In Episode 021, Taryn talks with Sue Ringsdorf from the website SueBeeHomemaker about making grilling a family experience. Sue talks about how she grew up with grilling as a family event and gives tips for how you can do it with your own family. She also mentions a number of grilling recipes, both some of her favorites and others that would be good for beginners. Be sure and listen in to be inspired!
Connect with Sue.
Bio: SueBee Homemaker is a food blog that specializes in family friendly recipes, including both healthy dishes and hearty ones, with some indulgence sprinkled in for good measure. All recipes incorporate as many fresh ingredients as possible. Sue’s most recent obsessions include sourdough bread and anything grilled or smoked!
Some of the following are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Weber charcoal grill
- Large Big Green Egg
- MiniMax Big Green Egg
- Memphis wood pellet grill
- Meat thermometer with alarm (ChefAlarm by Thermoworks)
- Thermapen ONE meat thermometer (by Thermoworks)
- Spanish seafood paella
- Smoked pork butt
- Grilled cedar plank salmon
- Stuffed flank steak
- Grilled salsa
- Smoked pimento mac and cheese
- Smoked chicken breasts
- Smoked pork tenderloin
- Smoked spatchcock turkey (SueBee Homemaker)
- Smoked spatchcock turkey (Hot Pan Kitchen)
- Smoked chicken with blackened seasoning
- Grilled steak kabobs
- Grilled chicken skewers
- Grilled Asian chicken skewers
- Carne asada burrito bowls
- Grilled caprese chicken
Taryn Solie: Hello grillers! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday, I know that’s a big grilling and barbecuing day for a lot of people. I’m recording this just before the weekend and I’m excited to head out on our holiday weekend camping trip, and then we’ll spend some time with my family for the 4th.
And speaking of spending time with family, that’s what today’s podcast is about. I talk with Sue Ringsdorf from the website SueBee Homemaker all about making grilling a family experience. She has some great tips on how to do that and gives loads of recipe suggestions for feeding your family. It’s a great episode that I know you’ll love.
Before we begin, if you’re enjoying this podcast I’d love for you to share it with someone you think would also like it! As a newer podcast, it helps spread the word and I would really appreciate it.
Now, let’s get into the episode.
Taryn Solie: Today on the podcast we have Sue Ringsdorf. Sue is the creator behind SueBeeHomemaker, a food blog that specializes in family friendly recipes, including both healthy dishes and hardy ones, with some indulgence sprinkled in for good measure. All of her recipes incorporate as many fresh ingredients as possible. Sue’s most recent obsession includes sourdough bread and anything grilled or smoked. Sue, welcome to the podcast.
Sue Ringsdorf: Hello, so nice to be here.
Taryn Solie: Thank you for being here. I’m excited for our conversation today, which is going to be centered around making grilling a family experience. But before we get into that, I’d love to have you explain a little bit more about your food background and kind of how you started your website.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, so I, um, I guess I’m a little bit on the older side of food bloggers. It seems like all the new ones are younger, but, um, I started it when I turned 50, uh, as sort of like a second career, I guess you can call it. I was a stay-at-home mom for a long time. I worked early on before the kids were born, but then I, uh, started- I stayed home with them. And then I started the blog when I was 50.
My youngest was about to leave the house and I knew that I needed to do something because I’m not one just to sit around and watch TV all day. So I decided that this was something I should do because I was always looking at recipes and basically I was pretty much the main cook at home. My husband does not have any interest in it. So I was constantly printing out recipes and trying new things. And I just grew up in a house where food was very important. Um, my parents were very, very big foodies and my dad was, was always on the grill and my mom was the chef in the house and she, uh, so I, I kind of started it to, uh, just in memory of her basically.
Well, when I started it, she was still with us, but she ended up getting Alzheimer’s and she passed from that in 2019. But just to try to capture the memories of her in the kitchen. And she’s the one that, you know, I was calling all through college and when I got married, for recipes, and so we spent a lot of time on the phone together, so I kind of learned the basics from her.
And, um, and then my dad was the guy that was always outside on the grill. So it was just a very, uh, family thing that we, we revolved around food and we still do. So.
Taryn Solie: Now this, so you said you are the main kind of cook in your family and you mentioned your mom and then your dad, your mom was mainly the cook I’m guessing in the kitchen. and your dad was outside on the grill. Does your husband grill or does that fall to you as well.
