Wild Turkey Snack Sticks with a Weston Smoker

Weston Black Pepper & Garlic Jerky seasoning makes this recipe a snap! 

Makes (6) 6" Snack Sticks or (3) 12" Smokies

- Ingredients -

1 lb turkey, cubed
1 teaspoon Weston Black Pepper & Garlic Jerky Seasoning
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon pink cure salt

19 mm casings

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Sausage Stuffer with 10 mm funnel
Weston Smoker + wood chips
Butcher Twine (optional)

Grind the turkey through the medium plate of your Meat Grinder.

Mix the ground turkey with the remaining ingredients.

Use a Sausage Stuffer to fill your casings with the ground turkey mixture. Pinch and tie the casing when you have reached your desired length for each snack stick or smoky. You can also make long links and cut them apart or tie them later. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat your Smoker to  155°F, fill the water bowl, and soak your wood chips for 30 min.

Hang the snack sticks from Sausage Hangers in the Smoker (use Butcher Twine if you tied them like ours). Smoke the snack sticks for 3 hours at 155°-170°F*, until the internal temperature reaches 155. Be sure to change the wood chips every hour. Once the snack sticks reach the proper temperature, remove from smoker and cool to 110°F in an ice bath. Remove from the ice bath, then hang to dry for an hour.

*Typically, holding the smoker at 155 will require that you open all dampers wide. Keep them ¼ way open to start, then gradually open them if the temperature rises too high.

Enjoy right away or vacuum seal and take them along with you on your next adventure! Be sure to keep them refrigerated.

Strawberry Jalapeño Roll-Ups in a Weston Dehydrator

We essentially made strawberry jam, mixed in jalapeño, then dehydrated it.

The result? Probably the best fruit "leather" you've ever had.

Makes about (8) 1" rolls

- Ingredients -
32 oz strawberries, quartered & leaves removed
½ cup sugar (optional)
1 small jalapeño

- Tools -
Weston Tomato Press (a Food Mill or Cone Strainer will also work)
Weston Food Chopper
Weston Dehydrator

Strain the strawberries with the Tomato Press. Place the strawberry puree into a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Pour in the sugar and stir 3-5 minutes, until thickened (yes, like jam).* Remove from heat.

Using the Weston Fruit & Tomato Press to puree the strawberries

Use a Kitchen Kit or Mixer with the chopper attachment, 3-in-1 Grater, or Multi-Chopper to chop the jalapeño finely. Stir into the strawberry puree.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper over a Dehydrator tray. Pour the strawberry liquid over the tray, starting in the center, until spread evenly across the tray. A spatula helps.

Dehydrate at 145°F for 8 hours, or until the fruit leather is set all the way through.

Use scissors to cut the leather into 1" strips (keep the parchment paper on them), then roll them up into pinwheels. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or refrigerate and enjoy for a couple of months.

*Why make jam first? 
It's true - most fruit leather recipes are as simple as spreading pureed fruit across a dehydrator tray. We found that making a thicker, jam-like puree before dehydrating allowed us to make a thicker, stickier fruit leather (much more similar to store-bought). A thin spread makes truly leathery fruit leather - not nearly as pleasing a texture to snack on.

#TipTuesday | Dehydrator 101: Pre-Treating Foods

Spinach chips make for an awesome dehydrated snack!

As with most types of cooking, proper preparation is essential for successful results. Adhering to a few basic guidelines will greatly increase the quality of your dried foods and decrease the amount of time necessary to dry them.
Pre-treated foods often taste better and have a better appearance than non-treated foods. There are several methods to pre-treat food to prevent oxidation, which will darken apples, pears, peaches and bananas while drying - here are eight great ways to achieve dehydrated perfection:

1. Remove any pits, skin or cores.

2. Shred, slice or dice the food uniformly. Slices should be between 1/4” (0.6 cm) and 3/4” (1.9 cm) thick. Use a Mandoline Slicer for fruits and vegetables.

A Mandoline Slicer slices foods, like these soon-to-be Blue Potato Chips, uniformly

3. Meats should be cut no more than 3/16” (0.5 cm) thick. A Meat Slicer or Jerky Slicer helps.

Using a Jerky Slicer to make perfectly thick and even slices

4. Drying fish into jerky requires a lot of attention. It must be cleaned and de-boned properly and rinsed thoroughly to ensure that all the blood is washed away. Steam or bake the fish at 200˚F (93°C) until flaky before dehydrating.

