Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wood Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Wood grilled Romaine lettuce- Scrumptious!
Wood grilled Romaine lettuce- Scrumptious!

It’s time to bring your vegetables into grilling season! Nothing beats the smell of fresh vegetables roasting over wood even on an LP/gas grill. Any time of the year works fine for this technique to get a great char wood flavor in your seasonal or store-bought fresh vegetables.

All you’ll need for this easy cooking experience is an LP or gas grill – any brand or size will do, double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®, and a head or two of fresh Romaine lettuce!

Grill Preparation

If you want to add special wood flavoring to your LP/Gas grill there are easy steps to follow:

Make sure your grill is clean from any significant grease build up. Remove the grilling grates and determine how much space is between the diffuser and the grilling grate. The diffuser is the plate covering the unit’s gas burner(s). Don’t remove the cover.

Once you have the sizing computed, then select the SmokinLicious® wood chunk size that will fit – Single Filet which is ~4 inches or the Double Filet which is ~2 inches.

Wood Preparation

Now, let’s set up the wood on the grill. Remove the cooking grates from the grill then strategically place the wood chunks over the heat diffuser. This is the metal piece covering the actually gas burners. If the SmokinLicious® wood chunks are fresh, then you can add them directly to the unit without pre-soaking them. If not, you may want to consider a lite soaking of about 15 minutes. Because I’m cooking lettuce, I am using the chunks in their natural state. However, feel free to consider a pre-soak in liquid with flavorings such as beer, wine or juice.

Wood chunks above the diffuser

Now replace the grill grates back on the unit, over the SmokinLicious® wood chunks! Make sure the grates are securely seated back on the unit. If there is a lot of space on your unit between the diffuser and the grate you may want to consider a SmokinLicious® single filet or block item. Now light the unit, set the dials to a low heat setting and bring the unit up to temperature. Say around 180 degrees. Do not overheat the unit.

Preparation

In preparing my Romaine lettuce for this cook, I slice it vertically from stem to head creating two equal size halves. After pre-heating the grill to around 180 degrees, I place the two slices of the lettuce head directly on the grill grates. Let the wood infusion flavor begin!

"Two halves are better than one head"

Roasting Process

I position the two halves of the Romaine over the hot spots created by the SmokinLicious® “Double” filet wood pieces which are under the grilling grates. The wood will ignite and begin the charring stage. I recommend bunching the wood pieces together to produce a hot spot on the LP/gas grill to allow for a direct char technique. While I am not using the smoke from the wood, I am still infusing great natural grilling flavor with the wood.

My cooking is taking place with an open lid because I want to char not smoke! It’s important to keep turning the heads so the flavour will be even. At about 1/3 of the time cooking on the grill, I turn the gas completely off and let the flaming wood chunks on the diffuser finish up the final cooking. In this last stage of charring, I brush my clarified butter with chopped parsley and mint baste to the lettuce halves for final flavour and presentation. And, if desired, feel free to drizzle any remaining melted butter mixture to the finished product for a little extra taste kick.

Remember this is a delicate vegetable, not meat so there is no grease to flare up the LP/gas grill. This is another example of why using SmokinLicious® wood chunks on the diffuser and under the grill grates of your LP/gas unit can generate such exceptional wood-fired flavour. Now, get to your grilled Romaine lettuce and ENJOY!

 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

TIPS ON INCLUDING THE GRILL IN STAYCATION PLANS

Our Grill drawing for breaking out on your staycation
Including the grill in staycation plans is a flavor rich must this year!

The reports are in and all point to one common theory: people are likely to cancel previous plans to vacation away, especially those considering foreign travel, and instead opt for a staycation.

What does this mean for the economy? Of course, there will be negatives with this decision not to travel but one potential positive is the soar in potential grill sales as people begin to ponder ways to keep home cooking interesting.

Options of Including the Grill in Staycation Plans

Likely the first assessment for most considering a staycation is what do we do for food. People often have dining out plans built into their weekly schedule but due to concerns with visiting populated locations like a restaurant, food truck, or even street vendor, these locales will likely be one of the first voluntary bans. That means, cooking at home just moved to the front of the line. Cooking on the stove top or in the oven are certainly options, but given you want to keep your body from getting bored you’ll likely want to branch out to the outdoors and start grilling, especially if the weather makes that enticing.

Here’s where the lesson needs to be learned. Don’t just settle for cooking direct heat method like you do with hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages. Learn how to grill with indirect heat and you’ll be in great position to put a variety of foods including vegetables, animal proteins, and even fruits and nuts on the grill.

The starting point, however, is to assess your current outdoor cooking equipment and decide the following:

► Is the equipment in good working order to be used frequently?

► Are there any components of the grill that need replacing? For example, the grill grates, heat shields, ignitors, wheels on a portable unit, charcoal pan, water pan, etc.

► Is the current equipment of adequate size to feed your family all at once?

► Is the equipment easy to operate meaning it won’t burdened you with constant supervision?

► Does the equipment have an option for a dedicated fuel set up like LP gas conversion to natural gas which will allow you full use without having to worry about filling LP tanks?

► If you want to up the flavor of your grill foods, can you easily add wood to the unit?

If you’re in the market for a new grilling unit, assess the frequency of its use and what you want to be able to cook on it before making the purchase. The more frequent use the higher quality the materials that make up the grill need to be, to keep the grill functional for a very long time.

In the end, you not only will have piece of mind in knowing you can feed your family great tasting foods, but you’ll likely have a great opportunity to bond in a great outdoor environment.

Do you plan to take a staycation? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious!

 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Guacamole asado

Guacamole asado hecho con aguacates asados para un toque único. ¡En una manera sencilla, impresione a sus invitados!
Guacamole asado hecho con aguacates asados para un toque único. ¡En una manera sencilla, impresione a sus invitados!

Aguacate está lleno de grasas saludables, 4 gramos de proteína y 975 miligramos de potasio que es casi el doble que un plátano. Con 18 de los aminoácidos recomendados en el consumo diario, aguacate es una fruta súper.

Pensamos que tomaríamos este favorito de frutas y añadiríamos un nivel de sabor para sus recetas de aguacate por asado de madera el aguacate.Este sencillo paso aportará todos los beneficios nutricionales de la fruta con un nuevo sabor audaz.

