Our Smoked Bacon Jam recipe a tasty spread for any meal!

Our Smoked Bacon Jam recipe a tasty spread for any meal!

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I love introducing you to options with a common food item that you may have never thought of.  Bacon, especially the smoked variety, is something that can be easily incorporated into so many recipes as either the star ingredient or a featured player. Be sure to check out my technique for curing and smoking your own bacon which is easy and by far, more delicious than any store-bought bacon.

Most definitely, today’s recipe has bacon in the starring role- Smoked Bacon Jam!  I consider this the perfect recipe for an easy appetizer and recommend you keep a jar or two around during the busy holiday period or for those spur-of-the-moment guest pop ins.

Rendering Smoked Bacon

Start with 1-1/2 pounds of smoked bacon, preferably your own smoked bacon, and cut it crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place the cut smoked bacon pieces into a large skillet placed over a medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon is lightly browned (about 20 minutes).  With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to paper towels and drain.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and add 2 medium yellow onions that have been diced small and 3 cloves of garlic that have been peeled and smashed.   Cook the onion and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add ½ cup of cider vinegar, ½ cup packed dark brown sugar, ¼ cup pure maple syrup, and ¾ cup brewed coffee.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the pan.  Add the previously cooked smoked bacon and stir to combine.

Slow Cooking Makes It Perfect

Here is the step that ensures a jam-like consistency.  Time to transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until the liquid becomes syrupy.  This will take about 3-1/2 to 4 hours.  If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook it in the oven until the consistency is reached using a temperature of 300°F.  Once ready, transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Let it cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 4 weeks.

Don’t forget, in addition to making a great appetizer for guests, this is a super hostess or holiday gift.  Simply add your favorite bread, baguette, even pancakes, and enjoy!

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®.

Our hand split double filet smoker wood chunks


SmokinLicious® Products used for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double or Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Bacon Jam. with how to smoke your own bacon- try these recipes

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Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Smoked Bacon Jam is a perfect way to use your left over Bacon!

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice


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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!


Our leeks fire roasted over a bed of hot wood ember coals!

Our leeks fire roasted over a bed of hot wood ember coals!

Leeks fire roasted over wood embers! Click To Tweet

Leeks fire roasted- listen to our step by step approach!

Leeks fire roasted- listen to our step by step approach!

Considered one of the healthiest foods, leeks join onion and garlic as part of the allium vegetable family.  This seasonal delight is commonly used as a soup but I have something else in mind.  I’ll be putting these directly on the hot coals and charring them for tenderness and flavor.  Then I’ll be layering them in a terrine that includes goat cheese and crème Fraiche.  I’ll also provide a dip alternative using the same ingredients to give you two options for these great flavors.  Get shopping and pick out about 5 lbs. of vibrant green leeks, and let’s make an appetizer.

The Small Coal Bed


our cooking bed of coals


One of the benefits of having a cooking wood company is when we produce our charwood product, I can have the micro pieces saved for my cooking use.  By using these smaller pieces, it allows my fire to reduce faster to the hot coal stage.  I’m using a Weber kettle for this coal method and include a fine mesh screen on the charcoal grate to prevent the micro pieces from falling through.

I place a Firestarter on the screen, then place my chimney starter over the top.  I fill the chimney with my micro charwood pieces and light the base where the Firestarter is.  Leave this alone until the coals gray over and are hot.  Then pour in an even layer in the charcoal area to be ready for the leeks.

Tasting Notes: I recommend for the best char taste to the leeks that you use hardwood charcoal and not briquets.  This will allow you to break apart charcoal pieces easier and get an even coal bed.

Quick Leek Preparation

Leeks are one of those vegetables that are simple to prepare for cooking.  First thing, if you’ve purchased with the root ends intact, remove those roots.  Even if the roots are removed, still trim the root end to remove the hardened, dried end.  Then cut off the dark green tops.  Remember to save these parts to flavor soup stock! Wash the leeks to remove trapped dirt and pat dry.  Once dry, cut each leek lengthwise in half.  Now get a sheet pan and we’ll finish getting the leeks ready for the coals.

