On Thursday, July 28, 2016, Home of Economy in Grand Forks prepared and served up a whole 4-foot alligator for tasting samples. The gator went on the the grill Wednesday evening and roasted overnight. For those who were there for the preparation, we also made deliciously smokey samples of L and M Meats sausage, and pizza from Papa Murphy’s, all prepared on the Traeger Wood Fired Smoker Grill.
And what a day it was! We want to thank everyone who was our guest for the event. Thank you for coming and thank you for all the kind words and compliments. All of us at Home of Economy enjoyed the event. Attendance exceeded all expectations and we truly appreciate the positive feedback. We expected about 50 people, we hoped for 100, we prepared for 200 and we served over 900! We scrambled a bit, but we sure enjoyed it!
We will do another gator event in the future but are also open to suggestions of other things you might like us to try. We look forward to your ideas!
To make our Gators as delicious as possible, we prepared a spicy cornbread, crawfish and sausage stuffing that went in the gator first. Then the critter got a rub down with olive oil to help it absorb the smoke, to keep it moist, and to help the spice rub to stick. The next step was to give it a good rub with Traeger Salmon Shake.
Salmon Shake is great on salmon, but it is also great on a lot more. Traeger recommends it on burgers, meatloaf, steaks, tenderloin and brisket. We are using it because it is a sweet and spicy, salty and savory rub that will caramelize nicely and compliment the smoke from the grill.
Once stuffed and rubbed, the gator went into the Traeger to smoke for four hours. The Traeger is unique among grills in that, set on “smoke”, the temperature will stay low so that your dinner can have maximum time for the smoke to penetrate and mature. Four hours gave us a half to three-quarter inch smoke ring in the meat. Every half hour or so we gave it a moisturizing spray of olive oil, apple cider, and vinegar. We did this to keep the smoke intense inside the grill, but most of the gator is lean white meat and we needed to be sure not to dry it out.
Once the smoke had time to work on the gator, we covered it in bacon. We could have done it without bacon, but bacon made it easier to keep the meat tender, and bacon is delicious. One of the great things about a Traeger is the ability to set a controlled temperature that is maintained automatically without anyone having to stand over it, just like the oven in your kitchen at home. We set the grill at a temperature of 230ºf and let it cook.
We like to use a Traeger Remote Thermometer to keep track of exactly what is going on inside the grill from up to 500 feet away. With one probe monitoring the ambient temperature inside the grill, and the other keeping tabs on the meat, it allowed us to relax and let the grill do the work.
Just think what you could cook up at home with a Traeger Wood Fired Grill of your own!