Our gorgeous color on our Grilled Prime Rib with wood on the gas Grill- Yum!

Our gorgeous color on our Grilled Prime Rib with wood on the gas Grill- Yum!

GRILLED PRIME RIB THE ULTIMATE WITH WOOD

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#smokinlicious

Yes, prime rib is expensive and likely the reason so many are fearful to take this cut of beef to the grill.  I’m going to take away that fear and show you just how your grill will respect this cut and produce the tender, buttery, crusty outside roast you want.

Although there are different opinions on whether to make a roast with the ribs intact or removed, I am someone who prefers to cook with the ribs in.  I’ll give you tips on doing a boneless version as well if that is your preference.

For now, purchase an 8 lb. or 3 rib roast, get your favorite wood chunks, and get ready to fire up your gas grill using a two-zone cooking method for a prime rib roast you won’t soon forget.

Meat Preparation

Trim off the excess fat and season with Salt! Let site overnight to season

#gasgrill

For the most part, my butcher has done most of the trimming.  I will just remove any remaining fat and ensure all the silver skin is gone.  You should see meat all the way around the roast. In the end, I’ve removed about a pound of additional fat.

At this point, I want to add salt to the meat to reduce the amount of water before cooking and tenderize the inner fibers.  For every pound of meat, I sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.  This is called dry brining and will require that the meat be refrigerated for 24 hours after the salt is applied.  I simply salt and wrap the meat in plastic wrap to prevent liquid from leaking, and place in the refrigerator.  Or, you can salt and place in a non-reactive container and leave uncovered.

Char Crust Rub

While the meat is tenderizing with the dry brine, we want to prepare a char crust to be rubbed all over the outside of the roast just before it goes on the grill.  Combine 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, and 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish.  I combine all my ingredients with a mortar and pestle.  If it is a bit too thick, just mix in a little water so more of a paste is formed.  Apply the char rub just before cooking and you’re ready to good.

Tasting Notes:

Feel free to incorporate different herbs and spices in the char crust rub.  Some considerations include: thyme, cinnamon, chili powder, clove, ginger, even cocoa powder.

Smoking on the Gas Grill

two zone cooking with the smoker box on the right over the heat and rib roast on the left

#twozonecooking

I really enjoy cooking a prime cut of beef roast on the gas grill as the two-zone set up makes this low stress.  I prepare my LP/Gas grill by first placing a disposable foil pan under the grill grate on the side I plan to cook on.  This will be my water/drip pan.  I add about ½” of hot water to the pan and place my metal smoker box containing three SmokinLicious® wood chunks on the side I plan to cook on, right under the grill grate.  Now I lite only the burners under the smoker box.  I set these burners to medium heat to start.    Just before I’m ready to grill, I check the temperature readout and adjust my heat setting until I hit my target temperature of 225°F.

Time to add the char crusted rubbed roast to the unlit side of the grill, directly above the drip/water pan.  I insert a thermometer and close the lid.  Basically, for the next couple of hours I just need to monitor that the temperature holds to 225°F and that the water pan has enough water in it.  Only as I get closer to 110°F internal temperature of the meat, do I start to babysit the grill.  This is when I like to brush a bit of butter on the outside of the meat.  It produces great color to the crust.

At 115°F internal temperature, I remove the water/drip pan, meat string ties, and the meat thermometer.  I’m now going to finish the cooking to 130°F internal temperature by direct searing the roast on all sides.  As soon as it reaches or approaches that internal temperature, I immediately get the meat off the grill and serve.

Oue finished roast showing great color and a wood flavoring for and add delite!

#primerib

Tasting Notes:

We all have a guest who insists they want their meat cook further.  If that is the case, you can add a slice directly to the grill for just a minute or two, turning constantly, to give them what they want.  Yes, you will have someone who wants the meat at 145°F or possibly above.

And don’t forget to save the bones to make our smoked beef broth.

Tasting Notes:

If using a charcoal grill, still use a two-zone cooking set up meaning charcoal on only one side of the grill.  Be sure you only cook with hot coals, no flames.

For those looking for a boneless version of this roast, feel free to request a boneless roast from your butcher, or you can remove the bones yourself and cook separately on the grill for tasty riblets.  Essentially, the preparation is still the same as is the overall cooking temperature and finished meat temperature.

What’s your favorite preparation for prime rib?   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 recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Grilled prime rib and other gas grill techniques

For more reading related to Grilled prime rib and other gas grill techniques

Related recipes:

-WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

-SMOKED HAM ON THE GAS GRILL

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

Dr. Smoke- Try Grilled Prime Rib on the grill and add some Wood chunks for a nice flavor!

