July 2017

Wood fired Clams-Showing the different stages of color and flavor for smoking clams over the grill. Add a little chunk of wood. The taste is amazing

Wood fired Clams-Showing the different stages of color and flavor for smoking clams over the grill. Add a little chunk of wood. The taste is amazing


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Clams are at peak season and the perfect time to add some wood flavoring to this hot season favorite.  We’ll show you how on a charcoal grill then use our golden, crispy clam meat in a super light and flavorful dish we call ‘Wood Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce’.  The best part, you can use fresh clams that you remove the meat from or simply buy clam meat from the store’s seafood department or in cans in most grocery stores.   A simple, delicious and oh, so flavorful dish that will be a hit with everyone who tries it.

Cooking with Ease on the Charcoal Grill with Wood

chimney starter for the charcoal

As we will only be using the clam meat, I’ll be setting up my charcoal grill with a sauté pan.  First, light a chimney starter full of charcoal.  Add the hot coals from the starter to one side of the grill and then add some unlit charcoal to the other side.  Add one chunk of SmokinLicious® wood – I’m using cherry – to the hot coals.  Line the sauté pan with parchment paper and put 2 cups of clam meat in the pan.  Drizzle oil, plain or flavored, to the clam meat and then place the pan on the grill.

Wood Flavors Add Crisping

As the wood smolders and releases its flavonoids you’ll see the clam meat change color and crisp up.  The grill will steam out the water in the clams and produce a unique flavor that only hardwood can give.  The total cook time will be less than 20 minutes.  About half way through, you will need to stir the clam meat to ensure that every piece gets browned.  Keep in mind, all charcoal grills vary in the heat output so monitor closely after 12 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

Recipe Ingredients

It’s time to take the flavorful wood-fired clam meat and make something special!  For our Wood-Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups wood-fired clam meat
  • 1-1/2 cups peas, fully cooked
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream or crème fresh
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup capers, reserving 2 tablespoons caper juice
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

In addition to the ingredient list, you’ll also need a sauté pan or saucepan, and a pasta cooker.

Getting Things Started on the Stove

Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium-high heat pan and melt completed.  Add the minced shallot.  Allow the shallot to cook until translucent.  While this is cooking, place a stock pot with water on high heat and allow to boil.  This pot will be for cooking the orzo.  I prefer to use a pasta basket for cooking pasta especially smaller cuts, so they are easy to unload from the water.

Creating the Sauce

Pouring the cream for the sauce

Once the shallots are translucent, it’s time to add the 2 cups of heavy cream.  Allow the cream to come to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook until the cream thickens stirring occasionally.  This should take about 10 minutes.  During that time, my orzo water is ready so I add my basket with the 12 ounces of orzo to the boiling water.  The orzo should be done just about the same time as the cream thickens.

With our cream shallot mixture thickened up, it’s time to add the key flavor ingredients. Remove the thickened cream from the heat and add the capers with 2 tablespoons of reserved caper juice.  Then in goes the 3-1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.  With the sauce finished, it’s time to remove the orzo from the boiling water and pour into a serving dish.  Drizzle some olive oil and combine to keep the orzo from sticking together.  Just a few additional ingredients, and this dish will be ready!

Bring on the Clams!

With the orzo cooked and placed in a serving bowl, it’s time to add the final ingredients to bring this recipe together.  First, 1-1/2 cups of cooked peas are added to the orzo, then the 2 cups of wood-fired clam meat.  Now, pour in the Dijon caper sauce and combine everything.  I’ve rough chopped some fresh parsley and will top off the finished dish with this.  Here’s a tip, the orzo will absorb the sauce relatively fast so I pour about ¾ of the sauce in and let the dish sit for a few minutes.  Then pour in the rest of the sauce and top with the fresh parsley.

Layers of Flavor in One Bite

We started with clam meat that was kissed by cherry wood smoke to add a crisp, highly flavorful protein to our dish.  A creamy Dijon caper sauce bound the additional ingredients of peas, orzo, and fresh parsley.  Although I prefer this dish warm, I can’t say that it isn’t great cold as well.  As with all our recipes, you can swap out ingredients for others that are your favorites.  Wood Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce –  a simple yet highly flavorful dish that will soon become one of your favorites.

Let us know your thoughts on this recipe and technique by leaving a comment.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

Purchase Products:

Wood Chunks

Dr Smoke

Dr.Smoke- “Adding the most unique flavor change to clams is done through the smoking process or wood fired clams. Try it, you may like it!”


Strawberries Get Smoky for your summer cocktail is very easy. Merely cut your strawberries and place them on your grill to enhance their flavor than process into flavorful drink.

Strawberries Get Smoky for your summer cocktail is very easy. Merely cut your strawberries and place them on your grill to enhance their flavor than process into a flavorful drink.

