Wed 14 Dec 2016
Ember Cooking/Roasting Garlic In A Skillet
One of my favorite herbs is garlic due to all the applications garlic has in cooking. One technique that you may not have tried is ember firing the garlic using a wood for flavor and a cast iron skillet for smoke control.
Here’s what you will need to do this technique:
- A cast iron skillet – Lodge™ has a great model
- Garlic purchased with the stalks on as you’ll need these for presentation and control during the cooking process
- An LP/gas grill – any model or size
Ever wonder what else you could do with the cast iron skillet other than fire place cooking? Well, use it to ember roast garlic but on your LP/gas grill! That’s right. We will use the gas grill for fire proof cooking and air control without need for the LP/gas.
Place the iron skillet on the grill grates and prepare to add the wood chips. We will be using Grande Sapore® wood chips from SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products. The species selected is Ash for its ability to produce hot heat level and an even bed of coals. It is one of my favorite hardwoods to use for ember cooking of vegetables because of its coal-ability and mild flavor. You will need a ¼ cube of the chips. Remember, we are developing a bed of coals for this cooking technique so unlit and lit coals will be used.
Adding Wood for Flavor
It’s time to add the wood chips to the skillet! Take the Grande Sapore® Ash wood chips and fill the cast iron skillet. Light the chips using a cooking torch or match but remember not to use any other materials for lighting the wood; no newspaper and certainly no lighter fluid which is petroleum at its best. Once the chips ignite, you need to monitor the depth as you want to end up with a 3-inch depth. That means, add wood chips as need during the buildup of the embers.
Adding the Garlic
Once we reach a depth of embers of approximately 2-3 inches in the skillet, it’s time to add the garlic by placing them on top of the hot embers.
Take the stems and twist the whole garlic so that each garlic head seats completely in the embers. Almost instantly, you will see smoke from the embers all around the outside of the garlic. This is the flavor infusion at the start. It’s now time to close the top of the grill to control the amount of airflow to the embers.
Ember Roasting Cooking Technique
Once the garlic is added to the hot embers, you will see the dry outer covering of the garlic ignite. This is the main reason why the outer covering and stems are left on the garlic heads as its sole purpose is to protect the cloves! You will see the great char coloring on the outside of the garlic. The stems will either fall off and burn or burn off during the roasting process. The entire roasting process will take 45-60 minutes depending on the overall heat level and depth of the embers.
The Break to Garlic Heaven
Now, remove the garlic heads from the pan and allow to cool before the peeling process begins. This is the heavenly part – breaking apart all the charred outer portions and revealing the tenderized, wood charred garlic cloves! Get ready! These beauties are ready to be minced, diced, added whole – just about anything you can think of to add depth of flavor you’ve never experienced before. Now, go on. You know you’re just dying to try this technique yourself!
Bon Bar B Que!
Dr. Smoke and The Culinary Team
For step by step video instructions go to @smokinlicious and follow #smokinliciousmenu for this recipe and many more!