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What Can You Smoke -- and What Can You Do With It?


Chris Amirault
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Both in Shelby's foodblogand my foodblog, we pondered the following question: what can you smoke, and what can you do with the stuff you smoked? I'll bet we can gather a pretty interesting list.

My recent experiments have included pineapple, mushrooms, and apples. I made the pineapple into a great sugar syrup and garnish for cocktails and punches, and the mushrooms became part of a Michoacán salsa. I think the apples are destined for a pork chop.

You?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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There isn't much you can't smoke. As I wrote in another thread, I have neighbors who smoke all kinds of foods - sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, as well as meats and fish.

I often make a small batch of sausage, form it into patties and smoke them but I just use my stovetop smoker as they take much less time.

I also prepare a dish of smoked green beans. I quickly blanch and then tie the beans into bunches and smoke them for no more than 30 minutes and then cut them into thirds, toss with chopped onions or shallots, a can of button mushrooms, some crumbled bacon, arrange in a casserole dish, dot with butter and bake for 35 minutes at 350° F.

It's a nice side dish with ham or turkey and is much lighter than the casserole made with mushroom soup.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A couple of years ago, I smoked walnuts and added them to an apple pie. The pie's theme was sweet, spicy and smokey so it worked rather well (basic concept was apples sauteed in butter and pan deglazed with maple syrup mixed with smoked walnuts, smoked paprika, aleppo pepper and cinnamon).

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A couple of years ago, I smoked walnuts and added them to an apple pie. The pie's theme was sweet, spicy and smokey so it worked rather well (basic concept was apples sauteed in butter and pan deglazed with maple syrup mixed with smoked walnuts, smoked paprika, aleppo pepper and cinnamon).

That sounds wonderful. I've made smoked apple "chips" - apple rings strung on a cord and hung in the smoker to both dry and smoke them. Some were a bit too smoky but most were very tasty and a bit different from my regular dried apples. I meant to use them in fried pies but they were just too tasty eaten out of hand. :rolleyes:

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Not too many things I have not tried at least once on the smoker. But one of my favorites was ripe peaches cut side up. Holy Moley they were good, the smoke flavor worked great with the sweetness and the peach juice. Not on too long I was not attempting to make dried peaches. The peaches were still intact and soft, but just enough smoke. Just served with some vanilla ice cream.

Speaking of ice cream, smoked ice cream sounds like a great idea. But how? Would letting the dairy get some smoke come through in the taste? Would doing so effect the dairy that it would not freeze correctly? Or just put smoked fruit into the prepared mix. I may have to try that.

I have often done nuts of various kinds. I have seem people rave about smoked salt. Either I did not have the technique or I just did not appricaite it as smoked salt did not do much for me.

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Not too many things I have not tried at least once on the smoker. But one of my favorites was ripe peaches cut side up. Holy Moley they were good, the smoke flavor worked great with the sweetness and the peach juice. Not on too long I was not attempting to make dried peaches. The peaches were still intact and soft, but just enough smoke. Just served with some vanilla ice cream.

Speaking of ice cream, smoked ice cream sounds like a great idea. But how? Would letting the dairy get some smoke come through in the taste? Would doing so effect the dairy that it would not freeze correctly? Or just put smoked fruit into the prepared mix. I may have to try that.

I have often done nuts of various kinds. I have seem people rave about smoked salt. Either I did not have the technique or I just did not appricaite it as smoked salt did not do much for me.

What you do is cook the custard, pour it into a shallow pan or dish and put it in the smoker. Stir it after half an hour and taste it. The flavor will be diluted if you add more ingredients so work accordingly to get the right balance of smoke in the custard.

This is one of the things I tried with the Smoking Gun but had a very poor result, even after prolonged smoking the custard only had surface smoke flavor.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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In the Summer, on my Brinkman .. I'll smoke Roma tomatoes usually with shredded red oak chips.. but next yr I'll have a source for trimmed grape vineyard wood.

Usually make a pasta sauce, with melted mozzarella.

Paul

Its good to have Morels

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Mike, Smoked salt is a nice finishing touch for some things, and for others it's a background flavor in dishes where you don't have some other smoked item like bacon.

Still haven't figured out how to get liquid smoke, I'll add.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Mike, Smoked salt is a nice finishing touch for some things, and for others it's a background flavor in dishes where you don't have some other smoked item like bacon.

Still haven't figured out how to get liquid smoke, I'll add.

I know of one person who makes his own liquid smoke but he is a bit cagey about his process. His sister (my friend) tells me that he uses a steam juicer along with an electric kettle in which he "cooks" the wood so the smoke goes into the juicer and combines with the steam that is carried into the receiving bottle.

She says he uses some kind of liquor but that varies from vodka to rum to bourbon, that works as a "preservative" to keep the liquid from getting moldy.

A few years ago Alton Brown did a segment on making liquid smoke, so it is possible.

My neighbor puts a pan of tequila in the smoker and says it gets smoky enough to flavor foods.

I cheat and use lapsang souchong tea because I can't tolerate alcohol.

