[Note This is an Update to Article originally released in December 2013.]
‘Tis the Season of Giving, Joy to the World, Chestnuts Roasting… Yada, Yada, Yada. Our superhero TasteeBQ doesn’t begin his Holidays Celebrations in September (Like many Retailers. Next year they will be starting in August). Like many of us, the Holiday Spirit doesn’t usually take him over until the final shopping weekend before Xmas. This year he was planning to gift- to family and friends- his favorite, most essential Grilling accessory: Coal. But something told him that it wouldn’t be received in the spirit intended. So TasteeBQ had to come up with another plan.
He was sprinkling BBQ Dry Rub on his Deluxe Mixed Nuts, and preparing to cook them on his sunny California Smoker. Then, TasteeBQ got Zapped with a sudden burst of inspiration. He began to think about all of the unfortunate Boys and Girls throughout the World who are not privileged enough to live in California and have access to Grills from Webber, Char-Broil or the Big Green Egg- yearround. Some people even live in Apartments. While others may not be able to excavate their BBQ Rigs from “Let it Snow” Land. More interactive than those screechy Musical Holiday Cards, he decided to bestow the Gift that keeps on Giving: The DIY Stovetop Smoker (STS).
HOW TO MAKE A DIY STOVETOP SMOKER-[STS] FOR .99 CENTS
Here’s all you’ll need:
1- Large Pot or Dutch Oven/ with Lid (Heavy Bottomed or Cast Iron will work best)
1- Steaming Tray or Rack (to fit inside of Pot)
1- Bag of Mesquite of Hickory Wood Chips from the .99 Cents Only Store.
Before you run out to grab a Whole Hog or 50lb. Chicken, bear in mind that this technique works best for small portions of Prepared Foods. Stovetop Smoking is a quick and easy way to infuse real Natural Wood Smoked Flavor, without leaving your Kitchen. Chefs have used similar techniques for decades doing indoor Tea and Herb Smoking, with Fish, Potatoes and other Veggies. TasteeBQ has just began to experiment with translating it to BBQ. So far the results are simply delicious. [Others have also discovered this technique, see Links].
1. Put Pot on Stove, with small foil pouch of dry Wood Chips (no more than 1/4 Cup) placed in the center.
2. Place Rack inside Pot with the Food to be Smoked
3. Cover Pot with Lid (leaving small vent) and turn burner to High. You should start seeing smoke in 3-5 Minutes. From there it depends on what you are Smoking. Let’s experiment together. Maybe we can compile 100+ DIY Stovetop Smoker (STS) Recipes in time for the next Super Bowl. Many of you will still be in the snow, so it should work out nicely.
Here are some Suggestions to try, followed by our first 2 DIY STS Recipes.
For Precooked Snacks, Pasta, Nachos, Nuts, Popcorn, Pretzels:
Place Food on open foil tray, preseason with BBQ Rub, or seasoning mix of your choice. Once lid begins to smoke, close lid. Cut heat to medium for 2-3 Minutes, then cut off. Leave food in closed chamber for 10-15 minutes (until smoke dissipates. In case of emergency, always have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and pre-clear a path to an outside door or window where you can release smoke.* An built-in intake system is even better.
*This shouldn’t happen if you stick to less than 1/4 Cup of Wood Chips and turn off burner in regular intervals while cooking, or every 15-20 minute Smoking Cycle.
For Pre-Roasted, Baked or Smoked Meats, Bacon, Fish and Vegetables, Pizza, Rice, Pre-cooked Baby Back Ribs, Hot Wings:
Start with above instructions. The idea is to warm it through on your DIY STS. Pre-warmed or room temperature food will absorb smoke faster, so it could be good to go after only one Smoking Cycle. Cold leftovers may take 2-3 Cycles.
For Uncooked Meats, Potatoes, Root Veggies
TasteeBQ has recently learned that he is not the first, or only one to think of this Stovetop Smoking technique. A quick web search found blogs as old as 2012. Most of them suggest to STS the meat on low for up to a couple of hours, then finish in the oven. This will also provide a milder flavor. The other way is also fine- cook Meat first, then set it in the STS for a Smoke Cycle or Two. Links to referenced Articles appear below.
Recipe #1- Stove Top Smoked Mixed Nuts
Great for Holiday and New Year’s Gatherings. Also works with Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds, Walnuts or Peanuts.
