Davidoff Demi-Tasse Cigars (Review)

Davidoff Demi-Tasse Cigars Review Traeger


Like a lot of my fellow smoke n’ fire friends, I like to enjoy a good cigar while the meat’s cooking.

So, when the opportunity arose to smoke and review* these Davidoff Demi-Tasse cigars, I jumped at the chance!

These little 10-minute cigars are perfect for a quick grilling session, or for those last few minutes while those ribs are achieving the perfect glaze.

The Demi-Tasse are some great smokes; big Davidoff taste in a little package…a mild, yet aromatic and full-bodied smoke. They are long-filler, and taste just like a larger, mild Davidoff, but at a much more economical price.

From the Davidoff Website:

“The Davidoff Family of Geneva, Switzerland has been producing the world’s finest luxury cigars for the most discriminating of smokers for generations. Truly rare gems, Davidoff cigars are as close to perfect in character, aroma and quality as it gets. If you seek a highly refined and luxurious cigar for a special occasion or have the means to enjoy a moment of intense pleasure, relaxation and happiness on a daily basis, make Davidoff cigars your cigar of choice.”

Strength: Full
Shape: Cigarillo
Size: 4 x 25
Country: Netherlands
Wrapper Color: Natural
Wrapper Origin: Ecuadorian
Wrapper Leaf: Connecticut
Price – 97.50 for a box of 50 or $2.10 per cigar

I really liked them. A lot of complexity and flavor…a great cigar to enjoy at the grill!

BTW, Famous Smoke Shop offers Davidoff Smokes here.

What’s your favorite smoke when you’re working the smoker?

Chef Perry
Burnin’ Love BBQ

PS - If you’re enjoying this article, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week.

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

*Disclaimer: while I receive products, including the cigars used in this review, free from vendors, I am under no obligation, real or implied, to provide anything but an honest, personal-opinion and review, positive or otherwise, in return. The opinions put forth in this post are strictly my own, and are in no way influenced by how I obtained this product.


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Orion LED Lantern Saved the Day (or at least dinner!)

So, in yesterday’s post I shared my new favorite Easter Ham recipe, and how to smoke it on the Traeger.

What I didn’t mention was that an equipment failure at a critical point in cooking, almost FUBAR’d the whole thing!

Just before it was time to start glazing this beauty, I had a dark moment…literally. The ballast failed on my overhead lights (above my Traeger), plunging my carport/BBQ Studio into utter darkness.

When I needed to see what I was doing most, this is what I was looking at…

Orion LED Camping Lantern Review

Just before full panic set in, I remembered that I has just received an Orion LED Camping Lantern to review. I was saving it for our family camp-out in July, but this seemed like an opportune time to bust it out.

Orion LED Camping Lantern Review

The Orion is compact and feels solid while still lightweight. It’s packaged with everything needed to get it up and going fast, including 3 AA batteries and 2 lithium ion batteries (for maximum operating time and flexibility.) The Orion also functions has a built in “Power Bank” that can be used to charge phones, tablets, or any other handheld device so that you are never left without power (cables also included.)

It took about a minute to unpack and load the batteries…and none of those annoying little screwed on battery covers either, the whole top and bottom unscrew easily, making loading the batteries super easy. Being a guy with big thumbs (and lots of them) I REALLY like this feature!

Anyway, back to the Easter Crisis of ’15…

Orion LED Camping Lantern Review

The Orion Lantern telescopes open (so the bulb is protected when not in use), and fires up automatically.

The metal handles made it easy to hang from a handy hook, and as you can see, this little powerhouse gave more than enough light to cook by and, unlike uni-directional bbq lamps, it lit my entire cooking area, including my prep table.

And, just like that I could see my masterpiece once more…and Easter dinner was saved! (Insert wild applause here.)

My rating: A solid 4 Stars

Orion LED Camping Lantern Review

By the way…if you want to get this recipe, click here.

Sooo, it looks like I’ll be ordering another Orion Lantern for camping season, because THIS one is staying in my BBQ box for the next time I need a great back-up light to cook by.

Chef Perry
Burnin’ Love BBQ

By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week.

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

Here are some specs from the product website:

Orion LED Camping Lantern ReviewProduct Description

The Orion Ultimate Survival LED Lantern and Power Bank by Supernova is the most versatile survival tool available and features both a stunningly bright LED Lantern and a built in Power Bank.