Salmon Jerky

5. Soak cut fruit in either lemon or pineapple juice for a few minutes before placing out on the Dehydrating Trays.

6. Use an ascorbic acid mix which can be purchased in most health food stores or pharmacies. It may come in either powder or tablet form. Dissolve approximately 2-3 tablespoons into 1 quart (1 liter) of water. Soak the fruit slices into the solution for 2-3 minutes, then place on the Dehydrating Trays.

7. Fruits with a wax coating (figs, peaches, grapes, blueberries, prunes, etc.) should be dipped in boiling water to remove the wax. This allows moisture to escape easily when dehydrating.

These prunes are about to be pureed and stuffed into Prune Pierogi
8. Blanching is a great way to ensure that foods crisp up while dehydrating. Blanching does not destroy helpful enzymes and helps retain nutrients. There are two ways to blanch food:

  • 1. WATER BLANCHING: (Water Blanching will leave a cooked flavor) Use a large pan; fill it half way with water. Bring water to a boil. Place food directly into boiling water and cover. Remove after three minutes. Arrange food on the Dehydrating Trays.
  • 2. STEAM BLANCHING: Using a steamer pot, bring 2-3” (5-7 cm) of water to a boil in bottom section. Place food in steamer basket and steam for 3-5 minutes. Remove steamed food and arrange on Dehydrating Trays.

Raspberry Chipotle Jerky with a Weston Jerky Gun

If you're getting bored with your standby jerky recipes, this will definitely shake things up!

Makes 1 lb jerky

- Ingredients -

2 lbs beef, venison, or wild turkey, cubed
6 oz fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon chipotle powder (this is pretty spicy - add powder a teaspoon at a time, tasting each time, until you reach your desired heat level)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Kitchen Kit
Weston Jerky Gun
Weston Dehydrator

Grind the meat through the coarse plate of your Meat Grinder. Grind again through the medium plate. Then grind half of your medium grind through the fine plate. This grind will stick together nicely for ground jerky.

Use the Kitchen Kit with the chopper attachment secured to puree the raspberries, chipotle powder, honey, and salt together.

Mix the ground meat and puree together until uniform.

Fill the Jerky Gun with the mixture, then press the trigger to extrude the jerky onto Dehydrator trays.

Dehydrate at 155° for 8 hours, or until jerky is dry, but still flexible.

Salt & Vinegar Blue Potato Chips with a Dehydrator

These dehydrated chips are a pretty, oil-free alternative to their deep-fried counterpart: the store-bought potato chip.

Makes a medium bowl full

- Ingredients -

10 blue potatoes
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt

- Tools -
Weston Mandoline Slicer
Weston Vacuum Sealer + bag
Weston Dehydrator

Blanch your potatoes by placing them into already-boiling water for 3 minutes, then placing them in ice water for 10 minutes and draining.

Slice the potatoes to ¼" thick with your Mandoline.

In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Vacuum seal the mixture and allow to marinate for 2-3 days.

Dehydrate at 145°F for 6-8 hours, until crisp. Enjoy!

Orange-Clove Smoked Wild Turkey

The ideal savory and sweet combination: a smoked & glazed wild turkey with roasted vegetables. 
- Ingredients -

2 lb wild turkey breast (also a great recipe for a whole turkey - adjust based on weight)

1 cup water
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 large garlic cloves
3 coins ginger
5 large fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
½ tablespoon whole cloves
½ tablespoon anise seed
zest from ½ orange

For Smoking
6 red potatoes, quartered
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 red onion, quartered
½ cup water
5 large garlic cloves, smashed
handful fresh thyme sprigs
handful fresh rosemary sprigs
5 fresh sage leaves, roughly shredded
½ tablespoon whole cloves
½ tablespoon anise seed
zest from ½ orange

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup water

- Tools -
Weston Vacuum Sealer + Gallon Bag
Weston Smoker
wood smoking chips
foil pan
basting brush

Brine Turkey
Combine brine ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once cooled, place the turkey into a Vacuum Sealer Bag, pour the brine over the turkey, then vacuum seal. Refrigerate overnight.