Guacamole Asado- Ingredientes frescos

Una vez que haya asado de madera sus aguacates en una parrilla de gas o carbón (consulte nuestra publicación en esta técnica), debe recoger los siguientes ingredientes:

  • 3 aguacates asados
  • 1 diente de ajo finamente rallado
  • 1 pimiento serrano o jalapeño finamente picado
  • 1/4 de cebolla blanca, finamente picada
  • 2 cucharadas de jugo de lima recién exprimido
  • 1 cucharada de cilantro picado
  • 1 cucharadita de sal kosher

Además de los ingredientes,necesitará una licuadora o la mano y el mortero. Prefiero el mortero y la peste para poder controlar el nivel de puré que se produce a cada ingrediente.

Guacamole Asado- Poniendo en capas el sabor

Primero, es necesario triturar la carne de aguacate asado. El mejor guacamole tiene algo de calidad gruesa, así que tenga esto en cuenta cuando estés triturando la carne. Cuando el aguacate está machacado, agregue la pimienta y combínelo también. Puede seleccionar cualquier pimienta si desea calor o no. Si prefiere un guacamole que no tiene sabor picante, añade un pimiento dulce.

Después del aguacate y la pimienta se mezclan, es hora de agregar los otros ingredientes. Agregue primero la cebolla picada seguida de jugo de lima, cilantro y sal. Combine todo bien, asegurándose de que los trozos no sean demasiado grandes para cualquiera de los ingredientes.

Guacamole Asado- ¡Prepáranse para servir el guacamole asado!

La mejor parte del guacamole asado es como simple que es hacerlo, sin embargo, los sabores son tan frescos e intensos. Después todos los ingredientes se combinan, recoger todo el contenido del mortero o licuadora y colocar en el plato de servir o tazón. Me gusta rematar mi guacamole con un poco de pimentón ahumado para que tenga un poco de color. Ten en cuenta que no necesita usar esto con chips de tortilla. Este es un excelente ingrediente para una hamburguesa o sándwich de pollo asado y aun funciona bien con ensalada de verduras. Encantará cómo el sabor de la madera añade otra dimensión a esta comida favorita.

Esperamos que hayas encontrado inspiración con esta receta. Nos encantaría ver sus fotos de esta receta. Deja un comentario y suscríbelo. Sigue siguiéndonos mientras lo traemos consejos, técnicas y recetas innovadoras sobre cómo trabajar con madera para cocinar, asar a la parrilla y ahumar.

 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

SMOKED HERBS FLAVORS WITH SMOKED HERB DUST

Our preparation of smoked herbs, from picking, smoking and grinding to make smoked herb dust. Adding great flavor to dishes.
Our preparation of smoked herbs, from picking, smoking and grinding to make smoked herb dust. Adding great flavor to dishes.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking fresh herbs are to be used in dishes as, well, fresh only. Although you may have dried your fresh herb harvest before, we are bringing another alternative to you, smoked herbs.

We hot smoke the fresh herbs on the grill then turn them into a dust for use in all types of dishes. The smoking process will bring a depth of flavor that you’ve likely never experienced before. Go to the herb garden and pick your favorite varieties and let’s get making smoked herb dust!

Smoke Vapor Infusion

Fresh herbs on the grill using a grilling cage

One thing about this smoked herb technique is you can do the smoke infusion by a variety of equipment methods.

For those with a gas grill, add wood chunks either directly to the heat shields on one side of the grill or add wood chunks to a metal smoker box that can be placed on the heat shields or the grill grate. For charcoal grill owners, light your charcoal and allow to reduce to hot coals only. Add a piece or two of hardwood chunks or a handful of hardwood chips to the hot coals. If possible, push the hot coals to one side of the grill. For both grill types, you want to use a two-zone cooking method so the herbs don’t catch fire.

For those that don’t own grilling equipment or who simply don’t want to bother lighting up the grill, you can use a handheld food smoker. Simply place micro wood chips in the bowl of the unit, place the herbs in a storage bag with the tubing of the smoker unit, cinch the end of the bag around the tubing, and light the chips. I like to leave the smoke in the bag for maximum smoke vapor infusion.

I used both my gas grill and charcoal grill for the smoke process by placing my herbs in a vegetable basket and grilling with the herbs on the unlit side of the grill. Within the first 5 minutes, you’ll see how the herbs lose moisture and begin the drying stage.

Tasting Notes: I find the handheld food smoker will produce the boldest smoke flavor to the herbs. The intensity of flavor rated from lightest to boldest based on equipment would be a gas grill, electric smoker, pellet smoker, charcoal grill, handheld food smoker.

Grinding Process

smoked herbs in the food processor for reduction into smoked herbs dust

Once the herbs have charred and dried, it’s time to remove them from the grill and bring them to the food processor. I have a mini processor that only has two settings: chop and grind. I prefer to use this appliance to bring the smoked herbs to dust level but a spice grinder works just as well.

First, remove all the herb leaves from the stems and place a small quantity in the food processor bowl. You can remove the leaves by placing the entire herb sprig in a colander and pressing the leaves through to parchment paper. Secure the lid and grind until you get as fine a dust as the appliance will allow. Both the appliance and the herb will determine how fine the herb dust will get. As you will see, basil dust becomes finer than oregano. This technique will work for just about any herb you can grow or locate at the market. Store the herb dust in glass or metal jars for up to a year.

Tasting Notes: Smoked herbs are much stronger in flavor than the standard dried herb. Adjust the amount used in recipes as needed. It is often best to start with less, taste, and then add more as needed.

So Many Uses

finished herb bottles of smoked Basil and Smoked oregano

Experimentation is key when it comes to #herbdust. Most often, herbs will be applied to meats and poultry, perhaps rice and pasta dishes, but there are so many more foods that are good pairings for herb dust. Let’s take parsley as an example. Commonly used with fish and beef, parsley is a great pairing for sweet items as well. This includes banana and cream. It’s important that you look beyond the traditional side dishes and entrees and explore the sweet side of what herbs can offer. By doing so, you’re sure to find endless combinations that will tickle your palate and give you more pleasing menu experiences.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that the two-zone method is certainly a practice that you will want to master and prioritize in your wood cooking toolkit, especially when grilling and smoking delicate fresh consumables like herbs. Not only will two-zone cooking avoid those acrid tastes associated with flare ups, it will infuse your food items with a nice balance of wood smoke flavoring.

 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

A RHUBARB FOOL

Our Finished Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!
Our Finished Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool–Fresh rhubarb means great recipes most of which consist of dessert! This one is no exception. Not only am I going to use smoked rhubarb but I’m including smoked strawberry as well.