It features:

✔ 180 Max Lumens Lantern for camping, emergencies, hiking, and more

✔ Built in Power Bank charges phones, tablets, or any other handheld device so that you are never left without power

✔ Easy On/Off Operation by simply opening and closing the lantern

✔ Compact and retractable design for easy storage and mobility

✔ Operates on either 3 AA batteries (included) or 2 lithium ion batteries (also included) for maximum operating time and flexibility

✔ Brushed gun metal finish makes the Orion as durable as it is beautiful

The Ultra Bright LED Lantern component has 4 different modes of operation:

- High

- Low

- Red

- Flashing Red

*Disclaimer: while I occasionally receive products, including the lantern used in this review, free from the vendor. I am under no obligation, real or implied, to provide a positive review, in return. The opinions put forth in this post are strictly my own, and are in no way influenced by how I obtained this product.

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Peach-Ginger Smoked Ham in the Traeger

Peach Ginger Ham in the Traeger

I love just about any combination of spicy and sweet, and this ham recipe is no exception.

My wife has informed me that this is the only ham recipe I am to use for Easter, from now on! :)

Chef Perry
Burnin’ Love BBQ


Smoked Easter Ham with Peach-Ginger Glaze

1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, sliced, bone-in ham
2 cups peach preserves
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs soy sauce
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. fresh ginger root. minced
1/2 cup apple juice

Unwrap the ham and place it, cut-side down, on a flat roasting rack.

When you’re ready to cook, turn Traeger to the “Smoke” setting, with the lid open, for 5 minutes or until the fire is established.

Preheat to 300F (lid closed).

Smoking a ham in Traeger

Place the ham (on the roasting rack) on the Traeger grill grate and smoke for 1 hour.

While the ham is smoking, mix together the mustard, brown sugar, cider vinegar, soy sauce, apple juice and peach preserves in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and then stir in the ginger.

Reduce heat, and simmer until the sauce has thickened, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

Place the ham, rack and all, on a foil lined baking sheet, and return to Traeger.

Glazed ham on Traeger recipe

Baste ham with the peach glaze. Continue basting every 30 minutes until the ham is richly glazed and the internal temperature has reached 140 degrees, 1-1/2 hours more.

30-45 minutes before the ham is done, turn the heat up to 400, to “set” the glaze.

Remove ham from smoker and bring it (on the rack & pan) inside. Carefully turn the ham on it’s side, allowing the sliced to fan, and  brush liberally with the remaining glaze.

Tent loosely in foil, and let the ham rest for 15 minutes before carving.

By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, please subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week.

Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk and foster kids!

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Perfect Pork Ribs on a Traeger – as Easy as 3-2-1


Fired up ‘ol Traeg-dor this weekend, and smoked three racks of perfect baby back ribs using the Traeger 3-2-1 method.

Here’s my step-by-step “How to” video…

There you have it…perfect baby back pork ribs, as easy as 3-2-1


3-2-1 Ribs
3 racks baby back pork ribs (about 7 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup “Burnin’ Love BBQ Rub (see link below for recipe)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
Chef Perry’s Dirty Little Secret Sauce (see link below for recipe)

“Burnin’ Love” Dry Rub & Dirty Little Secret Sauce

Thank you for watching my video. Please feel free to like and share it!

Enjoy your ribs!

-Chef Perry

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“La Caja China Cooking” 20% off Coupon

La Caja China Cooking CouponHey everyone, today is the five year anniversary of the day “La Caja China Cooking: The secret to perfect roasting” first hit the shelves!

To celebrate, I’m offering a 48-hour 20% off coupon on all orders from my author’s webpage.

Coupon code: MUFRQDBX

The definitive cookbook for roasting and grilling with La Caja China, it makes a great gift for yourself or anyone who cooks with the magic box!

Thanks for making it a great 5 years!

Chef Perry

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Why Should You Buy La Caja China BBQ?

A shout-out for my boys at La Caja China…

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Three Ways to Light Charcoal: Pros and Cons

Tips for using Charcoal

I was five or six years old, and we were having a family get together at Uncle Vern’s house. My Uncle Raymond, who was, almost assuredly, several mason-jars into the party already, decided that the charcoal in the battered old Weber Grill (which was sitting on a plywood-covered, screened porch – them’s my genes, folks!) wasn’t heatin’ up as quickly as he’d like.

Indignant, he walked over, peered blurrily at the coals for a moment, and then nonchalantly tossed the contents on his half-full cup, onto the open flame.

I was five…and I remember the fireball.

I also remember Uncle Vern and my father grabbing up the garden hose and dousing the smoldering mosquito netting that surrounded the porch. I’m pretty sure they were speaking in tongues… at least a tongue that I wasn’t familiar with at that tender age.

Needless to say, there are right ways to do things, and there are wrong ways to do things…

Let’s take a look at some “right way” options for lighting charcoal.