Sue Ringsdorf: No, he does grill. And it’s kind of a joke because, um, it’s a little joke in our house because my two boys do like to grill and especially my oldest son. He’s married, he actually has three girls. He has, he has, um, his beginning charcoal grill, which was like a Weber, I think. And then he has a Big Green Egg, and then he like a large size. And then he got the small, I don’t know what, it’s like the mini I think.
Taryn Solie: Okay.
Sue Ringsdorf: So he grills all the time. And so whenever he comes over here for dinner, it, I always say, well, you’re gonna grill right, Josh, because he loves it so much. And I like to do it, but if I can get the, the guys to do it, I will. So it’s a big joke that we say that, you know, dad really doesn’t like to grill. So, I pretty much say it every time the boys are here because they get a big chuck- chuckle out of it. And, and then my, my husband just kind of rolls his eyes and , he’s like, here she goes again.
But he does, he does. It’s, it’s just, he, you know, he probably would be happy if I did it. Mm-hmm but I, I do. It’s kind of, we do it together.
Taryn Solie: Yeah, no, I like that. And I think that speaks to like, you know, you mentioned your sons were really into it, particularly the one, and that really speaks to kind of like the family experience that you’ve created. So can you tell everybody how that started for you, um, with kind of your dad being the one who grilled.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Um, so as a kid, we had, we lived in, we grew up in Iowa and so basically, you know, we didn’t grill all year long, like we do here in Texas. But when we were growing up in Iowa, we had, the grill was outdoor, outside on the little back deck and we had a basketball court out there.
So my younger brother and I, for sure when we were, we were. We’re number five and six outta six kids. So we would be outside with dad while he was grilling, you know, shooting hoops, playing horse, um, playing with dad while, while he was grilling. And then pretty much as soon as, uh, we took a little interest in having a cocktail was when we stopped playing basketball and we’d be sitting beside him with a, with a- he loved gin- gin and tonics and, you know, ice cold beer. So he had to have one of those and everybody who was around, he would be calling into the house for my mom to come out. You know, I could still hear him Norma come outside. And so we’d all go outside and just sit outside with him. And it was just like, it was, he was his heyday.
So he loved it. He tried different things. You know, we were the type of family that talked about what we were eating for dinner as we were eating lunch, or , we’d be talking about what we were gonna make for dinner the next day, while we were at dinner, you know, at night with him. So, you know, it was, it was a big summertime thing, but, but he loved it. And you know, when he came here, we were definitely, we grilled every meal we could. So.
Taryn Solie: Yeah. And then how did that kind of play into how you wanted to have that same or a similar experience with your family?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. I mean, just a lot of things. Now we, um, we always, you know, crack open a beer, make a drink, we sit outside. I always try to make sure, like all the side dishes are pretty much ready to go. Sometimes they’re- we grill ’em so we, we’re, we like to throw veggies on the grill or potatoes in, like, foil packs. Or if I have something in the house, I make sure that this, you know, the salad’s ready, it’s in the fridge.
Everything’s ready to go. The table’s set, or, you know, dishes are out. Sometimes we sit outside and eat if it’s nice, but I always try to make sure that everything’s done so that we can go enjoy it as a family. You know, we can all sit around. Now, the big thing with us is Mike likes to go to the- like a local tap room and get, uh, growlers of beer.
So whoever’s here will partake in the beer. He and my son, um, well, both of the boys like it, so they, they enjoy that. Now my youngest son is not local right now, but when he’s around, he enjoys it. So just the, you know, the family, the family time, um, we have a pool out there. So if it’s, if it’s hot, we can jump in and out.
Just, you know, the smells. It’s funny because recently I took some food to a friend that was laid up and she, I, I hugged her and I, I brought over a burger, her burger and she’s like, oh, your hair smells good. And it was from the Big Green Egg, you know. We grilled burgers on the Big Green Egg so my hair smelled like it’s like, charcoal, I guess, or smoke smokey chips.
But it’s like, those smells, you know, they just, soon as you smell it, you’re like, oh, this is just like, when we were growing up and, you know, with family around and we’re from a very, very large family, so cousins and, um, a lot of family around growing up. So it just kind of brings back all those memories.
Uh, we don’t have all that family here where we are now, but you know, just our small group or if we have friends over we definitely like to be outside grilling, so.
Taryn Solie: Well, and I think that’s a really good, um, thing to think about too is, is because I think a lot of people think about grilling and it’s, you know, they’re- either they, or maybe their partner or the ones who are outside grilling and it’s, you know, you’re that person, the griller is experiencing the outdoors and kind of, you know, just having maybe a quiet moment, but you really can make it a family experience and incorporate everybody.