Dr. Smoke- Try Grilled Prime Rib on the grill and add some Wood chunks for a nice flavor!

Our Finished grilled Lamb resting before slicing!

GRILLED LAMB THE “NEW” HOLIDAY MEAT

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how lamb has slowly been gaining greater popularity in North America.  Normally associated with Easter, I’ve had many followers indicate that they love to cook lamb in the summer on the grill as well as for holidays like Thanksgiving (yes, there are some that don’t do a turkey or add this protein to the dinner) and Christmas.

My intention today is to provide some guidance on the cuts of lamb, which work best for wood-fired cooking methods, and provide some flavor pairing suggestions to consider for your recipes.  Know that my definition of lamb is a young sheep of fewer than 12 months of age.

Primal Cuts

There are eight basic cuts of lamb: neck, shoulder, breast, ribs, loin, leg, foreshank, and shank.  Immediately, I want you to understand that there is much less meat harvested from a lamb than on some other common animals.  The reason is that lamb tends to be quite fatty and the fat is not something consumable like the current rage with pork.  Once a lamb is harvested, trimmed of its fat, had non-edible parts removed, there is about 40% of its weight remaining in viable meat.  Thus, lamb can be very expensive.

Let’s look at each of the cuts and provide some insight into the best methods of cooking each.

Neck:  Then neck contains some of the most marbled meat of the lamb making it ideal for longer cooking methods.  Because of the fattiness of the cut, it is best to marinate it for about 4 hours prior to cooking.  This is a cut that is generally sliced, marinated, and then cooked casserole-style.  This can be done on a grill set up with a two-zone cooking method to allow the wood to be added to the hot side of the grill which can infuse the contents of the casserole if left uncovered.  This cut also works well when ground to produce lamb burgers and sausage.

Shoulder: This is by far one of the most flavorful cuts, is less expensive as it contains more connective tissue and bone producing a tougher cut and can be cooked a variety of ways.  This section can produce bone-in and boneless roasts, shoulder chops, and stew meat.  It is ideal for a slow and low method of cooking which includes traditional smoking.  As such, preparations can include brining, dry and wet rub, and marinating.

Foreshank and Shank: As the name implies, the foreshank is attached to the front legs of the lamb while the shank is connected to the rear legs.  These cuts are ideally braised and presented as individual servings.  Again, these can be done like the neck cut in a casserole on the grill with wood for flavoring.

Rib: Containing what is called the rack and crown, this is the section of the lamb that would be the equivalent to prime rib roast of beef.  It is the most expensive cut and is ideal on the grill.  Always use a two-zone cooking set up to prevent overcooking of the outside.  Chops can also be produced from this cut but note that they cook quickly.  I prefer to still use a two-zone cooking setup so I can move the chops from direct heat to indirect as needed.

Loin: This muscle of the lamb is the most tender and resembles miniature versions of T-bone steak.  It can also be cut into the tenderloin and top loin chops, which is the filet mignon of lamb.  Don’t think you can roast that tenderloin, however, as the size is too small for this method but it works perfectly when grilled.

Leg: Unlike other animals, the leg of lamb is very tender and versatile, producing boneless roasts, sirloin steaks, and kabob meat.  This cut can be butterflied if deboned and grilled or left whole for grilled lamb.

Breast: This tends to be a small cut that you can use bone-in or deboned.  If bone-in, treat like a rack of ribs and plan to slow cook.  The ideal is on the grill after marinating overnight.  A temperature of 225°F is recommended and again, using a two-zone cooking method will keep this moist if you include a water pan.  There are many recipes for stuffed lamb breast as well that a roasting method can be used.  Certainly, grilling two-zone method will make these moist, tender and flavorful.

Flavor Pairings

One characteristic of lamb is its ability to stand up to other strong flavors whether in spice or herb form.  Here are the top flavor pairings for lamb:

Almond: incorporate into a stuffing with rice

Anchovy: cuts slits into a leg or shoulder and insert drained anchovy into each cavity

Anise: a perfect addition to a casserole for infusion to the meat

Apricot: preferably used dry this is perfect with cinnamon, cumin, coriander

Cabbage: add potatoes and let it simmer with the meat

Cherry: adding onions, saffron, almonds, pomegranate, feta, mint, parsley, pistachio

Cumin: add chili and put on the grill

Eggplant: perfect if done kabob style over the hot coals

Goat Cheese: add spinach or kale and this is the perfect pairing for lamb burgers

Mint: likely the most well-known pairing which reduces the funkier undertones of the meat

Peas: add butter, onion, and tomato

Saffron: use this spice in rice to accompany the meat

With all these great flavor pairings, lamb should continue to grow in popularity and maybe will surpass one of our more common animal protein choices.

