The history of fire cooking part II

The history of fire cooking part II

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In Part I, we covered the scientific theories on how cooking with fire began, including the scientific documentation that puts this method’s discovery approximately 2 million years ago.  In The history of fire cooking part II, we will present additional information on how our bodies developed from the introduction of cooking meat as well as the evolution of the wood fire to the oven.

A Change in Anatomy

Our ancestors were chimp-like creatures and thought to be the most advanced animals on earth.  These creatures had long arms, short legs, hand-like feet, large mouths and powerful jaws.  Covered in fur, they slept in the trees. That is, until they discovered fire and learned to cook.

Once fire cooking was founded, these ape-like creatures became erect, their brains enlarged, and their jaws became smaller.  Why?   Because cooked foods provide a higher caloric value.

Research has shown that weight loss is guaranteed to people who consume raw-food diets only.  In fact, the more raw food consumed, the more weight loss.  The only problem with this diet is it takes a lot of raw food to generate a caloric level to sustain an active animal.  Our primate ancestors had to graze all day to generate enough calories to keep going leaving time for nothing else.

With the discovery of fire and all its benefits, ape-men emerged.  Originally covered in fur, a few thousand years following fire’s discovery, the fur disappeared.  As a result, this helped to improve hunting skills as the weight of fur made ape-men faster.  Also with the discovery of fire, these creatures had no need to escape to the trees at night as fire provided protection from predators.  Without the climbing, long legs developed and feet that looked less like hands.

The Start of the Family Dynamic

Once animals were trapped and cooked within flames of forest fire and these creatures sampled cooked vegetation and meat; that changed everything.  They began to develop skills at designing knives for hunting.  This in turn developed some level of social skills and brain development, as the brain was being fed more nutrients.  Flint was discovered and used to produce sparks when rubbed against rocks, allowing for control of fire.

Hunting became a daily event.  The first gender structure was designed with males hunting and females cooking.  It was cooking that forced early humans to live by cooperation.  Both males and females relied on each other.  This was the start of family, and more socialized and calmer tempers.  With regular ingestion of cooked foods, the brain began to grow since cooked food takes less energy to digest, more energy defaulted to brain development.  Learning to cook gave these developing humans more time which allowed for more food discoveries and time management.

The Oven

Once fire was discovered and harnessed for the betterment of life, it was a slow transition to bring cooking from the outdoors into the indoors.  First, as mentioned in Part I of our series, it transitioned into cave dwellings.    We know that in ancient times, the period of 60,000BC to 650AD, ancient Egyptians, Jews, and Romans all used some form of stone or brick oven cooking, fired with wood, to produce breads.  In fact, that early design remains very much like the pizza/bread ovens of today.

Beehive-shaped brick ovens came about in Colonial America, the period of 1492 to 1763, and was the advent of learning to control the amount of wood to ash to regulate temperature.  If you’ve ever heard of or used “the hand test” to measure temperature of a grill or outdoor cooking fire, then you know how Colonial Americans tested their ovens.  Hold your hand about 5-inches from the cooking surface.

The number of seconds you can hold your hand there equals a temperature level:

High (450° to 550°F): 2 to 4 seconds

Medium (350° to 450°F): 5 to 7 seconds

Low (250° to 350°F): 8 to 10 seconds

Colonial Americans would add more wood to increase temperature or open the door to reduce it.

The invention of cast iron stoves began to replace wood hearth cooking in the 1700’s.  In 1795, Count Rumford invented a version of the cast iron stove that was different from earlier versions in that it had a single fire source that could be regulated individually for different pots being used at the same time.  Additionally, it could heat the entire room.  Unfortunately, it was extremely large making it difficult for most kitchens to accommodate it.

With the discovery of electricity, man continued to find new uses for this source of energy.  In fact, one of the keys was to incorporate it into the home and the electric stove was key to making home life easier.  In 1892, an entire meal’s preparation was demonstrated at the Ottawa Windsor Hotel in Canada, paving the way for sale to future homes.

Continued Discovery in The History of Fire Cooking part II

These early discoveries are what formed our continued thirst for finding the best methods of cooking in the fastest yet most flavor means possible, while feeding our brains to keep us developing.  Charcoal grills, brick and clay pizza ovens, gas grills, infrared grills, campfires were all shaped by the very first cooking event, even if the first event was by nature’s hand alone..  In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed the The History of Fire Cooking Part II. Finally, stay tuned for part III.

The history of fire cooking part II

The history of fire cooking part II we discuss the devlopment of fire and evolution of mankind

 

 

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Additional Reading:

-OPEN PIT COOKING FIRE BUILDING: PART I

-GRILL-BUILDING THE PERFECT COOKING FIRE- PART II

-HOW TO TURN YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL INTO A SMOKER

-HOW TO TURN YOUR LP/GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

Bratwurst in the Orion Smoker Cooker nicely cooked plump and Juicy

Bratwurst in the Orion Smoker Cooker nicely cooked plump and juicy!

WELCOME TO OUR BRAT PARTY-BRATWURST IN THE ORION

SMOKER/COOKER

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I believe that wood fired foods can be enjoyed 365 days of the year regardless of the temperature/conditions outside.  To ease the challenges of wood cooking outdoors when the conditions may not be optimal, I look to my equipment options and make a selection that ensures the cooking is quick and as easy as possible.

I want to have bratwurst party!  Unfortunately, I’ve chosen a -2° day to do just that.  No problem!  I simply rely on my Orion Cooker to provide a fast, high heat method of cooking with my SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips.

There’s Nothing To It!

Preparing your bratwurst for the Orion Cooker couldn’t get any simpler than making a few cross cuts in the skins to ensure they don’t burst while cooking.

The reason bratwurst is so popular for entertaining and for summer days is just how quick it is to prepare.  When you smoke a casing containing product, you want to ensure that the juices don’t cause a pressure build up and result in your brats exploding all over the smoker.  I make 3 shallow knife cuts in each brat to ensure they can plump up without exploding out of their casing.  These German brats are made with a combination of pork and veal and have an all-natural casing meaning the casing is made from the intestine of an animal.  I specifically purchased brats that were on an uninterrupted casing line so I could hang my brats on the Orion Cooker rib hooks to ensure smoke vapor envelopes each link completely, just like commercial smokehouses do.