This is the SmokinLicious® version of the Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool a popular dessert in late Spring and Early Summer. Our creamy version is taking on a new flavor as we add another element: smoked components. That means you need to smoke the rhubarb and strawberries first, before you make our recipe. You can find our tips on smoking the strawberries and the rhubarb on our Tips and Techniques Blog. Don’t be scared! These are simple techniques you can do on any type of equipment including with a hand held food smoker.

Get smoking your fresh strawberries and rhubarb and then, let’s make the sweetest, creamiest strawberry-rhubarb fool smoker’s style!

Our Finished Smoked Strawberry on a try
Tame Those Flavors

I find it easiest to work with rhubarb and strawberries when they are cut down in size after the smoking. For me, rhubarb cut into 3-inch lengths and strawberries sliced thin work best for this recipe. Don’t forget to keep any of the juice that comes off the smoked strawberries both during the smoking process and as you prepare the strawberries.

The combination of the tart rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberry plus the smoky quality from both will produce a perfect balance. Let’s get these two flavors combined to make the perfect fool.

Since rhubarb borders on the bitter, it needs to have some additional sweet added to it. Place your smoked rhubarb cuts which equal about one pound, into a saucepan and add a ½ cup of sugar. Heat on medium high. While that is sweetening and tenderizing, place the smoked strawberries (about 8-10 ounces depending on the size) into a bowl and add ¼ cup sugar, allowing this to dissolve completely. This process will take about 30 minutes. Feel free to adjust the level of sugar in the strawberries based on the sweetness you feel the raw strawberry already presents with as well as your own personal preference.

Our Rhubarb in the pot with sugar added

Once the sugar has dissolved in the smoked strawberries and the rhubarb has begun to shred apart, it’s time to remove the rhubarb from the heat. Stir in the sweetened smoked strawberries and transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate this compote uncovered until cold. This will take about 1-1/2 hours though I prefer to leave this overnight. Once the compote is in the refrigerator, place a metal bowl in the refrigerator as well. You will need this to produce the trademark cream-base for our fool dessert.

Tasting Notes: Some find the texture of tenderized rhubarb to be too stringy. If that’s the case, feel free to process the rhubarb in a food processor or blender before combining with the macerated strawberries. Also, depending on the size of the strawberries, you may prefer to leave larger chunks, by halving the berries rather than slicing.

 Making a Fool for Me!

Time to remove the chilled metal bowl from the refrigerator and add ¾ cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar. Whisk this together until soft peaks form. Be sure you don’t over beat the mixture or you will lose all the air that makes this whipped cream. Set aside 1/3 cup of the cold smoked compote which will be used for topping the finished dessert servings. Take the rest of the compote and fold into the whipped cream just until the mixture looks streaky. Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Folding the ingredients into a fool
Whenever I need a simple and quick dessert that looks elegant, I love to make a fool. If I’m serving a more formal event, I prefer to serve these in stemmed glasses like a martini glass. For a family barbeque or daily dessert, small bowls work well or even clear throw away cups or bowls. Once the cream and compote mixture are spooned into the serving vessel, top with about a tablespoon of reserved compote. I prefer to add mint leaves to finish this off. Strawberry-Rhubarb Smoked Fool – a simple yet elegant looking treat that everyone is going to love!

Tasting Notes: Here’s a tip: this can be served cold or you can freeze it for a super cold treat on a really hot day. The frozen rendition will remind you of a semifreddo or frozen yogurt treat.

What’s your favorite fool recipe? Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes. Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Seguridad de la madera- ¡Nuestros esfuerzos para protegerte!

Seguridad de la madera
Seguridad de la madera

Usted probablemente está pensando en muchos más huéspedes potenciales para el covid-19 en un esfuerzo para mantener a todos los importantes para usted seguro y saludable.  Sin duda, todo lo que toca tiene el potencial de ser huésped para el virus que se está propagando tan rápidamente por todo el mundo.  Es sin duda, un momento de miedo. Es posible que usted no sepa que SmokinLicious® siempre se ha comprometido a proteger a nuestros clientes de la transferencia de contaminantes potenciales.  

No cualquier proveedor de madera 

En nuestro artículo publicó anteriormente titulado “Términos clarificar utilizados para la venta de madera para ahumar y asar,” intentamos explicar lo que las diferentes palabras utilizadas para describir la preparación de la madera vendida para asar a la parrilla y ahumar realmente significaba.  El punto importante para tomar de este artículo es que esas “etiquetas” diversas no se relacionan con lo que puede asegurar de que la bacteria y los agentes virales no sobrevivan si se agarran a la madera para actuar como huésped para los dos.  Al final, somos el único proveedor actual que no sólo vende madera dura con el fin de cocinar, sino que utiliza un proceso de tratamiento térmico que está en un nivel para garantizar que ninguno agente microbiano ni viral pueda aferrarse a la madera e infectar al usuario.   

Aunque utilizamos un nivel de calor intenso de 75 oC/167 oF, desarrollamos un método para garantizar que la madera no se seca al punto de leña, algo con lo que nunca queremos ser comparados. 

Sabemos que algunas esporas fúngicas sólo mueren a 60 oC/140 oF, esporas de moho a 56 oC/133 oF y listeria a 74 oC/165,2 oF. Aunque no hay datos confirmados sobre el nivel de calor que matar covid-19, si sabemos que la luz del sol hace que el agente viral sólo sobreviva unas horas, dada la intensidad de los rayos ultravioleta.  Esto sugiere que el calor tenga un papel importante en la reducción de la supervivencia del virus.  

La normativa vigente para la madera simplemente no garantiza la seguridad.  Nuestros esfuerzos refuerzan que la bacteria potencialmente mortal no puede entrar en nuestra cadena alimentaria.  Puede manejar nuestros envases y cocinar con nuestros productos sabiendo que hemos hecho nuestra parte para garantizar que no haya transferencia de bacterias ni agentes infecciosos. 

¿Puede su leña local u otro proveedor de madera hacer la misma afirmación?  SmokinLicious® – la marca pura, limpia y segura para cocinar.   

¿Planea asar a la parrilla o ahumar más en casa con el susto reciente de covid-19? Déjanos un comentario y suscríbelo para obtener nuestros últimos consejos, técnicas, recetas y la ciencia detrás del fuego y el humo, para todos los métodos de cocción contra incendios en vivo.  ¡Eso es SmokinLicious!

 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Snow Pea Cucumber Salad

Our Snow Pea Cucumber Salad kissed by smoke adds a delicious flavor to this spring salad.
Our Snow Pea Cucumber Salad kissed by smoke adds a delicious flavor to this spring salad.

