Category Archives: Amazon Reviews

Cobra CPI890 800W Compact Power Inverter – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Cobra CPI890 800W Compact Power Inverter.  I really have always liked the 800 watt inverter as a prep item.  It is that perfect balance of being able to run most things you can run from you car and an equal bang for the buck balance.  For many years I recommended the Whistler XP800i 800 Watt Power Inverter.  That item is now discontinued so I have changed my recommendation.

I conferred a great deal with a few contacts on this including new expert council member Shawn Mills and in the end I am not leading with the recommendation for the Cobra CPI890.   It is a solid piece of gear, comes with a 2 year warranty and of course if you have any out of the box problems Amazon will exchange it.

As to reviews I have basically given up on inverters for reviews on Amazon.  In the end people are idiots, no you can’t run a 1200 watt microwave with a single marine battery and a 800 watt inverter.  If you plug a 400 watt inverter into a cigarette lighter in your car and actually attempt to pull 400 watts something is going to give.  Why?  The cigarette lighter connection can only deliver about 150 watts maximum.  And on it goes.  Yes the inverter is going to whine and stop working when your batteries are drained.

In the end the Cobra inverters are solid for what an inverter of this class is designed to do.  Yes they are modified sine wave inverters, that is why they cost so much less than a pure sine wave inverter, but unless you are runnign something that requires it, that doesn’t matter.

Inverters like this are good for what they have always has been a good low cost option for back up power when you need it.  It allows you with simply some extension cords and some power splitters to make use of the one or two “generators” sitting in your driveway or garage.  If you are sane you can power most things in your house with one or two of these just not all at the same time, you can run a fridge for a few hours to keep it cool then run other things.

It will easily run some LED lights to keep you able to see where things are.  It will of course give you all the power you need to charge all your devices, run a laptop and even a cable modem, again you just have to pick what you want to do at any time, you can’t do everything at once, but you can do an awful lot.

At 54.99 a piece I don’t know of any other single preparedness item that can do as much for under 60 bucks.  I also want to say this is a big time case for two is one and one is none.  This is a good product but inverters do fail, all electronics do, so keep two at least on hand. In spite of me picking on some of the negative reviews, some are reasonable.  Again any brand of inverter will have some failures, I have yet to find one that doesn’t.  Again these come with a two year warranty.  I recommend having a back up and simply using a warranty as designed if needed.

So check out the Cobra CPI890 800W Compact Power Inverter today and consider adding it to your black out kit.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – This inverter line is available in power from 130 watts all the way up to 2500.  I really love the 200 Watt Model and just ordered one.  I will likely bring it around as a stand alone item at some point.  It is designed to go into a cup holder and has one AC plug and two USB ports.  It is really perfect for charging small devices and say a laptop or running a small fan when camping.

Remember in all this, your car or truck is not a light saber, if you take more power from it than your alternator can make you will drain your battery.  Also any inverter above 200 watts needs to be clamped onto a battery not pluged into a 12vdc port if you want to pull anything above 150 watts.

Also larger inverters like say 1500 watts and above need to be bolted to a battery not clamped on.  And we are talking about real power in all these, just like the power from a wall plug, electricity can kill you.  If you don’t know what you are doing with a project get professional help.

Lastly I know I should not have to say this but if you hook up say a 2500 watt inverter to say a single battery, it may give you 2500 watts, for a few moments but it will quickly drain if you run anything with that much power.   So size your inverters to your systems accordingly.  Over sizing your inverter by more than say one level up is generally a waste of money.

Featured Deals of the Day for 10-2-18

Often I take a look at Amazon Deals of the Day and find some good stuff, sometimes I find stuff that is not really for me but interesting.

I am not going to start doing this daily but from time to time if I see some interesting stuff I will do a stand alone post about the stuff I find interesting.

IMPORTANT on my Items of the Day via TSPAZ, every item has been in my hands and tried out.  Most of them I own and they are in my home.  These items unless noted otherwise are not the same.  They are things I found interesting that at least have honest reviews (according to fake spot) that are generally positive.

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The first Item I found interesting today is the Tenergy Redigrill Smokeless Infrared Grill, Indoor Grill.  On sale today for 134.99.  Only 10 reviews but 8 are 5 star and 2 are 4 star and they check out as an A grade on Fakespot.  I am fully equipped for grilling in many ways, but if I were in an apartment or place where I couldn’t do a outdoor grill I would likely get one.