Before smoking my German bratwurst, I’ve prepared the Orion Cooker by adding SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips in Wild Cherry to inside of the cooker. The wood chips are placed in the space between the cooker’s wall and the drip pan.  I’ve lite a chimney starter full of briquettes which when grayed over will be poured into the fuel pan.  12 briquettes are also lit in the smaller fuel pan at that top of the unit.  I’ve loaded my strings of bratwurst to the rib hooks of the unit. Next, place the lid on and let these cook and smoke for 45 minutes untouched.

Done Before You Know It-BRATWURST IN THE ORION SMOKER COOKER

Here’s why I love cooking with the Orion Cooker.  On a -2° winter day, I can still use the convection heat from the Orion Cooker to finish the German bratwurst in just 45 minutes.  In fact, I don’t use a full fuel tray of briquettes for this smoke.  Just one chimney starter full of coals plus about 15 unlit briquettes placed on top of the lit coals.  Great smoke flavor is added using Minuto® Wood Chips in wild cherry from SmokinLicious®.   I’ve hung over 24 brat links on the three rib hooks of this unit so I can feed plenty of hungry people.

Fix It Your Way

Now comes the best part!  Fixing your bratwurst the way you love it.  Put out a variety of toppings to stimulate creativity at the brat table.  I’ve included raw chopped onion, sweet pickle relish, sauerkraut, hot Hungarian pepper rings, BBQ sauce, beer brat mustard, kimchi, horseradish sauce, just to name a few choices.  Whether you slice your brat down the middle or leave it whole, anything goes.  German bratwurst done over SmokinLicious® wild cherry wood chips and hung on the hooks of the Orion Cooker, for that old school, smokehouse flavor. Bratwurst in the Orion Smoker Cooker!

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-GIVING AN EDGE TO SMOKY COCKTAIL SAUCE

-SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

 

Dr Smoke "If you're looking for something different to cook on your Orion, brats are perfect and yummy!"

Dr Smoke “If you’re looking for something different to cook on your Orion, brats are perfect and yummy!”

The SmokinLicious® Story

The SmokinLicious® Story

THE SMOKINLICIOUS® STORY

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This is the The Smokinlicious® Story and the birth of the cleanest USA manufactured hardwoods specifically for cooking.

We all have dreams.  I can seriously tell you that one of mine did not include owning a cooking wood company.  It just happened.  The short story is, my husband and co-founder of SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products, agreed to take over a wood products business that required a more skilled leader.  For two years, I let him tackle this venture alone until his vision saw more potential.

Just a few years ahead of this, we had another dream of owning a lake property.  We managed to make that dream a reality in 1999 when we lucked out finding our ideal property.  It needed a lot of work.  A LOT!  We jumped off the cliff that year and continued working on this project for the next 12 years adding various out buildings.  The fourth building to be built would turn out to be one of the most used and bring to life our cooking wood company – our outdoor kitchen.

The Outdoors Brings Clarity

We brought in larch logs to stand majestically as pillars on the countertop surround.  We brought in stone from a local quarry and built a beautiful outdoor fireplace with an elevated hearth.  And we outfitted the kitchen with a small refrigerator, sink, prep area, and loads of under counter cabinets.  When it was done, we began cooking and creating and dreaming some more.  You see, we are blessed with mountains all around us that harbor the best hardwoods for cooking.  And we owned a wood company!

Here’s where life got interesting.

We would entertain friends and family, always cooking in that outdoor kitchen when we could.  The questions started pouring in!  “What did you do to these short ribs?  I’ve never tasted anything so good!  How is it possible that my 7-year old, who won’t ever eat my steaks, is asking for 3rd helpings of yours?”

Have you ever experienced one of those moments?  I call it karma.

We had plentiful hardwoods so we never paid attention to what other people had for cooking supply.  Until that moment.

Make It Like No Other

We scoured the stores and online sites looking at what was available for cooking wood.  We didn’t like what we saw.  The packaged wood looked dry, dirty, inconsistent in sizing, loaded with bark, not something enticing to cook with.  And that was our moment.

We knew we could produce a better product line then what was currently available.  We made our list of issues we could see with the current product offerings.  Then we launched into our plan.

If you’re like me and you understand that you control your own fortune in life, then you’ll understand that I could see what I wanted in this product, I believed I could make this product and company a reality.  I just didn’t know the how.  That is generally the pattern for all success in business.

Belief Becomes Reality

SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products started business by providing a handful of products to meet the initial needs of those who wanted to smoke with hardwood.  We tested our products on the competitive barbecue circuit throughout North America, we studied the equipment that most competitors and home users used, and we studied the wood.  Over the past 13 years, we’ve been listening to our customer’s comments, listening to the needs of our potential and existing commercial customers, visiting commercial smokehouse operations, and analyzing what’s missing in the market.  We’ve gone from one size of wood chip to over eight options, three offerings of wood chunks, five sizes of heartwood logs, and over 15 flavors of our Smokin’ Dust® product, making SmokinLicious® the most innovative cooking wood supplier who also happens to manufacture every product.

If the equipment to make our dream real didn’t exist, we made it.  If writing how to guides didn’t prove enough, we offered videos.  Additionally, if photos couldn’t prove the differences in our products from others, then we offered up molecular analysis.

This is The Smokinlicious® Story or at least our story to this point.  There is so much more to come.  Join us and experience a rebirth when it comes to wood fired cooking techniques and get the perfect partner for your needs.  You can be part of the rest of The Smokinlicious® Story!

Purchase products:

Smokin’ Dust

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-WOOD SUPPLIER- ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR?

-SMOKINLICIOUS® IS AN F2C

-IT’S A MATTER OF PRIORITY! DON’T PUT US LAST!

-JOIN OUR ‘WEIRD’ CLUB AND GET RESULTS FROM YOUR WOOD CHIPS!

 

Doctor Smoke-The Smokinliciious Story

Doctor Smoke- The Smokinliciious Story

The history of fire cooking part I

THE HISTORY OF FIRE COOKING: PART I

Listen to the audio of this blog the history of fire cooking part I

 

to the history of fire cooking part I

 

For thousands of years, it was the only way to cook.  Many believe that this discovery separated man from the other animals.  Fire.

Estimated to have been discovered some 2 million years ago, the discovery of fire and more importantly, the discovery of how to tame fire, resulted in man’s brain development, value of food, changes in our body, and social structure.  It gave us survivability.  It extended our life by improving daily calories and nutritional needs by allowing us to cook poisonous plants and meats.

So how did fire cooking get discovered?  That is the million dollar question.  Here are some of the hypotheses out there regarding the discovery of fire for cooking:

Nature Provides Ignition

There are some scientists who believe that fire cooking was found by accident.  A lightning strike or grass fires that sprung up due to the excessive dry conditions exposed to the hot sun.  Many don’t feel man did anything to “discover” fire other than observe the characteristics of fire: it produces abundant heat, light, and when it traps an animal within its flames, it produced a more tender meat, easier to digest food source, and more pleasing aroma to the meat.