1. Season Assorted Mixed Nuts with your choice of Spices, Seasoning or Herbs (we used HEROIC! Rub.)
2. Place in Foil Pouch, then into your STS.
3. In only one Smoke Cycle, Nuts will come out tasting warm and delicious. Won’t last long, at all.
Recipe #2- Stove Top Smoked Salmon
This a great “Next Day” Recipe for leftover Grilled, Baked or Smoked Salmon. We served ours over a bed of Cheesy Garlic Fettuccini.
1. Place Portion of Salmon on Foil. Spritz with water or Citrus Juice to help maintain moisture.
2. Re-season Salmon with BBQ Rub or Spices and Herbs.
3. Cook on STS for 1-2 Smoke Cycles until warmed through. Finish with Tzatziki Sauce with Dill or Garlic Herb Seasoned Butter.
Fill out this Brief Contact to receive STS News , Updates on 100 DIY Stovetop Smoking Recipes or if you’d like to share STS Recipes.
NOTE: The following article details a home cooking experiment. It is not intended to insure the the safety of anyone who tries it home. To be sure your DIY Smoker is safe, you may want to have it inspected by Fire and Food Safety Professionals. This project is not recommend for those under 18, without parental supervision.
9/9/13- A big thanks to Marc Farris, Producer of the BBQ channel on YouTube. Thanks to his tip, we researched the latest FDA Guidelines on Terra Cotta. Until more testing is done, we do not recommend you do this at home. Otherwise, hope you enjoy reading about our little experiment.
Some “Lead-Free” Pottery Can Still Taint Food- FDA
You love the smoky flavor of Pulled Pork, but are tired of the long lines at the local BBQ Stop? The wait is over. You can build your own Electric Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker at home. It is fast, easy, environmentally friendly and affordable. The commercial Ceramic Giant Egg can easily cost more than $1000, with all the accessories. Even Lady Gaga could have trouble affording one. TasteeBQ was recently inspired by vintage 2007-2008 Alton Brown videos which made Ceramic Flower Pot Smokers for $50. Now, he hopes to take you to the next level.
The concept of using plain Terra Cotta pots didn’t seem so appealing to TasteeBQ. He needed something that could be presentable on the front patio next to his cherished Venus Di Milo. So TasteeBQ set a budget of $100 to see if he could build a Smoker with a little more visual appeal. In the end, he only spent $77.38 (tax not included) to build an environmentally friendly Electric Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker, which uses less Wood and little to no Charcoal. Also, no Propane Gas or Lighting Fluid required.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BUILDING CERAMIC BBQ POT SMOKER
Here are the Parts Needed, where we got them and for how much:
2- 19″ Wide Terra Cotta Vases from Home Depot $13.98 ea.= $27.96
1- Proctor Silex durable Fifth Burner from Rite Aid= $19.99
1- Weber Charcoal Grate (#7441) from Home Depot= $10.99
1- Instant Read Meat Thermometer from Target= $7.39
1- Decorative Terra Cotta Chicken (retail $19.99) on Clearance at Target= $5.98
3- Decorative Cobblestone Base Bricks from Home Depot ($1.69 ea.)= $5.07
Additional Materials Needed (from around the house):
Wood Chips/ Chunks (Mesquite, Hickory, Cherry, or Applewood, etc..)
Metal Pan for Chips,
2 Bricks (clean) to hold up Hot Plate,
Outdoor Extension Cord
BBQ Tongs or Poker for stirring Chips
Fire Extinguisher (Always good to have around whenever cooking.)
EASY 5-STEP SET UP takes less than 1 Hour. Of course, it is good to check that everything fits before doing final assembly.
1. Set Pot on Base Bricks in steady position, leave gap to run Cord through.
2. Line Bottom Pot with Aluminum Foil. Then place level Holding Bricks at bottom inside Pot.
3. Set Burner on top of Bricks. Position Control Knob in open spot where it can be reached. Run Cord through bottom hole. Outdoor extension Cord may be needed to reach nearest outlet. Be sure connection is at safe/dry location.
4. Place Metal Pan with Wood Chips on top of Burner Coil.
5. Place Grate on Top of Bottom Pot. Now you are ready to get Smoking. First time starting it up, we checked that Burner was working before adding Meat. The Burner had to be turned up to Max to make Wood Chips smoke and heat entire oven.