  • Pros – Infrared grilling is awesome and you can use this inside.  Also today it is on sale for 45 bucks off.
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  • Cons – This grill is an on or off situation.  There is no heat control.  There is a keep warm setting.  So this is for high temp grilling only.  That said an indoor grill really only serves that purpose.  Also a bit bulky.

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The next thing is Crocs are on sale.  You either love or hate these things and the old joke is the holes are where your dignity runs out, but I am not concerned with the opinions of those who don’t pay my bills.  I am in the I love Crocs corner and if you were in and out of the house all day long you might be too.  I hated them when I first saw them, then I put on a pair and changed my mind.

Well the good news is Crocs Originals are all on Sale at Amazon today.

  • Pros – Last a long time, comfortable and quick on and off.
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  • Cons – Dogs like to chew them and some people think they are ugly.

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Next up is the RAVPower 24W Folding Solar Panel with 3 USB Ports.  I don’t own this one but have checked out a few shown to me by audience members.  This is a solid durable product.  It has 240 reviews with 4.5 stars over all and a perfect A grade both for the product and the customer on Fake Spot.

  • Pros – You can save 22 dollars today.  It will do a good job when you are remote charging small devices.  24 watts is a decent amount of power if you are hiking or camping to help top off devices.  It is light weight and folds up quite compact.
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  • Cons – well it is solar so it ain’t a light saber and it won’t work in the dark or when clouds are out.  So pair it up with a back up battery pack for your small devices.  I still recommend this one.

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That’s it I won’t be doing this to frequently but when I see cool stuff I will do a quick post like this.  If you happen to see an item of the day you think the community would want to know about, email me about at with TSPC IOTD in the subject line.

K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer – Item of the Day

deicer

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer.  Freezing temps are either here or coming soon depending on where you live.  I love these De-Icers in my view it is the best option on the market.

They come in several sizes including…

  • 250 Watts
  • 500 Watts
  • 750 Watts
  • 1000 Watts and
  • 1500 Watts

Why this Item Rocks!

Its in the name, “all in one” that is what you get an all in one solution.  Previously I have reviewed the thermocube, it is a great product and would be ideal for use with many stock tank heaters.  Why have your heater running when it is 50 degrees?

But you don’t need a thermocube that feature is built in.  When your water hits 35 degrees the heater comes on, all by itself and when it hits 45 it shuts off.  So you only draw power when you need it.

Choosing the Right Sized Heater for your Needs

Personally I use the 250 watt models.  There are a few reasons for this.  First and foremost my belief is when you use anything electrical you should use as little power as necessary to do the job. In my climate for a 50 gallon tank 250 watts is sufficient.

I also run two (two is one and one is none you know right) to two separate 50 gallon stock tanks.  If I ran two 500s that would put a 1000 watt draw on a single circuit doing other things as well and could pop the breaker.  These are only useful if they work you know.

In the end you should consult K&Hs great chart right here, just click on it for a full sized view.

khchart

You will note that for my zone (USDA 8) a 50 gallon tank requires a 250 watt heater.  So that works for my needs.  I personally only use mine to make sure there is some water available at all times for my ducks.

These can be used as floating heaters or submerged by removing the foam that makes them float.  This gives you flexibility.  Say you want to keep a poultry watering going you can put one of these inside it and let it sink.  To me for a stock tank you want it floating because it ices up from the top down.

In any event if you want to keep your critters watered this coming winter, check out the K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Fermtech Mini Auto-Siphon With Tubing – Item of the Day

autosiph

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Fermtech Mini Auto-Siphon With Tubing.  As many of you know I am a huge fan of small batch mead making.  In fact at one of my workshops I demonstrated why by making a batch of mead, racking a batch into the secondary and bottling a batch and did all of that in under 30 minutes.

I have been making mead, wines, ciders and beers for a long time, like 20 years in all.  But when I really got into small batch meads (one gallon) a few years ago when Michael Jordan showed me how fast and simple it could be.

The problem was for 20 years I made 5 gallon batches and a big racking cane was just a pain in the ass for siphoning a gallon, so I checked to see if there was a mini cane and found a bunch of options and settled on this one.

I like that it comes with 6 feet of tubing.  Frankly I cut it in half and find 3 feet about perfect for transferring from one container to another (racking).  I no longer use a bottling wand for bottling, instead I rack to a 2.5 gallon carboy and use the spigot on it to fill my bottles.