Tool Construction

There are others who believe that early humans realized the importance of tools.  By sharpening stones to produce spears, cutting tools, etc., these early beings observed spark.  Either through intention or perhaps with Mother Nature’s assistance, these sparks caught twigs, brush, fruit, and/or grains on fire.  Remember, early human life did not involve a developed brain.  A discovery of fire, however, would help advance not only our brains, but our bodies into the erect beings we are today.

The Earliest Cave Cooking

In South Africa’s Northern Cape province, a dwelling known as Wonderwerk Cave, contains the earliest evidence that our ancestors and apelike ancestors were using fire.  Compacted dirt showed evidence of ashes, carbonized leaf and twig fragments, and burnt bits of animal bones.  Scientists were then able to analyze this material and determine that the fragments were heated between 750 and 1300°F, which is the heat level of a small fire made of twigs and grasses.

If indeed our earlier species learned to harness fire for cooking, this would account for the advancement of our brains and our ability to become erect beings walking on two legs.  Cooking on fire allowed for easier chewing and digestion and produced extra calories to fuel our brains. Fire also warded off nighttime predators, allowing for sleep on the ground or in caves rather than in the trees.

It’s All About Energy

Raw food diets have been popularized as a method of losing weight and of being healthier.  However, only a fraction of the calories in raw starch and protein are absorbed by the body via the small intestine.  As a result, the remainder passes into the large bowel, where it is broken down by the organ’s high population of microbes, which consume the majority for themselves.  However, cooked food is mostly digested by the time it enters the colon. For the same amount of calories ingested, the body gets roughly 30 percent more energy from cooked oat, wheat or potato starch as compared to raw, and as much as 78 percent from the protein in an egg.  In experiments, animals given cooked food gain more weight than animals fed the same amount of raw food.

Cooking breaks down collagen (connective tissue in meat) & softens the plants’ cell walls to release their storage of starch & fat.  The calories to fuel the bigger brains of successive species of hominids came at the expense of the energy-intensive tissue in the gut, which was shrinking at the same time.  If you look at early imagery of apes, you’ll see how we morphed into narrow-waisted Homo sapiens.– the history of fire cooking part I

Coming up in The History of Fire Cooking: Part II, learn more about why cooking foods by fire made us who we are today.  In conclusion, did we provide you with new information you didn’t know?  Additionally, leave us a comment and subscribe as we bring recipes, tips, techniques, and the science behind the fire and smoke.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-OPEN PIT COOKING FIRE BUILDING: PART I

-GRILL-BUILDING THE PERFECT COOKING FIRE- PART II

-IS WOOD-TAR CREOSOTE THE ‘MONSTER’ TO WOOD-FIRED COOKING

I hope you enjoyed the the history of fire cooking part I

I hope you enjoyed the history of fire cooking part I

Smokinlicious is proud to be a F2C company- meaning a manufacuter to Consumer Sales Organization

Smokinlicious is proud to be a F2C company

 

SMOKINLICIOUS® IS AN F2C

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In today’s age of selling products and services, there are acronyms that are common to marketing and sales strategies.  First, there is B2B which refers to business to business relationships.  This means that a product or a service is sold from one business to another.  An example of each would be windshield wiper fluid being sold to gas stations and attorney services to large corporations.

B2C is shorthand for business to consumer.  This is selling a product or service directly to a customer that is not necessarily a business.

Now, you may automatically assume that SmokinLicious® would fall under both these sales types, and you would be right.  But there is another acronym you likely aren’t familiar with: F2C.

Making a Better Connection

F2C refers to factory to consumer or more specifically, manufacturer to consumer.  There are many reasons why this is a plus to both businesses and consumers doing business with a specific manufacturer.  Let’s examine the major advantages from the perspective of doing business with SmokinLicious®:

Advantage #1 Details

As the manufacturer of all the products sold under the brand SmokinLicious®, we can provide the specifics on where the hardwood comes from, the age of the wood, the handling of the product, the treatment the wood is exposed to, and the details on packaging.  You don’t have to wait on answers to your product questions like with a supplier who is simply a re-seller of the wood.  We give answers immediately!

Advantage #2 Intimate Knowledge

When you are committed to manufacturing a specific product, you tend to know that product thoroughly.  For SmokinLicious®, that equates to us knowing not only about wood fired cooking techniques like hot smoking, ember cooking, and cold smoking but we know the science behind hardwood; molecular biology of the wood as well as for combustion.  We know why smoke gives flavor and how to respect and control it.

Advantage #3 Availability

We aren’t simply selling a product to move it out of inventory.  As a manufacturer, we are committed to answering questions whether on email, via phone, or social media platforms.  No, we don’t operate the phones 24/7.  But we do get back to anyone who contacts us, usually within 24 hours.  We are available to everyone!

Advantage #4 Passion

Sometimes I feel the word “passion” is overused but that word really does describe the people who make up the SmokinLicious® Team.  We are passionate about cooking with fire and the smoke it produces.  We simply love to offer our perspective on cooking with wood.  Remember, just because someone sells a specific product doesn’t mean it was a dream of theirs.  It simply may be the “thing” to do with no real commitment.  Who wants to commit to that type of supplier!

Advantage #5 Skilled

We have a test kitchen/patio and we use it – all the time!  That’s the only way you can know all the different applications for the product we manufacture and sell.  We possess the skills to guide you on what might be causing bitter flavors, poor color, equipment failures, and so much more.  Plus, we offer daily postings on recipes, tips, techniques, and the science behind cooking with fire and smoke.

Advantage #6 Global

We can be everywhere because we know our commodity and the regulations that relate to our products.  We don’t cut corners because we are as concerned about our environment and forests as the agricultural agencies around the world.  You won’t ever need to worry about having your supply cut off because a regulation or law wasn’t followed.

Advantage #7 Exclusivity

You’re purchasing smoking wood to cook with.  That means, food is exposed to the wood’s components.  Don’t you want assurance that it’s clean?  We only sell hardwoods for cooking and culinary use!  That’s it!  We don’t take waste product from some other wood process and sell it off under a new label or brand.  We don’t buy woods from anyone who can’t document on paper where the smoker wood is from and if exposure to chemicals is possible.  SmokinLicious® is exclusively a culinary wood product!