Do you have a favorite cut and preparation of grilled lamb?  Share your thoughts and photos.  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 blog:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on other meats for the two-zone cooking method beyond grilled lamb, #lamb and other food items to prepare

More Related reading on other meats for the two-zone cooking method beyond grilled lamb, #lamb and other food items to prepare

Additional reading:

-WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

-SMOKED HAM ON THE GAS GRILL

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

Dr. Smoke- Grilled Lamb can be served around the Holidays! Depending on the cut of meat you choose will raise the level of formality!

Dr. Smoke- Grilled Lamb can be served around the Holidays! Depending on the cut of meat you choose will raise the level of formality!

Look how juicy our Rosemary infused Smoked Beef Shanks are after we removed them from the grill!

Look how juicy our Rosemary infused Smoked Beef Shanks are after we removed them from the grill!

ROSEMARY INFUSED SMOKED BEEF SHANKS FROM THE GRILL

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I’m back with another recipe for beef shanks that takes advantage of seasonal herbs with a simple smoking technique that can be done on your gas or charcoal grill.  I’ve been busy in the kitchen with another seasonal harvest so I’m going to cook my beef shanks on the gas grill using my favorite two-zone cooking method that allows me to step away from the grill.  Of course, I want some wood flavoring in these shanks so I’ll be using cherry wood chunks in a standard metal smoking box.

Simple Seasoning

Rosemary on top of the Beef Shanks for flavoring

It is considered one of the ideal flavor pairings for beef: rosemary.  Similar to sage, it contains more pine and floral notes and is sweeter than other herbs.  You will find many varieties that have some variation to the traditional rosemary flavor.  Here are some of the characteristic flavors: lemon-pine, clove and nutmeg, and even a smoky character in a variety called Sissinghurst Blue.

Beef is predominately a salty flavor with some sweetness.  If the animal is grass-fed than the flavor of the meat will be much fuller.

I’ve placed a grill rack in a disposable foil pan, added some rosemary sprigs from my garden to the rack and then applied a drizzle of avocado oil, salt, and pepper to the shanks on one side, laying the seasoned side on the rack.  Then I repeat the oil, salt, and pepper on the exposed side and apply some rosemary sprigs on top.  That’s it!  These are now ready for the grill.

Tasting Notes: Other seasonal herbs that are perfect for using in place of rosemary include: mint, parsley, dill.  Although I used avocado oil, since you are not grilling over direct heat, you can use other oils such as olive, almond, walnut, grapeseed, coconut, sesame, etc.

Smoking on the Gas Grill

I prepare my LP/Gas grill by lighting only half the burners.  I set these burners to medium heat to start.  Next, I place my metal smoker box containing two SmokinLicious® wild cherry wood chunks on the hot burners, right under the grill grate.  Allow this to heat up and start smoking.  The radiant heat capture in the grill will cook my beef shanks without them having to be exposed to the direct heat.  Perfect way for me to be able to walk away from the grill.  When I’m ready to grill, I check the temperature readout to try to hit between 300-325°F for cooking, as to me, this is the heat level that tenderizes my beef shanks to where I like them.  If the temperature reads higher, I just turn down the burners slightly.  Below, just a tweak up.

beef Shanks with the Bone Marrow ready for the stock pot

I leave the beef shanks untouched for about 35 to 40 minutes at which time, I may need to swap out the charred wood pieces for some fresh in the smoker box.  That’s when I give the beef a turnover.  Just one turn is all you will need.  I like to pull my beef off the grill at about 135°F so that when I get it to the table, it will be at a perfect medium-rare.   I also prefer to slice the beef off the bone and serve the marrow bone with some toasted bread – which can be done on the grill as well – that I’ve merely rubbed with some fresh garlic clove or smoked tomato.  So simple yet so unforgettable in flavor.  The season’s best beef shank and rosemary infused in less than 75 minutes.

Tasting Notes:

Don’t forget to save the bones to make our smoked beef broth.

If using a charcoal grill, still use a two-zone cooking set up meaning charcoal on only one side of the grill.  Be sure you only cook with hot coals, no flames.  Slow cooking these Rosemary infused smoked Beef Shanks will reward your guest and yourself with a wonderful meal!

SmokinLicious products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks

Related reading:

-SMOKED BONE BROTH FOR HEALTH & FLAVOR

-OVER THE TOP GRILLED & SMOKED BEEF SHANKS

-SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

Dr. Smoke recommends that you should try the Rosemary infused smoked Beef Shanks! Simply Delicious

Dr. Smoke recommends that you should try the Rosemary infused smoked Beef Shanks! Simply Delicious

Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks after being "kissed" with smoke from the smoker box with Double filet wood chunks!

Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks after being “kissed” with smoke from the smoker box with Double filet wood chunks!

SALT-FREE DRY RUBBED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

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You’ve likely heard about limiting your ingestion of chicken skin which can add unnecessary calories and saturated fat.  On the flip-side, chicken skin also adds to the overall flavor and moisture of chicken.  Here’s the thing: if you limit the amount of chicken skin you ingest, it contains a good amount of unsaturated fat that can be heart healthy, which you may not be benefiting from.

I’m going to give you a dry rub recipe that is salt-free to add in the healthy aspect of this recipe and includes some fat to the skin that will add flavor but also render off.  Purchase chicken drumsticks and prepare the gas grill for this easy technique and super flavorful chicken you’ll want to be sure to make extras of.

Grill Set Up

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

Double Filet Wood Chunks

Before starting the rub recipe, get the gas grill preheated by turning on only half the grills’ burners.  That will be the side that we will add the wood chunks to while the side that remains off will be where the food will be placed.  For the wood chunks, you can either place them directly on the heat shields, on the hot grill grate, or in a smoker box.  Yes, that smoker box that you see advertised for wood chips is going to hold double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®.

Salt-Free Dry Rub

I’m balancing my salt-free dry rub flavor by incorporating a variety of ingredients:

  • Whole allspice
  • Ancho Chile pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Curry powder
  • Cocoa powder
  • Fresh ground pepper

I always like to use a mortar and pestle when I make a rub as I usually have whole pods or seeds that need to be reduced.  Once the rub is reduced to powder, I apply it to the drumsticks.

mortise with all our great dry rub ingredients mixed and ready to apply to the chicken drumsticks

Salt-free Dry Rub

These I lay on a roasting rack placed in a disposable foil pan.  This will allow the chicken to render without causing a mess to the grill and allow the smoke vapor produced by the wood chunks to rotate around the chicken.

 

A Little Fat Will Do

After the drumsticks are lined up on the roasting rack, I add a sprinkling of almond oil and 8 tablespoons of butter.  These two items will allow the skin to crisp slightly.  They also provide the moisture on the outside to attract the smoke vapor.  If you want to skip this step, just keep a spray bottle of tepid water ready and you can moisten the chicken skin with a calorie-free alternative.

 

Make a Lot!

After cooking for about 35 minutes, flip each drumstick on the rack and check your wood.  It will likely be black as the wood combusts and renders the flavonoids in the lignin that produce the great flavor.  Close the lid and allow the chicken to cook an additional 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F.  Be sure to make extra so you have a great go-to protein to feed you throughout the week.

The cooking dry ribbed Chicken Drumsticks on the gas grill

 

What are your favorite ingredients to add to a dry rub?  Leave us a comment and subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor, that’s SmokinLicious®.

 

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Additional reading:

-CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

-SALT FREE SPICE RUBS- HEALTHY CHOICES

-SALT CHOICES: HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND?

 

Dr. Smoke you must try this recipe dry rubbed chicken Drumsticks

Dr. Smoke, you must try this recipe dry rubbed chicken Drumsticks

Our Smoked Bone Broth starts with Great Beef bones trimmed on the gas grill

Our Smoked Bone Broth starts with Great Beef bones trimmed on the gas grill

SMOKED BONE BROTH FOR HEALTH & FLAVOR

Summary:

Smoked beef bones by using cooking wood chunks over the grill heat shields or gas grill diffusers are easy!  The smoke flavor and slow simmer root vegetables are building flavor profiles for this unique smoked bone broth recipe. Simmering food with aromatic vegetables sometimes lacks taste that smoking wood chunks add. Read how easy it is!

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Know up front, that making broth from bones has been in our human history for a very long time.  It’s not new but I will say that over the past several years, it has gained in popularity for its health benefits and ability to cleanse the body.

Here’s what has been reported to improve when you consume bone broth: ease joint pain, reduce or prevent degenerative joint disease, promote hair and nail growth, enrich the blood, aid in digestion, build muscle, boost the immune system, and improve memory.

Bone broth is all about depth of flavor.  I am going to dig deeper into the flavor option and smoke the bones rather than roast them to bring an umami-type flavor to my broth.  Warning: you will need about 12-14 hours for the entire process so be sure to plan for this timing.

Grill Set Up

The gas grill I’m using is equipped with 4 burners and heat shields over those burners.  I’ll be preheating my grill using all 4 burners then shutting off the two burners on the left side and reduce the heat level to medium-low on the right side.  I add two wood chunks to the heat shields on the lit side of the grill.  Then on to my bones on the left side grill grate, where the burners are turned off.  These will stay on the grill for about 3 hours, with one turning of the bones at the halfway point.  Then off the grill and into a stock pot go my smoked bones for the start of the broth.