With four select ingredients readily available throughout the year, you can make this flavorful and healthy salad anytime of the year. Perfect on its own for lunch or as a side dish to beef, pork, poultry, and fish, you’ll find your own variations to keep it unique.

Nothing But the Most Fresh Ingredients

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper

Preparing the Salad:

Add the smoked snow peas to a salad bowl. Stir in the cucumbers, tomatoes, and dill. Be sure you stir gently to prevent breaking up the cucumbers and tomatoes. Stirring will allow some of the char flavor of the peas to reach the juices of the cucumber and tomato.

Adding A Pop of Red Color to the Cucumbers and Peas

Preparing The Dressing:

Thickening the Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest until smooth. You will see the dressing thicken as you whisk. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.

The Finish

I simply love this salad for a healthy lunch, snack, or as a side to dinner. Feel free to add some additional crunchy items like pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, or even tortilla shell strips. And DON’T FORGET to take a picture of your masterpiece and send along to us at SmokinLicious®. Hope you try this recipe Smoked Snow Peas With Cucumber Salad.

 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

ADDING WOOD FOR FOOD SMOKING?- OUR GUIDE WILL HELP

our food scale demonstrates Grande Sapore® and Double Filet wood chunks as a guide to adding wood flavoring with our Smokinlicious® products.
Our food scale demonstrates guidance on adding wood for food smoking.

Let’s break this down by equipment and method of smoking so you have a good place to start in answering the above questions.

Get A Food Scale- Step #1 in Adding Wood for Food Smoking

As a reminder, wood should not be sold or referenced by weight so I always recommend you keep a food scale handy to weigh pieces of wood or handfuls of wood chips until you get comfortable with eyeballing your needs. After practicing on your specific equipment, you’ll develop a sense of how much will produce a smoke infusion level you and your food guests like.

To make easier understanding of the amount of wood needed, I will be referencing by ounces in my breakdown lists.

Adding Wood for Food Smoking in The Traditional Smoker

SmokinLicious® wood chips are milled from the heartwood

If you adhere to the basic rule of low temperature cooking on a smoker, then you’ll likely be cooking between 225° and 250°F. You will also likely be using lump charcoal or traditional charcoal known as briquets, for the fuel or heat. That is the material that keeps the smoker at a steady temperature.

Regardless of whether you use the snake method, minion method, or simply dump the charcoal in the smoker’s charcoal area, adding wood for food smoking will be needed in some form to provide the actual smoked flavor to the foods. Why? Because it is what gives foods that smoky flavor and distinct texture and appearance.

For the smoker, here is a guide on the quantity based on food being smoked and for using wood chunks. Note, you can smoke different foods at the same time with small adjustments to these amounts.

Guide

Fruits/Vegetables Turkey/Chicken Ribs Pork Shoulder/Brisket
2-4 ounces 4-6 ounces 8 ounces 10 ounces with additional needed during cooking

For placement of the Double Filet chunks, these can go directly on the hot coals with some banked to the side to catch as the hot coals spread.

Adding Wood for Food Smoking Using the Charcoal Grill

Essentially, you will be doing the same steps as above for the traditional smoker. The main difference between these two units is that smokers are for hot smoking and generally don’t do well when used for grilling. In fact, I would highly recommend you never try grilling on a smoker. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, can do both but you will have to make some airflow adjustments with the unit’s venting to ensure that you can maintain a low temperature consistently for smoking. You also may find adding a heat insulator like bricks or stones works well to attract and use radiant heat.

Here is the guide on quantity based on food being smoked as well as type of wood product. Remember, a wood chip product will combust faster so you will need more chips on hand when hot smoking.

Wood Fruits/Vegetables Turkey/Chicken Ribs Pork Shoulder/Brisket
Chips 2 ounces 6 ounces 10-12 ounces 16 ounces
Chunks 2-4 ounces 4-6 ounces 8 ounces 10-12 ounces

For placement of the wood chunks, these always go on top of the charcoal. You should have a piece on the hot coals and then stage some on unlit coals that will ignite during the cooking process and keep the flavor going.

SmokinLicious® wood chunks
Adding Wood for Food Smoking Using the LP/Gas Grill

 I think the key misnomer is that LP/Gas Grills can only use smoker chips if you want to attempt to do wood-fired cooking. That has certainly changed with the advent of dual fuel or multi-purpose grills on the market today, as well as the development and design of diffusers over the gas burners for traditional grills. The heat covers on burners are the perfect place for wood chunks.

Even if you don’t want to add chunks directly to a component of the grill, you can use a standard chip smoker box and simply put chunks in the box versus chips. Usually these boxes will hold 3-4 small chunks of Double filet. The box also aids in capturing ash.

Here are the options for placement:

  • smoker wood chips in a foil pouch placed over a hot burner or directly on a heat bar/diffuser
  • smoking wood chips in a smoker box placed on the grill grate with the heat under it
  • smoking wood chunks in a smoker box (these will be small pieces about 2×2-inches) place on a grill grate with the heat under it
  • smoker wood chunks directly on a heat bar/diffuser (3-4 pieces) with the heat on medium

Here is a guide on the quantity based on food being smoked as well as type of product. Remember, a wood chip product will combust faster so you will need more of it on hand than wood chunks when hot smoking.

Type Fruits/Vegetables Turkey/Chicken Ribs Pork Shoulder/Brisket
Chips 2 ounces 6 ounces 8 ounces with replenishment needed as they reduce to ash 8 ounces with replenishment needed multiple times
Chunks 2-4 ounces 4-6 ounces 8 ounces – may need to add an 1-2 pieces 8 ounces with replenishment needed at least once

Also, keep in mind that if you’ve purchased a “green” wood or air-dried wood, it likely holds more moisture than a kiln dried products. This will change the weight. Pieces of wood that fall into the “green” category, even if they are the same size, will weigh differently. Work with wood long enough and you’ll develop a feel for what is just about at the perfect weight for smoker or direct-fired cooking.

Adding Wood for Food Smoking to Dual Fuel or Hybrid Grills

With technologies advancing in the grill world you now have so many more options for using charcoal and wood in the convenience of a gas fired grill. For those looking to have that level of ease but the flavors of charcoal and wood at your fingertips, those equipment manufacturers are to be considered. Just get ready to make a substantial investment as these models do not come cheap.

We hope this article provided you with new information about adding wood for food smoking. Leave a comment and remember to follow us on social media for additional tips, techniques, recipes, and great photos. As always, your suggestions on other article topics are always welcome. Hope you can use our blog.

Our Readers Are Asking…

How often should I add wood to my smoker?

