Thursday, February 14, 2019

SALT-FREE DRY RUBBED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS



Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks after being "kissed" with smoke from the smoker box with Double filet wood chunks!


You’ve likely heard about limiting your ingestion of chicken skin which can add unnecessary calories and saturated fat.  On the flip-side, chicken skin also adds to the overall flavor and moisture of chicken.  Here’s the thing: if you limit the amount of chicken skin you ingest, it contains a good amount of unsaturated fat that can be heart healthy, which you may not be benefiting from.

I’m going to give you a dry rub recipe that is salt-free to add in the healthy aspect of this recipe and includes some fat to the skin that will add flavor but also render off.  Purchase chicken drumsticks and prepare the gas grill for this easy technique and super flavorful chicken you’ll want to be sure to make extras of.

 

Grill Set UpDouble filet wood chunks in the smoker box ready to delicaly flavor our chicken drumsticks 

Before starting the rub recipe, get the gas grill preheated by turning on only half the grills’ burners.  That will be the side that we will add the wood chunks to while the side that remains off will be where the food will be placed.  For the wood chunks, you can either place them directly on the heat shields, on the hot grill grate, or in a smoker box.  Yes, that smoker box that you see advertised for wood chips is going to hold double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®.

 

Salt-Free Dry Rub

I’m balancing my salt-free dry rub flavor by incorporating a variety of ingredients:
  • Whole allspice
  • Ancho Chile pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Curry powder
  • Cocoa powder
  • Fresh ground pepper
I always like to use a mortar and pestle when I make a rub as I usually have whole pods or seeds that need to be reduced.  Once the rub is reduced to powder, I apply it to the drumsticks.
mortise with all our great dry rub ingredients mixed and ready to apply to the chicken drumsticks

These I lay on a roasting rack placed in a disposable foil pan.  This will allow the chicken to render without causing a mess to the grill and allow the smoke vapor produced by the wood chunks to rotate around the chicken.

 

A Little Fat Will Dothe drumsticks with the dry rub applied and patties of butter on top 

After the drumsticks are lined up on the roasting rack, I add a sprinkling of almond oil and 8 tablespoons of butter.  These two items will allow the skin to crisp slightly.  They also provide the moisture on the outside to attract the smoke vapor.  If you want to skip this step, just keep a spray bottle of tepid water ready and you can moisten the chicken skin with a calorie-free alternative.

 

Make a Lot!

The cooking dry ribbed Chicken Drumsticks on the gas grillAfter cooking for about 35 minutes, flip each drumstick on the rack and check your wood.  It will likely be black as the wood combusts and renders the flavonoids in the lignin that produce the great flavor.  Close the lid and allow the chicken to cook an additional 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F.  Be sure to make extra so you have a great go-to protein to feed you throughout the week.


What are your favorite ingredients to add to a dry rub?  Leave us a comment and subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor, that’s SmokinLicious®.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

OVER THE TOP GRILLED & SMOKED BEEF SHANKS

Grilling our Smoked Beef Shanks on the Gas grill with Double filet wood chunks in our smoker box!
Grilling our Smoked Beef Shanks on the Gas grill with Double filet wood chunks in our smoker box!

I’m going to make a confession.  I rarely select steak to grill anymore.  The reason – there are just too many other options that I simply prefer.  Like beef riblets, short ribs, and shank.  Oh, the bone-in shank!  That is my favorite.

I’m going to give you a wet rub recipe and a grilling technique you can do on the grill of your choice, though I’ll be picking the easy gas grill.  Get to the butcher and select some premium bone-in beef shanks then visit SmokinLicious® online for some wood chunks.  Then get ready for the best grilled & smoked beef shanks you’ve ever had!

Wet Rub

our wet rub mixture in the mortise ready for applicationI tend to lean toward some Asian-inspired ingredients for my rubs, especially those that are a wet rub.  While working on the rub, be sure you’ve started your grill so it will be ready to go when the meat is rubbed.  Remember, we are using a two-zone set up for the grill so burners lit only on one side of the gas grill with the wood chunks placed on the heat shield or in a smoker box placed over the lit burners like I’ve done.  Or, for the charcoal/wood grill, hot coals banked to one side of the grill.

For this wet rub, you’ll need equal parts of the following ingredients:
  • Ground ginger
  • Whole allspice – about 30
  • Garlic powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sesame oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Honey
Our wet rub applied to raw beef shanks before the grillStart by combining the dry ingredients, followed by the wet and combine with mortar and pestle until a paste is made.  Then coat the beef shanks on both sides and the edges with the wet rub.  I line a disposable foil pan with a roasting rack, then place the shanks on the rack.



Tasting Notes: don’t be afraid to use a store-bought rub and simply add oil and/or garlic/spice pastes.  There is nothing off limits when it comes to producing a rub.
our cooked beef shanks

Smoking


Time to open the pre-heated grill and start the cooking of the shanks.  The wood chunks should be smoking well at this point so add the shank pan to the unlit side of the grill.  Leave untouched for at least 40 minutes.  Return to check the internal temperature.  Flip the shanks and rotate the foil pan.  Leave until the meat registers 140-145° F.

Tasting Notes: select the hardwood you like or use a combination of hardwoods like I did with my shanks – maple, hickory and white oak.

Serve It Up

finished beef shanks slicedWhen done, I simply slice against the grain for beautiful, flavorful beef that has a controlled infusion of smoke.  Here’s a tip: be sure you enjoy the marrow in the bones!  It is very rich so if you elect not to eat it when the meat is done, use it with onions and shallots to make a confit, or use it with a rich pasta dish to make the flavor of the richness even more stunning.  Or, combine the marrow with an acidic dish like an arugula salad with lemon and capers.  And don’t forget to save the bones to make our smoked beef broth.  Two zone cooking makes it so easy to control the smoke infusion and produce perfection in any item grilled.

What’s your favorite beef cut to grill and smoke?   Bringing innovation to wood-fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.