Simmering We Go

Our Smoked beef bones in the pot simmering with vegetables!

The extra depth of the smoke flavor will be gently revealed in our broth and does not overpower or obsolete the benefits of the broth.  To start the broth process, place the bones in the pot and fill the stockpot with cold, clean water.  Be sure the water is about four inches above the bones.  Allow the bones and water to come to a rapid boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  The bones should simmer for a least 6 hours.  During that time, you can check and skim off any impurities from the top with a spoon.  While they are simmering you can prepare the vegetables, herbs, and spices that will be added to the mix.

Mirepoix and More

Now it’s time to add even more nutritional value to our broth.  Start by selecting the aromatic vegetables for your mirepoix.  I’ve taken leeks, carrot, celery, Napa cabbage, and a few broccoli stems.  To this, I’ve also included about 8 cloves of garlic, thyme, basil leaves, and a ¼ cup cider vinegar.  Place everything in the pot and stir to mix and submerge.  Cover the pot and allow this to simmer for about 8 hours.  Enjoy the great smell that will fill your home!

Strain and Portion

Straining out the cooked vegetables leave a clear brothYou’ve been smelling this awesome bone broth for nearly 14 hours so now it’s time to strain it and prepare to portion it out for future use.

If you’ve used a large stockpot, you may need a couple of additional pots for the straining as the contents get heavy to pour.  Once the clear broth is extracted with all the great nutritional value intact, remove the strainer and feel free to compost your vegetable/herb mixture.  Allow the broth to cool and skim off any settled fat from the top layer.  Then portion out the broth and get ready to enjoy its health benefits anytime.

This can be consumed as it for maximum detox benefit, in soups, or to make sauces – any way you can use broth.  I’m starting off by making a bowl of pho with sprouts, soba noodles, mushrooms, spring onion, and of course, my piping hot, flavorful, smoked bone broth.

Serving our smoked Bone Broth for a very satisfying meal!

Stater Ingredients for Bone Broth

  • 6-8 lbs. of beef bones
  • 1 lb. celery
  • 2 lbs. onion
  • 1 lb. carrot
  • 4-6 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ¼ bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

-SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

Dr. Smoke-make great smoked beef broth with our simple techniques.

Dr. Smoke-make great smoked bone broth with our simple techniques.

Our collage of cooking the leg of lamb, finished and cut leg of Lamb

Our Wood Fired Leg of Lamb

 

WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

Summary:

Our wood fired leg of lamb, is charcoal grilled lamb over Charwood, which is directly fired lump charcoal or cooking wood chunks. Wood cooked Lamb using sugar maple hardwood has great flavor! Syrah wine, Garlic, Onion, mint leaves make up our fresh herb rub or grilled lamb marinade. Add this to your grilled lamb recipes

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Lamb is one of those proteins that tend to be associated with special holidays and occasions rather than as a common animal protein to introduce to the grill.  Let’s change that with this easy and highly flavorful way to add wood flavoring to cuts of lamb on the charcoal grill.  Know this technique can easily be done on the gas grill as well so simply pick your equipment and follow the suggested technique to bring abundant flavor and juiciness to your favorite cut of lamb.

I’ll be doing a leg of lamb and rib loins of lamb on a charcoal grill using charcoal and wood chunks to bring the great smoke flavor.

Grill Set Up

For the charcoal grill, I like to have a fine mesh screen in place over the charcoal area to utilize even the smallest ember for the heat and temperature control of cooking on the grill.  I get two chimney starters of charcoal (I’m using lump hardwood) ready. My grill will have three rib loins plus a leg of lamb on it.  I also get about four wood chunks – I’m using Single Filet sizing from SmokinLicious® in ash, sugar maple, and wild cherry – ready to go on top of the hot coals once poured into the charcoal area.Our red hot Charwood ready for cooking!

For a gas grill set up, pre-heat the grill to maintain a cooking temperature of 275°-300°F.  Use only the heat of the burners on one side of the grill, while the other side remains off. The lamb will be placed on the grill with the burners in the “off” position.  This is the indirect method of cooking and is an easy way to ensure that the lamb cooks without burning the skin and that you don’t have to babysit the grill!  Wood chunks would be placed either directly on the heat shields of the lit burners or in a smoker box or disposable pan set on the lit burners.

A Flavorful Drip Pan

Before the fire is started, I’ve prepared a drip pan containing Syrah wine, rough cut onion, garlic, and mint leaves to catch the renderings from the meat and prevent flare-ups on my direct method charcoal grill.  If using a gas grill, this pan would go under the grill grate where the meat is placed.   Another benefit to the drip pan is it adds flavor to the cooking environment producing an aromatic convection steam.   Since the leg of lamb is thickest, it will go on the grill about 45 minutes ahead of the loins. The leg must maintain a temperature of 275° to 300°F on the grill.  I insert a temperature probe in the thickest portion of the leg to ensure internal temperature.