We used the Terra Cotta Chicken to cover top hole and hold in the heat. Once it started to smoke, we placed Meat Thermometer in top hole until it topped 190 degrees, so we knew we had a hot Oven.
Before moving on to the Pulled Pork Recipe, here are some general Pros and Cons:
– Smoker is electric and environmentally friendly. We only had to replace Wood Chips once, at the beginning (to get sufficient amount). After that, it did aromatic wood cooking with very little actual clouds of smoke. The Wood Chunks worked (sort of) like smokeless incense, while the smaller Chips seemed to smoke better. If you want more constant smoke, try adding Ceramic Charcoal and replenish wet Wood Chunks every hour or so, as needed.
– It is easy to use as Slow Cooker, would be very difficult to overcook Meat. At least with our sized Smoker. It you build smaller one with 12″ Grate, your Smoker is likely get much hotter, so you may have to adjust heat accordingly.
-The Flavor- This is real deal Wood Smoking technique. Food came out tasting great. If you don’t like the flavor of coal, it is even better the the Giant Egg, which uses Charcoal.
– Cost: The $77.38 is less than you would spend for one Smoked HoneyBaked Ham. Smoke two DIY Hams and you have already saved money.
– The Lid can get a bit hot, awkward and heavy (our Pot weighs over 25 lbs). There are no handles so use Oven Mitts to pick up Lid. Be careful to clear it above the Meat, as to not knock it away. Once again, if you build a smaller 12″ Grate model, Lid should be lighter to handle. Once you get Recipes (and curiosity) down, You can do no-peek cooking for hours at a time.
– Smoker is for Low and Slow BBQ Only. Not for Grilling. One advantage of the Giant Egg is that it cooks at extreme heats as well as low temps. This Ceramic Smoker cannot replace your regular Grill for quick fire Hamburgers and Steaks. It would be next to useless if you are into Vegan Cuisine, which almost always calls for quick Grilling Recipes. (though we may experiment with Smoked Kale Chips). This Smoker is best for Chicken Pieces, Sausages, Roasts and Whole Bird Cooking. It could also used to smoke Fish.
-Emphasis on Slow. Our 5 lb. Pork Roast took 11 Hours to get well done (and probably could have gone for 3 more). We could normally Smoke a Pork Roast in 4-5 Hours on a regular Charcoal Grill. While experimenting with Smoker, give yourself extra time to be sure your Meat gets fully done. Make alternate back-up plans if you are on deadline for dinner. You can always transfer Meats to finish in oven. Even an hour on the Smoker will impart Natural Wood Flavors that you can’t get from Oven cooking alone, or from Liquid Smoke.
[Consider Smoking your Pork Roast the Day before your party. Refrigerate it after it cools down (1-2 Hours). Then reheat it in foil at 420 degrees in Oven for 40 minutes on day of Party, before pulling Pork.]
RECIPE: CITRUS PULLED PORK (Gluten Free)
If you have shopped lately for fresh Ribs, we don’t have to tell you how expensive they can get. Especially if you are feeding a large crowd. Serving Pulled Pork is an affordable alternative. One 5 lb. Roast will render enough meat for about 10- 12 sandwiches. If you are only serving a few (and can afford Ribs) you can also use Smoker to cook them. We will do Rib Recipe soon.
Many Pork Roast Recipes call for the traditional Salt and Sugar Brine. Our Brine uses Orange Juice, which contains enough natural Sugar and Acids to do the Job. Extra Sodium is in the Gluten Free Italian Dressing and Worcestershire Sauce. You can also try this with Apple Juice, Cider and Cloves for the Holidays. Or an Orange Juice/ Lemonade Combo might be nice.
1 5lb. Pork Picnic Shoulder or Butt Roast
1 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/3 Cup Gluten Free Italian Dressing
4 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Pepper (if desired)
1 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider
2-3 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub
1 Tbsp. Molasses or Raw Sugar (if desired)
In Large Ziplock, cover Pork Roast with Orange Juice, Italian Dressing, BBQ Rub, Worcestershire Sauce and Salt and Pepper. Shake Well and Refrigerate overnight. May place on Foil or in Bowl in case of leaking.