There is no fixed rule. The quantity/quality with the right kind of wood, wood that is “moisture managed” produces the best smoke possible. With a consistent cooking fire or heat source, the familiar phrase “less is more” is your guide on adding wood for food smoking, especially when using chips or chunks. When smoke diminishes, add a bit more.

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

PEA MASH- FRESH PEAS WITH SMOKY FLAVOR

Our Fresh peas get all smokey for a terrific pea mash
Our Fresh peas get all smokey for a terrific pea mash

 

With the arrival of Spring on the East Coast, we have an opportunity to get some fresh vegetables and one of my favorites to locate are peas. Today, I’m going to remove fresh peas from their pods and wood-fire them using wood chunks on the gas grill. Then I’ll produce a tasty pea mash that I plan to serve on toasted bread for a healthy snack or appetizer. The time consuming part of this recipe is the removal of the peas but this task will be worth it.

Time to get to the store and locate about 2-1/2 pounds of fresh peas and fire up the grill for our flavorful take on pea mash.

The Longest Prep

Fresh peas ready for the grill

Without question, removing the peas from their pod is the hardest part of making pea mash so be sure you allocate enough time for this task. My technique includes using a small paring knife inserted in the seam of the pod. After breaking the seam, simply use your finger to break the growth connection of the pea to the pod. Place the fresh peas in a colander until all the peas are ready, then rinse, pat dry and place in a vegetable basket or vegetable grill pan designed for grilling temperatures. Be sure the peas are in a single layer so each pea can get infused with smoke flavor. Now, we’re off to the grill!

Tasting Notes: Although I’ve elected to use fresh peas, you can make this recipe using frozen. Simply reserve about 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas for the recipe and start with the peas frozen.

Two-Zone Grill Smoking

on peas on the cold side of the grill with the flame under our smoker box providing the smokey flavor

Peas are delicate so it’s important that you only use an indirect method of cooking to smoke the peas. First, I’ve preheated my grill to 325°F using just ½ the burners. For wood flavor, I’ve added three wood chunks to a metal smoker box that’s placed on the half of the grill with the burners on. Once the grill is holding temperature and the wood chunks have started to smoke, it’s time to add my grill basket of fresh peas. Since these are so small, there is no need to rotate the basket. In about 20 minutes, these will be ready to be made into mash.

Tasting Notes: When it comes to selecting the wood type to use for the smoke vapor infusion, there are no rules. Feel free to use what you like just be sure it is hardwood and not softwood. I’ve used a combination of cherry, white oak and sugar maple.

Making Mash

our smokey peas and other ingredients in the blender

Once the fresh peas have been wood fired on the grill, remove them and start on the ingredients for the mash. Add ½ cup water to a saucepan and one garlic clove that has been quartered. Place on medium heat and add ¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Allow the mixture to cook and marry the flavors, then add the smoked fresh peas. Give this a couple of additional minutes of cooking time, then remove from the heat and drain the mixture using a sieve over a bowl, collecting the liquid for later use. Place the solids into a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste is formed.

Tasting Notes: If you don’t have access to fresh peas and will be using 1-1/2 cups of frozen, leave the peas in their frozen state when they are added to the saucepan and extend the cooking time to 8 minutes.

With our mixture pulsed, it’s time to add additional flavors to balance our pea mash out. Start by adding 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, ½ tablespoon of finely chopped lemon peel or jarred lemon peel, ¼ teaspoon of Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix everything together and add a tablespoon at a time of the reserve cooking liquid until you have a thick but spreadable mash. Season with salt, fresh ground pepper and additional lemon juice. Be sure to taste and adjust these elements as you see fit.

Serve!

When serving on toasted bread, start with a hearty bread or ciabatta. Next, drizzle the bread slice with olive oil and spread on the mash. If desired, sprinkle with additional spicy pepper and lemon peel and top with a drizzle of oil.

Don’t stop at just using this as a spread. This is perfect as a pesto for pasta or rice, topping for fish, chicken and pork, and even a stuffing for mushroom caps, spring roll wrappers, or pork chops. Spring wood fired pea mash – that you can enjoy all year long.

What’s your favorite use for fresh peas? Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes. Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

LOW AND SLOW CHARCOAL WOOD BY SMOKINLICIOUS®

"Charwood

There are many terms around the world to describe wood used for wood-fired cooking.  We take for granted in America the use of the term barbecue.  In fact, even that word has its spelling variations.  BBQ, barbeque, barbecue are just a few that relate to this style of cooking.  Grilling is NOT barbecue!  For many BBQers, low and slow charcoal is the way to go but consider this approach with a charcoal like product that accelerates wood smoke vapor and flavoring.

When Its Barbecue It’s Best with Low and Slow Charcoal Wood

Barbecue is cooking with smoke.  Considered an aerosol, smoke imparts the true flavor of barbecue.  You need a vessel to cook in and a combustible material to produce the smoke.  The number one choice is wood.

Not just any wood will do.  Hardwood is the best choice for Charwood.

What is low and slow charcoal wood?  This is wood that has the perfect balance of moisture.  It allows the wood to smolder, producing a flavorful smoke to foods cooked over it.  As you burn the wood it becomes fully carbonized in the form of charcoal.  When it completely burns, all that remains is ash.

What to Look For

Although hardwood is the choice for low and slow cooking, not every hardwood is ideal.  You should use hardwoods that are common: maple, cherry, hickory, oak, ash, alder, beech.  Be sure the wood is not “seasoned” for a long period of time or you will simply end up with firewood.  That means wood that is too try to smolder.  No smolder means no smoke.  No smoke means no flavor.

Also, check on where the wood comes from.  Natural forest lands are best as these woods haven’t been altered.  Be wary of orchard sourced woods which can be treated with chemicals or enhancers.

In the end, a true low and slow charcoal wood gives you the perfect balance in flavor and texture to your barbecue.  Learn why SmokinLicious® is the perfect brand for low and slow charcoal wood and explore the world of hardwood as an ingredient!

 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

ASPARAGUS WRAPPED WITH PUFF PASTRY

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice
Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

One of the favorite Spring vegetables that certainly don’t have a long fresh season around my area, asparagus is know for its fiber and its diuretic quality since it is 93% water.  Although it certainly is a star vegetable to grill, I’m taking it to the healthy side and preparing a wrapped asparagus without all the fat, sodium, and calories of bacon or prosciutto wrapped.

This is a super flavorful twist of carrot and puff pastry that is perfect for a dipping sauce.  Fresh asparagus comes to life when we wood-fire it on the gas grill with wood chunks for added flavor.  When done, you’ll never miss the bacon as this is a meaty, satisfying take on the wrapped asparagus theme.  Now, get your bunch of fresh asparagus and learn this healthier version of wrapped asparagus wood-fired!