Our drip pan with Syrah wine, onions, garlic and fresh mint

Flavorful, Easy Grilling

After 45 minutes of initial cooking to the leg of lamb only, it’s time to add the rib lions.  Since I have a total of three loins, it is a full grill.  The temperature probe will remain in the leg of lamb as this will determine when everything comes off the grill to rest.  It can be a challenge to add charcoal when the grill grate is full and your cooking on a kettle grill, but if you keep a helper nearby, and you have chimney starter ready with hot coal, this won’t be a huge issue.  Our lamb has been oiled and rubbed with fresh herbs, garlic, and seasoning.  Just a few hours of wood grilling to perfection in flavor.

The Finish

One of the tricks to grilling with wood on either a charcoal or gas grill is to have a plan on how to maintain the main protein while not depleting any of the moisture.  I love to use insulated blankets, the kind you purchase for a hot water tank.  They work perfectly at maintaining the meat’s temperature so you can be up to an hour away from serving.  I wrap the meat in foil and then in the insulated blanket.  Sometimes, I’ll use a cooler if I’ve run out of places to put foods for a big gathering.

The beautiful, flavorful skin on the lamb is a mahogany color providing just the right amount of bite to each piece, courtesy of cherry, maple and ash hardwoods.  We are serving our lamb with a Jasmine rice and wood-fired Brussels sprouts and carrot, along with a wood-fired Canadian salmon.  Remember, lamb doesn’t have to be reserved for the special occasion.  It’s readily available throughout the year and is a perfect protein to add to the grill.

The cut slice of our leg of lamb surrounded by our colorful wood fired finished product!

Tasting Notes:

To tone down the boldness of the smoke, always reach for hardwoods that are lighter in flavor tones.  These would include Alder, Ash, and Wild Cherry.

Cooking the lamb on a charcoal grill will impart stronger wood flavorings than a gas grill. Especially if you use a direct method of cooking (food is placed directly over the charcoal and wood).

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SMOKED HAM ON THE GAS GRILL

-DINING FOR SMILES EVENT PREPARATIONS

-Beer Can Chicken

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke flavor- add this recipe to one of your holidays or a great summer event!

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”!

CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER and turns very golden brown

CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

listen to the audio of this blog posting

Often, when it comes to smoking poultry, many people become quite nervous as they may have had a previous experience that resulted in a dry outcome.  Or, they may have read how difficult it is to maintain moisture when you smoke poultry.  Today, I’m going to show you how to smoke Cornish game hens on the Orion Cooker.

Why does the Orion Cooker make a difference?  Because this isn’t a traditional smoker.  This is a convection cooker that you can smoke with.

Preparing the Orion Cooker

One difference with the Orion Cooker is it requires about 13lbs. of charcoal briquettes to produce enough heat to sustain cooking.  I recommend you start the charcoal for the unit first, especially if using a chimney starter, which is my preferred method.  I like to line the drip pan with foil to reduce the amount of clean up once the hens have cooked.  There is no need to add water to the pan.  I also add SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips in a blend of Sugar Maple and Wild Cherry to the area around the drip pan.  These chips will smolder and give off great wood flavoring while the hens cook, producing a beautiful finished color and flavor.

Preparing the Hens

The preparation for our hens is very simple.  First, as with any poultry item, you want to remove the giblets, wash off the hens, and pat dry.  There is no need to truss these birds as the Orion Cooker will cook every part evenly. Once cleaned, it’s time to decide how you want to enhance the flavors of the hens; dry or wet rub, brine, etc.  I like to put a dry rub on the birds first then drizzle with a bit of oil to make the skin crispy.  Feel free to apply whatever rub ingredients give you the flavors you prefer.  Mine contains brown sugar, pepper, red pepper flakes, coriander, cayenne, curry, cumin.  Apply the rub generously and then drizzle with oil – mine is almond oil.

Once the hens are ready to go on the grill, I add a softened butter that’s been mixed with a couple of tablespoons of orange juice all over the skin.  This will contribute flavor as well as aide in the crisping of the skin.