Next Day- no need to rinse off Brine. Shake off extra liquid and move Roast to Smoker Place Meat on the Grate to the side, to reduce juice dripping into Wood Chips. After 1 to 1-1/2 hours place Foil underneath, leaving Meat open to absorb more smoke.
After 4 hours, wrap Roast completely in Foil to get it to heat up inside, and catch the oncoming flow of juices.
Ours Pork Picnic Roast took 11 hours to get done, you may smoke yours for up to 14 hours.
You will have plenty of time to make this simple BBQ Sauce. Heat 1 cup of Orange Juice, mixing in 2 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub and 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar. Once it boils, reduce to simmer and (you may) add Raw Sugar or Molasses. Stir frequently. Sauce will thicken as it simmers. It will be ready to use in about 15-20 minutes.
Once Pork is done let it rest for about an hour. Pull Meat off bone and separate into chunks. Use 2 Forks to shred Pork to desired consistency. Add BBQ Sauce to drench (not drown) Pork. Add a little more BBQ Rub, as well. Stir and let Meat absorb sauce for a least a few minutes. Serve on your favorite Grilled Bread Roll with Coleslaw & Chips.
RECIPE: GRILLED CABBAGE BROCCOLI COLESLAW
1 bag Trader Joe’s Broccoli Coleslaw Mix
1 Cup Sliced Yellow Cabbage
1 Half Cup of Gluten Free Mayo
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider
1 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
We grilled 1 Cup of sliced Yellow Cabbage. You can put it on Smoker to wilt for 30 Mins. Julienne Cabbage and add to Broccoli Coleslaw Mix with Mayo, Cider, BBQ Rub and salt and Pepper to Taste. Refrigerate for up to 1/2 hour before serving. We topped our Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw. Delightful.
Alton Brown’s original homemade video on How to Make Ceramic Flower Pot Smoker
Most GrillMasters will tell you that the secret to smoking fresh Chicken is Low and Slow for hours, with careful temperature control. By starting with a precooked, Rotisserie Chicken it will absorb the smoke as you reheat it on the Grill. TasteeBQ recently went on a worldwide quest to assemble a Magic Rub with 9 of the greatest SuperFoods on the planet.
Brief Summary- Part 1:
TEMPORARY HOME RUB POTION
2 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
1. Tbsp. Cumin
1. Tsp. Raw Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 Tsp. Pepper
[Salt and Sugar optional]
TasteeBQ grew up in the Midwest. Flavors from Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee influenced folks to create a variety of Chicago Style BBQ Sauces. Most of these Sauces use Ground Mustard, which is rarely Gluten Free (GF). Forced to solve this dilemma, our Hero decided to visit Okinawa, Japan- where people are said to live longer than Dinosaurs. He found that these heathy beings traditionally drink Turmeric Tea on a daily basis for as long as the oldest person can remember. So to be friendly to his GF friends, TasteeBQ decided to make Turmeric part of the Magic Rub.
Recipe #3- Homemade RED HOT BBQ SAUCE
As delicious as the Chicken is after Rubbing and Heating, for some people the BBQ experience isn’t complete without a Sauce. Over centuries of exhaustive research and testing, TasteeBQ has found that the Magic Rub can be used as a base for an infinite variety of BBQ Sauce Recipes. But today, he is going for something sweet and Cinnamon-ey, so he will utilize a highly specialized weapon: Hot Tamale Candy.
RED HOT BBQ SAUCE TECHNIQUE
1. Heat 1 Cup fresh Orange Juice with 2 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar.
2. As it warms, stir in 2 Tbsp. BBQ Rub, then 1/5 Cup chopped Hot Tamale Candy.
3. Stir until thick, and Candy dissolves. May also add chopped Grilled Onion or Garlic.
“In the Middle Ages, a time when spices were relatively rare, cumin was one of the most common spices. It was thought to promote love and fidelity. People carried it to weddings and walked around with it with their pockets. It was reputed to keep lovers and chickens from wandering. Thus, married soldiers were sent off to battle with a fresh baked loaf of cumin bread.” – InDepthInfo.com
[TasteeBQ remembers the time, so he decided to add Cumin to the Magic Rub- especially for the Chickens.]