Several years ago someone told me to try smoking glycerin because it readily absorbs flavors and instantly dissolves in water.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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i think you need a rig and some pressure. The liquid goes in a cylinder with a valve on the bottom. The smoke needs to go through a tube into the valve and bubble up through the liquid. I also think there would need to be a little pressure pushing the smoke. I' sure the scientists and the gadgeteeres here could advise on exactly how.

Melissa the chemist, who has done some smoking could, I'll bet, figure it out.

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I thought liquid smoke was done somehow with Ice and condensation...like a big bowl with a tall metal container of ice standing in it, maybe with an even bigger bowl over it all

I need to stop with the dayquil

t

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I've been thinking a lot about beer recently (who hasn't been!), so in that vein...

You can smoke malt or buy smoked malt. I've never seen it used in anything besides beer or spirits made with the stuff, but maybe some creative people could come up with some applications. Smoked wort ice cream? Smoked wort glaze for ham or ribs? Maybe some hull-free smoked wheat malt (this one used have to smoke yourself, probably) could be ground into flour for a dredge or to make a smoked roux-based sauce? Or you could buy oak-smoked wheat flour.

I suppose there's no need to stop a malts. You could buy smoked rice, smoke unpopped popcorn (not too hot please!)...

Unrelated: could you play a little game where instead of serving a smoked sausage with sauerkraut, you serve smoked sauerkraut with an unsmoked sausage?

I wonder if the easiest way to a smoked ice cream or custard is by using smoked sugar? The Spice House also sells hickory and mesquite flavored starches, though they may not play nice with the texture of a custard.

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I've got a recipe kicking around here somewhere for smoked chocolate icecream. Can dig it up, if you care for it.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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I think the apples are destined for a pork chop.

I've made apple butter with some smoked apples tossed in the mix. It was tasty.

Smoked chocolate is nice but requires restraint because heavily smoked chocolate isn't so nice (in my opinion). I smoked halved oranges and used the juice and some of the zest to make a smoked orange curd. I smoke part of the marshmallows (and toast the rest) to make my toasted marshmallow ice cream. I sometimes smoke ice cubes and add the resulting water to the pot when I cook wild rice. I used some smoked bananas in banana bread once but wasn't thrilled with the result. The bananas were good though.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I have smoked all purpose flours to make smoked french baguette. I am still working on it as i find that i end up with surface smoked only.

I have been using a polyscience smoking gun to do the job.

If anyone of you have suggestions on this it would be great

Edited by Montreal (log)
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I made up a smoked tomato sorbet using, you guessed it ... smoked tomatoes ... for this dish.

How did you smoke the tomatoes? Sliced and smoked? Hot or cold smoke?

I'm not sure how Nick did it, but I cut them in half and cold-smoked for four hours. They were excellent in a cooked red salsa.

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
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Eat more chicken skin.

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Smoked prunes are really wonderful and work well with meats that can be prepared with dried fruits like pork, duck, or in a stew like bigos. I've had them in Poland from farmers' markets in the late 1980s, then I tried finding them in Polish markets in New York, but it turned out that the local Polish immigrants regarded smoked prunes as inferior to ordinary California dried prunes, and they said it was just the way those rubes dried prunes in the Polish countryside. I beg to differ.

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I have a brisket smoking right now. Made up a sauce, and thinking about throwing it on the smoker after I pull the brisket. I want a little smokiness in the sauce, but not sure how well this experiment will work out--my biggest concern is burning due to the sugar in the sauce--I'll see if it will pick up some smoke before things get too far along.

Throwing a rack of beef ribs on at the same time as well. Another experiment. I've smoked short ribs plenty of times, but not a rack. They were in the bin next to the brisket (pretty inexpensive--for a reason??), so I figured, why not?

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I made up a smoked tomato sorbet using, you guessed it ... smoked tomatoes ... for this dish.

How did you smoke the tomatoes? Sliced and smoked? Hot or cold smoke?

Whole, hot smoked while I was smoking my bacon that morning. I cored the tomatoes but left the skin on, blitzed them in a food processor, strained them to make a puree and put it into a bowl in the refrigerator to cool down with the stem submerged in the puree to boost the tomato flavour.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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When I do tomatoes, I cut them in half and hot smoke them. I've used smoked tomato in a ganache (smoked tomato puree, cream, olive oil, 70% chocolate, salt) with good results.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Cold smoked some dark chocolate a couple of weeks ago - mixed it with unsmoked dark, milk chocolate, water, cream and cab-franc icewine to make chocolate shots for the icewine festival.

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A few years ago, a friend requested a smoked apple pie for his birthday party, so that's what I made for him. It was pretty good; it'd have been really good for breakfast, with a slice of sharp cheddar.

Whenever I have the smoker going (for a butt or whatever), I toss in some soft vegetables: peppers, eggplant, zucchini. I'll make them into a dip, or put them on sandwiches or a salad, or add them to a soup or, well, just about anything.

Next time I'll try smoking some potatoes or sweet potatoes. Bet that'd be good too.

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