Smoked Honey Baked Ham

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s dinner menu!

Yes, we all know that turkey is usually going to be served at least on one of these holidays but didn’t everyone just have turkey on Thanksgiving?  A smoked ham is a great choice to serve for the holidays and even better you can save a lot of money by buying a ham and smoking it yourself.  Why pay  holiday prices for a honey baked ham when you can make it yourself for a lot less!

smoked-ham

We suggest smoking your ham this holiday season.  Start off with buying a shank portion spiral ham as the bone is great for making a split pea soup or beans!

To create a honey baked ham using your smoker instead of the usual torch to get the glaze to be “honey baked”, try this recipe:

Honey Baked Ham Glaze:

½ cup Orange Juice

½ cup Apple Juice

¼ cup Brown Sugar

¼ Honey

Mix these ingredients together over medium high heat until it reaches a low boil.  Reduce the heat and stir occasionally for another 3-5 mins.

Baste the outside of your ham with the glaze and try to get some of the glaze in between the ham slices. Next blend the following ingredients:

Sugar Blend to Smoke the Ham

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup sugar in the raw

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Combine these ingredients and apply to the outside of the ham.

The smoker should be between 275 – 300 degrees using something other than hickory or oak in the smoker as it will give the ham an overly strong smoky taste.   Place the ham on the smoker for 2 to 3 hours depending on your ham size.  Ham needs to reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees before serving. Anything hotter than that, you will have one heck of a dry ham!  We suggest using a meat thermometer for accuracy when checking the ham’s temperature.

Another helpful holiday hint to prepare your mashed potatoes the day before, using (1) 16 oz container sour cream and (1) 8oz bar of cream cheese in your mashed potato recipe to keep them moist.  The day of your feast, put the potatoes in a crockpot in the morning on low for 4-5 hours and mix once an hour. Add milk or butter as needed to keep the potatoes a nice consistency.

All of us at Pit Stop Smokehouse wish you and yours a very happy holiday season. May your holiday season be merry and bright!

How Burgers Came To Be…!

Yes, we are a BBQ restaurant but we have smokin’ good burgers!!!

Pitstop Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant is located in Westmoreland, New Hampshire within 10 miles of Surry

Where did burgers originate? The first misconception is that the hamburger was created in Hamburg, Germany.  The inspiration came from Hamburg as the German’s “hamburg steak” was made from chopped, seasoned beef molded into patties.  In actuality, the burger may have been created as early as the 4th century by the Romans.  The Romans served a baked patty consisting of beef mixed with pine kernels, black & green peppercorns and white wine!  We may not know where the burger originated but we can all agree that a burger is quite simply a delicious treat day or night!

The hamburger sandwich concept came later during the mid-19th century in the U.S.  The idea was to combine two slices of bread with beef in the middle and sell it as a “hamburger sandwich”.  Many Germans that immigrated to the U.S. opened restaurants in Chicago and New York in the 19th century and made a good living at it.  These restaurants often featured an Americanized version of the Hamburg steak, which was beef chopped and mixed with onions, pepper, salt and garlic, then grilled or fried and served on bread!  This is where the Hamburg, Germany’s link to America’s hamburger ends.  The difference is the bread and rolls!

In 1921 the first fast food hamburger restaurant opened.  Many had concerns over food safety and sanitary practices of the food industry. To alleviate the consumers fears, the restaurants were designed with stainless steel counters for easy clean up and the meat was ground in front of the customers, to ensure quality.  As time went on, the roadside diners started opening up and serving the hamburgers with soda pop, milk shakes and French fries!

The bottom line is we all love a good burger and we think our burgers at Pit Stop Smokehouse we think ours are absolutely the best around!  All burgers are Certified Angus Beef and served with lettuce & tomato.

 OUR PIT STOP BURGERS:

Classic Burger

Certified Angus burger and served with lettuce, tomato and french fries

Add cheese for .79

The Pit Stop Smokehouse Burger

Try this winning combination of smoked pulled pork on top of a burger and topped with melted cheddar and BBQ sauce. Served with lettuce, tomato and french fries

Smokehouse Chili Burger

Topped with cheddar cheese and our homemade chili served with lettuce, tomato and french fries

Add bacon for 99¢

Smokehouse Buffalo Burger

Our Angus chuck burger smothered in buffalo sauce and topped with cheddar cheese and blue cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato and french fries

 

 

The History of Pulled Pork

Pit Stop Smokehouse in Westmoreland, NH has the best pulled pork in all of New England! You have to try our Pulled Pork Sandwich!   Piled high on a grilled bulky roll and served with your choice of BBQ sauce, chips or french fries and slaw, this sandwich will have you saying mmm’ mmm’ good!

pulled-pork-sandwich

Have you ever wondered where smoked and pulled pork or the idea of smoked or pulled pork started?   The process of smoking pork was created when the Spanish settlers first arrived in the United States. They watched natives building a smoky fire underneath their game, and took notice of how the process kept bugs away and preserved the meat. This is said to be the first known barbecue process. Over time, the process evolved, with the migration of Africans and Europeans to the South. Pigs became a main source of meat for people in the Southern colonies, due to their cheap price tag and easy maintenance.