Recipe #4- MARINATED ONE HOUR SMOKED CHICKEN
This is “The Most Amazing Thing You Can Ever Do to Transform a Rotisserie Chicken” (in TasteeBQ’s humble opinion). This recipe can be done on the run, if necessary, but marinating the Chicken overnight adds tremendous flavor. Plus a cooled Chicken holds up on the Smoker much better than a warm one. It would help to marinate and refrigerate it for even a couple of hours.
1. Buy Chicken a day in advance (grab two when you find them on Sale for $5.00). Thoroughly season Chicken with Rub, top and bottom. You may also rub in some Fresh Chopped Garlic. Refrigerate Chicken overnight.
2. Next day, set up to smoke Chicken on low for 1 Hour. Be sure to replenish wood chips, as needed. There should Grill space to smoke 2 or three Chickens. Great for a group, or if you want left over Smoked Chicken for Salads, Sandwiches and other Dishes throughout the week.
3. You may also try smoking sliced Onions and/or Garlic. Chop them to add smoky flavor to your BBQ Sauce.
TasteeBQ hopes you will try some of these Recipes. Rather than buying a myriad of Spices and Herbs, try finding a delicious BBQ Rub to make cooking them much simpler. It is also the most cost-effective way to make sure the blend of ingredients are equally fresh (rather than breaking out that bottle of 2 year old Paprika). These easy and affordable Recipes will make Your Kitchen the most delicious BBQ Joint in Town.
This is one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Where do those Chickens come from? Why are the prepared ones cheaper than buying fresh ones? What road did those (same sized) Chickens cross to get to our table side ? Why are they so good? TasteeBQ had no time go ponder these deep thoughts. It was dinner time, traffic stucked, and those Rotisserie Chickens at the grocery looked mighty fine.
But hadn’t he consumed a whole Rotisserie Chicken every night for the past four days? He considered getting that $5.00 Fried 8-pc Chicken deal tonight… Nah maybe next time. So our Hero had to come up with a scheme. Some way to make the same, tasty Rotisserie Chicken taste not so… same. TasteeBQ came up with a Plan. Why not fly all over the world and seek Herbal Wisdom in a jar?
Recipe #1 RUB RUBBED CHICKEN (Not Jerked)
Enough pondering. Time for dinner. The first recipe he tried was really fast and easy. TasteeBQ used his Magic Rub with 9 Sacred SuperFoods. He simply removed the Chicken from the plastic tub, sprinkled it with the Rub- and Yum! Those who have yet to acquire the Magic Rub can use the following potion:
TEMPORARY HOME RUB POTION
2 Tbl. Smoked Paprika
1. Tbl. Cumin
1. Tsp. Raw Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt & 1/4 Tsp Pepper
[Salt and Sugar optional]
This is not to be confused with Jerked Chicken. TasteeBQ found that Paprika is considered a SuperFood by some. Paprika is said to have famously dueled with Citrus Foods and won the title for “Most Vitamin C”. Who knew? Our hero found the spice to be popular everywhere from Hungary to Spain, Morocco, Mexico and in the Caribbean. The dishes ranged from Sausages, to Stews, Paellas and more. He also learned that applying heat to Paprika brings out even more of it’s natural smoky flavor. This led him to a brilliant idea.
Recipe #2- HEAT RUBBED CHICKEN
Simply genius. Who could of thought that adding flame to a re-seasoned Rotisserie Chicken could make it taste better? After applying the Magic Rub, TasteeBQ tried heating it, using several techniques. The results came out the same- Delicious!
Grill- Cut in half (lengthwise) and marinate Chicken in Rub (or Potion) for 15 minutes while firing up the Grill to Medium. The longer you grill Chicken on indirect heat the more BBQ flavor you’ll get. Use wood chips for even more flavor.
Oven- After marinating, bake whole Chicken at 400 degrees for 1/2 hour. Then Broil for 5-6 minutes to get tasty, crispy skin.
Skillet/ Grill Pan- Heat up a little oil. Cut marinated Chicken into 4-6 sections. Pan sear Chicken on both sides, to caramelize. For extra flavor, you can saute’ Chopped Onions and/Garlic along with Chicken.
If Grilled Chicken makes you Scream, Smoked Chicken is the Mona Lisa. It is almost impossible to describe the beauty and deliciousness of nicely smoked meat. But the flavor is simply unmistakable. That reminds TasteeBQ of Garlic, which he considers the Mona Lisa of Spices. Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, everywhere from China to Japan, Egypt, India, France, Russia, South Korea, South America and here in the U.S.
