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Coffee beans for smoking meat?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 phaelon56

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 09:22 AM

Couldn't help myself.... kind of like looking at a bad car wreck.... I stumbled across Iron Chef USA last night and watched the whole thing. If elt that they screwed it up by trying to hard to "Americanize" it but I'll leave that discussion for general food topics.

The theme ingredient was turkey. One of the two competitors was Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit. He had some sliced turkey that he put in a smoker of some sort with alderwood - the commentators (who were highly annoying) mentioned that he had added coffee beans and cinnamon as well, for additional flavor.

The entire start to finish process lasts exactly one hour - from the first prep stages to final plating. My questions are multiple....

1) If it's thinly sliced, can you actually cook turkey effectively in a smoker in 45 minutes or less?

2) If it was partially or fully precooked would that make a difference?

3) Will preroasted coffee beans and/or cinnamon sticks smolder enough to be effective and will the flavor really be discernable in the meat with such a relatively short time in the smoker?


The possibilities seem intriguing if this method has merit but I wonder if it's more hype than it is a tangible flavor that one can detect in the food.

#2 jsolomon

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 11:40 AM

1) If it's thinly sliced, can you actually cook turkey effectively in a smoker in 45 minutes or less?

2) If it was partially or fully precooked would that make a difference?

3) Will preroasted coffee beans and/or cinnamon sticks smolder enough to be effective and will the flavor really be discernable in the meat with such a relatively short time in the smoker?


The possibilities seem intriguing if this method has merit but I wonder if it's more hype than it is a tangible flavor that one can detect in the food.

Actually, a few days before I stumbled across that episode, I was wondering the same thing myself: how smoking something using [green] coffee beans would taste.

However, in my experience with Turkey is you can get a decent smokiness in it even simply grilling over charcoal with appropriate smoke producing wood, even at high heat. I used to cook boned turkey halves on a grill in roughly 60 minutes, and all I did was bone them off the bird and butterfly the breasts. It worked like a charm. The smoke flavor was quite discernible and pleasant.

As for smoking with coffee beans, I, too, am curious.
I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

#3 phaelon56

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:22 PM

I cross posted this in the Cooking forum and our resident smoking expert, Colonel Klink, weighed in with some thoughts. He agreed that particularly if thinly sliced, turkey could easily be smoked to completion with a very discernable smoky flavor in well under an hour. He suggests brining first.

He had no experience with adding other components but assumes that if they're soaked first and allowed to smolder as the wood chips do. I believe the beans would need to be preroasted arther than green - I think it might take to long for the green beans to smolder. Samuellson's dish was described as "espresso bean smoked". I assume they mean espresso roasted beans (i.e. dark roast) rather than simply indicating that an espresso blend was used (not that dark roast is really "espresso roasted" per se).

#4 melkor

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:45 PM

Maybe I should wrap a slice of turkey around the roasting drum next time I roast a batch. :laugh:

#5 alacarte

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 10:07 AM

this reminds me of the cooking with tobacco thread

wouldn't coffee beans burn and turn bitter, rather than infusing the meat with a pleasant flavor? Marinating in coffee might produce a better (though less subtle) effect, although I don't think I would enjoy the end result.

#6 jsolomon

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 06:20 AM

this reminds me of the cooking with tobacco thread

wouldn't coffee beans burn and turn bitter, rather than infusing the meat with a pleasant flavor? Marinating in coffee might produce a better (though less subtle) effect, although I don't think I would enjoy the end result.

I would be more tempted to use green coffee beans. There are two places in town that roast their own coffee in "bulk" (more than 5 pounds at a time). One can be smelled from the University where I attended until quite recently. The other can be smelled from my domicile.

Roasting coffee smells unlike any other. Heavenly.

Heavenly.

I would try to smoke some ham with it attempting to capture some red-eye gravy magic.
I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

#7 Katherine

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 06:46 AM

I tried smoking meat with green coffee beans once, as a test before making my (then-planned) smoker. Coffee beans give off a huge amount of smoke when they roast.

It came out *ok*, considering that it was a test run. I'm sure you could do something really tasty, if you play with it a few times.

I still haven't put in the smoker, so I haven't tried it again.