May 2020


Let's stop the dry smoked meats effect with our 9 easy steps!

Let’s stop the dry smoked meats effect with our 9 easy steps!

WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY?? Click To Tweet

 

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You thought you timed the meat perfectly on your smoker or grill. When it came time to cut it, all you found was a gray, dry former piece of meat staring back at you.

What went wrong?

Don’t fall into your old habits when it comes to outdoor cooking, whether you’re using a traditional wood or electric smoker, charcoal grill or gas grill. Learn some easy tips to keep your foods juicy and enticing this outdoor cooking season by preventing the unwanted occurrence of dry smoked meats.

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Tom and Chef Burt discuss the Fun Things to Smoke other than Meat!

Tom and Chef Burt discuss the Fun Things to Smoke other than Meat!

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Fun things to smoke beside Meat! Click To Tweet

 

We are going beyond the obvious and the traditional when it comes to items that you can smoke. It’s time to up your skills and menu items with the top things you would never think of to smoke.

Keep in mind, we are not just referring to hot smoking. We’re including the quick technique of handheld food smoking as well as stove top smoking in a pan.

Let’s get to it!

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BBQ Smoke color, Black, Brown White or Blue is the key to successful Barbecue flavor

BBQ Smoke color, Black, Brown White or Blue is the key to successful Barbecue flavor

BBQ Smoke Color know the differences Click To Tweet

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You smell it before you see it! The aroma of foods being cooked outdoors. When those foods involve cooking over wood – hardwood to be specific – well, it’s a flavor experience that is in a league of its own.

Today, instead of concentrating on the cooking technique of wood-fires, let’s examine the smoke vapor.

Does BBQ smoke color mean anything for flavor outcome?

The quick answer: absolutely! Let’s take a closer look at the finer points of smoke vapor colors.

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Our Grill drawing for breaking out on your staycation

The Grill is the focal point of your Staycation this year!

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The Grill

The reports are in and all point to one common theory: people are likely to cancel previous plans to vacation away, especially those considering foreign travel, and instead opt for a staycation.

What does this mean for the economy? Of course, there will be negatives with this decision not to travel but one potential positive is the soar in potential grill sales as people begin to ponder ways to keep home cooking interesting.

The Many Grilling Options

Likely the first assessment for most considering a staycation is what do we do for food. People often have dining out plans built into their weekly schedule but due to concerns with visiting populated locations like a restaurant, food truck, or even street vendor, these locales will likely be one of the first voluntary bans. That means, cooking at home just moved to the front of the line. Cooking on the stove top or in the oven are certainly options, but given you want to keep your body from getting bored you’ll likely want to branch out to the outdoors and start grilling, especially if the weather makes that enticing.

Here’s where the lesson needs to be learned. Don’t just settle for cooking direct heat method like you do with hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages. Learn how to grill with indirect heat and you’ll be in great position to put a variety of foods including vegetables, animal proteins, and even fruits and nuts on the grill.

The starting point, however, is to assess your current outdoor cooking equipment and decide the following:

► Is the equipment in good working order to be used frequently?

► Are there any components of the grill that need replacing? For example, the grill grates, heat shields, ignitors, wheels on a portable unit, charcoal pan, water pan, etc.

► Is the current equipment of adequate size to feed your family all at once?

► Is the equipment easy to operate meaning it won’t burdened you with constant supervision?

► Does the equipment have an option for a dedicated fuel set up like LP gas conversion to natural gas which will allow you full use without having to worry about filling LP tanks?

► If you want to up the flavor of your grill foods, can you easily add wood to the unit?

If you’re in the market for a new grilling unit, assess the frequency of its use and what you want to be able to cook on it before making the purchase. The more frequent use the higher quality the materials that make up the grill need to be, to keep the grill functional for a very long time.

In the end, you not only will have piece of mind in knowing you can feed your family great tasting foods, but you’ll likely have a great opportunity to bond in a great outdoor environment.

Do you plan to take a staycation? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious!

SmokinLicious® Products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®, Minuto® & Piccolo®

 

More related reading on breaking out the grill on this years staycation and for more smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading on breaking out the grill on this years staycation and for more smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

Related reading:

 

-HOW TO KEEP FOOD INTERESTING, PRESERVED & SAFE DURING QUARANTINE

-Thermal Heating Process is Why You Shouldn’t Be Concerned About Receiving a SmokinLicious® Package

-OUR AIR HANDLING PROCESSES PAY OFF IN THE BATTLE WITH COVID-19

Dr. Smoke-

Dr. Smoke- don’t let your staycation this year affect your meals. Break out the Grill for great tasting meals

our food scale demonstrates Grande Sapore® and Double Filet wood chunks as a guide to adding wood flavoring with our Smokinlicious® products.