Firstly…let’s get one thing out of the way… “self-starting” or “quick-light” charcoal should never be allowed to defile your grill. Pre-soaking the coals enough to achieve an instant flare-up, guarantees that the chemical flavor goes all the way through the charcoal, and will not “burn off”, as self-applied charcoal starter will.

No pre-soaked charcoal…ever.

Oh, and all of these methods assume that we’re using a charcoal chimney starter, like this one:

Btw: these babies are just plain awesome for searing the perfect steak over super-high heat! See our recipe, here.

Method #1: Charcoal Lighter Fluid

Using bbq lighter fluidThis is my least favorite method, but it’s also the one that I, along with millions of other backyard barbecue buffs, grew up with. I’m not going to poo-poo this method with the same vehemence I give to the quick-light…stuff, mainly because I’ve grilled up some pretty dang good food over fuel-squirted coals.

Pros: It’s convenient, and quick, and pretty-much fool-proof…

Cons: Well, it’s still a nasty, stinky chemical that’s involved in food I’m feeding my family…as well as a half-gallon jug of explosive liquid that I’m using in an open-flame situation…and I’m clumsy.

If you’re going to use charcoal lighter fluid:

  1. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, and ventilation (ie: no lid) to allow it to burn off, once lit. Those coals need to be solid white, before any meat goes over them.
  2. Likewise, don’t put your grill-grate(s) back over the coals until you’re sure the fuel has burned off. You don’t want to be laying raw meat on a fuel-blackened grill…yuck.
  3. Use plenty of fluid…you want it to light properly the first time, and don’t ever squirt more fluid on already lit coals…remember Uncle Raymond? Boom.
  4. Close the lid on your fuel bottle, and then go put it away, before lighting the coals. Two reasons. First, this gets that bottle of rocket-fuel away from you, or any other little hands that might be nearby. No matter how safe I think I am…that fuel isn’t going to ignite if it’s back up in the cabinet, in my garage. Secondly, this time-lapse allows the fluid to soak into the charcoal a bit (not a lot) and decreases the chance of it flaring, or igniting fumes, when lit.

Method #2: Newspaper as Fire-starter

This method is, in my not-so-humble opinion, better than using lighter-fluid, but I still can’t get over the idea that I’m coating my coals with burned ink fumes and residue.

Pros: It’s a pretty easy and safe way to go. Just stuff a piece or two of crumpled newspaper in the bottom side of your charcoal chimney, fill the top with charcoal, and then light the newspaper. In about 10 minutes, you should have hot, burning coals.

Cons: That first minute or so, while the paper is igniting…creates some pretty gnarly grey smoke, so light-up well away from your guests, or anything they’re likely to eat.

My other issue is that it’s 2012…who gets a freakin’ newspaper anymore? Not me, I get all my news digitally…and I don’t think my iPad would work nearly as well for this.

Method #3: The Electric Fire-starter (Like one of these…)

Lastly, and in my opinion, the best way, to light your fire, is to use one of these babies. Charcoal doesn’t require open flame to burn, it just needs enough heat.

Pros: Flameless, odorless, this is probably the safest, cleanest method available to start your coals. Very easy to use.

Cons: You gotta have electricity close by, and…well, it’s a gadget, so there’s always a chance that it just plain won’t work…when you’re already running late…on the night your new boss is coming over for bbq. You know what I’m talkin’ about.

Still, I’ve had mine for years, and it’s never failed me once.

Lastly, it’s probably not something you want to play with in the rain, or while standing in water…unless you want a Darwin Award.

To use, just pour about 1/3 of your charcoal into your chimney, set the (unplugged and unheated) electric fire starter inside, and fill in around it with the remaindered of your coals. Now, set the chimney in a safe place, and plug that baby in!

Be sure to keep any plastic parts away from direct contact with the coals, and keep a close eye, as you’ll need to pull that starter out as soon as the coals start going. Do not leave it in the chimney until the coals turn gray!

So there you go…three popular, reliable, and simple-to-use methods to get your grill on.

Whichever you chose should work great…and be a lot safer fire-starter than a mason jar full of whatever my uncles brewed up in that oil drum behind the barn…

Happy Grilling!

Chef Perry
Burnin’ Love BBQ


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Happy Thanksgiving from Burnin’ Love BBQ!

Happy Thanksgiving

From our families to yours, may you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris
Burnin’ Love BBQ


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Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Hearts

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Hearts

Yes, I know this recipe isn’t for everyone, but I love grilled chicken hearts, and I love nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce), so I figured that marinating one in the other, before grilling, might be a good idea.