Plantation owners would release pigs into the woods to graze for months knowing that they could be easily hunted when food supplies were low. These pigs were semi-wild and a bit tough when roasted, but all parts of the pig were kept and consumed.

Over time, the pig became a proud staple of southerners, and more care was taken to fatten and marble the pig. The southerners did not export pigs to the north, so these marbled swine became an exclusive food source to the south.

Festivals and other gatherings were scheduled around the slaughtering of the semi-wild pigs and roastings. The traditional Southern BBQ grew out of these gatherings.

The festivals, church picnics, political rallies, plantation gatherings and more were the places to get your good ole’ southern BBQ! BBQ was not a food of the upper class, nor was it something to be looked down upon. In fact, it was a unifier. It brought together all economic and social classes in one huge social gathering.

Many think that the term “pulled pork” comes from when  you “pull the pork” apart when it is done and properly BBQ’ed…right?  Not Quite!  After the pigs were roasted at the festivals, church picnics, rallies and gatherings, the slaves were given the cheap, tough cuts to prepare.  This tender, fatty, and flavorful meat is usually made with pork shoulder (sometimes referred to as pork butt, Boston shoulder, or picnic shoulder).

The slaves learned to slow cook these cuts over coals. The slaves were typically so hungry that they would “pull the pork” off of the coals when the meat was done and could easily be pulled away from the roast.  That is where the term “pulled pork” began!

Don’t hesitate to come on over to Pit Stop Smokehouse and give our Pulled Pork Sandwich a good ole’ try!

Good Ole’ Fried Pickles

Both a southern and local favorite, our sour pickles dipped in a spicy beer batter, deep fried and served with smoked Chipotle mayo are a big hit around here at Pit Stop Smokehouse!

 

Fried Pickles Appr Nev er tried one of these bad boys? Well one bite into one of these delicious, crunchy appetizers and you will be hooked!  Fried pickles are exactly what you think!  Deep fried pickle spears or slices and dipped into a chipotle mayo or blue cheese dressing and you have yourself a delicious treat! This crunchy goodness was created back in 1963 in Arkansas by Bernell Austin who owned the Duchess Drive-in. The drive in was located across the street from the Atkins Pickle Plant and Austin wanted to attract more business to the area using a recipe with pickles!

There are many different variations of the deep fried pickle!  From spicy  jalapeno to buffalo chicken flavor! It’s all in what you like and if you decide to make your own, the combinations of flavors is endless!  Below we have added a deep fried pickle recipe.   It may easier to come to Pit Stop Smokehouse and enjoy ours first before diving into the recipe below!

You can make your own deep fried pickles at home with this easy recipe:

1 cup of milk

1 egg (beaten)

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon pepper

1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying

1 large jar of dill pickle spears or slices

In small bowl, mix together the milk & beaten egg, salt & pepper

Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a deep fryer or deep skillet.  Dip pickle spears or slices into the egg/milk mixture, then into the flour and place the pickles carefully into the hot oil.

Fry the pickles until they float to the surface and are golden brown.

Place on paper towels to drain.

You can dip your pickles in chipotle mayonnaise, ranch dressing, horseradish, ketchup, or any other condiment of your choice!

We know after having tried one of our fried pickles at Pit Stop Smokehouse, you will be smacking your lips for more of this southern deep fried deliciousness!

Three Menu Items You Must Try At Pit Stop Smokehouse!

The smell of the smoker flows through the air and brings locals and out-of-towner’s back for more Pit Stop yumminess time and time again!  What is it about our causal smokehouse restaurant that everyone raves about?

The answer is easy of course!  The hand rubbed and slow smoked meats are by far the best in the Monadnock region.  Pair those meats with our delicious homemade sides and you are in for one awesome meal!