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If you enjoy fruity drinks or smoothies, then the Smoked Strawberry Aqua Fresca is perfect!  Using seasonal fresh strawberries will bring this to the ultimate flavor height but any store purchased variety will work as well.  This is the perfect cocktail for a summer event or as a non-alcoholic refresher on an exceptionally warm summer day.  Get ready as we tell you how to do the smoking technique then construct this fabulous drink.

Strawberries Love Smoke

Start with strawberries that are at their peak.  Gently wash them and then trim the stem end.  I cut smaller strawberries in half and larger in quarters to ensure the smoke vapor can penetrate easily but you certainly can leave them whole.  In addition to the strawberries – at least one quart to produce enough liquid for a few drinks – you’ll need the following ingredients and materials

Ingredients & Materials for Strawberries Get Smoky:

  • 4 tablespoons sugar – reserve some extra in case you want to make this sweeter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine or coarse sea salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • A handful of fresh basil or mint
  • Ice cubes
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mortar & pestle (optional)
  • Sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • 2 double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®

 While you are getting the strawberries ready you can have your grill warming up.  Set all burners to medium-low and close the lid.

Gas Grilling With Wood Chunks

Double filet wood chunks in the smoker box ready to delicaly flavor our chicken drumsticks

Cooking with wood chunks can be done on the LP Gas Grill by using the heat shields or diffusers, whose purpose is to ensure even heat output over the grill grate.  By keeping a medium-low heat on the burner containing 2 wood chunks from SmokinLicious®I’m using 1 ash and 1 cherry – you won’t get the wood erupting in flames but rather a slow combustion that releases plenty of wood-fired flavors.  While the wood heats up, I combine my strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of sea salt.

Get Ready For Juicy Bubbles

When you smoke strawberries on the grill, all the locked in pectin water will be released by the heat.  That’s why it’s so important that you line your sheet pan with parchment paper so you don’t end up with a hard to clean mess.

After mixing in the vanilla extract, sugar, and salt it’s time to spread the strawberries onto the lined sheet pan and place on the grill.  Once the pan is in place, turn off all the burners except for the one that has the wood chunks on the diffuser. Cooking time will be about 40 minutes with a grill heat of 300°F maintained with the lid closed and 1 burner lit.

Taste Is The Sweet Aroma

Whenever I smoke fresh strawberries, it brings the memory of my Mom making strawberry jam.  As the strawberries react to the smoke vapor, you will see the pectin release and a beautiful, thick glaze will form around them.  This is the stuff that will make an exceptional aqua fresca so be sure you don’t lose any when removing the pan from the heat.  You’ll see the finished strawberries take on a much darker coloring and reduce size slightly from the water loss.  Now get ready for the fun part – getting our drink together.

Strawberry Base

The Smoked Strawberry base for our Drink going into the blender

The Smoked Strawberry base for our Drink going into the blender

To start our drink creation, you will need a blender and I prefer a mortar and pestle for combining citrus and fresh herbs.  Add the smoked strawberries to the blender and the remaining sugar. You can add the lime juice and fresh basil or mint right to the blender or add to a pestle and combine with the mortar. Once combined, add to the blender. Process the mixture.  Add a few ice cubes and process again until a smooth mixture is revealed.  You may add lime juice, sugarand ice as you see fit at this point – the recommended amounts are merely a guide.

Creating the Ultimate Aqua Fresca

With our strawberry mixture completed, it’s time to combine everything into a refreshing drink or cocktail.  If making a cocktail, select your spirit of choice.  I recommend tequila, vodka, or rum.  Add some ice cubes to a glass.  If making the alcoholic version, add an ounce of alcohol to the glass. Pour in the strawberry mixture and stir.  Add a sprig of basil or mint to the glass and serve.

If you are a frozen drink person, add more ice during the blending stage to thicken this up and make a milkshake-like consistency.  This is so refreshing and so fitting for the warmer months.  Enjoy the Smoked Strawberry Aqua Fresca your way as you stay cool this summer season!

Did you love this drink idea?  Let us know by leaving a comment.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way! Try Strawberries Get Smoky anytime!

Looking for more smoked drink ideas?  Then check out this recipe and technique:

The Smoked Pear Bellini Cocktail

Purchase Products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Dr Smoke "This summer don't limit your smoking/grilling activities to meat and potatoes, try FRUIT, for a tasty twist."