Turns out…it was a fantastic idea! :)

I’ll keep this quick and simple:

1 lb fresh chicken hearts
Wooden skewers (8-16, depending on length)
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup fish sauce
2 garlic clove, finely minced
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (tuong ot toi), optional

Rinse the chicken hearts and pat dry.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients (except skewers) and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.  If you need to speed this up, only add 1/2 cup of water before simmering, and then add 3/4 of a cup of ice cubes to cool.

Place chicken hearts in a large zip-bag and pour the cooled marinade over the top. Seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. Remove chicken hearts from the brine (dispose of the brine), and let rest on the counter for up to an hour, to come to room temp.

Vietnamese grilled chicken heartsMeanwhile, set skewers in a shallow pan and cover with warm water.

Let soak 1 hour.

Thread chicken hearts into skewers, and grill over very high heat, 2-3 minutes per side, until well marked and just cooked through. You do NOT want a “well-done” chicken heart! :)

Enjoy as is, or with some sticky rice and sesame Asian slaw. I like to serve mine sprinkled with freshly minced cilantro and a little warmed chili garlic sauce on the side, for dipping!

Chef Perry
Burnin’ Love BBQ

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5 Tips for Perfect La Caja China Holiday Turkeys

Turkey in La Caja China

Our Facebook Friend Mary asks:

Hi Chef Perry! We’re planning on cooking 3 turkeys in our La Caja China box for Thanksgiving…. 12-14 lbs each. Can anyone tell me approximately how long it will take? Thanks in advance….and planning on brining them if that makes a difference? – Mary B.

Mary, thanks for asking!

Every year, we roast 8-10 whole turkeys in our Semi Pro for the Thanksgiving dinner at our local homeless shelter, The Father’s Heart, in Oregon City.

Here are 5 tips we’ve learned over the years, for roasting the perfect turkey(s) in La Caja China roasting boxes.


Chef Perry
Burnin’ Love BBQ


5 Tips for Perfect La Caja China Turkeys


Make sure your turkey(s) are COMPLETELY thawed by the night before. The bone temp of the turkeys will make or break the La Caja China process. The USDA recommends cold water thawing.

Allow about 30 minutes per pound, and be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.

Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.


Always, always, always brine your turkeys (or chickens) before roasting! The differences in the flavor, the tenderness, and the juiciness of the meat are indescribable.

To brine one turkey, bring 1 quart of water to a simmer, add salt and sugar, stir to dissolve completely. Add 3 quarts of very cold water to cool. (See our recipes, the the link below, for some great tips on other delicious ingredients you can add to your brine!)

Place turkeys in a water-tight container, large enough to allow a little space around each, and pour the cooled brine over the turkeys, add more cold water to cover (if needed). Move turkeys to a cold area, or refrigerate 8-10 hours.Discard brine and rinse turkeys thoroughly, before prepping for roasting.

https://burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/posta.jpgJust Also, be sure to cover (just) the top of each turkey loosely with a small piece of foil. The thin skin burns easily in the direct heat of the caja. You need a separate piece for each turkey, so you don’t block the heat getting down and under the birds (been there, done that! LOL)


I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this subject, but it really is important. Lifting the lid from the box effectively removes all the cooking heat, and it takes a LONG time to build back up, as your turkey is cooling at the same time. Use a remote probe thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, and (personal opinion) a metal dust pan and scoop to remove the ashes, instead of removing the lid. NEVER lift the lid until your turkey has reached “resting temp”…which is 10-15F below your target finished temperature.


http://i1.wp.com/burninlovebbq.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CoverCorrected.jpg?zoom=1.5&resize=379%2C593Let’s face it, holiday cooking, for many of us, means if we want to BBQ or grill…we’re cooking in the cold! Make sure you start out with every ounce of the recommended coal weight, to ensure that the box reaches its “honey spot” for you.

Keeping the box protected from the wind is key, I often start mine in the driveway, and once the fire had gone out, roll it into my garage – keeping the door open, and the box a safe distance from any flammables, of course!

Also, shave 10 minutes of each “add coals” cycle; this has helped me in the past.

For more tips, tricks, and insider secrets on cooking anything in (and on) La Caja China, be sure to download our free La Caja China eGuidebook!

If you’d like to see a full holiday menu, including this delicious La Caja China turkey recipe, please vist our post: La Caja China Christmas Menu with Recipes

Oh, and if you’re hankerin’ for smoked turkeys this year, watch our short video: Smoked BBQ in La Caja China with the A-Maze-N Smoker

Smoking in La Caja China


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