Asparagus Wrapped- Vegetable Prep

our two main vegetables fresh asparagus and ripe carrot

First, start this recipe by trimming the ends of one bunch of asparagus.  Peel and end trim 3 medium size carrots.  Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, produce thin peels of carrot, figuring about 2 peels per asparagus spear.  Add water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Blanch the carrot peels in the water for about 30 seconds just to soften.  This will make for an easier time of wrapping the carrots around the asparagus spear.  Remove the carrot peels to a colander then place on paper towels to remove excess water.

With the vegetables prepared, it’s time to work on the puff pastry.  After thawing two sheets of puff pastry according to package directions, place one sheet on a cutting surface and cut ½-inch strips of pastry.  After that, take one egg and one teaspoon of water and beat together to produce egg wash.  This will be used to hold the ends of the puff pastry to the asparagus spear.

Asparagus Wrapped- Asparagus Twists add color

Starting at the asparagus tip, begin wrapping one strip of puff pastry around the asparagus spear securing the ends in place with a bit of egg wash to the underside of the pastry.  Each spear will take just one puff pastry strip.  Be gentle with the pastry as the warm temperature of your hands will cause the pastry to begin stretching.  If you should have any excess, simply trim the end off.

wrapping our Asparagus with carrot peel in preparation for the grill

With the puff pastry strip in place on the asparagus spear, time to add the pre-blanched carrot peel.  Each spear will take about two carrot peels, depending on the length.  Starting on the tip end of the asparagus, begin wrapping the carrot peel in the space left by the pastry.  Fold the carrot end under the pastry when you reach the ends.  Once all the spears are wrapped in pastry and carrot, brush the entire spear with egg wash.  Next, gently sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the surface of the stalk, then sprinkle with white sesame seeds.  Lay on a foil lined sheet pan in preparation for the grill.

Tasting Notes: Other options for wrapping the asparagus spears include using a purple carrot either in place of or in addition to the traditional orange to give more visual appeal.  Also, you can use zucchini or sweet potato peels too.

Asparagus Wrapped- Two-Zone Grill Smoking

two zone cooking method with smoker box on on side and cooking on the other

 With all the asparagus spears wrapped in carrot and puff pastry and topped with parmesan, egg wash, and white sesame seed, these spears are now ready for the grill.  I’ve preheated my gas grill to 400° F using only two of the four burners.  On those hot burners, I’ve placed a metal smoker box that holds three double filet wood chunks.  My sheet pans of prepared asparagus spears are placed on the unlit side of the grill.  Close up the lid and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.  Don’t be alarmed by the amount of smoke you’ll see from the grill’s vents.  That’s just the wood doing is part to flavor the spears.  After 20 minutes, check and rotate the trays to produce an even coloring to the puff pastry.  It will be 20-30 minutes total cook time depending on the thickness of your asparagus, to make these tender and golden brown.  Once done, remove from the grill and immediately remove the finished spears to a serving platter.

 

Asparagus Wrapped- Optional Dipping Sauce

Adding a hint of lemon juice to our dipping sauce

Although the smoked asparagus spears are great on their own, I’ll be giving this option of a dipping sauce.  While the wrapped asparagus spears are on the grill, add ½ cup mayonnaise to a bowl.  To the mayo add 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped chives, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.  If you’d like a spicy kick to the sauce, add a ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.  Stir well and refrigerator until ready to serve with the wrapped asparagus.

Although wrapping our asparagus spears takes a bit of time, the work is worth it when you taste these flavorful twists.  Perfectly cooked asparagus, sweetness of carrot peel, the airy quality of the puff pastry and the slight crunch of sesame seeds.  Pair them with our simple dipping sauce made from mayonnaise, fresh chives, and lemon juice for the perfect appetizer or side dish.  Ultimately, the only problem is it’s hard to stop eating these spears of flavor.  Grilling asparagus using a two-zone cooking method makes them quick with no need to stand over the grill.  Take advantage of asparagus season and give this easy recipe a try on your favorite grill.

Chef Bert explains to Tom the two basic methods of grilling: direct and indirect cooking.

What’s your favorite asparagus recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

JUST BECAUSE YOUR SMOKING FOOD (THAT IS!) DOESN’T MAKE IT ALL BAD!

Perhaps the risks associated with dirty, moldy, contaminated wood are too high to ignore anymore.

Recently, I received a very interesting question regarding the safety of ingesting foods and beverages that have been exposed to smoke vapor using hand-held food smokers. Specifically, the question consisted of whether you need to be 18 years of age for items that have been infused with smoke using these gadgets.

The breville handheld smoker

This got me thinking:

  • does the word “smoke” automatically give off the bad vibe response?
  • why do people only inquire about the smoke without needing to know more about the plant source that produces that smoke?

There is a lot of data out there on carcinogenic effect to high heat grilled foods like burgers, chicken, and steaks, even data on hot smoking foods at lower temperatures. Really, what it all boils down to is, if you grill meats to the point where you blacken them, that increases the risk for the carcinogens. Even if you cook to the blacken state, eating these foods in moderation will halt any real risk over an average person’s lifetime.

So why the question on legality to consume smoked foods and beverages?

If you understand that the tobacco industry had to start putting warning labels on tobacco packaging back in 1966, and smokeless tobacco products in 2010, then you comprehend that smoke vapor does contain toxins. Everything regarding the level of toxicity with cooking is related to the type of food, method of cooking, cooking temperature, and length of cooking time.

Let’s examine those parameters from the handheld food smoking perspective.

You are not cooking the food by this method, merely infusing it with the smoke flavonoids, so there is no temperature (cold smoking technique). You are not exposing the food to smoke vapor for hours – it really comes down to minutes. Most importantly, you are not directly attempting to inhale the smoke vapor into your lungs. Yes, if your standing near the container that is holding the cold smoke when you open it, you will have some exposure but not like the person that takes a drag directly from a tobacco product or is chewing on a tobacco product!

Like anything else in our world, there are risks to everything we do, experience, sense, taste, explore, desire. Hot smoking is another name for roasting just at a lower temperature and usually with cheaper cuts of meat.

SmokinLicious® Double Filet wood chunks are clean and bark free wood pieces that will provide a tasty tinge of smoke to all of your favorite ingredients.
SmokinLicious® Double Filet wood chunks

What should never be compromised is the plant material – the wood – that is used to extract these flavors.