Gratuitous Bonus Video- The Mona Lisa
Check out the crowd on pilgrimage to see the Mona Lisa in Paris. Could have been an International Garlic Convention.
California Gold BBQ Rubs www.CaliforniaGoldRub.com Introducing POWER- a delicious BBQ Seasoning and Marinade; Gluten Free with 9 SuperFoods. See website for Recipes, including healthier homemade Gluten Free BBQ Sauce.
Are you trying to eat healthy, but feel like you are stuck in a hard place between a Taco Truck and a BBQ Shack? Consider this recipe the gluten free (GF), grain free, good for you alternative. Many of us think of traditional Barbecue (or Barbeque) cuisine as being comprised of sweet heavy sauces, fatty meats and greasy side dishes… And we love all of it! However, nowadays more and more people are seeking healthier BBQ choices- for fitness, nutritional and medical benefits. Many chefs are now recommending that you use a dry BBQ Rub as a way to achieve bold flavor without all of the fat.
TasteeBQ has heard you, and offers this simple, delicious and heroic dish:
Grilled Steak Tacos in Butter Lettuce Cups
If you don’t have a Grill available, the main ingredients can be Pan Roasted or Broiled in the Oven. Not into the Meat thing? Feel free to substitute juicy Portobello Mushrooms or your favorite Vegan Meat Substitute. These are also great with Grilled Chicken Breast.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)
1 1/2 to 2 Lbs- Boneless Steak (New York, Sirloin, or Skirt Steak)
1- Large Onion (White or Yellow)
1- Head of Butter Lettuce (approx. 8 layers)
4- Roma Tomatoes
2- Red Peppers (May mix with Green or Yellow)
1 to 2- Large Carrots
1/2 Cup- Chopped Green Scallions
2 Tbl- POWER or HEROIC! BBQ Rubs by California Gold BBQ Rubs
[May substitute a packet of Taco Seasoning, check for Gluten Free (GF) if important]
1 Tbl- Dry Cumin
8 oz- Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional)
1. Chop Peppers and Tomatoes in half, removing seeds. Cut Onion and Carrot (lengthwise) into 3/4” slices. Rinse and Dry Steak, set aside.
2. Put Veggies and Meat in separate containers or foil pouches. Lightly coat with Olive Oil. Toss with Dry Rub, Cumin- Salt and Pepper (to taste). Be sure to finish Veggies, then the Meat. Try to marinate everything for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
3. Grill Steak 4-6 Minutes per side, depending on thickness. Grill Veggies for same amount of time (Note- Carrots may take longer cook time to tenderize).
4. Chop Veggies and Steak into 1” pieces. Place meat, then Veggies into individual Butter Lettuce Cups. Sprinkle a little extra rub on top, along with Chopped Green Scallions and Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional).
These Tacos are great for a party first course or appetizer. As a main dish add more Meat or Grilled Avocados. It can also be served with Rice and/or Beans on the side. Go for the grain with Tortilla Chips or add colorful Veggie Chips (as a GF alternative). Of course, sprinkle the Chips with a delicious BBQ Rub and Enjoy!
Has your BBQ Season already started? With the great American Holiday coming up, even “holdouts” will be firing up the Grill for the 4th of July. If you want to step up your food this year, consider converting your Grill into a Smoker. It is much easier than you’d think, and smoky natural wood flavor will add an all-new dimension to everything you cook. —TasteeBQ
Our superhero, TasteeBQ was recently summoned to a beautiful home in the Hills above a popular California Beach for a special Father’s Day grilling lesson. A really nice family needed rescue help for their Grill- which came with a French sounding name and lots of Infrared attitude. TasteeBQ offered the following Tips:
Easy Tips For Food Smoking:
1. The Key to Smoked Food Cooking is: “Low and Slow”.
2. Indirect Heat Method allows food to absorb delicious smoked flavor without overcooking.
3. For Charcoal Grilling- Soak the Wood Chips or Chunks for at least 1/2 hour in advance.
4. Gas and Infrared Grills may add dry Chips or Pellets to built-in or store bought Smoke Box or Tin. Or go “Hobo” and place the dry Chips into double-ply Aluminum Foil Pouch.