Cooking Perfection

With a dry rub, orange butter, and a little oil, these Cornish game hens cook using convection heat from the Orion Cooker.  Great smoke flavor is added using Minuto® Wood Chips from SmokinLicious®. In just 75 minutes, you will have the most moist, flavorful, tender hens you could imagine.  With a crispy skin and great bronzed color, you couldn’t ask for anything more.  Remember, the Orion Cooker can hold comfortably about 8 hens so make it a party. We hope you enjoyed our blog CORNISH GAME HEN MEETS SMOKE IN THE ORION COOKER

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Related reading:

-GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

-WELCOME TO OUR BRAT PARTY-BRATWURST IN THE ORION SMOKER COOKER

Dr Smoke- "

Dr Smoke- “The Orion Cooker is a wonderful piece of equipment for cooking and smoking by using their custom blended chips.”

Our finished beef short ribs after applying our techniques of adding rub and cooking on the gas grill with wood chunks. Oh so yummy!

Our finished beef short ribs after applying our techniques we describe in this blog

SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

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Of all the cuts of ribs, this is likely my favorite.  Found between the 6th and the 10th ribs of the animal, the meat on these ribs lays on top of the bones rather than between them like with back ribs.  Short ribs require a method of cooking that will allow them to tenderize as they have a lot more meat, fat, connective tissue and flavor than pork ribs.  Because of all that fat and connective tissue, beef short ribs need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 200°F.

Today, I’m going to cook my beef short ribs on the gas grill using an indirect method of cooking and wood chunks to bring great smoke flavor.

Our beef short ribs on the left side of the gas grill and our cherry smoker wood chunks on the right side burner.Grill Set Up

The gas grill I’m using is equipped with 4 burners and heat shields over those burners.  I’ll be pre-heating my grill to maintain a cooking temperature of 225°-275°F.  I will only be using the heat of the two burners on the right side of the grill.  My short ribs will be placed on the left side of the grill with the two burners in the “off” position.

I let the grill heat up first before adding the cherry wood chunks to the heat shields.  While it’s heating, lets prepare the short ribs.

Dinosaur Cut

I prefer my butcher to cut what I refer to as the “Dinosaur cut” of short rib.  These are the actual length of the short rib, usually around 8-inch lengths.  The butcher will trim some fat but essentially, leave these with quite a bit fat to render during cooking to make them tender.

After trimming the fat to make most of the ribs even in size, it’s time to make a simple, flavorful wet rub before these go on the grill.

Fresh Herb Wet Rub

There are a lot of options for flavors that marry well with beef but I prefer to use as much fresh herb as I can.  This wet rub recipe will coat about 4 full size short ribs.

Our fresh herb wet rub applied to the beef short ribs

  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Place each of the above ingredients into a mortar so I can control the amount of crushing to the ingredients.  I will be forming a loose paste with my ingredients by crushing the ingredients with the pestle.  I like to leave some larger pieces of rosemary and peppercorn to add texture to the finished ribs.  Once ready, I take the paste and rub it all over the ribs.  You can do this step the night before to allow for more tenderizing to the meat before it goes on the grill.

To the Heat

We maintain the temperature of our gas grill and approximately 275 degrees Farenheit.

With my grill temperature registering at 275°F, its time to place the ribs on the unlit side of the grill.  I place 2 cherry wood chunks on the heat shield of the burner that is lit and close the lid.  These will cook unchecked for about 2 hours.  At that point, it will be time to add additional wood chunks and turn the ribs. I also place a small water pan on the grill to keep the meat moist during the final cooking time.

The Finish

Beef short ribs are one of those cuts of meat that require a lengthy cook time, preferably at a lower temperature.  Cooking via indirect method on the gas grill with wood chunks is the perfect way to do just that method.  Depending on the size of the short ribs you’ve purchased, this method will take 3-5 hours.  For a three hour cook, two cherry Single Filet Wood Chunks from SmokinLicious® is all that is needed.  For thicker ribs, you will likely need one or two more wood chunks.  Target internal temperature of the ribs is 190°F if you plan to rest them or 200°F if your going from grill to plate.

Beef short ribs, dinosaur cut, with rosemary-thyme wet rub.  The ultimate in smoked ribs!

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

ACORN SQUASH- SWEET & SMOKY

FRESH CORN ON THE COB- GRILLED

Dr Smoke- "The lower the temperature and the longer the cook will equal tender meat."

Dr Smoke- “The lower the temperature and the longer the cook will equal tender meat.”

Smiling Burnese child before surgery for wide, bi-lateral cleft Lip repair. After surgery photo of same child showing the correction!

Smiling Burmese child before surgery for wide, bi-lateral cleft Lip repair. After surgery photo of same child showing the correction! DINING FOR SMILES EVENT PREPARATIONS

DINING FOR SMILES EVENT PREPARATIONS

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With the goal to repair children’s broken smiles by providing free comprehensive treatment for cleft lip and palate anomalies in under-served areas of the world, Alliance for Smiles,  founded by six members of the  San Francisco Rotary Club, Board member Carl Vahl (Chef Calle) hosted a gourmet, six-course dinner to raise funds for this exceptional cause at the Enchanted Valley Inn.  And SmokinLicious® was right there to lend our support.  We’re going to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at what goes in to preparing a six-course gourmet meal featuring wood-fired fresh Canadian salmon and wood-fired leg and loin of lamb.