I believe it is time to start asking more questions about the hardwood products being used for the smoking process rather than focusing on the process itself.

 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Mermelada de tocino ahumado

mermelada de tocino ahumado
mermelada de tocino ahumado

Haciendo el tocino

Comience con 1-1/2 libras de tocino ahumado, preferiblemente su propio tocino ahumado, y córtelo transversalmente en trozos de 1 pulgada. Coloque las piezas de tocino ahumado cortados en una sartén grande, colocada a fuego medio-alto. Cocine, revolviendo ocasionalmente, hasta que la grasa derrite y el tocino esté ligeramente dorado (casi 20 minutos). Con una espumadera, transfiera el tocino cocido a toallas de papel para vaciar. Vierta todas las cucharadas de grasa de la sartén excepto 1 cucharada y agregue 2 cebollas amarillas medianas que hayan sido cortado en cubos pequeños y 3 dientes de ajo que hayan sido peladas y destrozadas. Cocine la cebolla y el ajo hasta que estén translúcidos, por unos 6 minutos. Agregue 1/2 taza de vinagre de manzana, 1/2 taza de azúcar moreno repleto, 1/4 de taza de jarabe de arce puro y 3/4 de taza de café preparado. Lleve a punto de ebullición, revolviendo y raspando los lados de la sartén. Agregue el tocino ahumado y revuelva para combinar.

Cocinando para perfección

Aquí está el paso que asegura una consistencia similar a un atasco. Es hora de transferir la mezcla a una olla de cocción lenta de 6 cuartos y cocinar en alto, sin tapa, hasta que el líquido se vuelva jarabe. Esto tomará alrededor de 3-1/2 a 4 horas. Si no tiene una olla de cocción lenta, puede cocinarla en el horno hasta que se alcance la consistencia con una temperatura de 300 oF. Una vez lista, transfiera la mezcla a un procesador de alimentos y pulse hasta que se pique en picado grueso. Dejar enfriar, luego refrigerar en recipientes herméticos durante un máximo de 4 semanas.

No se olvide, además de hacer un gran aperitivo para los huéspedes, este es un súper anfitrión o regalo de vacaciones. ¡Simplemente agregue su pan favorito, baguette, incluso panqueques, y disfrute!

¿Cuál es su receta favorita con tocino ahumado casero? Déjanos un comentario para opinar y suscríbelo para obtener todas nuestras publicaciones sobre consejos, técnicas y recetas. Aportando innovación a la cocina a fuego de madera con recetas, técnicas y la ciencia detrás del fuego, el humo y el sabor. Eso es SmokinLicious®.

 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

CUTS OF MEAT THAT GRILL & SMOKE

Chef Burt and Tom visit the butcher for weekend supply of large cuts of meat that grill & smoke well!
Chef Burt and Tom visit the butcher for weekend supply of large cuts of meat that grill & smoke well!

For many who have been spending additional time with family, new levels of communication and closeness have resulted, that simply put, want to be continued. Given that nicer weather also contributes to family time scheduling, I thought I would cover how you can maximize time to spend with family rather than be cooking inside. Or, worse yet, forfeiting money on takeout food purchases.

Time to cover the cuts of meats that are not only ideal for grilling and smoking but will produce enough meat to provide for more than one meal. I will also make my recommendations on hardwoods to use for optimal flavor balance.

Cuts of Meat that Grill & Smoke Well:

beef image Beef

 

 

Chuck Roast: Cut from the beef shoulder just above the short rib, chuck roast becomes increasingly tender when roasted on the grill using a two-zone cooking method. You may know chuck roast as the cut of meat used when you want to do a one-pot-meal. This concept can easily be done on the grill or smoker as well, by placing the meat and favorite vegetables in the same cooking pan or on a sheet pan. By placing the food pan on the unlit side of the grill, you can treat this just like using an oven.

Rib-Eye Roast: Also known as prime rib roast, rib roast, and standing rib roast, this is one of the more tender cuts of beef and on the higher price end. This roast cut is situated under the front end of the backbone. Often the best means of cooking this meat is with seasoning and a bit of herb. Be sure to visit our previous article on wood-fired cooking prime rib for specific tips

Eye of Round Roast: This cut of beef is the typical one that grocery delis produce their roast beef from. This is an inexpensive cut from the rump and hind legs of the cow and is perfect for a slow grilling/smoking method.

Bottom Round Roast: Also known as Rump Roast, this too is an inexpensive cut that is ideal for slower cooking on the grill or smoker.

Brisket: Derived from the lower front of the cow, near the front legs, brisket is from a muscle that bears 60 percent of the animal’s weight making it ideal for low temperature cooking.

Beef Ribs: Do not confuse these ribs with the meaty quality of pork ribs, as there tends to not be quite as much. However, they are still delicious and worth grilling. I prefer to have the butcher cut the length of ribs I want when it comes to the short rib variety, as you don’t have to purchase small cuts.

Flank Steak: One of my favorites for marinating and then grilling two-zone method.

Hardwood Recommendations for Beef: A combination of hardwoods is best so selecting 2 or 3 from these tried and true hardwoods: Beech, Hickory, Red oak, Sugar Maple, White Oak, Cherry.

Chef Burt and Tom discussing how large cuts of meat are cheaper and provide more value to their budget

pig or pork image

Pork

Pork Loin Roast: Containing just a small amount of fat, the loin roast comes from the area between the shoulder and the start of the leg and usually are sold between 2-5 pounds. This is a perfect cut for the grill, though you may be told to cook it direct fire method, I still prefer to set up a two-zone cooking method.

Pork Shoulder/Butt: From the front of the pig behind the neck, shoulder/butt cuts are full of fat that work very well for long, lower temperature cooking. Generally, this cut is cooked on the grill or smoker using a temperature of about 225°F and takes 8-10 hours depending on the size, which range from 6-14 pounds.

Baby Back Ribs: A very tender rib cut that comes from the pork loin off the back of the pig. This is the most popular pork rib cut for the grill.

Spare Ribs: These ribs are cut from the belly of the pig. Most popular cut is St. Louis style.

Country Style Ribs: These ribs are derived from the end of the loin closest to the rump. The meat can dry out quick so marinating is highly recommended.

Picnic Ham: As the lower portion of the shoulder, it can be tough and fatty if not subjected to a slow, lower temperature cooking method. Do this right, with a simple rub then glazing the last hour or so, and you will have a result that is tender and juicy for many meals.

Hardwood Recommendations for Pork: Pork allows for greater variation in hardwood flavors. Using alone or combination, perfect woods include: Ash, Beech, Hickory, Sugar Maple, White Oak, and Cherry.

