March 2018


Wood-fired Smoked Beets before and in the offsetting smoking position on the gas grill with single filet wood chunks!

Wood-fired Smoked Beets before and in the offsetting smoking position on the gas grill with single filet wood chunks!

DEVILED EGG FEATURING WOOD-FIRED SMOKED BEETS

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It likely is not the first pick from the root vegetable options but beets have a lot to offer.  Not only do they offer health benefits that include potentially lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving liver function, they are a naturally sweet item that can be added to salads, side dishes, and appetizers.

I’m going to give you a great recipe for a filled egg that is so much more flavorful and healthy than the traditional deviled egg.  Plus, I’m taking it up a notch by wood firing the beets first on the gas grill using wood chunks.  So, get to the store or farmers market and select your favorite beets.  Then fire up the grill for an easy way to up the flavor on beets.

Get Them Clean

Washing the beets to remove any ground soil.

Root vegetables have heavy skins and tend to be dirty when first picked.  It is important that you do some cleaning to them to ensure they are grill and eating ready.  First, cut off the stem end with the greens.  You can certainly reserve these for adding to salads or a smoothie.  Also, cut off the pointy end and any loose roots.  Now place them under running water and scrub them clean.  Pat them dry and place on a foil-lined, grill-safe pan.  For our recipe, you will only need two beets but I like to do extras to have for adding to other recipes or for just snacking on as is.  Remember, you’ll see 3-4 beet bulbs per bunch when you purchase them in the store.

Adding Wood Flavor

Beets on the gas grill using an offset smoking technique with SmokinLicious Single Filet Wood Chunks

Adding wood flavor using the gas grill is simple when you use smoking wood chunks versus wood chips.  First, more flavor will be released into the cooking area using chunks.  Second, there is no need to use any accessory item like a smoker box unless you are opposed to putting the wood pieces on your heat shields.  For a cooking time of about 2 hours, you’ll need roughly three single filet smoker wood chunks from SmokinLicious® or four double filet smoking wood chunks.

Heat the grill first using all burners set to medium.  Once the beets are ready to go on the grill, turn one side of the grill’s burners off.  Place the wood chunks on the lite side of the grill; I place my single filet chunks directly on my heat shield.  Place the grill safe pan with the beets on the unlit side of the grill grate and close the lid.  Let these cook for about 2 hours until a knife inserted in the center passes through easily.  Then remove from the grill and allow to cool just slightly.  Using gloves so you don’t end up with purple stained hands, remove the skin from the beets.

Wood Fired Egg Filling for the WOOD-FIRED SMOKED BEETS recipe.

To make our scrumptious and healthy egg filling here are the ingredients you will need in addition to the two wood-fired beets:

  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
  • 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup chopped prunes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup chopped pickled beets
  • 8 hard-boiled large eggs
  • 1 small golden beet, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

Tip: I don’t do a traditional boil to my eggs to make them hard boiled.  Instead, I add an inch of water to a pot and place the eggs in a steamer insert.  Then I place the steamer in the pot with the water, put the lid in place, and steam the eggs for exactly 14 minutes.  Then I quickly remove them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  You’ll have perfectly hard-boiled eggs without boiling them in water!

In a food processor pulse the parsley, mayonnaise, and mustard until smooth; season with salt and pepper.  Add the chopped, wood-fired red beets, garlic, walnuts, prunes and lemon juice with the mayonnaise mixture until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the pickled beets.  Place the mixture into a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag.

Halve the eggs lengthwise removing the yolks.  Cut a 3/4 -inch opening in the pastry bag.  Pipe filling into eggs, mounding slightly.  Top each egg with a golden beet slice, if available.

Serve these up and enjoy the healthy benefits of beets, improved with a little smoky flavor.  Just perfect for a healthy snack, quick appetizer, or as that dish to pass at your next party event. Please try our Deviled Egg Featuring Wood-Fired Smoked Beets recipe.