5. Either way, 1/3 Cup of Chips should be placed on Coals or Hot side of Grill. Use Low or no Heat on Smoking/Cooking side of grill. Replace chips whenever smoke runs out (30 mins to Hour).
You can use these Tips to add a new twist to some Traditional 4th of July BBQ Dishes-
4 EASY BBQ RECIPES FOR the 4th of JULY
1. SMOKED CHIPS
Rather than serving your Chips from Bag to Bowl, let them take an 8 to 10 minute detour to the Smoker. Put Chips in a tin, aluminum pan or homemade Foil Basket. Works with all kinds of Chips from Potato, Corn, Veggie or Pita. For a twist, sprinkle Chips with a Delicious BBQ Rub (like HEROIC! from California Gold BBQ Rubs) or Grill Seasoning before and after Smoking (stirring chips halfway through).
2. SMOKED HOT DOGS
Yeah, most of the packages say the wieners are “Smoked”, but you probably haven’t tasted a truly Smoked Hotdog until you try this. Cook Hotdogs on the slow, cooler end of Grill and let them warm up for about 12-15 minutes. Flip in middle of cooking once they start to plump up and take on color. When they start to blister or separate, it is their way of announcing “Done!”.
3. SAVORY BBQ BURGERS
Use this recipe for 1/2lb. Big Boys, to 1/4 Pounders or 3oz. Sliders (can cut hotdog buns into 2-3 sections to save on overpriced store “Mini Buns”).
For each 1lb of Ground Beef or Turkey mix in:
2 Tbl. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbl. BBQ Sauce
1 Tbl. Paprika
1 Tbl. Ground Turmeric (may substitute Mustard Seed)
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
[Optional- Add 1-2 Tbl. of your favorite Grill Seasoning or a Delicious BBQ Rub (like HEROIC!), which can also be used to make Gluten Free BBQ Sauce]
Mix well and return Meat to Refrigerator until ready to cook. Separate Meat into desired size Patties. Sear on both sides using Hotter part of Grill. When they are just under desired doneness, move Burgers to cooler side and let smoker finish cooking (this is also good time to add slice of cheese). Serve with BBQ Sauce and/or Mayo, Mustard, Ketchup. [Cheese, Tomato and Lettuce Optional]
Strike While the Fire is Hot. You can also use Grill to kick-up your Condiment Bar for Burgers and Hotdogs. Key is to prepare Veggies in large portion, then cut to size after Grilling. Coat with oil and herbs or use a really Delicious BBQ Rub (like HEROIC!). Try this with Onions (slice thick, then separate or chop), Bell Peppers, Pickle Spears. Tomatoes, Lettuce, Fresh Chilies or Jalapenos, etc…
4. SMOKED CORN
Prepare Fresh Corn- Remove hard outer husks from each ear of Corn. Trim stem to 1 inch. Leave a small layer of tender husk attached. Pull husks back and remove as much silk as possible (Run under sink?). Then replace husk back around Corn.
Soak Corn- Immerse Corn cobs in water for minimum 1/2 Hour to Overnight. This will tenderize Corn and moisten husk so it doesn’t burn (and protects Corn on grill). Also adds more corny good flavor.
Cook- In Smoker or Grill for 15-20 minutes on moderate heat, rotating to get some color on all sides. You can tell it is done when kernels feel tender. [No Grill?- Place Corn in microwavable dish, in shallow water for steaming. Cover with plastic wrap or glass lid. Cook on High for 6-8 minutes, rotating midway through, until tender]. When cool enough to handle warm Corn, pull back husk (and snip)
Seasoning Bar- Should include basic Butter, Salt and Pepper. For more variety, have available Mayonnaise, Hot Sauce, Garlic Salt, Italian Seasoning and/or a really Delicious BBQ Rub.
TasteeBQ wishes all of you a Happy Independence Day. Hope these Recipes help bring you independence from BorenG’Food, all the year round.
BBQ Chicken and Ribs Recipes
For those who gotta have Chicken and/or Ribs for the Holiday: The only “Easy Recipe” is to buy them pre-cooked and heat them up in the Smoker before adding BBQ Sauce or a Delicious BBQ Rub. To make them fresh, here are some links that may help with Baking and Grilling techniques. Feel free to substitute a Delicious BBQ Rub (like HEROIC!) if a Recipe calls for a ton of different spices.