Soak woodchips for 30 minutes. Preheat the Smoker to 250°F with the water bowl filled.

Remove the turkey from the bag, then rinse under cold water for about five minutes to remove excess salt. Place the potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic into the foil pan. Lay the turkey over the vegetables. Pour the water into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle in the herbs and orange zest.

Once the Smoker is preheated, place the pan of turkey onto a middle rack. Smoke for 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey is 165°F and the vegetables are soft throughout.


Preheat your oven to 400°F. Mix together the sugar and water until uniform. Use a basting brush to completely coat the top of the turkey, as well as the tops of the vegetables. Place into the oven for 10 minutes, or until the glaze has set. Serve.

#TipTuesday: Upcycle Your Food Scraps

Since tomorrow is Earth Day, we thought it only fitting that we share some tips to help you with sustainability. Here are 10 ways to upcycle your scraps.

1. Make stock
Sometimes we don't eat flavor-rich parts of foods because of their texture. A stock is a perfect way to extract the good flavors and nutrients from what might otherwise be scrap. Try carrot tops, sprouting onions, peels, and any wilting veggies.  It's also a good idea to save the bones that you remove from your meats. Freeze those in a Vacuum Sealer Bag until you have collected enough, to be roasted and simmered later.

Tools: Cone Strainer, Vacuum Sealer

Pho, made with a rich homemade stock

2. Use in salads
Those greens that you toss aside are likely quite edible and quite tasty. Examples: beet greens, carrot greens, turnip greens, broccoli stalks, celery greens, and radish greens. Just be sure to research first to make sure the greens aren't poisonous when eaten raw.

Tools: Manual Chopper

This vibrant spring salad was made with carrot greens, radish greens, and beet greens

3. Make pesto
Those same greens can also be chopped up and mixed with a little olive oil - maybe even some spices - for a pesto. Wilting herbs are also best taken advantage of by making a nice pesto.

Tools: 3-in-1 Grater, Manual Chopper

4. Make syrups/enhance liquors 
The peels of fruits often possess just as much flavor as the fleshy part of the fruit. Allow the flavor to seep into your favorite spirit by simply dropping the peels into the bottle. You can also extract that flavor into a syrup by simmering the peels with water and sugar. Use a Cone Strainer to separate the peels back out of the syrup. Good candidates: apples, oranges, lemons, pears, and peaches.

Tools: Cone Strainer

We used this method to make a rhubarb syrup, which we promptly used in Rhubarb-Ginger Margaritas

5. Make pickles
So many of the unwanted parts of fruits and vegetables can be made more desirable by throwing them in some vinegar with a little salt and a few spices. Parts that may begin as flavorless and tough can bloom into soft, bold accoutrements. Ideas: Citrus peels, watermelon rinds, pumpkin rind, crab apples, artichoke leaves, broccoli stems, and swiss chard stems.

Tools: Vacuum Sealer Canisters, Canning Kit

Whole Marinated Artichokes - use this recipe for just the leaves

6. Snack on seeds
Go beyond the pumpkin seed! Other squash (acorn, butternut) seeds, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew seeds are all delicious too. Use a dehydrator to dry them or, better yet, lay out some of the more savory seeds in your smoker and let it dry them out, while also adding a layer of smokiness.

Tools: Dehydrator, Smoker

Dehydrated Sweet Cinnamon Squash Seeds
7. Grind them into powder
Citrus peels, of course, make excellent zests. You can store them long term by dehydrating the zest or dehydrating the peel, then grinding it into a powder. Lots of flavor-packed foods go a long way this way. Mango peel is a good one. You can add the mango powder to a peppery blend for a dry rub. Herbs that begin to wilt - dehydrate them and crush them or grind them. Tomatoes that are starting to go - tomato powder. You might even go all culinary and throw that bread that's going stale into the smoker. Crumble it through your Food Grinder to make smoky bread powder. You could also go more traditional and not smoke the bread, and not grind it into powder. And instead throw it in the dehydrator for croutons or breadcrumbs.

Tools: Mandoline with Zester, 3-in-1 Grater, Food Grinder, Dehydrator

Dried tomatoes and basil, about to be ground into a powdered base for future sauces

8. Make yogurt
When your milk begins to sour (not completely turn - be smart about this one), heat it to 160°F, let it cool to 110°, add in some yogurt with active cultures, then place it in your Dehydrator at 110° until it sets. Here's a little how-to on DIY Greek Yogurt.