There are three menu times you must try when visiting our restaurant:

  1. Smokehouse BBQ Ribs – smoked low with your choice of BBQ sauce and served with two sides. Pitstop Smokehouse Restaurant, 1041 Rt 12, Westmoreland, New Hampshire, 03467

 

  1. Half Chicken which is hand rubbed with our own seasonings, slow smoked and glazed to perfection.  Served with your choice of two sides and BBQ sauce.

BBQ Chicken

  1. The Texas Crash – slow smoked brisket, piled high on a grilled bulky roll and topped with cheddar cheese and baked beans, Fritos and your choice of BBQ sauce.  Served with chips or French fries and our delicious slaw!

Don’t forget to start your visit off with one of our smoking good starters that are sure to please! http://www.pitstopsmokehouse.com/smoking-starters/

Visiting the Monadnock Region

Planning a trip this summer to the beautiful states of New Hampshire or Vermont?  There are an abundance of things to do in the area and don’t forget to put Pit Stop Smokehouse on your list of restaurants to eat at!

The most popular attraction in the area is the Mount Monadnock with climbing, hiking, picnicking, camping and skiing in the winter months!  This beautiful mountain which has a 3,165 ft summit has 40 acres of trails. Once reaching the summit you can see for 100 miles which includes six New England states!

mount monadnock

You can enjoy one of the many state and federal parks in the area some of our favorites are:

Bear Den Natural Area (Gilsum, NH).  An easy walk to ancient glacial pot holes.

Chesterfield Gorge State Park (Chesterfield, NH)  – A ¾ mile trail that is an easy hike with picnic area.

Greenfield State Park (Greenfield, NH) – Located on Otter lake with swimming, picnic areas and a campground.

Rhododendron State Park (Fitzwilliam, NH) – this beautiful park has 16 acres of blooming wild Rhododendrons in mid-July.

A neat place to visit is Terrapin Glass in Jeffrey, NH where you can tour the studio, take a glassblowing class or watch free demonstrations. www.terrapinglass.com

 

Put on those shopping shoes and shop to your hearts content at:

Antiques & Collectibles Mall of New England in Greenville, NH.  There is something for everyone!

Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton, NH offers country furnishings, art and collectibles.

Hannah Grimes Marketplace in Keene, NH sells items made in New Hampshire such as jewelery, pottery, soap, baskets and specialty foods.

Peterboro Basket Company in Peterborough, NH has a great variety of baskets and gift ideas.

If you’re a covered bridge enthusiast, our area has some of the most beautiful covered bridges in New England!  For a complete list of covered bridges go to:  http://www.monadnocktravel.com/acitivities-coveredbridges-nh.html

After all of your days activities, stop in at Pit Stop Smokehouse and enjoy the best BBQ in New England!

Types of Smokers

Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking or preserving meat or fish by exposing it to smoke from smoldering wood.  Having a smoker is wonderful!

You can now have meat or fish that is cooked just right without the creosote, soot and ash.  If you’re in the market to buy a smoker, below are the different types of smokers to get you going on your Smokin’ good food!

Each of the below smokers have advantages and disadvantages. It’s best to do your research thoroughly and buy the smoker that best fits your budget and liking!

Offset SmokerOffset Smokers:  This type is the most common type of smoker that you will see around. It is usually cylindrical in shape with a smaller fire box at the end usually attached to the bottom of the smoker.  A small fire is started in the fire box which has tight air control.  The heat and smoke from the fire box is drawn through a pipe into the cooking chamber.  There is an exhaust vent on the top of the cooking chamber.

Upright Drum Smoker:  This smoker is an upright steel drum of varying sizes with a basket to hold charcoal near the bottom and a cooking rack or racks near the top. Air is controlled through an air intake at the bottom of the drum.Upright Smoker

Vertical Water Smoker:  This is a variation of the Upright Drum.  It uses wood or charcoal for heat and smoke.  This smoker has a water bowl between the fire and the cooking racks which maintains smoking temperatures.  The water vapor and smoke condense together and adds flavor to the food.Vertical Water Smoker

Propane Smoker:  A propane smoker has a more controlled smoking environment.  The heat is generated by a gas burner directly under a steel or iron box containing the wood or charcoal that provides the smoke.  The steel box has some holes on the top of the box only.  This starves the heated wood of oxygen and smokes instead of burning.