Chef Bert introducing grilling vegetables as a side option


With the leeks cleaned and trimmed, it’s time to spread them out on a sheet pan and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Taking the pan to the grill, place the leeks on the hot coals trying not to overlap any.  Let them cook for about 10 minutes before turning to char the other side.  Be sure to move around any leeks that are lighter in char color than the others.  Total time on the coals will be about 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool briefly.


Terrine Filling with Leeks fire roasted

The layering of the leeks in the pan and goat chees filling


With the leeks charred and tenderized, it’s time to make the terrine filling.  Start by combining 4 ounces of softened goat cheese, 4 ounces of crème Fraiche, 1 teaspoon lemon or lime zest, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.    Mix these ingredients together well.   Line a standard 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap so that about 4-inches of wrap overhang the ends of the pan.  This will allow for ease in releasing our terrine once it is set.

With the leeks, goat cheese mixture, and loaf pan ready, it’s time to assemble the terrine.  Start by adding leeks to the bottom of the loaf pan in a single layer.  Then add a layer of the goat cheese mixture.  Repeat until the pan is filled, being sure to start and end with a leek layer.  Fold the plastic wrap over the finished terrine and place a piece of cardboard cut to size on the covered terrine.  Apply canned goods to weigh down the terrine and refrigerate overnight.

Tasting Notes: If you prefer to not make a terrine, you can still use this basic recipe to make molded leek topping.  Simply chop the charred leeks into small pieces and add directly to the goat cheese mixture.  Combine well and then mold in small bowls, still refrigerating overnight.

After spending the night in the refrigerator, the coal-fired leek terrine is ready to be un-molded.  Start by unwrapping the terrine and inverting it onto a serving platter.  I like to cut 1-inch slices while the terrine is still firm.  Be sure to use a sharp, serrated knife to get through all the leek layers.  Then allow softening somewhat before serving with your selections of suitable accompaniments.  I am using a hearty pumpernickel bread as well as a crusty Italian bread.  Other good choices are radicchio leaves, water crackers, petite bread, and mini pepper halves.  This is an easy means of giving your guests a unique appetizer that is healthy too.

Do you have a favorite leek recipe?  Tell us in a comment.   Bringing innovation to wood-fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Our Readers Are Asking..

How do you use leeks in food?

One of the healthiest vegetables, fresh leeks make great many traditions and tasty dishes like ham & leeks, leek soup and leek terrine.  Prized for their distinct subtle onion-like flavor, leeks, especially when fire roasted take on a nice smoky twist!

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:


Our Grilled Parsnips with added wood smoky flavor taste almost like French Fries!

Our Grilled Parsnips with added wood smoky flavor taste almost like French Fries!


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Your diet likely doesn’t consistent of many root vegetables and I can guarantee that if you have kids, they may not have tried more than a carrot for a root vegetable.  I’m going to introduce you to parsnips which is one root vegetable that when grilled, takes on a flavor very similar to French fries.

That’s why I’m calling this recipe my Smoked Parsnip Fries with Spicy Honey Glaze.  As easy to prepare as it’s cousin the carrot, parsnips take no time at all to prepare and smoke on the grill.  Go to the market and get yourself about 2 pounds of this lesser used vegetable and let’s convert you from the potato to the parsnip!


Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns cooked on the Grill! Click To Tweet

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I know – hot cross buns are traditionally enjoyed during lent and holy Easter weekend.  The basic recipe dates to the 12th century and is known as a sweet dough ball.  Did you know that pretty much any recipe can be made on a grill or smoker, including hot cross buns?

I’m going to take a traditional hot cross bun recipe and make it using the grill with wood chunks for added flavor and the cooking.  Don’t worry that this is a recipe that involves yeast.  You don’t have to know everything about bread making to make this recipe work.  You can add the dried fruit of your choice to customize the flavors as well as selecting the hardwood you like best.

Let’s get started so you can enjoy the SmokinLicious® version of Hot Cross Buns Wood Fired any time of year!