Purchase products:

SmokinLicious® Single Filet wood piece- no bark, all pure heartwood

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

-INFUSING WOOD SMOKE INTO BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Dr Smoke this is really delicious and different than the traditional deviled egg tray!

Dr. Smoke this is really delicious and different than the traditional deviled egg tray!

The Finished Glazed Smoked Turnips are garnished and ready to be served

The Finished Glazed Smoked Turnips are garnished and ready to be served

ROOTING FOR GLAZED SMOKED TURNIPS

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It may not be the preferred choice in vegetable but it is one you should get to know as the health benefits noted from turnips are amazing.  Known to improve bone health, protect your heart, and be an active cancer fighter, turnips are also known to reduce inflammation and optimize digestion.

Turnips are a root vegetable.  The best part is they are available throughout the year.  We are going to fire up the stovetop smoker and bring some hickory flavor to our turnip cuts before letting them take a swim in a glaze that will balance out the smoky flavor with some sweetness.

Prep Your Turnips and Smoker

Adding SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips to the Nordic Ware stove top smoker.

Take a trip to the grocery store and select 6-8 medium-size turnips.  You are looking for ones that are consistent in color whether white or purple, with vibrant greens if left attached, and no bruises or brown spots.  Wash and pat dry the turnips, then slice horizontally in half then quarter the halves.  Dice into bite-size pieces.

Time to set up the stovetop smoker.  For the smoker, you’ll need to have microchips.  You can purchase these from SmokinLicious® under the Minuto® and Piccolo® Wood Chip listing.  Any of those sizes will work,  today I’m using Minuto® Wood Chip size #6.  Place about ¼ cup of the wood chips in the base of the pan which has been set over a burner.  Place the drip pan on top of the chips.  Ignite the burner to allow the chips to begin heating up.  Now place your cut turnips into the smoker pan making sure that the turnips are spread out evenly.  Add that pan to the smoker and place the lid on, keeping the vent just slightly open.  Be sure your range hood vent is on to prevent smoke from traveling around the kitchen or room.

45 Minutes Then Glaze

Our Dr Smoke clock indicates you should smoke for 45 minutes, then glaze.

I am preparing these turnips to act as a side dish which means I will smoke them until fork tender.  That will take about 45 minutes.  As I get to the final 10 minutes of smoking time, I begin preparing the glaze.

Place 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, 3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup, salt, and pepper into a saucepan.  Combine over a medium heat until a low boil begins.  Shut the heat off and add the tablespoon of tahini.  Now remove your smoked turnips from the stovetop smoker pan and place in the glaze tossing to coat.  Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley.  Remember, this is just one way to use smoked turnip.  Don’t forget to try pureeing your smoked outcome and adding butter, cream, salt and pepper for a fresh take on a mashed turnip.  Please try Glazed Smoked Turnips as a side dish for your next function.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-MUSHROOMS GO SMOKY-WOOD FIRED

-SMOKED POTATO CURRY SMOKINLICIOUS® STYLE!

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

 

Dr Smoke bet you never thought about smoking turnips?

Dr. Smoke-bet you never thought about smoking turnips?

WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE FLAVOR BROUGHT OUT BY THE SMOKING PROCESS!

Wood Fired Apple WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

As the second most consumed fruit in the USA, apples are loaded with antioxidant benefits and have been found to have extensive benefit to the colon due to the high level of gut bacteria present in its polyphenols.  Plus, this is a fruit that is readily available all year long making it an ideal choice for cooking.

We are taking the Gala variety and putting them over a coal fire for wood-fired flavor in our apple pie cake.  Pick your favorite variety of apple and get out the charcoal grill for this fun and simple technique and recipe.

Fire Up the Grill

Fire up the Stok grill

After purchasing 12 apples of your choice, get the charcoal grill going, so the flames can reduce to hot coals.  That’s all needed for our apple cooking!  Any size charcoal grill will do, including the small portable grill.  I use a chimney started to lite charwood from SmokinLicious® as this is my preferred product when I do a short cook fruit or vegetable item.  The reason?  It is not fully carbonized, so it still releases plenty of flavonoids from the hardwood.  You certainly can use a standard hardwood charcoal but add a chunk or two of SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks to be sure you get a wood flavor.