Our food scale demonstrates guidance on adding wood for food smoking.

One of the most common questions asked when it comes to smoking foods on a gas grill, traditional charcoal grill or smoker is, how much wood do I need? Likely the second most common question is where does the wood go? Click To Tweet

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Let’s break this down by equipment and method of smoking so you have a good place to start in answering the above questions.

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Dr Smoke- <em>"Our moisture controlled manufacturing process enables the generation of great smoke."<span style="color: #ffffff;">WHY WON’T MY WOOD CHIPS SMOKE??</span></em>

Dr Smoke- “Our moisture controlled manufacturing process enables the generation of great smoke.”REASONS WHY WON’T MY WOOD CHIPS SMOKE??

WHY Click To Tweet

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We’ve all been there! You purposely made a list of all the things you would need for the weekend BBQ. Carefully selected the meat, cleaned the grill or smoker the weekend before, and purchased the wood chips to impart that great flavoring you can only get from hardwood! You marinated the meat 24 hours ahead and woke up on grill day full of excitement.

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WILDFIRE SMOKE TAINT grapes may add some bold tastes

WILDFIRE SMOKE TAINT grapes may add some bold tastes

WILDFIRE SMOKE TAINT IS THE BBQ COOK’S UMAMI

Summary:

The Wine Spectator article has us thinking how Wildfire Smoke taint grapes can make smoke taint in wine! Think what a smoke taint wine with a smoky taste can do for your Barbecue sauces! These vineyard grapes caught in the California wildfires by the traveling smoke can add some smoky boldness to our cooking!

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I came across a fascinating article in Wine Spectator (June 15, 2018) that made me salivate. The article focused on the wildfires of California, specifically Northern California, in October 2017 that had vineyards struggling with grapes that had not yet been harvested for wine production and were exposed to the fire’s smoke.

Smoke taint. That is the smoky flavors grapes will pick up from traveling smoke gases and particles that become airborne with the wind. Even if a vineyard did not experience the fire directly, it can be affected by the traveling smoke. That is the key though: a vineyard may or may not contain smoke taint in the grapes.

Lab Research

There were many California wineries that sent grape and juice samples to labs for analysis to determine if compounds indicative of smoke exposure existed (probability is said to be 70% with testing). Specifically, they test for the primary volatile phenols present in smoke. This research and technique have its base in extensive research done in Australia who experience bushfires more commonly than Californians experience wildfires.

If these volatile phenols are found in the sample, this means the waxy cuticle of the grape skin absorbed the compounds forming glycosides. At this stage, the phenols are not detectable by smell or taste. Once the fermentation begins, the acids break down the bond making the phenols volatile again. Additionally, our own mouths can breakdown remaining glycosides releasing the smoky flavors when the wines are consumed.

What to Do

Though there is a risk to white wines, these tend to be less susceptible to smoke taint since most are not fermented on their skins. Wines fermenting in tanks and barrels during the fires also appear protected by the layer of carbon dioxide that forms.

For those wines found to have the smoke taint, the vineyard is faced with options:

  • minimize the skin contact by adjusting the grape press
  • use lighter toasted oak barrels for the fermentation
  • bottle the tainted wine under a different label
  • sell the wine on the bulk market to be blended into an inexpensive wine
  • sell the wine to distilleries

BBQ Umami

I have another idea! Along the lines of selling the wine to another user, why not market this to Chefs, cooks, and barbecue enthusiasts who understand and desire those charry undertones. Think about the sauces, marinades, glazes, and assorted other uses these tainted wines could be used in.

Think about how many people use handheld food smokers to get a smoky undertone to liquids, whether a cocktail, syrup, juice, even water. With a bottle of this tainted wine, blooming with an ashy component, you have ready-made umami for those of us searching for the perfect ingredient to bring a balanced smoky undertone to a recipe.

Here’s my suggestion: think about contacting one of these vineyards to see if they would be willing to sell you some unmarked bottles. They wouldn’t have to label them with their pristine brand, just sell it as is to those of us who love that undertone.