Yeast Makes Dough

our covered yeast and flour mixture wrap to rise


These buns start with yeast blooming.  We are using active-dry yeast in our dough which means it must be re-activated in water. Start by pouring water that is between 105° and 155°F into a large bowl and sprinkle 2-1/4 teaspoons of active-dry yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the water.  Stir the mixture to dissolve the ingredients and let stand until foamy which will take about 10 minutes.  Then add ½ cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon, 1 cup of warm milk, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ cup of softened butter.  Mix well then add 3 cups of all-purpose flour.  Beat with the paddle attachment of a mixer until smooth and elastic.

After beating the initial dry ingredients, it’s time to add the eggs.  Do this step by adding one egg at a time for a total of 3 eggs.  Once the eggs are mixed in, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of dried fruit of your choice such as currants, raisins, chopped apricots, and/or candied citrus.  I’m including currants in my dough.  Once mixed well, add 3 cups of additional flour ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough emerges.  Next, it will be time to turn the dough out on a work surface.

Tasting Notes:

These are traditionally a drier sweet dough.  That means you want to use dry fruit items in order to prevent the dough from becoming too moist.  Feel free to expand on the options for the fruit and use combinations that are pleasing to your palate.

Patience Is Key

slicing our dough into smaller amounts


After adding all the ingredients to our hot cross bun dough, it’s time to turn the dough out and begin to proof also known as rising of the dough.  Start by turning the mixed dough out on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then form into a circle.  Grease a large bowl and place the rounded dough into the greased bowl, turning the dough once to ensure it is coated with the grease on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until double in volume.  This will take about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Once the dough has proofed and doubled in size, it’s time to punch it down.  This is a step that releases some of the gas bubbles that have formed by the yeast during the rising time.  Once the dough has the gas released, cover it with a bowl on a dry surface and let stand for 10 minutes.  After that time, divide the dough in half and then quarters.  For each quarter, cut into six equal pieces.  Roll each dough portion into a ball and place on a greased sheet pan, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart.  This is a good time to start the grill by lighting only half the burners and placing a smoker box with wood chunks on the hot side.  We’ll be aiming for a grill temperature of 375°F.

Grill-Baking with Hardwood

Our sheet pan of dough on the grill with wood flavor

#gasgrill #woodchunks

With our grill lit using a two-zone cooking method and wood chunks of maple, white oak, and cherry in the smoker box on the hot side of the grill, it’s time to finish off the hot cross bun dough.  After spacing the dough balls on a sheet pan, I allowed them to rise for about 30 minutes.  Using the white of one large egg and a teaspoon of water mixed together, I brush each of the 24 dough balls with the egg wash.  Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cross in the top of each roll no more than ½ inch deep.  Place one sheet pan of rolls on the unlit side of the grill and cook until golden brown which takes about 25-30 minutes.  I like to rotate my sheet pan ½ way through the cooking time for more even coloring to the rolls.  When finished, transfer the grilled rolls to cooling racks.

Chef Bert and Tom planning dessert Chef Bert & Tom are excited to make hot cross buns on the grill! Chef Bert follows SmokinLicious' blogs for all things grilled and smoked

Tasting Notes:

I’m using a ½ sheet pan for my cooking but note that standard cookie sheets will work well.  If using the ½ sheet pan, your grill area may not be large enough to accommodate the pan while closing the lid completely.  I simply grill with the lid partially open, adjust my temperature control knobs to ensure the 375°F remains stable.

While the buns are cooking on the grill, you can prepare the icing that will go on top of the finish buns.  Start by mixing together 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1-1/2 tablespoons of milk.  You can adjust the thickness of the finished icing by adding drops of milk if you want it thinner.  Just be sure that when you add this to a pastry bag, you will be able to push it out in a steady stream and don’t find that it pours out on its own.

Tasting Notes:

Here’s my tip for filling a pastry bag.  Tip-I like to use the disposable bags for icings. Click To Tweet I simply roll down the bag about half-way to form a cuff.  I place the pointed side of the pastry bag into the opening of a roll of paper towels.  This allows me to scrap every bit of icing from the bowl without worrying about the pastry bag.  I leave the filled pastry bag in the roll until the buns are cool enough for applying the icing.