And there’s little simple things like you were just talking about with making sure things are prepped ahead of time and like enjoying it as a family, that can be really fun.
Sue Ringsdorf: Right. Exactly. Yeah. Um, we, we definitely take advantage of being able to be outside most of the year here.
Taryn Solie: Yeah.
Sue Ringsdorf: You know, in the summer is when, uh, every now and then I will grill during the middle of the day for a recipe, if I want to like shoot it and get it done. But. You know, that’s really not the fun part for me, that’s just getting it cooked and photographed.
Taryn Solie: Mm-hmm.
Sue Ringsdorf: But you know, the weekends and we don’t grill as much during the week just because my husband’s tired and we don’t. Well, we’re, we’re both tired so we don’t do a lot of it during the week, but my, my oldest son grills probably four to five nights a week.
He he’s never too tired to grill but, uh, yeah, so it’s just that whole, you know, getting outside and enjoying it. Making it just a, an event it’s like, instead of going out to eat or, you know, we, we go out to eat, but instead of yeah, making a big deal going out to eat, just grilling out in the backyard is, is the best.
Taryn Solie: Yeah. So, and well, now what are some of your, either your, or your kids or your just your family’s like favorite things to grill when you’re grilling together?
Sue Ringsdorf: Um, we, oh, there’s so many. So my husband and I went to Spain, um, and Portugal. Oh gosh, it was, it was before 2020. So it was like 2017 or so 18 and we ate so much paella mm-hmm so we came home and I bought the big paella pans. Um, you know, with the handles.
Taryn Solie: Yeah.
Sue Ringsdorf: I actually bought two of them, but we’ve only ever used one, but we, we started making paella on the grill. And it just, that nice smokey, uh, flavor, and then you get it nice and crispy on the bottom. And so that became sort of a whole family activity and everybody always wanted the paella.
We, um, put, uh, I guess what’s shrimp and scallops in it. So that’s on the blog and we have not made that very much, but, uh, the key to that one is buying fresh saffron. So, and it’s, it’s really good on the grill.
Taryn Solie: What grill? So that’s a-, are you put, like, what grill are you using for that? Are you using like a gas grill or a charcoal grill or what grill.
Sue Ringsdorf: We, we used to have a gas grill, but we ended up getting rid of that cuz it stopped working, but we have the Big Green Egg. So, um, just a little backstory on the Big Green Egg. Um, my Josh was gonna graduate from high school. Well, he graduated from high school in 2015 and my brother was gonna come down to help with the meat, for our big party we were having, cuz that’s a very big thing, you know, for us to have a big graduation party and yeah, he ended up not coming.
So I said, well, how am I gonna do this? You know, how am I gonna make the meat? The smoked pork butt was what I was making. And so he said, well, why don’t you buy a new grill, buy a, buy a charcoal grill. Or, you know, he, he mentioned the Eggs. So I convinced my husband, we bought the Egg. And my sister, one of my sisters came to help me, but we smoked eight pork butts for our graduation party.
And it was pretty much like three solid days of cooking pork butt, because I think we could fit two on there. So maybe not three, probably two solid days. And we’d be grilling it all night long. I, I have, like, I think I had like a little, the device that would notify you when it reached a certain temperature.
So basically I didn’t sleep cuz I was always thinking about the pork butt on the grill and um. That’s kind of a long story to tell you how we ended up getting the, the Big Green Egg and we love it. Good. It’s just, you know, you can add the smokey chips on it and mm-hmm, , it’s just, it just, it’s such incredible flavor.
So we have that mm-hmm and then we ended up buying a Memphis smoker. We did kind of like a little remodel on the, on the deck out there. So we ended up putting the Memphis smoker out there too. Okay. And. We’ve been using it quite a bit, so it’s nice. Cuz you can cook low and slow mm-hmm and just really infuse those flavors.
So yeah. Um, so back to your initial question about, uh, well you were, we were talking about favorite recipes.
Taryn Solie: Yeah. And well, the paella, yeah, I’m imagining you cooked that on the Big Green Egg. Like that’s like probably the perfect size for that.
Sue Ringsdorf: It does, it fits in there perfect. Yeah. Okay. You gotta be a little careful so that the handles can go in there and you can shut it. So there are some bigger ones, but I got the pan that just sits in there.
And then let me see. So we do, like this weekend we did cedar planked salmon and that was excellent. Um, we make that a lot and then I ended up taking the leftovers and make it into this, uh, quinoa salad. Oh. Which is really good. Um, Let’s see, uh, I have a recipe out there for stuffed flank steak. You stuff it with, uh, goat cheese and this veggie mixture.