Chef Burt and Tom arrive home from the butcher just in time to meet Fed Ex delivering there wood from Smokinlicious® Culinary wood products.

Chef Burt and Tom arrive home from the butcher just in time to meet Fed Ex delivering there wood from Smokinlicious® Culinary wood products.

Chicken and Turkey

  

poultry image

 

Breast: This portion of the chicken or turkey can easily become dry if cooked over direct fire. That is why I recommend you always cook on the cold side of the grill. If you prefer a char flavoring, you can move the pieces to the direct fire side for just a few minutes to finish them off, especially if you are glazing or saucing.

Leg Quarters and Drumsticks: As with the breast meat, although these pieces will stay tender and juicier over a direct fire, I still prefer to cook in the cold side of the grill. This ensures even cooking as the darker meat of poultry does take longer to cook then white.

Whole Chicken and Turkey: Although you certainly can cook these on a rotisserie, I prefer to spatchcock them which includes removal of the backbone and flatten the meat for more even cooking. You can find our method for spatchcocking chicken here:

Hardwood Recommendations for Poultry: I particularly lean toward using two or three hardwood combinations for poultry in order to balance the lighter meat flavor with wood. Here are some great combinations to consider: #1 ash, maple, cherry #2 hickory, maple, cherry #3 maple & cherry #4 white oak & cherry. Experiment and find your perfect balance.

As you see, two-zone cooking is the best method to ensure you don’t have to be tied to the grill for hours at a time and instead, can continue to do more with family. Larger cuts of meat will not only save you money but extend your animal protein supply for multi meals. Oh, and don’t forget, live fire cooked meats freeze well and the smoked component preserve them for even longer use dates.

What cut of meat is your favorite for the grill or smoker? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious!

 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

CRUSHED AND DICED: A REFERENCE FOR WOOD AS WELL

The Difference Between Crushed or Diced Wood Chips
Crushed or Diced wood chips

You see the options all the time.  Crushed or diced tomatoes?  Every chef knows when and why you choose one over the other. Did you know the same concept is true for wood chips?

At SmokinLicious®, the only true cooking wood Company, we produce our wood chips in the same manner as tomato processors! We crush the wood for our Grande Sapore® chips – these pieces produce a unique flavor because of their shape just like crushed tomatoes give a deeper flavor to recipes!  These chips are meant to last and work with other ingredients for full flavor balance. We also offer our “diced” option of predetermined wood slices to produce our Minuto® and Piccolo® chips for smoldering on heat plates, cast iron, and flavor bars.  Just as diced tomatoes give a fresh-from-the-garden taste, diced wood chips likewise produce a different, often more intense fresh wood flavoring.

SmokinLicious® only manufacturers cooking woods.  That is our primary and only business.  We know hardwoods for cooking, all types of wood-fired methods.  And we know wood flavoring – how to get the best clean flavors from the select hardwoods ideal for cooking!

See for yourself why we are a superior product with a superior outcome.  Enjoy the benefits of the knowledge of our flavorists and get the options you are looking for.  Made the SmokinLicious® way!

Our Culinary Team wants you know

… that the crushing and dicing method of our making of culinary wood chips is strikingly similar in concept to how grapes are processed in the phases of wine making?  For example, the Ripasso method of Italian wine production starts out with crushed, partially dried grapes and proceeds on to fermentation with the leftover skins.  Both Ripasso produced wine and our crushed or diced wood chips offer distinctive flavor, body and personality in a class of their own!

Our process is very similar to making wine from grapes 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

SMOKED BACON POTATO CHEDDAR

Using our Homemade Bacon, try this smoked bacon potato cheddar round for a yummy meal or snack!
Using our Homemade Bacon, try this smoked bacon potato cheddar round for a yummy meal or snack!

At SmokinLicious®, we understand how much people love bacon, especially the smoked version.  That’s why we encourage you to make your own smoked bacon using a pork belly between 3-5 lbs.  This amount will provide for more than a few great recipes as well as enjoyment by the slice.  You can find our method of making smoked homemade bacon here.

For this recipe, I’ll be incorporating 1-1/2 pounds of my smoked bacon with potatoes, sharp white cheddar cheese for a simple, flavorful savory round that can be used for breakfast, as a dinner side dish, or an entrée on its own, as it certainly is hearty enough.

Just 3 Primary Ingredients

This is a super easy recipe from an ingredient standpoint.  It does, however, take a bit of preparation of the ingredients to make the round come out perfectly.

Start by taking your previously smoked pork belly which has become perfectly smoked bacon and make ½-inch thick slices that will be diced.  You’ll need a total of 1-1/2 pounds of diced smoked bacon.  Now take roughly 5 medium sized potatoes, wash them well and pat dry with paper towels.  Slice them by hand into thin slices or use a food processor equipped with a slicing disk or use a mandolin slicer.  Next, you’ll need approximately 1 pound of sharp cheddar cheese – I prefer white versus yellow – grated.

For making the round I use a large spring form pan which is 9 to 10-inch, with the bottom lined in parchment paper.  You can oil the parchment round and the sides of the pan to prevent sticking if your pan is not non-stick already.

Assembly

Begin with the sliced potatoes and start to layer them in a circular pattern in the pan.  Overlap slightly to ensure no leakage.  Now sprinkle a layer of grated cheddar cheese.  Sprinkle a layer of diced smoked bacon.  Then repeat this sequence until all the ingredients are used up, ending with the cheese bacon layer.

Bake or Grill Until Tender

I like to place my filled spring form pan onto a sheet pan to ensure if anything leaks out of the pan, it has a place to land.  Ideal cooking temperature is 350°F and can be done in the oven or on the grill.  If using the grill, be sure to cook using a two-zone setup that will put the pan on the unlit side of the grill.   Cooking time will range between 35-45 minutes.  You’ll know this is cooked, when the top browns nicely and the base potatoes are tender.  Use a knife tip to test for tenderness.

Let cool for just a few minutes, then release the spring form ring.  Move the cooked round to a platter and slice either in squares or pie slices.  Most definitely, this is hardy enough to fill you up and give you the great flavor of a meat pie but with the great flavor of smoked pork that elevates this for popularity!

Tasting Notes: Consider changing up the flavors of this round by including caramelized onions, diced peppers, mushrooms, etc.  I prefer not to add seasonings or herbs to allow the purse flavors of the smoked bacon to come through but certainly you can add as you like.

What’s your favorite recipe featuring homemade smoked bacon?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.