The Perfect Sweet Dough Treat with a Kick of Wood Flavor

basket of our hot cross buns


After making our hot cross bun dough from scratch, allowing the dough to proof, then dividing into our individual buns.  We baked these on the gas grill set up two-zone method: a hot side that we added three hardwood chunks to using a smoker box on the grill grate.  The buns were placed on the unlit side of the grill and baked at 375°F for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pan just one time.  Once cooled, we added lemon icing crosses to each bun.  We do this by working with twelve buns at a time, lining them up on the sheet pan tightly to each other.  Using the pastry bag of icing, I place a steady stream of icing vertically on each bun, then do the same horizontally for each row, forming a cross.  Allow the icing to set and then serve.

Although hot cross buns are associated with a specific time of the year, SmokinLicious® feels these are a sweet dough treat to be enjoyed any time of the year.  And, they are best when made on outdoor equipment that can include natural hardwood for unbelievable flavor.

Tasting Notes: 

If served warm, you’ll pick up more of the wood smoke flavoring Click To Tweet these buns were exposed to on the grill.  Adding a bit of butter makes them even sweeter!

What’s your favorite dried fruit to add to hot cross buns?  Comment to let us know.   Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Can you use a grill to bake?

You certainly can!  Anything baked in an oven can be baked on a grill.  Any kind of grill, gas, charcoal or electric can be used. Have fun with the versatility of your grill by baking cakes, pies, turn-overs, muffins and hot cross buns.

To kick up the flavor threshold, including a bit of cooking wood will complement grill baking and give you and your guests a splendid hardwood-fired taste!  Be sure to follow the temperature instructions of the recipe.

Also, use the indirect or two-zone cooking method.  Here’s a link for two-zone instructions- https://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/why-two-zone-cooking-method-lets-you-walk-away-from-the-grill/.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to- how to bake on the grill.

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Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke-  the grill is perfect for cooking Hot Cross Buns

Our Delicious Smoked Grape Flatbread with Brie and a little fresh Rosemary

Our Delicious Smoked Grape Flatbread with Brie and a little fresh Rosemary

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Smoked Grape Flatbread-  Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Concord Grapes, this recipe completely changes the flavor of this variety of grape to produce a very pleasing outcome.  I’ve gone to my own personal grapevines and selected grapes at their peak for a flatbread recipe that is super easy and scrumptious.  It all starts with the grapes so go to your own vines, a neighbor’s, a farmer’s market or fresh market, and pick up a quart or two to bring to the grill for wood flavor infusion to make the ultimate in flatbread.  Remember, any grape you find will work for this recipe, so go ahead and pick your favorite.

Grape Prep & Wood Infusion

The first steps to our recipe are related to the grapes.  I’ve visited my grapevines and selected grapes that our deep purple and firm.  Bringing them to the kitchen, I remove them from the vine, ensuring all stems are out, rinse under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.  I’ve started my grill by lighting only one burner.  To that side, I’ve prepared a metal smoker box with wood chunks.  My grill needs to heat up to 250-275°F.  While it’s heating, I prepare a sheet pan with a single layer of clean grapes.  Then we’re ready to add wood flavor.

Two zone cooking on a grill or smoker is the easiest since the temperature will remain steady and you won’t need to constantly watch the grill.  After achieving a 250°F temperature, I place the sheet pan of prepared grapes on the unlit side of the grates.  The smoker box of chunks should be releasing a consistent smoke at this stage. Put the lid down and allow the grapes to infuse for about 20 minutes.  I then return to the grill and rotate the pan, lid down again, and allow to smoke for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Tasting Notes: There is no rule regarding the type of wood you should use for the smoking.  Just be sure it is only hardwood and not a completely dried out piece of wood or you’ll find it will burn up almost immediately.  Remember, you want smoke not flames from the wood.  Positioning as close to the burner as you can get is best for the placement of the smoker box.

Dough Time

With the grapes smoking on the grill, I’m going to starting the dough for the flatbread.