Propane Smoker

Smoke Box method:  The smoke box method uses a two box system. A firebox and a cooking box.  The heat and smoke from the fire box exits into the cooking box where it is used to cook and smoke the meat.Smokebox

 

 

Commercial SmokerCommercial Smoke House:  The commercial smoke houses are made from stainless steel.  The smoking generator uses friction, an electric coil or a small flame to ignite sawdust on demand.  Heat from the steam coils or gas flames is balanced with live stream or water sprays to control the temperature and humidity

Don’t forget when purchasing a smoker to get a high quality thermometer.  If you buy a smoker with a separate fire box on the side, then you will need to buy two thermometers that are placed at grate level in both the fire box and the smoking chamber. Temperatures inside both the fire box and the smoking chamber can vary as much as 50 degrees!   Have fun on your search for the perfect smoker and enjoy delicious BBQ once again!

LOCAL EVENTS MAY, 2016!

Spring has arrived and with it some fun outside events to attend in the area!  Visit Pit Stop Smokehouse to fill your bellies before or after these fun events!  From our Smokin’ Starters to our Race Ready Pizzas, we are here for you!Pitstop Smokehouse bbq restaurant Westmoreland New Hampshire

Enjoy the beautiful month of May and all these great areas of New Hampshire and Vermont have to offer!

May 15, 2016 – Mudslinger Season Opener – Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH – $10 adults, $5 kids (13-18) and under 12 is FREE

https://www.facebook.com/events/1695203237421569/

 

May 21, 2016 – Children and the Arts Festival 9am-3pm , Peterborough, NH.  Chalk art, giant puppets, dancing, art.

http://www.childrenandthearts.org/

 

May 21, 2016 – NECCA Flying Trapeze, Brattleboro, VT  – Flying trapeze fun for the entire family!  $5 per swing.

https://www.facebook.com/events/481362948715299/

 

Late May, 2016 – Friendly Farm opens with 5 acres of animals, picnic spaces and family fun!

http://www.friendlyfarm.com/

Spring

Smoking Meat? Say What?

Pit Stop Smokehouse2We love our smoker here at Pit Stop Smokehouse and thought you’d all love to read the history of smoking meats!

Smoking meat and fish started centuries ago as far back as cavemen times!  Caves lacked chimneys and these caves could become very smoky when they lit their fires. Over time, the early cavemen would hang their meat and fish up to dry and noticed that the meat and fish hung in the smokiest areas of the caves had a better taste and were better preserved.  Smoking meat and fish during these times was done mostly to preserve the meats rather than adding flavor.

Smoking methods that have been passed down through the generations are still in use today all over the world.  In Medieval Europe, when an animal was slaughtered, much of the meat was smoked to preserve it.  Some folks had actual smokehouses where they hung, salted and smoked their meat.  Smokehouses were a small enclosed shelter that a fire can be kept smoldering for weeks.   The less affluent would hang their meat high above their hearth or fireplace at night and after putting ashes on the embers, it would produce a very smoky environment.  Meat that was smoked overnight in homes had to be eaten right away and even shared with neighbors as in the 18th century it with no refrigeration, meat would go bad quickly especially in the summer.  The best time of year to slaughter and smoke meat was in the winter.

In modern times, smoking meat is done more for flavor than preserving!

Smoking meat is not always easy and a first timer can easily create meats that are very bitter in taste. Creosote is white in appearance and formed on the meat after there is too much air flow which causes too hot of a fire that spreads too fast.  Creosote gives off the bitter flavor.   When burning wood in your smoker, you have to keep in mind that there are different types of woods that give different flavors.  You also have to account for the amount of wood, fire, air and moisture in the air and the wood!   Color is key.  You want to see a thin blue smoke coming out of the exhaust vent or stack and the chamber temperature should be between 180 and 250 degrees, more so near 225 degrees for best results!

There are many types of smoking; cold smoking, hot smoking and smoke roasting! Along with the different types of smoking now a days, there are different types of smokers which we will get too in another blog.

Here at Pit Stop Smokehouse, we have the art of smoking meats fine-tuned and down to a science.  Hands down there’s no better place in all of NH for good ole’ fashion BBQ and smoked meats!

Some of the delicious meals that are hand rubbed and slow smoked here at Pit Stop Smokehouse are:

Smokehouse BBQ Ribs

BBQ ribs smoked slow and basted with your choice of BBQ sauce. Served with your choice of 2 sides

Pulled Pork or Chicken Sandwich

Our meats are smoked low and slow and piled high on a grilled bulky roll and served with your choice of BBQ sauce, chips or french fries and slaw

Smoked Brisket Sandwich

Mouth watering smoked brisket piled on a grilled bulky roll and served with your choice of BBQ sauce, chips or french fires and slaw

The Texas Crash

Low and slow smoked brisket piled on a grilled bulky and topped with cheddar cheese and baked beans, Fritos and your choice of BBQ sauce served with chips or french fries and slaw

Half Chicken

Hand rubbed with our own seasonings, slow smoked and glazed to perfection. Served with your choice of two sides and BBQ sauce

The Intimidator

Eat it all if you dare and if you do – get a Pit Stop Smokehouse t-shirt (no help at the table) 1/2 chicken ribs, and pulled pork sliders, two sides, corn bread and good luck!