I looked for a 2.5 gallon carboy to recommend on Amazon, they have them but DO NOT buy one there, I get mine from Uline.  The ones on Amazon are all like 20-35 bucks, which is just stupid.  You can get them here on Uline or 14 bucks a piece.  And yes I have fermented in them as well for larger batches.

Okay back to the racking cane/auto-siphon.  This thing rocks, you put your hose on it, put it into the vessel you want to rack to, pump it one to two times and it starts flowing.  I rack from a small step stool and set that on my counter and put my receiving vessel in the sink.  Makes clean up a snap.    With small batch meads, ciders and wines you will transfer each batch at least twice and the Fermtech Mini Auto-Siphon With Tubing is the easiest and fastest way to get the job done.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – While I focused on using this for making mead, ciders and wines above, if you check out the reviews on Amazon; you’ll find a ton of very happy kombucha brewers that use this item as well.

Dr Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone Ointment – Item of the Day

drchrisEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Dr Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone Ointment.  While I have often made my own comfrey ointment by simply infusing olive oil with dried comfrey root and leaf, and then thickening it with bees wax, this particular formula really works well.

I feel it is the combination of other ingredients that make something great like comfrey salve, even better.  As many of you know I severely injured my knee so bad I was on crutches for a week, a few years ago.  There was severe straining to both my MCL and LCL to the point where I could not even bear weight on it.

Upon returning from my trip I began using this and in two days went from crutches to a cane, one more week and I put the cane away.  I wore a knee brace for another week, and by then was walking normal.  This stuff doesn’t just help you heal from injuries it also reduces pain.  And that is almost instant.

One day my daughter-in-law was breaking out with a nasty rash due to post pregnancy hormones.  She was almost in tears as it was so uncomfortable.  I suggested that they apply a bit of this, to one area to test it.  The rash went away, almost at once, so they used it where ever she had the rash and 15 minutes later she was happy and content.

I am not saying this stuff treats or cures things, as the dot gov says I can’t say such a thing.  All I can tell you is our results have been fantastic.  And that the healing power of comfrey is well known and well documented, in fact its traditional folk medicine name is “bone knit”.

I have been recommending this highly on the air for a quite a few years at this point and have heard from dozens of you guys who have used it on abrasions, bruised ribs, twisted ankles, etc. with great results.  I really recommend that as a prepper you keep a jar or two of Dr Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone Ointment on hand all the time.  It is too valuable not to, and if you live in the south like I do it is only a matter of when not if you will have an encounter with fire ants.  Let me say nothing I have ever used on a fire ant bite, well bites it is never just one is it, works as fast or as good as this stuff.

I know a lot of you guys have used this stuff so let me know your results in the comments below.  Also most of the negative reviews on Amazon say that “it is hard”, I know I should not have to say this, but that is because it is made with WAX, put it somewhere a bit warm if it is hard to work with, it will soften right up.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder.  I spent a lot of time in 2017 deciding on what meat grinder I wanted to buy.  I was pretty much in love with the Cabela’s Carnivore but had a real hard time paying 400-500 dollars for a grinder.  Specifically since I use on heavily 2-3 times a year during hunting season, then only about 1-2 times a month for small amounts throughout the year.

So I looked at a lot of options but came down on the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder because I firmly believe it is the best value under 300 dollars on the market.  First it is a size 12, in other words big, it has great capacity.  It also has two speeds and a reverse setting, which at times can be important.

It comes with three blades, most only come with one and while such blades are a standard product in all grinders they usually cost 12-20 bucks a piece to replace.  It is also powerful.  The first weekend I had it,I put 20lbs of deer and pork though it in about 15 minutes and it worked flawlessly.  One day I had a beef roast that I wasn’t thrilled with as a roast, so I picked up some pork and ground up both with the wagon wheel for chili meat.  It took longer to take it out than it did to put 10 lbs of meat though it.

After months of research, using several different grinders and finally buying and using this one I have found THE GRINDER I recommend.  I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with this one.

On another note we made about 20 lbs of sausage with this grinder using the sausage stuffer attachment.  Dorothy and I ended up getting pretty good at it, but it will be the last time I use a grinder, any grinder to stuff sausage.  I have now added the LEM 5 pound stuffer to our pantry.  The grinder worked fine but likely it took 2-4 times as long as using a dedicated stuffer.

It also makes keeping meat more chunky if that is what you are looking for in a sausage impossible.  Even if you grind your meat chunky, that second time around the screw breaks it down a lot more even without the cutting blades involved.   A stuffer simply pushes the meat into the casing with no screw or friction, so it is a better tool for the job.  Yes it is a unitasker, but for some tasks a unitasker is the right fit.