Taking 2 cups of unbleached bread flour, I add it to a stand mixer bowl with a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, whisking together.  In a measuring cup, I place 1 cup of warm water that is between 110-115°F.  I sprinkle into the water 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast and wait 5 minutes for it to bloom.  Fitting my stand mixer with a dough hook, I start the mixer on low speed and gradually add in the bloomed water/yeast mixture from the measuring cup.  Turning up the speed on the mixer, I continue to knead the dough until it begins to ride up the dough hook, pulling away from sides of the bowl.

Taking a large bowl, I add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom and place some bread flour on a clean work surface to roll the dough out.

Removing the flatbread dough from the mixer bowl, I place the dough on the floured surface and begin to hand knead the dough into a ball.  I place the ball of dough into the oiled bowl, rolling the dough in the oil and up the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is nonstick.  Place the dough in the bottom of the oiled bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until double in size which will take about an hour.  Once risen, prepare a sheet pan with two tablespoons of oil, coating the pan’s surface with the oil using your fingers.  The oil will ensure the bottom of the flatbread crisps while cooking.

Simple Fresh Ingredients

Punch the dough down and place on the oiled sheet pan, stretching the dough out on the pan until it almost touches the sides.  Time for the fresh ingredients.  Start by slicing then tearing into pieces Brie cheese, placing over the top of the flatbread dough.  Sprinkle with fresh rosemary leaves.  Press the smoked grapes into the dough’s surface until all three ingredients cover most every spot of the dough.  Cover the dough with a cloth and allow the flatbread to rise a second time for another 20 minutes.  Then bake at 400°F until the cheese is bubbly and the bread surface is golden brown.  Remember, the grill works great for the flatbread cooking as well and for additional wood-fired flavor, use wood chunks at this stage as well.

Tasting Notes: Feel free to use other seasonal fruits and even vegetables from the wood-fired grill for this recipe.  Swap out the herb and cheese based on the main ingredient and you’ll have a versatile recipe for any seasonal food.

What’s your favorite flatbread recipe and featured flatbread item?  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®.

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SmokinLicious® Products Used in this Recipe:

Our custom split double filet wood chunk used in this blog


Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Smoked Grape Flatbread with herbs try these recipes

For more reading related to Smoked Grape Flatbread with herbs try these recipes

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-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus


Dr. Smoke- Awesome Smoked Grape Flatbread with Brie!

Dr. Smoke- Awesome Smoked Grape Flatbread with Brie!

Our perfect Smoked Peach Relish which is perfectly paired with Shrimp for a tasty dish!

Our perfect Smoked Peach Relish which is perfectly paired with Shrimp for a tasty dish!

Smoke peach Relish is a tasty compliment to seafood! Click To Tweet

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Peach season!  One that lends so many different options to your food experience.  Whether consumed raw or used in entrees or desserts, I aim to bring another flavor level to this much anticipated seasonal fruit by adding wood-fired flavoring.  Then I’ll take these flavorful peach halves and introduce you to a peach relish that is perfect for topping fish and seafood.

Visit your favorite farm stand, fresh market, or your own peach tree and pick three firm, fresh peaches and bring them to the kitchen for preparation before hitting the wood-fired grill.  Oh, and we have plans for additional recipes with smoked peaches so do some extras while you have the grill or smoker going.

Easy Prep for the Grill or Smoker

Skinning our freshly harvested peaches


Although yellow is the most common peach available, know that there is a white variety as well.  Both have easy to remove pits that make them easy to prepare for your favorite recipes.

Start by peeling the skin from the peaches, you’ll need 3 for this recipe, though I’m doing a full sheet pan for additional recipes.  Once peeled, using a paring knife, slice thru the center of the peach along the pit.  Gently separate into two halves then remove the pit.  Place the pitted and peeled peach half cut side down on a sheet pan.  Continue with the remaining peaches.  I’ll be using my gas grill set up with a smoker box of wood chunks to bring a smoky flavor to the fruit.  I’ve placed my smoker box directly on my heat diffuser to get the wood hot and smoldering quickly.  My pan of peach halves is placed on the unlit side of the grill.  Lid down on the grill and allow these peaches to tenderize slightly and infuse the smoke flavor.  I’ll check on them in about 15 minutes.

our tray of smoked peaches on the gas grill using a two zone cooking method to add wood smoke flavor.