The Tailgaters

Almost like being at your favorite sporting event or back yard BBQ! A combination of three choices – ribs, wings and your choice of pulled pork or chicken, smoked sausage or brisket and choice of two sides

So what are ya’ll waiting for? We are smoking up some delicious foods and looking forward to serving you all soon!  Bon appetit’ and enjoy the feast!

What is BBQ?

pit-stop-bbq-new-hampshire-05

In order to understand why Pit Stop Smokehouse in Westmoreland, NH totally rocks “The Q” we need to explain what Barbecue is, and why it’s so darn good.

Barbecue is one of those words that can be used in so many ways. You can have friends over for a barbecue or, you are cooking dinner on the barbecue. But at Pitstop Smokehouse BBQ in Westmoreland, the word “Barbecue” is more than a method of cooking, it’s a tradition and lifestyle for owner Dennis Chamberlin. But that’s another story…

pitstop-bbq-new-hampshire-01First, and most important, let’s define barbecue as a method of cooking. In the Northeast, when the term “barbecuing” is used, it’s in the manner of having friends over and throwing some sort of meat on the barbecue, usually burgers, dogs and steaks. While a “barbecue” is being used, more often than not, the food being cooked is directly over the embers. This, technically speaking, is “grilling”, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, except it’s not really “barbecuing”Barbecuing is all about “low and slow”. Low temperatures (typically between 200 and 250 degrees) and a long period of time. And when we say slow, we mean like 8-12 hours on the average. The reason for “low and slow” is that this allows a normally tough piece of meat to become a moist and tender culinary delight. “Low and Slow” breaks down the connective tissue, and melts away the fat. It’s that simple. When you are enjoying our “Texas Crash” sandwich on Friday, just know that we started that brisket as early as Tuesday or Wednesday so that you can have it for lunch on Friday. There is no such thing as a “rush job” when it comes to any of our delicious BBQ.

pit-stop-bbq-new-hampshire-002Okay, so now you know “low and slow”. The first step is prepping the meat. On the ribs, you are taking the membrane on the bone side off, so you get max penetration of your spices and helping to tenderize the meat. On a brisket, it’s ensuring the right amount of fat is trimmed off. The next step in a great BBQ starts with a marinade, but not the liquid marinade that most people think. In BBQ, it’s all about “The Rub”. “The Rub” consists of a variety of dry spices mixed together, and rubbed onto the meat at least 24 hours prior to going on/in the “Q”. This is the primary form of spicing. A good rub combines sweet, savory and spicy, all in one, and is the reason why barbecue is an explosion of all good things yummy. A good rub will have spices like garlic, chili, brown sugar and many other ( and no, we will not divulge our dry rub, cuz it’s a family secret that has been passed down) spices. Dry rubs will vary based on the region and style of barbecue as well.

Next up is the actual “cooking”. This is as important as the rub. We told you about “low and slow”. Now comes the third critical component. Smoke. Just like ”the rub”, the type of wood used is both regional, and varies by the type of meat used. In Texas BBQ, it’s mesquite. Carolina pulled pork, its hickory. In many cases, it’s a blend. Fruitwoods like apple, cherry and pear are awesome on poultry and fish. Oak and pecan are also prevalent in blends and used on beef and pork. Once you have the rub done, temperature set, and meat in the smoker/barbecue, start your day of chores, shopping and yard work. Remember to check the temperature on a regular basis. Oh, and here’s another little hint. DO NOT OPEN THE SMOKER UP EVERY HOUR TO CHECK HOW AWESOME YOUR MEAT LOOKS. You lose heat, and low temperatures are tough to maintain, and even worse, you lose your smoke. Reality is that you can take years to master your style and blends. Or you can take the easy way out. Just come to The Pitstop Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant in Westmoreland, New Hampshire and let us do the work, and you enjoy the eats…

cropped-Front.jpgPit Stop Smokehouse
1041 Route 12
Westmoreland, NH 03467
(603) 399-9010

The Pitstop Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant also does catering, so if you need to contact us, just “click here“!

 

Pitstop Smokehouse BBQ is a family restaurant located within 20 miles of Keene, Chesterfield, Walpole, and Surry, New Hampshire, and offers online ordering as well as catering for special events and office parties