Dr. Smoke- “This summer don’t limit your smoking/grilling activities to meat and potatoes, try FRUIT, for Strawberries Get Smoky”

Our guest blogger provides great insights into grilling a Beer-Can Chicken

Our guest blogger provides great insights into grilling a Beer-Can Chicken


Guest Blogger:

Source: eReplacementParts Blog

Author: John Thomas

What says “grill master” more than grilling a whole chicken sitting on top of a can of beer that is infusing flavor and moisture into your bird? Beer-can chicken is often overlooked on the menu, but it’s a fun and proven way to grill a tasty whole chicken. Grab a whole chicken from the grocery store and beer or even some root beer or soda and get that thing on the grill for a guaranteed successful meal. This is an easy method for grilling a flavorful and tender chicken that keeps all eyes on the grill and provides that “wow” factor for any cookout you host.

Sure, it’s called “beer-can chicken,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use beer. There are tons of flavorful canned beverages out there if you are so inclined to something else. Any soda will make your chicken pop, or even an empty can with a little water and garlic. Beers like imperial stouts, pilsners, or lagers are great, but some other fun ideas include orange soda, cola, or root beer. Regardless, pick your favorite beer or soda. The first key to sitting your bird on top of a can is to make sure you start with room temperature beer or soda. You want that liquid to steam and if you start off with a cold beverage, it just might not get hot enough. Second, don’t use a full can. It takes a lot of heat to get that liquid to steam, so empty at least half the can prior to inserting it into the cavity of the chicken.

Tips and Tricks infographics

Two Recipe Choices:

For those of you who choose not to grill with beer, the first recipe choice offered here is a BBQ root beer chicken. This flavorful bird has a classic BBQ dry rub on the outside and root-beer-infused sweet flavor and moisture on the inside. The bird is brushed with any BBQ sauce you like toward the end of the cooking. After cleaning out the chicken, mix these dry ingredients together and heavily apply this simple BBQ dry rub all over the bird.

Rub infographics

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

Place the chicken on top of a can of root beer and grill as instructed below. If root beer isn’t your thing, orange soda can be substituted in this recipe.

The second recipe is more of a classic beer-can chicken that has a spicy dry rub applied to the outside. A classic pilsner or lager is used to provide moisture and flavor to the bird. The ingredients for the spicy dry rub recipe are as follows:

1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Clean out the bird and heavily apply the dry rub all over the outside. For an extra pop, a poultry butter injection inside the bird is fantastic. Most grocery stores sell a food injection needle set. Melt some butter and inject it into the thickest part of the breast and into the legs and thighs. The buttery flavor can’t be beaten.

Now that you have applied your dry rub to the chicken, set up the grill for indirect heat. For indirect heat, place charcoal on half the grill and cook the bird on the other half, above an aluminum tin to catch drippings. Grilling the chicken at a more moderate temperature reduces the chance of scorching the bird on the outside and undercooking the inside. On a gas grill, ignite the burners on only one side to medium-high heat. You want the grill to be at about 400-425 degrees for grilling a beer-can chicken.

Grilling infographics

It’s easiest to insert the can into the bird right at the grill to avoid it tipping over inside the house. The legs of the chicken extend down toward the grill and the can is inserted into the cavity between the drumsticks. After the grill is pre-heated, set the chicken, neatly propped up on top of the can, on the indirect heat side of the grill and close the grill dome. After about 45 minutes, check the internal temperature of the bird. The chicken will be done when the internal temperature is 165˚F. It should take about 1 to 1-1/2 hours to fully cook the bird, depending on your grill temperature.

Once your chicken reaches 165 degrees, you’ll need to remove the can and the chicken from the grill. Take some extra care to safely remove the bird from the grill. Use grill tongs placed in the neck cavity to secure the bird from the top while carefully holding the bottom of the can with some oven mitts or pot holders. The can will be hot and you can burn yourself and you don’t want to spill any liquid from the can. Get a solid grip on the can with your oven mitt/pot holder and slowly pull the chicken off the can with your tongs, then place it on a plate or cutting board. Leave the can on or near the grill and allow it to cool. Bring the bird inside for a quick 10-minute rest followed by carving.

Beer-can chicken is a fun way to grill an entire chicken. The method places the bird in an ideal position for grilling while providing a flavorful, inventive moisture source underneath. Try experimenting with any soda or beer you might like. You’re guaranteed a juicy chicken with a unique grilled flavor.  Hope you enjoyed the bloggers Grilling a Beer-Can Chicken!

Source: eReplacementParts Blog

Author: John Thomas

Our culinary crew tested this recipe on open fire pit!  Below are our results:

The culinary crew tested this recipe on an open pit cooking area! We were satisfied with the outcome and are passing on this recipe to you!

The culinary crew tested this recipe on an open pit cooking area using Smokinlicious® Double Filet! We were satisfied with the outcome and are passing on this recipe to you!

Smokinlicious® Double Filet



Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Our team found this to be an easy recipe “grilling a beer-can chicken” submitted to us as a “guest” blogger!   You should try it!