 Tasting Notes: Keep in mind, flavors from wood on a gas grill will not be as intense as those on a charcoal unit.  Keep this in mind when you select the equipment to infuse the smoke flavor into the peaches.

Relish Ingredients for Smoked Peach Relish

Adding our wet ingredients to the pepper mix


While the peaches are absorbing all that great hardwood flavor on the grill, let’s get started on the base for our peach relish.  To begin, I’ll get my mortar although you can also use a mini food processor.  Place one minced garlic clove into the mortar.  Add one chili pepper (serrano, jalapeno, & Hungarian make good choices) that has been seeded and minced.  To that, add 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.  Using your pestle or the processor, pound or pulse until a paste is formed.  Remember, fresh ingredients will make for the best relish flavors.

With the base paste made to our peach relish, it’s time to add the liquids to balance the spicy and sweet flavors.  Start by adding 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 3 tablespoons of oyster sauce.  Transfer the relish base to a large bowl.  Now return to the grill and remove the peach halves.  These should be browned from the smoke infusion.  Remove 6 halves and dice each.  Add them to the bowl with the base.  Let’s get ready for the final flavors.

The Ultimate Relish Flavors

Adding fresh herbs added to our rice


The final flavors are the fresh herbs that need to be added right before serving.  This includes ¼ cup of fresh, chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons of fresh mint.  As peaches tends to be a delicate fruit meat, it’s important to gently mix everything together; don’t over combine.  Serve immediately with your favorite fish or seafood.   In fact, this is even great with just some toasted bread.  I’ve served mine today with brown rice and simple seasoned shrimp with a side of yellow waxed beans. Delicate yet full of balanced flavors that will surprise you coming from a smoked fruit.


What’s your favorite recipe using smoked or grill peaches?  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®.

SmokinLicious Products used in this Smoked Peach Relish recipe:

Our special split double filet wood chunk use to smoke the peaches for our smoked peach relish


Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Smoked Peach Relish try other recipes

For more reading related to Smoked Peach Relish try other recipes

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Dr. Smoke-This Smoked Peach Relish recipe is perfect accompaniment to any dish when we want a subtle fruity taste!

Dr. Smoke-This Smoked Peach Relish recipe is perfect accompaniment to any dish when we want a subtle fruity taste!

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke


You’ve heard me mention before how great it is to ember or coal fire certain foods, with a good majority of those items falling in the fruit category.  One of the best fruits to use this technique with is eggplant.

Not of Nutritional Value

we selected two nice and plump eggplants for our ember cooking Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of a flowering plant grown for its edible fruit.  This is a thick-skinned fruit that has a meaty quality to its flesh.  In fact, it can make for a filling meal.  Eggplant contains a lot of water – 92% to be specific!  It is not known to be a contributor for daily nutritional intake.  Despite all that, Eggplant remains a favorite ingredient to cook with.

Nestling is Key

When cooking in the coals, it is best to use medium sized eggplant.  It doesn’t matter what variety you select, the technique for cooking in the coals will remain the same.

Starting the fire

First, you need to start with a good wood fire, using clean hardwood.  In order to do this technique successfully, you need to ensure that there are no flames left in the fire, just hot coals.  You’ll know the coals are ready for the cooking when they are completely grayed over.  If your grilling area is large enough, you can stage a couple of burning wood pieces to provide additional heat to the area.  Just don’t cook directly in those flames.

preparing the hot coals for the eggplant. you want these to burn down leaving only the heat and no flame to burn the eggplant. Ember cooking is only over hot coals.When the coals are ready, make sure the embers are in an even layer and then place the eggplants side by side in the embers.  I like to use a fine screen in the bottom of my charcoal area to aide in heat retention.  Now, leave these untouched for about 10 minutes.  After that time, you can turn the eggplant to ensure all sides get evenly charred.  If you make a large enough fire, you can bury the eggplant completely in the hot coals and not have to do any turning.  That technique will require about 30 minutes of cooking time.