These are just some of the advantages to working directly with and purchasing directly from a manufacturer, or F2C.   When you want assurances that any question you have can be answered, that any product need can be met, that your equipment will be protected, then seek a direct manufacturer first and eliminate a middle man that may only be in it for dollars and cents.  Or one day you could simply find they’re no longer in business or they no longer can ship product throughout North America or other continents, leaving your Company with a big problem.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-SMOKIN’ DUST®: A SPICE FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT

-WHAT’S IN THE SMOKINLICIOUS® WOOD CHUNK BOX?

-WHEN A FLOP COULD HAVE BEEN A SUCCESS!

Our primary focus is on the consumer of our products. Our culinary team provides support to all chefs!

Our primary focus is on the consumer of our products. Our culinary team provides support to all chefs!

Alto-Shaam® logo

Alto-Shaam®

Alto-Shaam® oven with open door viewing the cooking trays

Guest BlogPost

Smoked foods can lend an inspired touch to the menu of almost any restaurant, regardless of the type of cuisine it serves. Today, it’s easier than ever to smoke food quickly and efficiently whether in a restaurant setting or at home. The first step is to choose a hot or cold smoker. Both types of smoking devices come with their own benefits, and each is ideally suited for different types of food. Both hot and cold smoking can be used to infuse foods with different flavors; and both can be used to preserve otherwise perishable foods. The infographic below can help you decide whether hot smoking, cold smoking, or a combination of the two is right for you

Discussion of hot vs. cold smoking techniques

Chosing a method for meats, poultry, fish and cheeses

Choosing a smoker

Sources

Alto-Shaam®

Originally posted this on January 11, 2017 on their web site.  The Alto-Shaam® Social Marketing Team made a request to have us post this to our Blog.  We felt the content was a great value to our readers/followers!   Please note that the wood chips outlined in this article are limited to only those that Alto-Shaam® has available.  SmokinLicious® produces 8 species of smoker wood chips compatible to the Alto-Shaam® equipment. (Note: we do not produce Mesquite or Apple).

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Dr Smoke- "We like the Alto-Shaam equipment especially when cooking/smoking with wood chips."

Dr Smoke- “We like the Alto-Shaam equipment especially when cooking/smoking with wood chips.”

You are what you eat. We discuss the double standards of smokehouse processing emphasizing high quality ingredients but less than quality smoking methodology.

You are what you eat. We discuss the double standards of smokehouse processing emphasizing high quality ingredients but less than quality smoking methodology.

Food & Smokehouse Processing Double Standard?

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Self-disclosure here. I work for a USA cooking and smoking wood company that has earned recognition for its commitment to manufacturing quality products specifically suited for many culinary professions, trades and interests.  Even though not required to do so, the company treats its entire product line as food additives.  This is an important point for my following observations.

I’ve always been especially impressed how reputable food processors and manufacturers accept, follow and even exceed many of the numerous public regulations in place to provide consumers with safe and healthy food products.  For the most part our nation’s food industry operates from a philosophy that maximizes consumer protection by prioritizing food safety.  Clearly, we’d be in a world of hurt if it didn’t!

Here’s my dilemma

Recently, I tuned into a very popular realty television program which showcases “dirty” jobs- I think you know the name.  Maybe you’ve even seen it.  Like most other episodes, this show highlighted a series of tough job tasks, performed by hardworking employees.  This episode dealt with all food processing elements of a very high quality, perishable specialty deli meat item- Lebanon bologna.

It’s impressing that the company, for over 100 years, goes to great heights in sourcing only the best ingredients.  Its processing methods seemed to be top notch. Except a few of the techniques shown in the latter stages of the show highlighting smokehouse operations.  At first it was disturbing to see that the main source of smoking wood is wood slabs with bark on considered to be “mill waste material.”  If that wasn’t enough, I couldn’t believe when a worker demonstrated their process of generating smoke in the smokehouses. Step #1- douse a rag with kerosene, light it and kick it in to the burn pit of the smokehouse.  To me, the very defining aspect of this company’s high-quality food product, smoked bologna, has been denigrated with a cheap, uncleaned and potentially harmful fuel source and an ignition process that is archaic and potentially harmful.

For the life of me, I can’t truly understand why a company that has been in business since 1902 and is apparently known in large markets for having the very best ingredients to make its consumable food products would revert to a smoking operation that involves waste wood being ignited with nearly the same petrochemicals that fuel the likes of a diesel locomotive?  Given the residuals of burnt petrochemicals, I’m not sure I’d ever want to eat any of their smoked deli meats.

You Are What You Eat

So, I guess the adage of you are what you eat apparently doesn’t have the same meaning with this company. It appears their smoking method hasn’t evolved much beyond the same dirty way done 100 years ago, before health risks came to the forefront.  When considering that smoking methods are a big part of their overall food products, I can’t help but think that a double standard is in place with the consumer to suffer.

Purchase Products:

Smoker Logs

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-WOOD SUPPLIER- ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR?

-BEYOND PRICING: THE TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING COOKING WOOD

-TO BARK OR NOT

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke- “Consistency is important with food processing and smokehouse operations.”

The foil pan is the handiest and, we believe, the indispensable part in all the stages necessary for cooking, functionality and sanitary purposes.

The foil pan is the handiest and, we believe, the indispensable part in all the stages necessary for cooking, functionality and sanitary purposes.

THE INDISPENSABLE FOIL PAN

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Many people have their favorite tool when it comes to outdoor cooking.  It might be a wireless thermometer, specific grill grate, awesome fire safe gloves, or the go-to chimney starter.   For me, it’s likely the least expensive item you can think of – the disposable foil pan.  I’m going to list for you my top 6 uses for a simple and inexpensive foil pan.

#1 Best Drip/Water Pan

This is likely the primary way I use a standard rectangular, ¼ sheet size disposable pan.  I let this pan act as both a drip pan to collect juices from say pork shoulder, brisket, or lamb as well as to act as a water pan to produce a convection environment.  First, I love to load my pan with vegetables like rough cut onion, whole garlic, celery, carrot, fresh herbs, etc.  I also like to use different liquids based on what I’m cooking.  For fish and seafood, I like juices and wines.  For meats beer, ciders or full-bodied wines.  I rarely ever do simple water in my water pan.

#2 Charcoal Keeper

There are times when you need to ensure that your charcoal is positioned ideally for specific foods to keep the heat distribution ideal and the cooker’s walls from radiating too much heat in a certain direction.  One of the easiest ways to ensure that the heat radiates in the correct direction is to use a disposal foil pan.  Once your charcoal is ready to be dumped from a chimney starter, dump it directly into a foil pan.  This allows you to set an indirect method of cooking on a charcoal unit with greater ease.  It also will keep the walls of the kettle grill from radiating too much heat to the center of the grill for the grilling of more fragile items like pizza, breads, and cakes.  No more burnt centers, just even cooking.