Some of the vineyards with tainted wine: The Hess Collection, Jackson Family Wines, Jarvis Wines.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure going to try to get my hands on at least a couple of bottles of the smoke-tainted wine as my recipes are just waiting for this special ingredient!

 

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:

-COOKING WITH WOOD YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR SAFETY

-Is It Fresh? Here’s Why You Need to Know

-HOT TREND MAY NOT BE THE SAFEST BET

-6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Interesting discuss WILDFIRE SMOKE TAINT could provide some bold flavors to the BBQ chef

Learn how to turn your charcoal grill with the right hardwood chunks and chips!

Learn how to turn your charcoal grill with the right hardwood chunks and chips!

LEARN HOW TO TURN YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL INTO A SMOKER Click To Tweet

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Let’s be honest. When you bought that charcoal grill you were likely thinking that you could both grill and smoke without needing to add anything. Soon, you realized, that just wasn’t the case. Now, you’re contemplating whether you need to purchase a smoker. Well, hold on the shopping trip until you read this.

You can turn your charcoal grill into a smoker with these simple steps!

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Measurement versus weight of "green" wood has been decided by the Federal Government years ago and must be sold only by Measurement!

Measurement versus weight of “green” wood has been decided by the Federal Government years ago and must be sold only by Measurement!

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SmokinLicious® receives this question ALL the time! Where can I find how much your product weighs?

We know consumers compare prices. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, we encourage comparison of our products to others on the market. The only problem is, many brands are selling by weight in the USA which is not the legal method for selling cooking wood chunks and chips.

There is a Law!

Need the regulation?

The National Conference on Weights and Measures -Uniform Regulation for the Method of Sale of Commodities, has very specific regulations regarding the sale of “Stove Wood” or “Flavoring Chips“. Regulation 2.43. (a) specifies that “Natural wood offered for sale in a packaged form…shall display the quantity in terms of cubic meters, to include decimal fractions of cubic meters; or cubic feet, to include cubic feet.”

What does that all mean? The short answer is, selling by weight is not fair to the buyer. If you purchased a bag of wood chips weighing 6 lbs., that same bag purchased a few months later may only weigh 4 lbs. yet, the price remained unchanged. An even better example is with hardwood chunks. Say a seller offers 10lbs. of chunks for a set price. The first time you buy, you get a 12x12x12 box but the 2nd time, the box is only 12x8x8. Same cost but the box suddenly shrunk. Why?? Wood naturally adjusts to temperature and humidity which results in weight changes. The denser and wetter the wood, the higher the weight. Dry it out, and you lighten up the weight.

Kiln Dried, Air Dried, Heat Treated – What Does It All Mean?

The nature of our SmokinLicious® products, products that have a controlled heat treatment process applied to it rather than kiln drying, is that they will continue to lose weight the longer they remain in storage. This is the natural dehydration process of timbered hardwood.

When the wood is initially processed it has a much higher moisture level making it quite heavy. Most would refer to this as “green” wood or unseasoned. Once heat treated to ensure thermal death time of any microbials and pests, the wood will weigh more than when it is packaged for the customer at the time an order is placed. This is the natural seasoning process affecting the weight of the wood and the main reason why regulations are in place to ensure a fair competitive market.

Be Wary of Those Who Sell By Weight

SmokinLicious® never advertises the weight of our products. In fact, the reason that we include the shipping cost into our prices is to eliminate this as a concern for our customers.

If you find products on the market that are selling by weight, we encourage you to seek further information from the supplier in order to know just what you are paying for. Many wood products labeled as suitable for grilling and smoking may actually contain little to no moisture. Rather than release flavor to your foods, these woods can potentially only offer heat which can render foods overcooked. Especially those woods packaged in plastic bags should be suspect as these are likely too DRY for your smoking and grilling application.

 

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- we provide the wood chip moisture readings on all our packages as guidance for the chef to gauge the amount of smoke output to their tasting needs.

Dr. Smoke, we comply with the Federal regulations on the sale of wood and ONLY sell or quote in measurement versus weight. Remember you don’t purchase a pound of 2 x 4’s

 

 

 

IsIs it fresh, is always a question that comes from new smokehouse products wood chips customers only! Our old customers know that at Smokinlicious® we are cutting products daily and measuring moisture to produce the best smoking wood in the world! it fresh, is always a question that comes from new customers only! Our old customers know that at Smokinlicious® we are cutting products daily and measuring moisture to produce the best smoking wood in the world!