Tools: Dehydrator

9. Make homemade pasta
The great thing about making noodles by hand is that you can put whatever you want into the dough. Wilty herbs work here. Carrot tops make for a really nice herbed pasta. Not using all of your beets, or have the beet peels left over? Use them as a dye for pink or red noodles. That lemon zest powder you made will be perfect for making lemon flavored noodles. So will the tomato powder.

Tools: Pasta Machine

Beet-dyed noodles

10. Make jerky and dog treats
Less desirable scraps of meat are often ideal for jerky. Have a tough cut? Perfect! So long as it's not fatty, season that baby up, dehydrate it, and then snap into it. If tough jerky isn't your thing, grind the meat in a Meat Grinder instead, grab a Jerky Gun, and make ground jerky.

If you have a dog, same idea, but ditch the seasoning. Beef, game meats, pork, chicken, what-have-you: just slice it and dehydrate it. Homemade dog treats. If your dog is getting older and has digestive or dental problems, at the consult of your Vet, make ground jerky treats.

Tools: Dehydrator, Meat Grinder, Jerky Gun

Making jerky for you? Use this Chimichurri Jerky recipe - For the dog? Just the meat will do.

Walleye Po'Boy with Smoked Asparagus

With Earth Day around the corner, we're thinking about sustainable seafood and local eating. Did you know there's a site that helps you choose sustainable fish to eat? Well there is - it's called Seafood Watch. For us here in Cleveland, a choice that's not only sustainable, but also local and in season is Walleye (lucky us). So we decided to fish one out of Lake Erie, smoke it, fry it, and serve it in a Po'Boy (not to be confused with a Polish Boy, which is native to CLE)          ...with some locally grown Spring asparagus.

Makes 4

- Ingredients -

1 lb Walleye
1 tablespoon homemade Old Bay

one bunch asparagus
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon homemade Old Bay

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning
10 bay leaves, ground
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon mace

1 egg, whisked together
½ cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon homemade Old Bay
½ teaspoon black pepper

Creole Remoulade
8 oz mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon lemon juice from ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ cup olive oil, for frying

baguette or sandwich buns
arugula/mixed greens
½ lemon, sliced into wedges for garnishing

- Tools -
Weston Smoker
wood chips
Weston Kitchen Mixer
large skillet

Smoke Walleye
Preheat your Smoker to 200°F. Soak your wood chips for 30 minutes and fill the smoker water bowl.

Once the wood chips are soaked and the smoker is preheated, sprinkle the Walleye with Old Bay. Place the Walleye into the smoker and smoke at 200°F under heavy smoke until the internal temp of the fish is at 145°. Reduce the temperature of the smoker to 150°-160° once the fish has reached a safe temperature. Smoke for a total of 2 hours.

The key to smoking this walleye is to keep the temperature down so that it's not overcooked (you'll be frying it after smoking) - while also keeping the fish safe to eat. Under 140 is a danger zone, so you'll want to bring the fish to 145 rapidly, then hold the fish right around that temp.

Smoke Asparagus
While the Walleye will smoke for 2 hours, the asparagus only needs 45 minutes. Toss the asparagus in olive oil, lay it over foil, and sprinkle with Old Bay. Place into the smoker after the Walleye has been in for an hour and 15 minutes.

Prepare Creole Remoulade
While the Walleye and asparagus smoke, prepare the remoulade by roughly chopping  the parsley and garlic in your Kitchen Kit. Pour in remaining ingredients and continue to chop until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bread Walleye
Once the Walleye and asparagus are finished smoking, wrap the asparagus in foil tightly to keep it hot. Place the whisked egg into one bowl. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, pepper, and Old Bay in a separate bowl. Gently slice the walleye into smaller fillets (to fit into your sandwiches). Next, gently dip each fillet into the egg to coat well. Toss the coated fillet in the breading mix to completely coat.

Fry Walleye
In a large skillet over medium high heat, pour in ¼ cup olive oil. Once the oil is hot, drop in the breaded fillets. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fillets on baguette over a bed of greens, smothered in Creole Remoulade. Serve the asparagus on the side - also smothered in Creole Remoulade. Garnish with a lemon.