#3 Warmer

Anything made with aluminum will be a great radiator and retainer of heat.  That’s why I love to use disposable foil pans as warming units.  When paired with a foil insulated blanket, you can maintain all types of proteins for up to 2 hours perfectly.  Plus, if any liquids should leak, they will be capture in that pan.

#4 Gift Giving Essential

Whenever I make a substantial amount of something say pulled pork or smoked potato, I love to be able to pass along some of my efforts to family and friends.  I love how these disposable pans can go from my hands, to someone’s refrigerator then to their oven or grill without needing to do a thing.  These pans will not change the flavor of the food and can easily have liquid added to them without concern.

#5 Eliminate Cleaning Creosote

If you’ve ever used any glass, silicone, or enamel items on your smoker, you’ve probably had to deal with 2 issues: baked on creosote which is usually a brown-black tar like substance and imbedded smoke flavor in your silicone, something you cannot remove.  Aluminum does not absorb flavors and any visible discolorations are simply thrown away with the pan.  You don’t have to worry about clean up in any way.

#6 A Beach Grill

By purchasing a good quality stainless steel grill grate, just a small one, you can turn a foil pan into a beach grill.  I call this a beach grill as the easiest set up is with sand already present on a beach but you can certainly purchase and bring to another location, a small bag of sand.  Bring along or collect some rocks to act as a containment or barrier for the hot coals and fire.  Mark an area around the pan using the rocks.  Add charcoal to the pan and lite or pour hot coals directly into the pan from a chimney starter.  Once the embers are hot, place a grill grate over the pan and you’re ready to grill with this disposable unit.  The best part – all the ash will collect in the foil pan for easy disposal.  Oh, and don’t forget to use the hot coals after for something great for the next day.  Lay some peppers, hot or sweet, onions, even baked potatoes and your setting up for another meal.

These are just some of the great ways disposable aluminum foil pans can be used for outdoor wood fired cooking to keep things organized, simple, and still flavorful.

Providing you with great tips like this one, as well recipes, techniques, and the science behind the fire for all things wood fired.  Be sure to subscribe and follow us so you don’t miss a thing.

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-OPEN PIT COOKING FIRE BUILDING: PART I

-GRILL-BUILDING THE PERFECT COOKING FIRE- PART II

-SMOKING FOODS IN FOIL: PROS & CONS

 

 

Dr Smoke- "I wouldn't cook without having foil pans available in the prep, cooking, and serving stages."

Dr Smoke- “I wouldn’t cook without having foil pans available in the prep, cooking, and serving stages.”

In Smokinlicious customers’ houses, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung and filled with charwood with visions of great barbecue to come.

In Smokinlicious® customers’ houses, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stocking was hung and filled with charwood with visions of great barbecue to come.

When it comes to Santa’s ‘Nice & Naughty List,’ Dr. Smoke of SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products has this explanation for those that cook with wood- “If you’re fortunate to get Charwood® in your Christmas stocking, it’s a great cooking wood product and shouldn’t be confused with the message being sent by a stocking filled with coal!”

Why?

Whether you prefer a wood-fired oven, grill, or smoker, efficiency should be the key consideration. Higher quality materials, insulation, heat retention, and radiant heat, result in more efficient function of the appliance. Likely the most important consideration though, is the type of fuel you plan to use in the appliance. That is where efficiency takes on a whole new meaning.

So why do we call our product Charwood? In short, because our product is not standard charcoal. Our method of production is based on the Japanese direct method which removes pyroligneous acid during the charcoal making process. The difference is, when burning, there are almost no stimulating smells or smoke. We produce our Charwood in small batches, carbonizing at temperatures between 400 and 700 degrees Celsius. The Charwood is then smothered using a non-chemical procedure to cool it down. Plus, we produce a wood specific charwood for those that understand that every component used in wood-fired grilling, smoking, and cooking affects the outcome of overall taste in the food. As with ALL our products, we manufacture our Charwood with premium, heartwood that is 100% bark-free, not from recycled or waste wood by-products.

Happy Holidays from all of us at SmokinLicious®!!

Dr Smoke- "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, if Santa puts charwood in your stocking."

Dr Smoke- “You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, if Santa puts charwood in your stocking.”

Not all wood supplier are like Smokinlicious®, cutting their product from forest grown fresh harvest. Rather they use recycled material.

Not all wood supplier are like Smokinlicious®, cutting their product from forest grown fresh harvest. Rather they use recycled material.

WOOD SUPPLIER- ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR?

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One of the things we do at SmokinLicious® for commercial-grade customers is take in a sample of their current smoking wood and analyze it.  When you’re a Company producing a food product, you need consistency of the final product.  When it comes to smoked foods, this can be a challenge as wood is a plant material that can be highly variable when put through the stages of combustion.  If a mixture of woods is used in the process, combustion rate, biochar production, volatile burn off, and other parameters of the wood can be affected in a negative way.

Like a Game of Roulette

If price is the only factor guiding your decision on a wood supplier, then you are playing a game of roulette.  Just like any other business transaction, you should be looking for authenticity of the wood.  Let me give you an example:

Germany is the only country currently taking direct steps to protect woods on the endangered species list.  Yes, there is such a list with 183 countries participating in some level of enforcement.  The direct goal of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is to prevent deforestation but the challenge, as with most lofty goals, is personnel to enforce the regulation. Germany is uncovering case after case of fraudulent wood sales and finding that less expensive woods in the manufacture while invoices reflect another more expensive wood.

Now look at smoking wood products.  There are no regulations.  A company can package wood product of pretty much any condition, label it as a specific species, and put it into the marketplace.  There is no accounting for:

▪ how the wood was collected

▪ what the wood pieces are made from

▪ treatments conducted on the wood

▪ if the wood is 100% of a specific species

▪ the origination of the wood

▪ the age of the wood

Mixed Product Dominates

I can’t even count how many times we’ve visited a Company’s location to view their wood supply and find that what they thought they were purchasing is not what’s present.  Some suppliers have gone so far as including softwoods in the product labeled as hardwood!  This doesn’t happen with just the larger pieces of wood either.  Micro chips commonly used in industrial smokehouses rarely contain 100% of a said wood.  Perhaps this is the reason why packaging regulations for a smokehouse bacon or ham can state it is Applewood smoked when Applewood may have only made up 10% of the wood used in the smoking process!