Is it fresh, is always a question that comes from new smokehouse products wood chips customers only! Our old customers know that at Smokinlicious® we are cutting products daily and measuring moisture to produce the best smoking wood in the world!

Smokehouse products, need fresh Smokinlicious® Minuto® and Piccolo® wood chips to produce the finest smoke flavor! Click To Tweet

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I always find it interesting when we receive a new inquiry about providing specialty products for commercial-grade smokehouses. I’m speaking specifically to the large commercial-grade smokehouse. The type that utilize walk-in, wall smokehouse units that can turn out hundreds of pounds of product each cycle.

First, there’s always the question if we can duplicate the current wood chip product. That’s where the education begins.

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The Water Pan in Smoker explained for grilling and smoking techniquies

The Water Pan in Smoker explained for grilling and smoking techniques!

THE WATER PAN IN SMOKER EXPLAINED FOR GRILLING & SMOKING Click To Tweet

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If you’ve purchased a smoker, you’re likely familiar with the term “water pan”. If, however, you’re more of an LP/Gas Grill person, than this term is likely one that escapes your knowledge.

Water pans are a means of introducing valuable moisture into the cooking environment which has immense value when grilling and smoking. Let me explain each of the pros of learning and using a water pan for your outdoor cooking, no matter the type of equipment you’re cooking on.

Water Pan Pro #1

Temperature control. This is the ultimate need when you grill or smoker, especially when you smoke. Maintaining a stable temperature that you’ve predetermined. When the day is scorching hot and the equipment is made of metal, you will experience a challenge with temperature control. Introduce a water pan, and your battle can be won.

A water pan goes above the heat source. If using a charcoal grill or charcoal/wood smoker, this pan would be placed above the coal area. Have an electric unit and you’ll find the pan over the electric heating element. If you want to introduce a water pan on an LP/Gas Grill, this would be placed over the lit burners. Many vertical smokers come with a water pan.

Water Pan Pro #2

Water cannot go above the boiling point which is 212°F. Additionally, evaporative cooling also takes place as the water is exposed to heat.

Water Pan Pro #3

A water pan can become the number one tool when doing direct heat cooking over an open flame. Why? It acts as a repellent for the flame giving your foods a chance to survive without becoming a blackened, dried out, former piece of food.

Water Pan Pro #4

Are you having trouble with hot spots in your equipment? Well, a water pan will even them out. Now, the temperature you desire can essentially be locked in just by using a water pan.

Water Pan Pro #5

Humidity that develops from the use of a water pan keeps the surface of the meat moist, which in turn, attracts smoke vapor, which in turn, produces great flavor. The water vapor mixes with the combustible gases which are emitted from the burning material and add to the overall flavor. Yes, water is a passageway to all things flavorful!

What Goes in the Water Pan

It’s called a water pan for a reason. It is designed to hold water, specifically hot water to keep the cooker from wasting energy on heating cold water put in the pan. Here’s a tip when you fill the water pan: use a teapot to fill the pan while it’s in place so you don’t take the chance of spilling hot water on surfaces or you. Remember, water evaporates while other liquids don’t evaporate.

Don’t Make the Water Pan a Drip Pan

Here’s the thing with a drip pan. Due to its location directly over the heat source, when used on vertical units it often serves double duty as a drip pan. Don’t do that! Here’s why. The rendered fat drippings can produce an oil slick on the surface of the water which will prevent water evaporation.

Make Cleaning a Snap

Here’s a couple of tips when using a water pan. If your unit comes with a water pan, line it in aluminum foil which will allow you to simply pull the foil off and preserve the condition of the original pan.

If you’re using a unit that has no water pan but want to introduce one, simply purchase a disposable foil pan. You will want to purchase one that is compatible in size to the unit your using, that will fit comfortably over the heat source, and that can hold enough water to prevent you from having to make refill trips every 15 minutes.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®, Minuto® & Piccolo®

Wood Chunks- Single & Double Filet

More Related reading on water pan in smoker, see our links for related readings

More Related reading on water pan in smoker, see our links for related readings

Additional reading

-PREVENTING DRY BBQ IN YOUR SMOKER

-CAN HARDWOOD BE TOO DRY FOR COOKING?

-TURNING YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL INTO A SMOKER

-TURN YOUR LP/GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

www.barbecue-smoker-recipes.com

Dr. Smoke- The water pan in smoker explained is essential for moist results in grilling and smoking.