Early Fire Start

Charwood burning in preparation for the grill and food cooking For SmokinLicious®, set up is crucial for a long event that has the menu relying on the perfection of the wood-fired proteins.   That means ensuring plenty of charwood and wood chunks are at the ready.  We keep two chimney starters loaded with charwood to keep a steady flow of hot coals going into the grills.  Since this event’s gourmet menu featured four foods to be wood fired – lamb, salmon, red peppers, and Brussels sprouts –  it’s necessary to get the fires going early so they can burn down to hot coal beds.  That is the key to successful wood-fire cooking.  Don’t cook over flames, only hot coals that will radiate heat throughout the grill.

The Wood-Fired Foods

For this Dining for Smiles event  preparations, we used a kettle grill and small charcoal grill from Stôk®.   Our wood selections included Ash, Sugar Maple, and Wild Cherry to compliment the Chef’s fresh ingredients.  At the ready, digital thermometers, fire gloves, fire extinguisher, ash can, and coal shovel.

Leg and loin of lamb on the grill Chef Calle picked up some sensational rib loins and a leg of lamb for the event.  Since the leg of lamb is the thickest, it will go on the grill about 45 minutes ahead of the loins.  We will maintain a temperature of 300° to 325°F.  My set up includes using a fine steel screen over the traditional charcoal grate to keep the hot coals from falling through.  I also use a disposable drip pan that contains a bottle of Syrah wine, rough cut onion, garlic, and mint leaves.  The leg of lamb will cook over that drip pan so I can collect the drippings for use later.  I probe the leg of lamb as I want to pull the lamb at 123°F internal temperature and rest it in an insulated blanket to the finished temperature of 130°F.

 

The inside of the Salmon waThe Salmon was stuffed with fresh Thyme, lemon slices and seasoned with a pinch of salt pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil s stuffed Fresh Thyme and lemon slices The fishmonger cleaned and gutted the whole 12lb. Canadian salmon but Chef still needs to cut off the gills and fins, and scale the fish.  After that, time for the fun stuffing!  With fresh herbs, lemon slices, and olive oil, this is ready for the grill.  We do make about four slices into the skin of the fish to allow water to steam out otherwise the fish would shrink.   Yes, it is a big fish for our kettle grill but we’ll get it done!  Once on the grill, we will leave the salmon untouched for about an hour before we flip and add some orange butter to the skin and insides.

The Finish

After cooking the lamb for approximately 2-1/2 hours, to an internal temperature of 123°F, it is removed and wrapped in an insulated sheet, then rested in a disposable pan.  The salmon is given one more rub of the orange butter and then it too is wrapped in an insulated blanket and rested until service.  With a combination of sugar maple and wild cherry woods on the salmon and ash, maple and cherry on the lamb, it doesn’t get any better than this for balanced flavor without being too smoky for our guests.

 Whole organic Red Bell pepper purchased from the local Farmers Market, roasting directly on the smoking embers to add a tasty char flavor! Chef wanted a few vegetable items wood fired as well so we started with red bell peppers right on the hot coals for a char finish.  Next, sweet onion into a pan set on the insert opening of the grill.  Once translucent and starting to brown, in go the Brussels sprouts and carrot.  The plan is the ember roasted pepper slices will be added to the salad course while the Brussels sprout medley will go on top of the rice for a flavorful side to the lamb and salmon.

With 18 invited guests attending this intimate event for a cause, the tables are set with a Fall festive theme.  Wine pairings are at the ready for the six courses as we welcome in our guests at 6pm for great conversation and a pre-dinner cocktail.

The Team

It certainly takes a Team to pull off an event like this. Special thanks go out to the Culinary Team of SmokinLicious® as well as the Kintner family and their business 360Rize who filmed the Dining for Smiles event preparations including the aerial view via drone.  Special thanks to our service team, Monica, Renee, Allison, Ashley, and Jackie.  It’s the giving of time that truly makes events like these.  And of course, to Chef Vahl who composed an unforgettable menu of foods and flavors.

Be sure to see our upcoming series on the six-course meal for Dining for Smiles after the event preparations and how it all was received.

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-INFUSING WOOD SMOKE INTO BRUSSELS SPROUTS

-SMOKE A TURKEY- LEARN HOW

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

Dr Smoke- "This is a great cause and desires everyone's support!

Dr Smoke- “This is a great cause for cleft lip repair and desires everyone’s support!

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