While the chimney starter is burning down to hot coals, I peel and thinly slice 12 apples.  I use a Gala variety for my recipe and a Stôk charcoal grill, equipped with an insert system.  I place my sliced apples in the insert vegetable basket for this simple method of wood firing the apples.  Just be sure to spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray to ensure the apples don’t stick.

A Cake by Name

With my hot SmokinLicious® charwood producing steady heat, my 12 Gala apples peeled and sliced thin, I’m ready to place the vegetable basket over the hot coals.  Remember, apples have a lot of water content, so they will steam initially.  The water will attract the smoke vapor and bring great color and flavor.  After approximately 10 minutes, I shake the apple slices in the basket to allow them to rotate for even cooking and color.  You’ll see the edges become bronzed as they cook.   In 20 minutes, these will be ready to go.

wood-fired apples make the best cake

Adding the Ingredients & Cook Time

Our wood fired apples and dry ingredients mixed in the pan ready for baking

After the apples are removed from the grill and cooled slightly, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to maintain color until baked in the oven.  Set those aside and gather together 2 cups flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 sticks of cold butter cut into 8 cubes.

Start by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of packed light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Taking one piece of cold butter at a time, add to the flour mixture, cutting each piece using either an electric hand mixer, 2 knives or a pastry cutter.  You want to have pea-size pieces of butter mixed into the flour mixture.  Press 2/3 of this mixture into a 9-inch springform pan then add the wood-fired apple slices, spreading evenly in pan.

With the wood fired apple slices nestled in the simple cake batter of flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it’s time to top the apples with the remaining 1/3 flour mixture.  Be sure all areas are covered.  Set the springform pan on the foil lined sheet pan and place in a 350°F oven for 75 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to sit in the springform pan until cool.  Just run a knife along the edge of the cake to ensure it will separate from the pan’s ring once removed.  Remove the ring when the cake has cooled then sift a ¼ cup powdered sugar on the surface of the cake.

Cake Perfection

Our finished wood fired apple pie cake nicely golden brown

 

After giving Gala apple slices the lick of smoke from our charwood grill, mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with butter for a great cake batter, and baking everything together, the ultimate in apple pie cake is born.  With a light coating of powder sugar, the wood-fired apple slices pile high for perfection in the single bite.  More like a cobbler batter than cake, you’ll love the simplicity of the construction and the unique flavor a wood fire gives to apples.  Perfect anytime of the year, just like apples are, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood when you fire up the grill for wood infusion to apples.  Now you must also prove that Wood-Fired Apples make the best Cake – Enjoy!

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Additional reading:

-Our Smoked Carrot Cake

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-A SAVORY TAKE ON THE PANCAKE FROM SMOKINLICIOUS®

 

Dr Smoke- "

Dr. Smoke- “This is a MUST try recipe”!

Smoked Ham On The Gas Grill with our wonderful Apricot Glaze

Smoked Ham On The Gas Grill Made Easy By Following a Few Tips

SMOKED HAM ON THE GAS GRILL

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Whether you’re preparing ham for a holiday like Easter, Christmas or New Year, for a formal brunch or even for a family special event like a reunion, Christening, or engagement party, you can take this average protein and make it so much more.  Even if the ham you purchase has already been smoked, you can take away the factory flavor and truly make it your own with our simple technique for smoking on a gas grill using a two-zone cooking method.  Plus, I’ll give you a ham glaze recipe that will make you forever throw away a prepackaged glaze.

Get your gas grill ready, purchase a ham, and bring your game as I give you the easy steps to smoking a ham on the gas grill with wood chunks.

