Dadgum Thats Good! By John McLemore
Dadgum Thats Good is a great recipe book for a different approach to cooking using smoking, grilling, frying, boiling and steaming methods with a southern flair.
Ease of Understanding/Practicality 21/25
Additional Features 22/25
Dadgum Thats Good! by John McLemore is a smoker, grill and deep fryer cookbook that is filled with recipes both for appliances that Masterbuilt makes and ones you may have. The Masterbuilt company designs and is well known for the turkey fryer, a deep fryer especially designed for turkeys but also sells smokers and grills.
Dadgum Thats Good has over 120 recipes in a six sectioned book by cooking methods for an easy to navigate recipe book but the books are useful for a reference guide as well. Each cooking method has its own style but the cookbook in general has a lot of spicy southern style methods.
Dadgum Thats Good also has some helpful pages filled with the back story of the company Masterbuilt, helpful cooking tips and more for plenty of special features along with the recipes. The 200 page cookbook has some beautiful pictures of the cooked foods so you have an idea of what your creations are supposed to look like or at least come close to.
Cookbooks that revolve around specific cooking techniques are pretty good for a volume of recipes but some can also be cooking equipment specific. Dadgum That’s Good fits this category of cook books very well as it centers not only on cooking techniques but on the Masterbuilt fryers and smokers.
You can use a regular pot for both steaming and boiling recipes or any fryer for most of the frying methods but some things need a more specific type of appliance. The turkey frying needs a large fryer and a few other recipes also need something a bit more unusual like a smoker.
Most people have grills and several grills also double as a smoker or you can even purchase a stovetop smoker like the nice one from Nordic that I have reviewed. Grilling is a great cooking method for many recipes and can be done on either an indoor grill or an outdoor barbecue grill using gas or briquettes to cook with.
I do have a deep fryer from Masterbuilt and will address that method as well as a couple of other methods that do not use the Masterbuilt appliances. My smoker, a Nordic Ware Kettle Smoker worked very well for the smoking recipes but the frying has a few more recipes than the other sections.
I tried Smoked BBQ beans, Smoked Onion Burgers and Smoked Salmon in the Nordic smoker using the Dadgum Thats Good recipes and they turned out very well. The beans were a bit hard, undercooked, so I tried the same recipe using canned beans and it turned out very well.
I tried a few frying recipes like Hush Puppies, Southern Fried Fish and Pumpkin fritters which all worked out pretty well but I am not a great cook. After a few experiments and some practice I have gotten some of the recipes down pretty good but a few are just not my cup of tea.
I tried a few steamed recipes and varied some recipes to the ingredients I had on hand and things worked out well, I did do a lot of variations on several recipes. Steaming can be done in a fryer like the Masterbuilt Butterball Turkey Fryer or a simple stock pot with a wire basket suspended part way in the pot.
Most of the recipes in the Dadgum Thats Good cookbook are on the spicy side but it is easy enough to use less spicy ingredients or simply substitute them for other things. My family does not for the most part like spicy foods so several of the recipes I toned down or changed out a few ingredients to lessen the spicy flavors.
I did try a couple of the main recipes like the deep fried turkey but not with the Cajun spices and it was delicious, even as leftovers for sandwiches. I also tried an oddball recipe with the Fried Scotch Eggs but this was not as good, I need to use a little less sausage so the sausage cooks all the way through.
The sausage was a little underdone near the hardboiled egg so next time I try this I will use a little less sausage per egg as well as undercook the egg just a little. The egg should be a bit less than fully hardboiled for a better taste and texture so I will try this one again.
Actually several of the recipes from Dadgum Thats Good will be used again and especially the turkey frying which was a fantastic method for cooking a turkey. Fried turkey is worth the bit of cost and effort that frying versus broiling puts you through and was well worth it.
I tried this one recipe which is also a main part of the turkey fryer I also received from Masterbuilt and it is one great recipe as long as you follow some simple ideas. The cooking methods all worked just fine I only needed a few ingredient changes to make things a bit better such as the turkey frying.
I used an herb & garlic marinade from Wal-mart which tasted very good instead of the Cajun spice the recipe book called for. Next time I will try a teriyaki marinade and I will try this again soon as the turkey deep fried was moist, tender and delicious.
Many of the recipes worked well but a few need a little tweaking such as using canned beans instead of dried ones for the Smoked BBQ Beans. A few other recipes like the hush puppies worked well enough but just buying the premade ones tasted better.
Cooking and recipes are a little bit of a trial and error but using the Dadgum Thats Good recipe book I found a few new recipes and cooking methods that worked very well. While some of the sections and methods may not be useful several such as the boiling, steaming and grilling are probably available for everyone.
Dadgum Thats Good is a great recipe book and gives a good variety to several cooking methods for main course dishes, sides and desserts. Check out the Dadgum That’s Good recipe book and the Masterbuilt appliances at their websites for a unique and different way to prepare some of those classic dishes.