But for grinding you just can’t beat the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder unless you spend hundreds of dollars more, and then, you don’t beat it by that much.  So if you need a grinder in your kitchen, I can’t recommend this highly neough.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 P.S.  – Here are a few videos I posted to facebook using this grinder.

Even though these videos are on facebook, you should be able to see them even if you don’t have a facebook account as they are publicly posted.

Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater – Item of the Day

heater

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater.  This guy saved our butts big time during the great ice storm of 2011 in Arkansas.  It is amazing the amount of heat this guy provides.

To get best use of it you absolutely want to get the large tank adapter for it.  Running on a lower setting a standard grill tank gives you heat for a LONG time.  Of course it can also use the little 1 pound cans which is convenient for somethings.

To make that economical I suggest you get an adapter that allows you to use large tanks to refill the one pound cans. These can be had for 10-15 bucks here is the one I recommend.  If you have never used one here is a video on how to do so.

I decided to feature this item because winter is swiftly on the way.  As I said in 2011 we had a major ice storm in Arkansas and were without power for 7 days, temps were mostly in the sub 30s during the day and low teens over night.  Between this heater and our fire place and generator we never even cared.

There are other uses though!  You know that relative you have, we all have one that is ALWAYS COLD, the one that stays at your place for the holidays and wants to turn up your thermostat to just this side of hell because they are cold at night.  Well put this in their room and let them heat just that room.

But is it safe?  VERY VERY safe indeed.  First it is quite safe to burn propane indoors, people have been doing it forever, but there are two safety features built in.  One it has a built in O2 detector, if levels drop it shuts itself off.  Also if it is tipped over it again shuts itself off.

The key to getting most efficient use of this heater is to pick a room or two to heat, set it pretty high for say 10 minutes to take off the chill and then run it pretty low.  It is amazing how well it works when you do it that way.  Again folks winter is coming, it always does, the time to beef up your winter preps is before not after the first snow flies.  So check out the Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater soon.

I have also reviewed my favorite kerosene heater but not everyone has good local access to kerosene, so you can read both reviews and choose the right back up heat system for your pending winter needs.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – If you live in the socialist hell holes of Massachusetts or Canada your owners (elected officials) say you have to buy this version and pay 20 dollars more more for it.  I can’t find a thing different about this version, likely it has a built in tax or some such shit.  Additionally if you live in the nanny state of California your owners say you must read this bunch of bullshit they wrote before you endanger yourself with a perfectly safe heater.

Sadaf Sumac – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Sadaf Sumac.  Note that this is middle eastern sumac not our native variety here in North America.  While there are some similar characteristics sumac from the Mediterranean and Arabic parts of the world is a different species with a long history of culinary use.

Dorothy and I really got hooked on this stuff when we found a recipe for “carrot fries” which are really just roasted carrots with this stuff on them, the recipe is really simple.  Cut carrots into sticks, coat with peanut oil, sprinkle Sumac, Salt and Pepper on them, roast at 425 until done, (20-30 minutes depending on your oven).  We use the “convection roast” setting on our oven when we make these and they come out great.

One of my other favorite uses for this stuff is my Lamb Heart, Lamb Sausage and Oyster Mushroom stew.  I have posted that on facebook and you can see it here.  I use Sadaf Sumac in the homemade lamb sausage that goes in the stew, I have to tell you it was pretty fantastic.

This stuff is great on fish and chicken as you might imagine as it has a tart lemon like flavor much like its US cousins we all know and love.  On that note, the reason for this is it is high in ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C).

Hence it is natural anti oxidant and has quite a bit of good press around health benefits.  There is a pretty good write up about that here.  This is about the best quality stuff I was able to find and at less than 10 bucks with free shipping on prime a 12 ounce container will last you a long time for not much money.  So consider adding Sadaf Sumac to your spice cabinet today and expand your culinary options.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I guess I have to say it, no this isn’t poison sumac and no variety of sumac with red berries is poison sumac.  So no this stuff will not make you itch.  That said anyone with an allergy to cashews may have an allergy to sumac, so keep that in mind if it effects you or your family.  Bluntly always use all new food items with caution on the first use.

Vaughan SF-12 Soft Faced Hammer – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Vaughan SF-12 Soft Faced Hammer.  I have owned this exact hammer for over 10 years and when paired with a good 2oz and 4oz ball peen set along with a good punch set there if very little else you will need in this realm.  Occasionally you may need a plastic mallet or a dead blow for something really stuck, but again 95% of the time this is all you will need.