Dr. Smoke- The water pan in smoker explained is essential for moist results in grilling and smoking.

Our Readers Are Asking…

What does water pan do in a smoker?

A water pan induces moisture directly into your smoker as an ally for the indirect dispersion of heat. Never use your water pan as a drip pan. Remember- drip pans = a collection unit for residual or run off grease from the cooking process; a water pan = water for moisturizing foods.

We discuss the pros and cons of using aluminum foil for food smoking- in particular your BBQ and how it can affect the outcome.

We discuss the pros and cons of using aluminum foil for food smoking- in particular your BBQ and how it can affect the outcome.

USING ALUMINUM FOIL FOR FOOD SMOKING: PROS & CONS Click To Tweet

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“Does using aluminum foil for food smoking still allow the wood flavor to penetrate?”

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At SmokinLicious® we take protecting the customer's information as if it was our own!

At SmokinLicious® we take protecting the customer’s information as if it was our own!

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET- BY PROTECTING THE CUSTOMER’S INFORMATION?

I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. You’re looking for a specific product, you come across a web page you’ve never visited before. You quickly seek out testimonials and location/contact information and develop an interest in purchasing from that supplier. Your only hesitation is, you don’t see a lot of information on who they sell to from a commercial prospect. So, you may bookmark them but you seek out another avenue for purchasing what you need or stay with the current supplier.

SmokinLicious® could be that company search.

Here’s the thing. Most Chefs, Food & Beverage Buyers, Purchasing Agents, and CEOs don’t want their competition to know about their operation. They certainly don’t want them to know about a key food ingredient especially one like hardwood that can make or break a menu or food item.

Would we like to add a page to our website and sales package of all the logos of the various companies, resorts, restaurants, and smokehouses that use our products from around the world? Absolutely! Would that give credence to our cause? Certainly! Could that posting bring new business? I would hope.

But here’s the thing. Companies and particularly Chefs and SmokeMasters, don’t like to give up their secrets especially when it comes to cooking, recipes, and technique. Every type of market is competitive but when it comes to food, the margins are really slim on turning a profit and making a restaurant, resort, or food company a success. For that reason, we’ve learned to always start out with our Partners telling them that “we can keep a secret”. We won’t look to post their logo on our website or include it in our media kit. We won’t ask them to give a detailed testimonial on what product they’re using and with what equipment. Instead, we stand behind them. We offer the technical support they can’t get anywhere else. We offer them consulting services they can’t get from any other wood supplier. And we offer customization of product that makes them stand out from all the other companies attempting to do a similar thing.

And what do we get? Pride. That we are the best product out there because our Partners get the results they want and need. That we have the knowledge of wood-fired technique and hardwoods that can’t be found anywhere else. That we can work with them to develop customization they won’t get anywhere else.

In the long run, it’s like having a BFF. We’ll always be there to listen to your needs, to guide you, to work through your tribulation, to celebrate your success, and to keep your secrets!

 

Dr. Smoke, we don't let our secrets and we apply this same principle by protecting the customer's information!

Dr. Smoke, we don’t let our secrets and we apply this same principle by protecting the customer’s information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Burt and Tom visit the butcher for weekend large cuts of meat to grill & smoke!

Chef Burt and Tom visit the butcher for weekend large cuts of meat to grill & smoke!

Wow cuts of meat that Grill & Smoke well! Click To Tweet

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For many who have been spending additional time with family, new levels of communication and closeness have resulted, that simply put, want to be continued. Given that nicer weather also contributes to family time scheduling, I thought I would cover how you can maximize time to spend with family rather than be cooking inside. Or, worse yet, forfeiting money on takeout food purchases.

Time to cover the cuts of meats that are not only ideal for grilling and smoking but will produce enough meat to provide for more than one meal. I will also make my recommendations on hardwoods to use for optimal flavor balance.

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the technique of adding wood chips over a charcoal fire for flavor

Adding grill wood chips to charcoal brings added flavor to any cooking category

HOW TO USE CHARCOAL WITH WOOD IN COOKING Click To Tweet

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The questions are quite frequent: “Since (the equipment) uses lump charcoal, do you need to add wood for smoke flavor?” “Do wood chips or chunks work best if they are needed or desired?” “Generally, how much lump charcoal does equipment use for 10 hours of smoke?”

Learn Adding Charcoal with Wood

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