Chef Bert teaches Neighbor Tom about ember cooking


Blackened, Charred Skin Makes It Ready

Once the Ember Fired Eggplant has tenderized in the coals, it’s time to carefully remove it. Cool the eggplant, so it won’t burn and can be handled.  Then, slice each eggplant open from end to end, and gently scoop out the flesh.  Be sure to leave all the charred skin behind.  If you’re ready to use this in a recipe, then no need to do anything more to the eggplant.  If you plan on using it later, you must prevent the eggplant flesh from turning dark by incorporating 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and enough water to cover the flesh.  When finished, it’s best to store the Ember Fired Eggplant in a glass jar, bowl, or other container.

6 Needed Ingredients

To make the Ember Fired Eggplant with Feta Tarts, you’ll need a muffin pan and the following food ingredients:

  • Flesh from 1 medium size coal-fired eggplant
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons for topping the tarts
  • ground coriander about ¼ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing dough and preparing muffin pan

Wood Flavored Eggplant Mixture

removing any char from the fire and then chopping up the eggplant to be added as the tart fillingRoughly chop the wood fired eggplant.  Then transfer to a medium bowl and add feta, 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, coriander, red-pepper flakes, and mint.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir gently to combine.

Making the Tarts

Lightly oil the muffin pan cups.  Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a board and lightly brush with oil.  Stack 4 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil.  Cut the stacked sheets into 6 equal squares.  Carefully, pick up each square and place in a muffin cup, gently pressing in place.  Fill each dough cup with about ¼ cup of eggplant mixture.  Gently fold over the corners of the dough to enclose the filling as a tart.  Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.  Then Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

showcasing the finished product! Our ember roasted eggplant within the feta tart- yummy





 How did we do?  Leave a comment, love us, and subscribe.  We’re all about wood fired cooking techniques, idea, recipes, and the science behind the smoke and fire.

What can I roast over a fire?

Just about any fruit or vegetable can be roasted over a fire.  Vegetables and fruits with a dense, husky outer skin do very well when grilled with gas, charcoal and wood fuels.  Eggplant is ideal for roasting over an open fire or directly on hot embers (ember cooking).

Additional reading:




SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Our wonderful Single Filet wood chunks are featured in this ember fired eggplant recipe


Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Try this because it's a really tasty appetizer and easy to make."

Dr Smoke- “Try this because it’s a really tasty appetizer and easy to make.”

Crostini con espárrago ahumado delicioso

Crostini con espárrago ahumado delicioso

Crostini con espárrago ahumado

¡Es temporada de espárrago y eso significa que debes aprovechar al máximo este sensacional vegetal mientras está fresco! Asegúrese de visitar nuestra serie sobre el asado de espárrago fresco (ver el blog anterior) para que pueda pasar a nuestras fabulosas recetas. Nuestra receta publicó en esta serie es Crostini con espárrago asado, pimiento y aceituna para untar, una merienda perfecta, un aperitivo, y sin duda, una comida espontánea para el visitante de último momento. ¡Pues, vamos!

Con tus espárrago asado (ver otro blog o Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus) en mano, necesitarás estos ingredientes:

Lista de los ingredientes

  • Baguette u otro pan estrecho (en una pizca, los chips de pita también funcionarán)
  • Aceite para rociar sobre las rebanadas de pan
  • 8 onzas de queso ricotta
  • Espárrago ahumado
  • 2 cucharadas de jugo de lima
  • Rodajas de pimiento aproximadamente 2 onzas
  • Aceitunas verdes aproximadamente 4 onzas
  • Pimiento fresco molido

Mezclando los ingredientes- crostini con espárrago ahumado

Mezclando espárrago picado ahumado en ricotta

Mezclando espárrago picado ahumado en ricotta

Antes de mezclar los ingredientes al untar, corte rodajas de la baguette en 1,27 centímetros y colóquela en una bandeja del horno. Rocíe con aceite: cualquier tipo funcionará, aunque soy parcial a los aceites de sabores. Solo tuesta las rebanadas de pan hasta que estén doradas. En un tazón mediano, agregue la ricotta y mezcle suavemente para descomponer el queso hasta obtener un estado cremoso. Corte el espárrago ahumado ​​en dados y pliegue suavemente en la ricotta con el jugo de lima. Agregue pimiento molido fresco al gusto. Ponga a un lado el tazón y corte el pimiento y la aceituna verde. Coloque en un tazón pequeño.