It’s a little tricky cuz you have to slice the steak really thinly, mm-hmm so you have to get a big, a bigger cut of flank steak. Yeah. Um, so that’s one of our favorites. Uh.
Taryn Solie: Do you roll the flank steak or do you-
Sue Ringsdorf: Yes.
Taryn Solie: Okay.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yes, it’s a, yeah. So you put all the fillings in it and then you just roll it up and you tie that twine around it.
Taryn Solie: Yeah. Yeah.
Sue Ringsdorf: So we haven’t made that in a little bit, but, um, and then Josh is always giving me, uh, advice for- our older son- on what to make. So he did a grilled salsa and so he was telling me about it. So I had him come over here and we made that grilled salsa together and it is so good. It’s so it’s kind of spicy.
So you could leave out some of the jalapeno, but it’s really a good one and it makes a huge batch. Yeah. And then also he convinced me to try a mac and cheese on the grill. Oh. So, and we made that in a big, um, cast iron pan, like a giant cast iron pan mm-hmm and we put, uh, I think it’s pimentos in it and then has like a really nice uh, kind of a, a breadcrumb topping on it. Mm-hmm and the smokiness. So you just, you grill it for an hour after you’ve got, you know, cooked the noodles and put it all together. So it just, the, the flavor is incredible.
Taryn Solie: Wow. Are you doing those, now, for most- like, I was just thinking like you, so you have the smoker. Are you doing some of those in the smoker or are you doing them mostly on the Big Green Egg?
Sue Ringsdorf: The ones I just mentioned, I think are all on the Big Green Egg, but we, I actually just posted this week in, in honor of grilling in honor of this podcast, I just did two smoked recipes. oh, it smoked chicken breasts. I posted on Monday and then Wednesday I did the smoked or today, smoked pork tenderloin.
Oh, nice. So just very basic. Yeah. Uh, meats that get done. They, they cook in, like, a little over an hour to an hour and a half mm-hmm mm-hmm and just incredible flavor. And they’re very similar. They use a good, uh, dry rub mm-hmm and it’s just all about low and slow. And so it just, the, the flavor is really, really good.
Yeah. And then we, I also have on the blog, I have a smoked spatchcock turkey mm-hmm that we do for Thanksgiving. And that one is like, I don’t think I’ll ever make Thanksgiving turkey another way again.
Taryn Solie: Yes.
Sue Ringsdorf: Have you done that?
Taryn Solie: Yes. I, I also have, a smoked spatchcock turkey because it is so good. I do, you’ll have to tell me how you do yours. I do like a herb butter and- like I do a dry brine and then I do an herb butter on mine, but I know people do it different ways. So how do you do yours?
Sue Ringsdorf: Mine is very simple. It’s just got the, it’s got a herb brine, just like you do. It’s just a dry rub. Mm-hmm and I don’t really like the, uh, what do you call it? The. The. Not the dry rub, but the, I guess you call it the water. Were you water? The,
Taryn Solie: oh, the brining, the water- water solution. The brine.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, the water based brine. Yeah. I don’t like that because I, I just don’t like all the ger- the germs in it. You know, they really say you shouldn’t really even wash your poultry anymore. Like I used to wash the poultry. Right. And just the, the germs from that.
So I just do a dry, I just do a dry brine on it. I cook it really low and slow. Mm-hmm I think it has like a little bit of lemon zest on it.
Taryn Solie: Oh, nice.
Sue Ringsdorf: Trying to remember now. So it’s just, yeah, I’ll never make a turkey- it, it just cooks so evenly when you spatchcock mm-hmm and then I have a chicken too, with the blackening season. So I use a lot of the blackened season on it, on different things and that’s really good too.
Taryn Solie: Oh, yum, these- okay. I’m gonna get, I just ate lunch, but I’m getting hungry because we’re talking about, yeah, I know.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Food. I know. It’s so easy to do.
Taryn Solie: Like I know it really is. Well, this is, so what would you say are maybe one of your kids favorite recipes, or if you have like someone who. This might actually be a better question. So somebody who might not be as experienced grilling, but wants to make it a family experience, what is a recipe that you would suggest that they start with? That might be a little on the easier side? Um, something that they’re not gonna have to maybe pay quite as much attention to , you know?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I’m just looking at my list here. I’ve got some just real easy skewer recipes like kabobs, you know. I’ve got the steak ones with a really good marinade and then a chicken one with a good marinade. Um, I like some carne asada, you know, for burrito bowls. We, we love TexMex down here in Texas.