Great Ingredients for a Great Glaze

Today’s hams now come with a variety of labels so let’s cut to the chase to ensure you know what some of them mean. Wet Cured Hams are already smoked but still need to be cooked to kill microbes if they are labeled ‘cook before eating” or need some cooking if labeled “cooked”.  These are usually for purchase as a whole, half or bone-in shank ham. Dry Cured Hams have been cured in a lot of salt and usually need to be soaked in ice water before cooking, which removes a great deal of the salt so it’s more edible. Fresh Ham is uncured and uncooked.

for smoked ham on the gas grill

No matter what ham you select, you’ll need a glaze to bring greatness to the meat.  For my ham, I’m making an apricot-Dijon glaze that is so flavorful and simple.  For my glaze you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup apricot preserves
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • soy sauce – ½ teaspoon
  • paprika – ½ teaspoon, preferably Spanish-style
  • cayenne pepper – ¼ teaspoon
  • black pepper – ¼ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

In a medium bowl, combine the glaze ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate until you need it.

Smoke First

All our apricot glaze ingredients mixed together and ready to baste our ham.

I’ve discussed the different types of ham and the fact that most sold in grocery stores are precooked and often smoked.  Don’t let this stop you from doing your own smoking.  To start, you’ll need to trim the fat that is still present on the pre-smoked ham.  That means, trim to within a 1/4 inch.  Remember, smoke vapor will not penetrate through fat.  After trimming, you’ll need to score the meat in the traditional checkerboard pattern.  Knife cuts measuring ¼ inch in depth are produced first vertically and then horizontally, leaving about 1-inch spacing between cuts.

Preparing the Gas Grill

For this recipe on our as grill, we used a two zone approach; heat applied below the SmokinLicious Single Filet smoker wood chunk and no heat underneath the ham.Once trimmed and scored, it’s time to prepare the gas grill.  Light the burners on one side of the grill and set to medium-high heat.  We want to maintain a cooking temperature of about 275°F.  Leave the other half of the burners off as that will be the cooking area for the ham.  This technique is the two-zone cooking set up.  Place 2 single filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® directly on the heat shield of the lit burner.  These will heat and release the smoke vapor and add flavor to our ham.  Total time cooking the ham in this manner will be about 30 minutes.  The ham is placed on the cold half of the grill with the flat side of the ham on the grate.

After 30 minutes, take two long sheets of heavy-duty foil and place the ham on the foil.  Take your pre-made glaze and cover the ham with about half of the glaze mixture.  Now, fold the foil around the ham sealing at the top.  Place the foil-wrapped ham back on the cold side of the grill and insert a meat thermometer in the meat at least 1-inch away from the bone if you have a bone-in cut of ham.  Let cook until the thermometer registers 130°F.  Every 15 minutes, brush the ham with glaze dripping that have collected in the bottom of the foil.  Once cooked to 130°F, remove the ham from the foil, drain the residual glaze back into a saucepan with remaining uncooked glaze you had reserved and allowed to heat on low.

Final Step to Crisp Skin

Place the unwrapped basted ham on the hot grill to crisp the outer skin. Be careful not to over cook!After removal from the foil, there is one final step before serving.  The skin requires just a bit of crisping which will be done on the hot side of the grill.  Place one side of the ham on the hot side of the grill allowing the glaze sugars to caramelize for just a few minutes per side.  Do not do the flat side of the ham and do not allow the sugars to burn.  Once the three sides are done, remove to a cutting board and slice.  Serve the residual glaze on the side.  Now you must try Smoked ham on the gas grill!

 

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

-HOW TO TURN YOUR LP/GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

Dr Smoke- "

Dr. Smoke- “This was absolutely the most delish Ham I have had in Years! Give it a try”!

Mushrooms Go Smoky- baby bellas, cremini and shiitake mushrooms are stove top smoked and served over toast with a dolop of ricotta cheese.

