VIDEO: Pulled Pork From Start to Finish on our Traeger Grills

We consider the BBQ Trinity: Ribs, Brisket, and Pulled Pork. Once you’ve mastered all three, you’ve got a lifetime of great BBQ ahead of you 🙂

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting videos of each one, sharing tips and tricks from our cooks.

First up is pulled pork. Here are the basics on a 6 pound pork butt we picked up at Costco:

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Dalstrong Gladiator Series 10" Butcher Knife

Review: Dalstrong Gladiator Series 10″ Butcher Knife

I’ve been a Henckels fan since Mrs. Rendezvous and I were gifted our first knife block as a wedding gift. But after almost 10 years, it was time to finally start seeing what else is out there.

As you know from a previous open thread, I’ve been researching brands like Shun, Wusthoff, and Messermeister. I still plan to buy and review a few of those, especially a boning, chef, and carving knife. But let’s get to this Dalstrong first…

A friend on IG has been raving about Dalstrong’s high carbon steel blades. After drooling over this collection for a few weeks, I finally found one I liked (10″ Cimitar Butcher Knife) at a sweet price on Amazon Prime (1-day delivery!). So I made a rash decision, and threw down on one.

Here’s my unboxing video:

Here’s my FULL REVIEW:

Here’s the knife at work on a Tri-Tip and a Monster Ribeye aka Tomahawk Steak:

🔥💨Traegered Tri Tip💨🔥Juicy, tender, and great smoky flavor. My new cimitar sliced through like buttah. Had to cut the vid short to grab some paper towels…swamped my kitchen table with steak juice. Again. Family was pleased. Plating presentation coming next. . . 🎥@rendezvousbbq 🔪@dalstrong 📋@cairnswoodcraft 💨@traegergrills 🍖@costco . . 1⃣ 1 hr smoke bath @ 180F. 2⃣ Turn up 350F until IT of 135F. 3⃣ Tent with foil, rest 20 mins. 4⃣ Sliced. . . #food #foodporn #yum #instafood #smokering #certifiedgrilllover #yummy #amazing #instagood #dinner #fresh #tasty #foodie #delish #delicious #eating #foodpic #foodpics #eat #hungry #foodgasm #hot #foods #mealprep #keto #traeger #carnivore #meateater #tritip

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Review Highlights


  • Great heft, balance, and length = awesome feel in your hand
  • Butchers like a boss, cutting through bone, cartilage, and tendon with ease
  • Solid grip, full tang, and cimitar design gives you extra leverage


  • Works for slicing and carving, but that’s not it’s primary purpose; it’s for breaking down big cuts of meat — you know — BUTCHERING.
  • It’s big; storage in a kitchen block isn’t optimal.
  • Because it’s so new and shiny, I spend extra time on maintenance. Time will tell if it’s my go to work horse, or if it’s what I bring out for a specific purpose (butchering).

Rendezvous Rating: 👍👍

Where to Buy:

Smoke Ring on a Traegered Packer Prime Brisket

How to smoke a prime beef whole packer brisket

I took the opportunity of the first three day weekend of the year to try my hand at a full packer brisket. A “packer” contains both the point and flat.

Weighing in at 16 pounds, and $2.99/lb at Costco, this was by far the most ambitious (and expensive) cook yet! Video below shows all of the basic steps in the recipe. At bottom are a number of links where you can find the tools of the trade that made this LONG cook a success (remote thermometer, utility knife, Traeger Century 22, etc).

The results were amazing, and I’ll be trying another one soon. Just as quick as I can get through the HUGE pile of leftovers in my fridge, and vacuum sealed packs in my freezer. Without further ado…


1⃣ Trim hard fat to 1/8″
2⃣ Rub w/ Code 3 Spices 5-0 All-Purpose Rub
3⃣ Pre-heat Traeger, and put on @ Smoke for 6-8 hrs
4⃣ Pull and foil-wrap at 160F IT
5⃣ Put back on @ 250F for 8-10 hrs
6⃣ Pull off at 204F IT
7⃣ Rested for 30 mins & sliced


Top Recipes:
21 Essentials for Traeger Owners:
7 Tips & Tricks for Traeger Owners:
13 Must Have BBQ Books:
Digital Thermometers Buying Guide:
Best Selling Pellets for Traeger:
Best Knives & Cutlery for BBQ:

Smoked, Butter Basted and Herb Crusted Cast Iron Seared Choice Angus Ribeye Steaks


  • ONE (1) Choice Ribeye Steak
  • 2 Teaspoons Coarse Salt (Sea Salt or Kosher Salt)
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh cracked ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Sprig of Fresh Thyme

Where to Buy:

Traeger Grills Little Tex:

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet:

Henckels Utility Knife:

XL Bamboo Cutting Board:

Black Nitrile Gloves:

Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Food in a Freshware Meal Prep Container

Review: Freshware meal prep containers

If you grill, BBQ, or smoke a lot of meals, you’re bound to have leftovers. We know. For some, the word “leftovers” and “BBQ” together seems like sacrilege. But for us, it’s a reality.

We’ve used a variety of storage containers over the years, including Tupperware. We still use it. But with the annual weight loss goals coming into focus, we sought out better solutions. Juggling all those small containers in our lunch bag can be a hassle. They also get pushed around in our fridge between “meal prep Sunday” and the end of the week.

That’s when we found Freshware Meal Prep Containers. They are even better than Tupperware for meal prep, because they have multiple compartments. You can easily portion out your food to control servings, and pop in the fridge or freezer. And they are stackable!
But aside from convenience, there’s a reason these containers are a Best Seller in Bulk Food Containers on Amazon. The containers make organization easy. Three zones mean you can put ONE meal, all in ONE container. The snap on lids seal the container tight.

Freshware containers are also BPA free, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe. Many other meal prep solutions are one-time use, and throw away. Like Tupperware, Freshware is reusable.

Another bonus use for us is when we cook a big family meal, host a backyard Traegerfest BBQ, or go to a potluck and need a container to bring food home. We just pull out a Freshware containers, and send them home with family and friends, or pack up our portions, and leave in the fridge at work. Any given weekday, there’s probably a small stack transiting between work and home!

PLUS, we have a picky toddler who often times leaves a lot of food untouched. She’ll come back an hour later, and say “Daddy, I’m hungry.” Usually right before bed. With our Freshware containers, food doesn’t get soggy or mashed together. It’s fresh and ready to dive in.

Rendezvous Review:👍👍

Where to Buy: Freshware Meal Prep Containers on Amazon

Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Polish Dogs

Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Popper Polish Dogs

Some like it hot! So we finally broke down and wrote out our smokey, spicy, and HOT dog recipe for you all. This is a great weeknight delight. Easy to make. Can be done in as little as 30 minutes. And if there are any leftovers, these hold well for a lunch the next day (toppings on the side). Without further ado…


3 Costco Polish Dogs
3 Large Hoagie or French Rolls
3 Tablespoons Softened Unsalted Butter
3 Tablespoons Jalapeno Cream Cheese
3 Tablespoons Diced Jalapenos (fresh or pickled, mild or hot to taste)
3 Teaspoons of Grunt Rub or all-purpose seasoning salt

Optional toppings:

Half red or white onion diced
3 Tablespoons Sour Cream
1 Cup of Medium Cheddar Cheese
2 Tablespoons minced cilantro

SPONSORED AD: Take 15% Off Tappecue Wifi Thermometer through Jan. 8 with this special offer. Hurry, offer is only good while supplies last!


1) Butter buns with unsalted butter, and dust with Code 3 Spices Grunt Rub or all-purpose seasoning salt.
2) Use Slotdog or a sharp knife to score the polish dogs.
3) Put pre-heated grill or BBQ for a 15 minute smoke bath. Once dogs have desired smokiness, turn up grill to 375F and and grill until puffy and expanded, or turning until crispy perfection (about 15 minutes).
4) When you turn up the grill to 375F in step above, add three pieces of thick cut bacon to a Lodge Cast Iron Pan and place on the grill or a side burner (at medium heat). Flip pieces a few times to get crispy all around.
5) When bacon starts to crisp, add diced jalapenos to cast iron pan on top of bacon.
6) Add buns to top rack of grill, buttered side facing down, to toast for 3-4 minutes.
7) Remove everything from grill when it’s finished cooking. (Hot dogs should read 165F on an instant read thermometer; bacon should be crisp). Pat bacon dry with a paper towel, and wrap around the polish dogs, or crumble for topping.
8) Slather both sides of the toasted buns with jalapeno cream cheese.
9) Add jalapenos from cast iron pan to top of dogs.
10) Top with optional sides: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, onions and cilantro.

