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Stay Comfy This Winter With Delicious Comfort Recipes By Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston

If the winter weather is going to keep you inside, you might as well eat good! Celebrity chef Melissa Cookston’s delicious comfort recipes are sure to keep you warm this winter season and are easy to make in the coziness of your home!

Taken from Cookston’s cookbook, “Smoking in the Boys’ Room” and “Smokin’ Hot in the South,” the below award-winning recipes for pot brisket chili, BBQ meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato biscuits will help your audience prepare delicious recipes in the comfort of their home and stay warm this winter!


“We’ve had a bad patch of weather here lately, and it has really been playing havoc with my schedule. I did cook a brisket a couple of days previously, just to try out a new smoker. As it was just the fam around, I had plenty of leftovers. So, another snow day (enough already!) and I decided to break out the instant pot and make a brisket chili! Bam! Multiple goals in one meal accomplished - use leftover brisket, try out instant pot, and have a warming meal!”

“I am not a fan of canned beans, though I am forced to occasionally use them. However, armed with my new appliance I wanted to test it out, so went with dried beans (unsoaked- remember this is kind of a spur of the moment thing here!) Dried beans are super easy in the instant pot. Basically, wash and sort them, then just give them a run through the “bean” cycle with stock (I use 4 cups liquid per 1 lb beans). Then, add remaining ingredients and run through another bean cycle and voila! You have dinner! Here’s the recipe- Tell me how you like it!’

Brisket Chili in the Instant Pot

1 pound dried pinto beans, washed and sorted

4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided (or to taste)

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons chili powder, divided ,

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1-1/2 pounds cooked brisket, cubed

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup diced fresh jalapenos, optional

1/2 cup shredded cheese for garnish

Wash dried pinto beans. Drain, and pour into instant pot

Add beef stock, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder. Turn on instant pot to "Beans" cycle, which will take 30 minutes plus the time it takes to heat up.

While instant pot is cooking beans, sautée onions, peppers, and garlic until golden.

When cycle is finished, manually release steam. Add in brisket, tomatoes, remaining seasonings, onions, peppers, and garlic, and cubed brisket. Set Instant Pot for "Bean" Cycle again and start.

Allow instant pot to cook for cycle, then release steam naturally (about 20 more minutes than cooking cycle.) Open instant pot, stir, and taste for seasonings. You may need to add some for your taste.

Garnish with cheese and jalapenos if desired and enjoy!


“This is always one of the best sellers in our restaurants. It combines the comfort of homemade meat loaf with a caramelized barbecue sauce for a richer flavor.”

BBQ Meatloaf

2 pounds ground beef