Mushrooms Go Smoky with Ricotta cheese on toast

MUSHROOMS GO SMOKY FOR THE ULTIMATE TOAST

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Looking for a great smoky appetizer or snack but don’t want to go to the trouble of firing up the charcoal or gas grill?  Then think stove top smoker and prepare to bring the best out of mushrooms when they get wood fired for full flavor.  I’ll bring you the easy stove top smoker technique that takes less than 30 minutes and then offer up a super easy but full of flavor smoked mushroom toast with kale and ricotta.

Stove Top Smoking

Stove top smokers are a great way to get authentic wood fired flavors into foods in an easy, quick method.  There are many options for read-made units though you certainly can use what’s available in your kitchen (see our blog on “The Kitchen Find“).  I’ll be using the unit made by Nordic Ware® that has everything included expect the wood chip product.  For that item, just visit SmokinLicious® and select your favorite hardwood in the Minuto® wood chip product line.  I’m using about 35 grams of my own custom mix of both species and chip sizing.  Equal parts of Red Oak #8, Sugar Maple #6, and Wild Cherry #6 will bring the perfect balance to my fungi selections.

After placing the base of my smoker on the burner, I add the 35 grams of wood chip custom mix.  I line the drip pan with foil to make clean up easier since the mushrooms will render some of their water.  This is placed on top of the wood chip pile.  Then into the grill pan go my favorite gourmet mushrooms – oyster, cremini, baby bella, shiitaki, porcini.  In just 20 minutes, these will be tender and full of smoky flavor that I can use in my toast recipe.

Savory Ingredient Prep

While the mushrooms are smoking on the stove top, it’s time to prepare the other ingredients for the recipe that will follow.   First, I’ve purchased a hearty country bread that just needs to be sliced and placed on a sheet pan for toasting.  Once the bread is ready for the oven, I wash and dry about 2 cups of kale leaves and then tear them into bite size pieces.  Next, I season 1-1/4 cups of ricotta cheese with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Other ingredients that are at the ready include one garlic clove minced, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, and 1 dry Arbol chili that I reduce almost to powder to add that hot undertone.  You can also use a Fresno chili or other similar hot chili.  For cooking the toast topping, you’ll also need 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a skillet.

Making Toast Topping

With our mushrooms perfectly smoked, I remove them from the smoker pan and set aside.  Into a skillet I place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and allow to heat.  Once hot, I add the minced garlic and allow to brown for a few minutes.  Next, the smoked mushrooms go in the pan.   Allow these flavors to blend for about 6 minutes, breaking up the larger mushroom pieces.  Finally, add the cleaned kale and chili pepper.  Toss to mix.  In goes the salt, fresh ground pepper, and white wine vinegar.  While that is sitting on low temperature, toast the previously prepared bread slices.  When the toast is done, it will be time to assemble this highly flavorful mushroom toast.

The Ultimate Toast Comes Together

With our bread toasted, mushroom-kale mixture infused with garlic and chili, and the ricotta seasoned, it’s time to assemble the toast.  First, take a generous spoonful of the ricotta and spread on the toast.  Then spoon on the mushroom-kale mixture on top of the ricotta.  That’s it!  Don’t let the simplicity of the assembly fool you.  This is one super flavorful appetizer or snack for those of us who go beyond chips and popcorn.  Pick your favorite gourmet mushrooms, favorite country bread, and let the fun begin.  Wood Fired Mushroom Toast with Kale and Ricotta.  This is soon to be your go to appetizer or gourmet snack.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try smoking more ingredients to add a balance of flavor. We’d love to hear what you think of our recipe so leave us a comment and subscribe to get all our postings on techniques, tips and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, that’s SmokinLicious®. Hope you enjoyed our Mushrooms Go Smoky blog!

for the mushrooms go Smoky

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-STUFFED MUSHROOM APPETIZER FEATURING SMOKED ARTICHOKE HEART

-SMOKED PEAR SALAD WITH GORGONZOLA

-STOVE TOP SMOKED CHIVES

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Dr Smoke- "You won't be in the dark if you try this tasty smoked mushroom appetizer."

Dr Smoke- “You won’t be in the dark if you try this tasty smoked mushroom appetizer.”