Cleveland Remakes: Frank's Bratwurst, From Scratch

 Frank's Bratwurst is an essential stand at Cleveland's West Side Market. The stand has been there since 1970 and isn't hard to find - just look for the line of people waiting near the smell of brats. It's a staple of the Cleveland food scene. So we thought: what better way to pay tribute to this well-loved stand than by making our own version of their famous bratwurst?

Makes 5 lb

- Ingredients -

4 lbs venison (or, more traditionally, pork), as cold as possible
1 lb pork fat, frozen
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons white pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons coriander
1 tablespoon marjoram
¼ cup heavy cream

hog casings

olive oil, to fry

Bertman's stadium mustard
sandwich/hoagie buns

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder*
Weston Meat Mixer*
Weston Sausage Stuffer*

*Keep all metal parts in the freezer until ready to use

Mix together all dry seasonings. Grind together the venison and pork fat through the coarse Meat Grinder plate. Hand mix the seasonings into the ground meat or use a Meat Mixer. Grind 2/3 of the meat through the medium plate, then again through the fine plate. Pour the heavy cream into the ground meat and mix the coarse and fine grinds until the meat looks uniform.

Weston Realtree 650 Watt Meat Grinder

Use a Sausage Stuffer or your Meat Grinder to stuff the ground meat into casings. Brats are traditionally a thicker sausage, so allow the casing to fill up, without bursting. Twist and tie them at 6 inches, or make one giant link and tie the links afterward.

We used our Weston Realtree No. 8 650 Watt Grinder to stuff the brats

Here's a quick video how-to on tying sausage links:

Cook the bratwurst and sauerkraut in a pan with an inch of hot oil, covered, until browned on both sides - 5-10 minutes.

Serve the brats on hoagie buns with kraut and stadium mustard.

Gefilte Fish from Scratch

Gefilte Fish is a traditional Passover dish of fish "meatballs" in a light fish stock. Making the stock from scratch and grinding your own fresh fish takes this dish from a required tradition to a requested favorite. While this is by no means the traditional version, it can absolutely be made in a way that is Kosher for Passover - be sure to check your ingredients. 

Makes 12 medium-sized fish balls

- Ingredients -

3 lbs fresh white perch, whole

1. Other whitefish like pike and carp are classic picks - we chose perch because it's fresh caught in Lake Erie, local for us.
2. We purchased our fish from West Side Market's Dani's Seafood, where we can purchase whole fish, have them fillet it for us, and request the bones and heads in a separate package - and they're happy to do it. We recommend you also purchase your fish from a local fish market. Note that it may be a good idea to order ahead of time.

bones & heads from fish
2 large white onions, quartered
1 large carrot
1 bulb fresh fennel, quartered
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups water
6 oz Kosher white wine
juice from 1 lemon
4 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Gefilte Fish
meat from the fish (should be about 1 ½ lbs after filleted)
½ white onion, chopped
handful curly parsley, stems removed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 egg, whisked together
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup matzo (make sure it's labeled kosher for passover)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika + more for sprinkling (optional - not traditional)*
*be sure to purchase Kosher-for-Passover paprika if making this dish for Passover

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Cone Strainer

Roast the fish bones & heads, onions, carrot, fennel and garlic - drizzled with the olive oil - at 500°F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Prepare the stock by combining all stock ingredients in a stock pot, bringing to a boil, then simmering for 30 minutes. Taste for fish flavor - continue simmering until the broth is to your liking for fish flavor. Remove the fish heads and bones, then continue to simmer for three hours to develop the other flavors.

Use a Meat Grinder with a fine plate to grind the fish, onion, and parsley together. Fish is watery, so there's no need to coarse grind it first, nor to grind it several times. Mix the ground fish with the remaining ingredients. Form the fish mixture into balls. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the stock is ready, use a Cone Strainer to strain the stock to a clear broth.

Return to a boil, then gently lower the fish balls into the stock. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Serve the gefilte fish balls cold, with sliced carrots atop each fish ball, and a little broth in the bottom of the bowl.

If you so choose, stir the tablespoon of smoked paprika into the broth, add the gefilte fish, then sprinkle with a little paprika on top.