Ask and Demand

The budget for wood can be substantial for companies and restaurants.  You have every right to demand a product’s accountability.   Ask questions!

What is the origin of the wood?  Remember, many smoking wood suppliers are not involved in the manufacturing process.  They are the seller not the manufacturer meaning they likely have little or no knowledge of the history of the wood.

Has the wood undergone any processes?  Kiln dried? Preservation chemical added? If the wood didn’t start out for cooking, it is likely that processes used to stabilize the wood for its main purpose, say flooring, were applied.  That won’t make it the best choice for a cooking method or even a safe choice.

You have every right to request a Letter of Guarantee or Letter of Authenticity.  Remember, woods used for food preparation or cooking currently have no universal regulations.  The only wood regulation that exists in the USA is regarding moving firewood and that is regulated primarily by the individual states.

Why be so concerned about the wood when we don’t consume wood? 

We may not consume the wood in its natural form but we certainly consume food products cooked over or near that wood, that infuse many of the organic compounds of the wood.  Not all organic compounds are good.  There are many known toxicities in certain species of wood with softwoods containing the highest risk.  That is the reason why you should never cook with a softwood.  Other wood has the potential to cause sickness and in some cases if a person’s system is already compromised, death.

Take the time to learn about the wood you will use in the cooking method and ask the questions that could be the difference between a successful venture and partnership with your wood supplier or a disaster you simply didn’t need.

Proving you with additional information on woods including the science behind the fire, along with tips, techniques and recipes.  That’s why you should subscribe and follow us so you don’t miss a thing.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-6 REASONS WHY CEDAR WOOD SHOULD NOT BE YOUR TOP CHOICE FOR COOKING

-BEYOND PRICING: THE TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING COOKING WOOD

-THE TOP 8 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN COOKING & GRILLING WITH WOOD

-DON’T COOK WITH TRASH!

 

"As one of the premier cooking wood manufactures in the world, always use caution on sourcing wood, especially when you're going to cook with it- too much is being labelled "green" and it's not fit for cooking."

Dr Smoke- “As one of the premier cooking wood manufactures in the world, always use caution on sourcing wood, especially when you’re going to cook with it- too much is being labelled “green” and it’s not fit for cooking.”

 

Showing how to infuse cherry wood smoke into brussels sprouts using an iron skillet on the gas grill is simple and easy and adds a smoky touch

Infusing cherry wood smoke into Brussels sprouts using the gas grill is simple and easy and adds a very flavorful touch to this hearty vegetable.

INFUSING WOOD SMOKE INTO BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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A favorite of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts came to the United States via French immigration in the 18th century.    They are dominantly grown in California and available June thru January making them a Fall and holiday menu favorite.  SmokinLicious® will take the flavors up a notch and add wood smoke into Brussels sprouts for two upcoming recipes.  We’ll do this on the gas grill fit with wild cherry wood chunks to bring subtle smokiness to the finish sprouts.  First purchase 3 lbs. of Brussels sprouts and get two cherry single filet chunks, and you’re ready to fire up the grill and get smoking.

The Easy Grill Method

Bringing the flavor of wood smoke into Brussels sprouts is so easy.  To start, gather about 3 lbs. of Brussels sprouts, some cooking oil, butter, and a heavy-duty skillet. I prefer a nut oil like walnut or almond. For a skillet I’ll be using cast iron.  I’ve trimmed the ends on about half the sprouts and for the other half, I’ve trimmed the ends and cut them in half.  That’s it!  Fire up the grill and get ready for a quick method of adding great wood-fired flavor.

It only takes a couple of pieces of wood chunk to bring fabulous flavor to the grill.  I set up a cast iron pan on one side and place two cherry wood chunks on the heat shields of the far burner.  Let the pan heat up for about 5 minutes then pour in a couple of tablespoons of oil and heat.  Right before I add the Brussels sprouts, I add a couple of tablespoons of butter.  In go the whole Brussels sprouts and the lid comes down.  Leave untouched for about 5 minutes before turning.

Flavor Finish

As I have two recipes in mind I’m cooking two batches of Brussels sprouts: one batch whole and one batch halved.  After leaving for 5 minutes, I stir them to ensure that all surfaces are infused with wood flavor.  I maintain a temperature of 350-375° F which will make this a quick cooking method.  The first 5 minutes, the lid is down but once stirred, you can finish the cooking with lid up.  Remember, cast iron will retain heat, so you can turn the heat off and let sit for about 5 minutes.

The cooking time for this recipe is approximately 20 minutesAfter stirring a couple of times, both the whole and halved Brussels sprouts are ready in about 20 minutes time.  I simply remove them from the heat and bring them in to be added to my favorite recipes.

I have two recipes I’ll be working on: Smoky Brussels Sprout Gratin and Tortellini with Lemon and Smoked Brussels Sprouts.  These truly are the most flavorful Brussels sprouts! For those of you thinking about a holiday meal with them, well, the grill will give you that extra oven room you need.  Take advantage of the long harvest season and try these mini cabbages on your grill.  Check in for our recipes soon so we can get you started on how to use your prized sprouts.

Bringing you new methods of infusing wood fired flavor into seasonal items.  Be sure to subscribe and follow us to gain great tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-WOOD GRILLING AVOCADO

-HOW TO TURN YOUR LP/GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

-WHAT’S IN THE SMOKINLICIOUS® WOOD CHUNK BOX?

 

 

Dr Smoke- "Soften the taste of your Brussels sprouts by adding smoke flavoring from your gas grill using Smokinlicious® cherry wood chunks."

Dr Smoke- “Soften the taste of your Brussels sprouts by adding smoke flavoring from your gas grill using Smokinlicious® cherry wood chunks.”

 

6 reasons not to cook on Cedar wood

6 reasons not to cook on Cedar wood

6 REASONS WHY CEDAR WOOD SHOULD NOT BE YOUR TOP CHOICE FOR COOKING

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You love different techniques for cooking and absorb new information like a sponge.  In particularly, you love outdoor methods of cooking.  One of your favorites is plank cooking on cedar wood.  Every time you read a recipe, they all call for use of a cedar plank or cedar wrap.

But is cedar really the best choice?  More so, is cedar a safe choice?

Let’s examine the top 6 reasons why cedar may not be an ideal cooking wood choice.