Now the reason I selected this particular hammer is purely about quality.  I don’t remember exactly where I found this hammer but I was at a retail store and examined a few different ones.  Simply picking this one up told me all I needed to know.  It is also another made in the USA product and while some things are just fine imported, hand tools are one place where made in American is still 100% synonymous with the best you can get.

Good hand tools feel like good hand tools and junk feels like junk, if you have used both good quality and low quality tools you will know exactly what I am talking about.  Take a look at the short video of this hammer and you can see even after 10 years of use it looks almost like new.  Now again I am not a professional gun smith but I have used this thing plenty over the last decade, as much as most hobbyists would ever need to.

The price of this hammer is under 23 dollars with free shipping and it is well worth it.  So consider adding the Vaughan SF-12 Soft Faced Hammer to your gun smith and maintenance kit today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – This is the multi-tip hammer I mentioned in the video, it is a decent tool, lots of guys have them and love them.  I actually own one because it was so affordable to buy.  I now keep it as an emergency tool in my range bag because I never use it at home though.  So it is just my opinion that the Vaughan is a better investment.

Again though a lot of folks love the multi-tip and it will do a good job or you if you buy the one I linked to here in the PS.  However there is one on Amazon that has a metal handle sold by “MILITARIA” that one is complete and total FING JUNK do not spend your money on that one.  I mean it is total crap, yes it is that bad.

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Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper – Amazon Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper.  As always I recommend buying herbs/spices by the pound, buying by the ounce is a suckers game.  Also while I don’t eat 100% organic, I feel in this case you really should. 

Lemon pepper is made with lemon zest (the yellow part of the peel).  The citrus industry is one of the most heavy users of pesticides in the world.  When you think about these things being sprayed and the out side of the peel being removed and eaten, well, if you want a conventional product go for it.

Okay so as you might imagine this one is going to come with a recipe, but not just any recipe, the best lemon pepper herb chicken you will ever and I mean ever eat.  If you are making a lot just double the recipe, and it will work with any chicken but I formulated this for either boneless skinless thy or breast.  If you are doing breast cut it into thinner and smaller slices before starting.

Jack’s Lemon Pepper Herbed Chicken

  • 1/3rd cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon and the zest
  • 2 oz of white wine
  • 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (if it is large needles crush it with your fingers a bit)
  • 1/2 tsp of basil
  • About 1 teaspoon of dry mustard – or as much as you need to emulsify.
  • Skinless boneless chicken (as much as you want to make, the above will do about 4 breast halves or about 8-10 thy cutlets.

Wait?  What the heck is emulsify?  Okay this marinade is made of oil, lemon juice, wine and rice vinegar.  Do you know what happens when they are put together, well in short they don’t get together.

The wine, vinegar and lemon juice all blend and the oil floats on top.  How can we get a good uniform marinade like that?  Well we can’t!  So we need an emulsifier, this lets us blend an oil and a water based liquid and keep them together.  For instance mayonnaise is an emulsification.  Made mostly of eggs and oil.  This emulsification is much easier though.  The dry mustard will allow us to mix oil and the other liquids and suspend them while keeping the mustard flavor very low compared to “prepared mustard”.

So take a ball jar and put all the ingredients except the chicken into it.  Put the lid on and shake the hell out of it.  Like for a good 45 seconds to a minute.  Stop shaking and let it sit for about a minute, take a look and see if the liquids stay mixed.  It is normal for the herbs to settle some but the liquids should not separate.  If all is well continue, if it is separating give it another bit of dry mustard and repeat.

Put all your chicken into a large zip lock bag, shake the marinade one more time to get the herbs all suspended again and dump it into the bag.  Push most of the air out of the bag, massage the bag and work the marinade all over everything.  Put in a bowl (in case it leaks, which would suck without the bowl) and put it in the fridge.  Leave it over night, a few times during this period massage up the bag and flip it over.

The next day remove the chicken and put it on a few paper towels for about 30 minutes at room temp.  This is important or you will be frying in a pool of oil and it will be hard to get  good brown.  Then fry in a pan of your choice or grill until done.  Don’t over cook it!  Cook to 145 if you use an instant read thermometer, but I can just tell when it is done by feel.

You can make this with any lemon pepper and it will be very good, you may find yourself addicted to it.  But if you want a superior organic product consider adding Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper to your pantry today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com