time is over. Cook until the turkey pieces reach 165 degrees.

6. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

Beer Cheese Dip

1½ cups cheddar cheese grated

½ cup gruyere cheese grated

8 ounces cream cheese softened

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ of a 1-ounce ranch packet

2 tablespoons green onions, chopped

¼ cup German lager beer

2 tablespoons baking soda

1 can biscuits

1 large egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for brushing biscuits

12-inch cast iron skillet

Barbecue pellets


1. Preheat pellet grill to 350 degrees.

2. In large bowl, combine 1 cup cheddar, gruyere, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, ranch seasoning, beer and 1 tablespoon green onions. Mix evenly.

3. Cut biscuits in half. Roll each half into a ball, then slice an X across top.

4. Boil 2 cups water in medium saucepan. Once boiling, add baking soda and mix immediately.

5. Add biscuits to grill in batches and cook until puffy, approximately 1 minute. Remove and transfer to skillet, forming ring along inside edge.

6. Brush biscuits with egg wash. Sprinkle with salt.

7. Transfer dip to center of skillet. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar.

8. Smoke until biscuits are golden and dip is bubbly, 30-35 minutes.

9. Garnish with remaining green onions. Serve.

To bring your A-game to the Big Game, level up your hosting with mouthwatering barbecue treats.

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