#1 Softwood Classification

Cedar wood is not a hardwood.  It is a softwood that is from the gymnosperm trees meaning, it is a conifer or cone producing tree.  As a rule, softwoods should not be used for cooking as they contain a lot of air and sap which equates to a fast burn and unpleasant flavors.  In fact, there are many softwoods that can be toxic if cooked over.

#2 Poor Fire Resistance

During plank cooking, you are using the wood as a vessel to infuse flavor to whatever food is placed on top of the plank.  Here’s the concern with cedar – because it is a lower density wood (23 lb./ft³), it has very poor fire resistance.  That means, it reaches full combustion much faster than hardwood and will burn as a result.  Certainly, that’s not what you’re looking for when you plank cook.

#3 Poreless

Unlike hardwood which contain pores in the cell walls, softwoods like cedar are poreless.  They use cell components called tracheids to transport water and nutrients.   In addition, the organic compound lignin found in the cell walls, is much lower than in traditional hardwoods used for cooking.  Why is this an issue?  Lignin is what gives wood fired cooking the distinct flavor and aroma to foods.  For cedar, the average lignin composition is 20%±4 compared to common hardwoods used for wood-fired cooking which average 28%±3.

#4 Plicatic Acid

Cedar contains chemical properties (specifically plicatic acid) that are shown to be a good absorber of odors and moisture.  This is one of the key reasons why cedar is a preferred softwood for pest control to keep fleas, ants, mites, moths, and mosquitoes away.  When exposed to plicatic acid for lengthy periods of time, a condition known as “cedar asthma” can develop.

Additionally, a regular exposure to the cedar oil found in the wood can result in contact dermatitis or skin irritation, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis.

#5 Animal Toxicity

There are many studies available on how the use of cedar wood chips and shavings have affected animals continually exposed to these products.  Most studies show a correlation with liver dysfunction in animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters.  In fact, smaller animals, like guinea pigs and hamsters, have a higher incidence of death which may be attributed to plicatic acid exposure.  The phenols and aromatic hydrocarbons also have been shown to cause respiratory problems in animals like those listed above.

#6 Not All Cedar Is The Same

Cedar is part of the pine family of trees with native origin in North Africa and Asia.  There are no native cedar trees to North America.  The red cedar common in the Eastern USA is part of the Juniper family and can be highly toxic if taken internally.  Under no circumstances should you ever cook with red cedar from the Eastern states of the USA.

USA cedar trees are referred to as false cedars since there are no native varieties.  There are commonly 5 varieties of the false cedars available: Western Red Cedar (common to Southern Alaska, Northern California, and the Rockies), Northern White Cedar (Southeastern Canada, Northeastern quarter of the USA, south into Tennessee, and west into Iowa), Eastern Red (Aromatic) Cedar (Eastern USA), Yellow Cedar (Pacific Northwest from Alaska to British Columbia into Oregon), Spanish Cedar (although Native to South and Central America, it was planted in Florida).  Every false cedar has some known health risks with the most common being respiratory due to toxicity of its pollen, oil, or other chemical compound.

Now you’re asking..

“So if there are all these documented health risks, how did cedar plank cooking gain so much popularity?”  I suppose the easiest answer is that cedar was used by the earliest settlers in the Pacific Northwest as a means of preserving, storing and cooking the seasonal fish.  Think about the limitations of the day: they would be using resources that are available without thought to the items we ponder today like health, future risk, etc.  This concept was examined from a different perspective many years later with the desire for flavor, appearance, and functionality.

We often make the mistake of jumping into something full throttle before asking some of the key questions to keep our bodies safe and healthy.  Remember, there’s lots of documentation out there stating why you should not cooking with softwood yet when it comes to plank cooking, specifically, cedar plank cooking, we don’t seem to carry that issue forward.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand why.

We love providing information to our readers and subscribers that is not in the open and letting you weigh the information for your own verdict.   All types of questions are welcome and we encourage you to follow and subscribe to our social channels so you don’t miss anything.  We look forward to providing you with tips, techniques, recipes, and the science for all things wood-fired cooked.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-BEYOND PRICING: THE TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING COOKING WOOD

-THE TOP 8 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN COOKING & GRILLING WITH WOOD

IS WOOD-TAR CREOSOTE THE ‘MONSTER’ TO WOOD-FIRED COOKING

Dr Smoke says "Just because it is "fad," it may not be good for your health."

Dr Smoke- “Just because it is “fad,” it may not be good for your health.”

Building the perfect fire for cooking! Our chimney starter full of flaming hot charcoal being poured into our kettle grill.

Building the perfect fire for cooking! Our chimney starter full of flaming hot charcoal being poured into our kettle grill.

Listen to the audio of this blog

In Part I of our series on lighting an outdoor fire for cooking, I addressed fire production for the outdoor fireplace or fire pit cook, known as open fire appliances.  In Part II, I’ll address the needs for kettle, drum and box grills’ fire set up.

The Wood-Fired Environment

There are many choices in equipment for working with a wood fire but each has different material components that determines how much work would be involved to cook on the unit.  Here is the primary point when you’re selecting equipment for live fire: how will you cook on that equipment?

If your plans are to always do indirect cooking whereby the source of heat (fire, coals) will be on one side and you will cook on the non-heat side (in my opinion, the preferred method for all cooking), then know that most any equipment selected will work.   However, the time for the equipment to heat up may play a factor, as the heating time is directly related to the insulation of the grill. Plus the amount of radiant heat it can hold.

If a unit is manufactured from heavy metal, brick, clay, or ceramic housing, then it will perform exceptionally by giving radiant and retained heat.  Why is that important?  Because producing retained and radiant heat means less fuel consumption and even cooking results.

Our orange Stok kettle grill was used for our demonstration.The Kettle Grill

For thinner material grills like the traditional kettle grill which are very popular, low cost, and preferred

by many, you can compensate for the potential heat loss and improve efficiency by adding fire bricks to the walls and floor of the grill.  You will simply start your live fire directly on the fire bricks rather than the charcoal grate.  Fire bricks will work well in any grill that could improve on its insulation.

Drum/Barrel Grill

The overall cooking space in a drum/barrel grill is larger than that of a kettle grill.  However, just like any metal material, there are different grades so quality can be variable.  Same rule applies to these grills: if the insulation is not great, add fire brick to improve the performance.

Box Grills

These units are traditionally made of high heat metal with a deep, metal charcoal pan that includes grid and vents.  A grilling grate is suspended above and there often is a lid to the unit.

Fire Set Up

As I’ve stressed before, a good fire needs 3 elements: fuel (wood, charcoal), oxygen (air intake vents), and heat.  As with any fire cooking, a small, hot fire is ideal.