Ensamblando el Crostini

Ensamblando el Crostini

Ensamblando el Crostini

¡Es hora de ensamblar todos los ingredientes! Tome un crostini, unta una capa gruesa de la mezcla de espárrago asado y ricotta, y complete con el pimiento en dado y la aceituna. Una vez que tenga una bandeja llena, ¡estará listo para servir!

La salobridad de la aceituna mezclada con la cremosidad de la ricotta se combina muy bien con espárrago ahumado. Combina esto con la frescura de los crostini y tiene una combinación perfecta.

Crostini de espárrago asado- solo una de las maravillosas formas de usar espárrago fresco esta estación.

El equipo culinario quiere que sepas …

… que el disfrute de la cocina de brasas ha existido desde los albores de la civilización y aumentará el sabor de la leña con otras verduras frescas de piel gruesa como berenjenas, maíz, calabacín, calabaza de verano y pimientos. Al usar nuestras astillas de madera de cerezo silvestre Grande Sapore® como una cama de ascua, ¡prepárese para experimentar una sensación de sabor único!

¡Buen provecho!


Productos SmokinLicious® utilizados en esta receta:

Astillas de madera- Grande Sapore®

Otras recetas que puede disfrutar:

Chunk hombre para más lecturas relacionadas con crostini con espárrago ahumado

Chunk hombre: Para más lecturas relacionadas con crostini con espárrago ahumado


Dr. Smoke- ¡pruebe crostini con espárrago ahumado!

Dr. Smoke- ¡pruebe crostini con espárrago ahumado!

Our Savory Corn Muffins on the cool down rack. Just waiting to be served!

Our Savory Corn Muffins on the cool down rack. Just waiting to be served!


listen to the audio of this blog posting

Ready for a savory take on the standard corn muffin recipe?  I’m adding a smoked chive to bring these muffins to a whole new level.

You may have seen someone bake cornbread in a cast iron skillet on the grill but that’s just cast iron cooking.  I’m taking fresh chives that have been smoked on the stovetop with hardwood chips from SmokinLicious® and adding them to a favorite buttermilk cornbread recipe for a sweet-savory combination.  You can read about our technique for smoking the chives in Dr. Smoke’s Tips and Technique blog.

We are pouring our batter into the muffin pan and topping it off with our smoked chives in preparation for bacon.

A Flavorful Batter

To make 12 muffins you’ll need the following:

  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal, medium ground
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 oz. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped smoked fresh chives, divided

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Combine the buttermilk, olive oil, and egg in a small bowl.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground red pepper in a medium size bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour into that well the milk mixture, stirring just until moist.  Stir in ½ cup of the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of the smoked chives.  Spoon into 12 muffin cups that have been greased.  Sprinkle muffins with the remaining cheese and chives.  Now bake in the oven for about 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Remove from the oven and the remove the muffins from the tin to a wire cooling rack.

Tasting Notes

Our finished muffins hot from the oven on our plate to be served with your favorite jam or butter.

There are so many variations you can add to this standard recipe while keeping the smoked chives.

  • Add fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries and leave out the cheese and pepper.
  • Go meaty with bacon or pancetta but hold the sugar and think about adding a different cheese such as Gruyere or Swiss.
  • You can also change the flavor by swapping out almond flour or coconut flour for the all-purpose.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that smoked herbs, as noted in this “great comfort food” recipe can really add a flavor dimension that pleases many a palate.  Be adventurous this holiday season when it comes to your favorite recipes featuring herbs like chives, rosemary, thyme and sage by enhancing their flavor appeal with a touch of wood fired smoke.  You and your guest will be treated with awesome tastes!

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:



-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke -You will love these corn muffins with a touch of smoky flavor!


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