December 2019


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

Listen to the audio of this blog

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 for Infusing Wood Smoke into Brussels Sprouts

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.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know…

 Chef Bert and Tom discuss how to infuse wood smoke into brussels sprouts.

#chefbertandtom

… that the direct infusion of hardwood-fired smoke to foods, like Brussels Sprouts, is considered a flavor ingredient, much in the same way that spices, minerals and sauces enhance taste. When fired, the components of smoke vapor carry the hardwood’s distinctive flavor profile directly into meats, seafood, fruits or vegetables with pleasing results to the palate.

SmokinLicious Products used in this recipe- wood smoke into brussels sprouts:

Our Single Filet is hand split to the proper size for larger equipment infusing wonderful wood smoke into brussels sprouts.

#singlefilet #woodchunks

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.”

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

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

WOOD SUPPLIER- ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR?

Listen to the audio of this blog

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 a 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 of 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 to including softwoods in the product labeled as hardwood! This doesn’t happen with just the larger pieces of wood either. Microchips 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 infuses 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 CEDARWOOD 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- know your wood supplier “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.”

 

Smoked Portobello mushrooms enhances the natural flavor of this fungi

Smoked Portobello Mushrooms enhances the natural flavor of this fungi

Listen to the audio of this blog

 

 

 

 

What’s Fungi?

This is a group of organisms that include yeasts, molds, mildews and MUSHROOMS! That’s right! Mushrooms are a fungus but a good one.

As a water-rich fungus containing 85-95% water content, mushrooms develop from a nodule which forms the common stem and gill top. There are lots of mushroom types and not all of them are edible. Be sure to stick to mushrooms you purchase in the store and leave the wild ones to the forest animals.

A Healthy Fungus for More Nutrition

One benefit of mushrooms used for grilling and smoking is due to all that water content, they infuse smoke vapor quickly. This gives the mushrooms a deeper flavor that is even more earthy then when they are raw.

Here’s a super easy appetizer or main entrée that features large Portobello caps. Portobello mushrooms are very “meaty” and the larger ones tolerate grilling and wood smoking well. Their large size mean you can easily place them directly on the grill grate but given all the water they will expel, save messing up your grill and use a sheet pan or aluminum foil.

Give this one a try and I’ll bet you’ll start keeping this fungus around in your refrigerator for a quick and easy snack, appetizer or meal.

Smoked Portobello Mushrooms (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

12 large Portobello mushrooms

16 ounces Bruschetta or salsa (homemade or store bought)

12-16 ounces of fresh mozzarella

Bunch of fresh basil leaves roughly chopped for garnish

Start by preparing a charcoal or gas grill or smoker to reach a cooking temperature of 250°F. I prefer to use a two-zone or indirect cooking set up which is heat on only one side of my grill. My tray will be placed on the no heat side. Cooking wood preferences are either wood chips or chunks– both will do the trick for you!.

While the equipment is heating, clean the mushrooms well and remove the stems (save the stems for another recipe). Pat the mushrooms dry. Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with foil, or use a disposable foil pan. Make sure the pan you select will fit on your grill or smoker. Place the mushroom caps on the sheet pan, cap side up. Spoon the Bruschetta or salsa into the mushroom cap, ensuring an even coating on the entire cap. Place thin slices of fresh mozzarella on top of the Bruschetta or salsa filled caps. Place the tray on the grate and cook/smoke for about 25 minutes or until the mushrooms are heated thru and the cheese is golden on top. Remove the tray carefully from the grill once the mushrooms are cooked thru being careful not to spill the rendered water that has accumulated on the tray surface. Chop some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle over the finished mushroom caps. Serve hot.

(more…)

Guest Blog- Kylee Harris on Coffee Smoked Foods!
Guest Blog- Kylee Harris on Coffee Smoked Foods!

Kylee Harris on Coffee Smoked Foods– At one point, all foods had an element of smoke; everything was cooked over an open fire before gas and electric stoves came about. It’s thought that the smell and imparted taste of smoke is programmed into mankind as a result, which is why smoked foods are popular all over the globe. Meat, seafood, and even smoky desserts like fruit pies, are still flavored with a variety of wood smoke. Recently, professional and home cooks alike have begun to wonder about the hidden potential of another thing close to their hearts: coffee. Smoking food with a combination of wood and coffee beans could be the next big taste revolution.

Coffee Varieties for Smoking Foods

Just as there is a variety of options when it comes to smoking food with wood, there are a few choices in coffee as well. For flavor profile, darker and richer bean varieties pair best with red meat, while more mild varieties are better sampled with poultry and seafood. There’s also the question of regular or decaffeinated types of coffee. No, smoking with coffee won’t caffeinate your food (though wouldn’t that be interesting), but there can be a difference in flavor here as well. Regular has a higher level of acidity and thus bitterness, while decaf is less so. Rule of thumb: if you like the bitter tang of a certain coffee, then you will probably like the flavors it lends to smoked food.

Beans, Grounds, and Pellets

Of course, flavor is one thing- this is open to individual tastes- but what about what works best for the actual smoking process? Ground coffee is great as a marinade or rub for meat, but it burns up too quickly to be very useful for smoking. Coffee beans are better for the process, as they can burn more slowly. A combination of wood chips with coffee beans (a 3:1 ratio) is a good balance, allowing the coffee beans to add their subtle flavors without becoming too smoky and overpowering. There’s also the option of coffee pellets, which are coffee grounds and saw dust pressed into compact pellets used as a fuel for both cooking and heating. These are said to have a much more subtle flavor when used for cooking and work particularly well, according to fans, for flavoring smoked corned beef.

Pre-Roasted Versus Green Coffee Beans

While both grounds and pellets have their place, most people prefer smoking food with whole coffee beans, which then poses the question: raw and green, or already roasted? The answer really depends on personal preference, once again. Green coffee beans will give off much more smoke, which can be a good thing if that’s the flavor you’d like to try. Pre roasted, on the other hand, will smoke less, but may need to be soaked in water first in order to be able to smolder for a longer time to produce a sustained smoking processes. 

As you can see, there are quite a few choices you can make to customize your coffee-smoked food experience. Experimenting with flavors and methods is what really makes cooking the art form that it so clearly is. The options are plentiful, and the vision (or taste, as it is) is all up to you.

More related reading on Applewood and other orchard woods see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!
More related reading on our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

Other blogs you might enjoy:

Great Sustainable Wines To Pair With Your Smoked Meat

How To Maintain A Safe Kitchen Environment

Himalayan Salt Blocks: Benefits, Uses, and Tips

Dr. Smoke-
Dr. Smoke- Kylee Harrris discusses Coffee Smoked Foods