Our bark free Double Filet smoker wood chunk is the perfect size for the small kettle grill and box grills.

Double Filet Wood Chunk

To start your fire in one of these pieces of equipment, first open the air intake vents at the base of the charcoal firebox area.  This will ensure that oxygen can stimulate the start of the fire.  Since this is an enclosed firebox area, the size of the wood pieces may need to be adjusted from what you would commonly use in a fireplace or fire pit/fire ring.

I like to use the log cabin method of starting a fire with this equipment.  Lay 2 longer pieces of hardwood parallel to each other with about 3 inches of air space between them.  Lay 2 more hardwood pieces on top perpendicular to the first pieces.  Place the last 2 in position to match the base woods’ alignment.  In the center, add a pile of tinder which can be hardwood chips, pine cones, even newspaper if need.  Again, I like to use wood in its natural form as much as possible.  Pile some kindling size wood pieces on top of the tinder pile.  You can drizzle vegetable oil on top of the kindling and tinder to assist with ignition which proves helpful if you plan to light with a long wooden match.  I prefer to lite my fire using a MAP torch.

Don’t Rush It

It is imperative that you allow the fire to go through the full stages of combustion before you introduce foods to the cooking grate.  Too much flame and smoke will ruin the foods.  The ideal is to wait until the fire burns down to glowing embers.  If your equipment has the room in the firebox, rake or shovel some of the hot embers to one side and add just a small quantity of additional hardwood to keep the heat steady.  The rest of the hot embers are what will be used to cook with.

Position the foods based on the heat needed for the cooking.  Meats will require more of the heat while vegetables and one pot dishes will take the medium to low heat.  An infrared thermometer will aide with knowing heat levels in your equipment or you can use the hand test: hold your hand over the coals the distance your foods will be.  If you can only hold your hand for a count of 2 seconds before you need to pull it away, that is high heat.  3-4 seconds is medium-high, 5-6 seconds is medium and 7-8 seconds is low heat.

Be sure you visit Part I of this series so you can view the list of recommended tools to have when you wood-fire cook.

I hope you gained some new information on lighting a fire. Whether you plan to cook over/in your kettle, barrel or box grill.  Leave us a comment and subscribe so you don’t miss anything concerning wood fired cooking, flavors, and the science behind the fire.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Related reading:

-OPEN PIT COOKING FIRE BUILDING: PART I

-EMBER FIRED FRESH ZUCCHINI

-BEYOND PRICING: THE TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING COOKING WOOD

 

 

Dr Smoke says "The key to any success in grilling and smoking outdoors is building the fire with the proper materials and patience to develop the right base before you attempt to cook the food."

Dr Smoke- “The key to any success in grilling and smoking outdoors is building the fire with the proper materials and patience to develop the right base before you attempt to cook the food.”

Cold Smoked Cheese is a very simple technique with very rewarding results. Follow our instruction and enjoy some all natural smoked cheese.

Cold Smoked Cheese is a very simple technique with very rewarding results. Follow our instruction and enjoy some all natural smoked cheese.

THE EASY METHOD TO COLD SMOKED CHEESE

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The cooler season is here and that’s the perfect time to think about cold smoking techniques that bring special flavoring to heat sensitive items.  First up for us, cheese!  We’re lighting up the Technique Cast Iron Stove Top Smoking Pan and loading it up with our favorite varieties of cheese in preparation for a couple of The Cast Iron stove top smoker pan is a wonderful addition to any kitchen for indoor, condo smokingrecipes.  If you don’t own a stove top smoker pan, see our blog titled “The Kitchen Find” which will guide you on using items likely found in your own kitchen.

90°F or Less

Cold smoking requires that you keep the temperature below 90°F.  That may sound like a challenge but when you use a stove top smoker – equip it with an ice cube pan – you’re on your way to all things cold smoked.  The best chips to use for this method of smoking are SmokinLicious® Minuto® Wood Chips.  I’m electing to use Wild Cherry for the balance of flavors between my cheese choices.  These chips will combust evenly and slowly, releasing a steady smoke vapor that will work well with the cheese.

First, the stove top smoking pan needs to be set up.  The Technique pan comes with everything needed, including a drip pan.  We won’t be using the drip pan for its intended purpose but rather, to become an ice pan.  An ice pan will help to keep the temperature of the smoking pan below 85° F; and that means you can We fill the bottom of the stove top smoker with ice to reduce the heat and produce some nice steam.smoke all types of foods that normally couldn’t be exposed to heat! (chocolate, cheese, fragile fruits, candies, etc)

Be sure you have a handful of wood chips in the base pan before adding the drip pan full of ice cubes.   Place the wood chips in the center of the pan then fill the drip pan completely with ice.  Then add the grill pan and get the cheese out of the refrigerator.  Remember, you will be smoking the cheese for a few hours so you’ll need to refill the drip pan with ice cubes every hour.   There is no need to replenish the wood chips as a single handful will be plenty.

The Ice Tray

With the heat set to the lowest setting possible on your stove top, the drip pan filled with ice cubes to reduce the temperature even more, the cheese selections which include Swiss, horseradish cheddar, muenster, and fresh mozzarella, are added to the grill pan.  Place the cover on and this should be left untouched for at least an hour.  Once the hour passes, it will be time to replace the ice cubes in the drip pan.  Be sure to leave the cover on the grill pan when changing out the ice tray.  This should be done every hour up to the final hour you want to smoke.  I am doing a four-hour process on my cheese today so I will replace the ice pan three times.  That’s it!

Our finished smoked cheese, showing a darkened color change caused by the smoking processOnce infused, remove the cheese, wrap in wax or parchment paper and refrigerator for at least 2 days to allow the smoke vapor to release throughout the cold smoked cheese process.  Then get ready to enjoy your smoked cheese as is, or include in recipes.  We have 2 recipes coming up: A smoked cheese and bacon quiche and smoked grilled cheese with tomato and pepper jelly.

I hope I’ve inspired you to try cold smoked cheese on the stove top.  We need your comment and rating, so subscribe and follow us so you don’t miss a thing.  As always we welcome your suggestions as well on recipes and techniques you want to learn about.  We are your source for all things wood-fired, providing tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the fire.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Related reading:

-TO THE SMOKE THE CHESTNUT GOES!

-THE KITCHEN FIND!

-THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD SMOKE

 

 

Dr Smoke- "Try this all natural way to smoke your cheese, most commercial cheeses are chemically smoked."

Dr Smoke- “Try this all natural way to smoke your cheese, most commercial cheeses are chemically smoked.”

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