So we do a ton of like smokey, um, you know, Chipotle bowls and carne asada. I’m not, I’m not sure if I’m saying that. Right. Carne asada.
Taryn Solie: Yeah, carne asada.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. carne asada. Um, and yeah, it’s like, I, I keep thinking of new things to make, but I just never have time to get it all done, but yeah, those. You know, just the, the chicken skewers. I’ve got some Asian skewers on there. Just really basic recipes, I think would be a good start. Um, also a, uh, I really like another recipe. It’s a, the, a caprese chicken, grilled chicken.
Taryn Solie: Oh, like a caprese?
Sue Ringsdorf: Mm-hmm . Yeah. Yeah. And then you just add the cheese at the end and a big slice of tomato on it with like a little balsamic drizzle on top. Oh yeah. That one is so basic and good. And I have fresh basil now. So a little basil on top would be good. Yeah. Yeah.
Taryn Solie: Yeah. Those are all really like something that’s- I love the, your suggestion of the skewers, because I think anytime you’re marinating something, it’s a lot less likely to dry out, cuz I know that that can be an issue for people. Um, and then do you use a grill thermometer? Like a, a meat thermometer?
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, I have one of those Thermoworks thermometers. Yeah. And those are pretty awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, for people just starting out, I think, I think sometimes you forget that you need to season or brine, or you know, something with your meats and you’ve gotta add seasoning to meat in my opinion, for the flavor to come out.
And then also to, you know, to let it rest. I’ll never forget one time when I was making something for company and I couldn’t understand why it didn’t turn out, it was so dry. It was like, I think it was a pork loin. Ah, I just remember I cut into it really, as soon as it came off the grill. So I think I might have even cut into it on the grill to see-
Taryn Solie: Oh gosh!
Sue Ringsdorf: So the, the juices run out, you know, you just can’t do that. You have to let it rest.
Taryn Solie: And especially with pork, like a pork can be very like, can dry out very quickly.
Sue Ringsdorf: Very yes. Yes. So, you know, you just kind of learn as you go and I mean, yeah, I’m still learning.
Taryn Solie: Aren’t we all? There’s always new things to learn, which is what makes it exciting.
Sue Ringsdorf: Exactly.
Taryn Solie: Well, this has been so fun. I do wanna ask you one last thing that I try to ask everybody is what is something that you’re really like your favorite thing that you’re grilling currently or something you’re really looking forward to grilling? Like this summer.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah. Uh, you know, we do a lot of pizzas as well. Mm. So we crank up both pizza. and, you know, we can do it year round, but I really love doing it in the summer. And just being able to sit out there and enjoy, you know, the weather. So I’m really looking forward to being able to have like a big pizza party again. Um, maybe have friends over. Yeah.
Uh, you know, and also I really like to experiment more with different fruits and veggies on the grill. You know, we sometimes will play with that a little bit. I, I wanna get more into to trying new things like that. Yeah.
Taryn Solie: Yeah. Those are- I love fruits and veggies on the grill, er, especially in the summer when they’re so ripe and abundant. That’s one of my favorite things. I love it so much. Well, good. Well, this is fantastic. Sue. I do want to give you a chance to tell people how they can connect with you online.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yeah, so the blog is just suebeehomemaker.com. And I’m on all the socials @suebeehomemaker as well. Facebook, Instagram, uh, Pinterest. I don’t really have a Twitter anymore. So.
Taryn Solie: And then you have also, I believe an email list that you send out emails to people about recipes and stuff, right?
Sue Ringsdorf: I do. So there’s a sign up on the blog and then I just do one email a week right now, just on Fridays. I call it five things Friday and it just goes out and I talk about five different things. So yeah, it’s fun.
Taryn Solie: Good. Great.
Sue Ringsdorf: I enjoy it. Yeah.
Taryn Solie: Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. It was really great talking to you, Sue.
Sue Ringsdorf: Yes. Thank you.
Taryn Solie: Okay, Sue had so many great recipe ideas! I love the way she incorporates her whole family during grilling and really makes it about connection. I know sometimes it’s not always easy to do when you’re just trying to get dinner on the table, but what a wonderful experience to have had growing up, and then to also do with your own family.
I’m going to post links to many of the recipes Sue mentioned on the show notes page, so if you want to try any of them – and I’m guessing you do because they sounded amazing – then you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.