A bonus twist on this recipe: Use pretzel rolls!


Follow us on Instagram for more food photos like: @RendezvousBBQ

Read more recipes and reviews on our blog.

Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Review: Easy Kabob Maker and Serious Eats Bifteki Recipe

We love shish kebabs, Sriracha Ranch bacon-wrapped chicken skewers, and just about any other kind of meat on a stick!

Usually we cube up pork, chicken, or beef into one-inch pieces and thread on a stainless steel skewer. But we recently spotted a new tool, the Easy Kabob, and were drawn in by the simple design and promise of making healthy pressed kabobs from ground beef or pork.

Here’s our unboxing and first look:

We gave the Easy Kabob its first trial on a Bowl Day, adapting a Greek bifteki recipe from Serious Eats for our main dish at the tailgate. The results were decent. Our recipe took a little bit of time to prep, cut up the herbs, mix up the beef, and roll it into balls right-sized for the tube. Re-loading was a bit messy as well. But once we got the hang of the pressing, the kabobs stacked up quickly. Including prep, it took us about 15 minutes to make 10 shorties from 1.3 lbs of Choice Angus Beef, with two monster patties in reserve.

Once on the grill (cooked over high heat on a cast iron griddle with olive oil), 9 of the 10 kabobs stayed perfectly together. Turned each skewer until brown on all sides. The bifteki recipe was well-suited to the Easy Kabob, and we look forward to trying others like pepper and onion pork sausage, and turkey, lab or chicken kefta. If the kabobs hold up well, we expect to try this in our Sunday meal prep rotation.


  • Easy to use, just as advertised! Goes quickly once you get the hang of it.
  • Disassembles quickly, with very few moving parts or components.
  • Sturdy construction and relatively easy to clean, made easier with included brush.


  • Somewhat bulky, will take up space on your accessories shelf.
  • A bit limited to using bamboo or wood skewers. Small hole on back doesn’t accommodate skewers with handles (but you can press them in reverse, if the skewer will fit the diameter of the hole)
  • Creates a bit of a meaty mess to clean-up; we got hamburger all over.

Overall Rendezvous Recommendation: 👍

Where to Buy: Amazon

Editor’s Note: Post contains affiliate links.

Review: The Slotdog Hot Dog Scoring and Slicing Tool

At first glance, The Slotdog seems like an “As Seen on TV,” novelty or gag gift.

We looked at it at least a half dozen times before even deciding whether to buy and review it. What pushed us off the fence was the buzz online among BBQ enthusiasts for this “must have tool.”

After using The Slotdog a few times, it’s growing on us. Sure. It’s basically a “uni-task,” tool. We can’t see much other use for it than scoring hot dogs. You might ask, could you just do this with a sharp knife? Sure. But likely not getting the same repeatable pattern and depth.

In other words, if you’re making a gourmet dinner of hotdogs, have at it with your chef’s knife or fancy spiralizing skewer tricks. But if you’re mass producing a tray of hot dogs for a backyard party or tail gate, The Slotdog is going to be your workhorse.

We tested the scored hot dogs three ways: Traeger grilling, Masterbuilt smoking, and Lodge Cast Iron skillet. All three had similar, positive, and tasty results.


  • Allows smoke and grill flavor to get deeper into the hot dog.
  • Helps jumbo dogs cook faster, more evenly, while still juicy.
  • Changes the skin texture, with a caramelized, almost crispy finish.


  • Requires more pressure to use than you might think.
  • As a uni-task tool, it’s going to take up shelf space.
  • Only works on skinless (no casings) hot dogs (forget brats), and requires a dishwasher to clean (not ideal for camping or off-the-grid uses).

Overall Rendezvous Rating: 👍

Where to Buy:

Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links.


Garlic Herb Butter Crusted Prime Rib

Recipe Review: Traeger’s Garlic Herb and Stuffed Prime Rib Roast Recipe

When we haven’t done a recipe before, and are cooking for a big party or family gathering, we like to do a dry run a week or two before. As you saw with our Traeger Turkey Recipe Review, it’s usually flawless. But we always seem to learn something that improves the final product. Taking our end product from good to great!

After looking at a dozen or so mouth-watering Prime Rib recipes around the web, we decided to improvise on Traeger’s Garlic and Herb Stuffed Prime Rib Roast.

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