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Alliance For Smiles began in 2004 with the mission to repair cleft palate and lip deformities in under-served areas of the world. In fact, over the years, various fund-raising concepts were instituted to offset the costs for highly expensive missions. Most missions are easily over the $300,000 level in donated surgical and treatment protocols.

Why Portville, NY

Chef Carl Vahl, Board of Directors member for Alliance For Smiles, brought attention to his local community of the efforts for this organization by presenting the Dining For Smiles event, an event which featured a six course gourmet dinner for 18 privileged guests. SmokinLicious® had the honor of preparing many of the components of the meal over a wood fire.

When hosting an intimate event like the Dining For Smiles dinner, organization and assignment of duties are key. As such, Chef Vahl utilized the full volunteer staff regardless if the members had experience in a kitchen or not. The event featured a wonderful six course dining experience with the following featured:

  • Tuna Crudo- Course One
  • Butternut Squash Soup- Course Two
  • Seasonal Salad- Course Three
  • Handmade Lobster Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce- Course Four
  • Wood Fired Lamb & Canadian Salmon served with Jasmine Rice and Wood Fired Brussels Sprouts- Course Five
  • Panna Cotta with Fresh Mango- Course Six

Additionally, wine pairings were presented with each course revealing an assortment of sparkling, rosé, red and white wines.

The Courses

The formal table is set for about to be pampered 18 guests!

As the 18 guests arrived and were seated at one of two tables, the first course is served – a Tuna Crudo featuring Sushi-grade tuna nestled in a Wasabi avocado cream, topped with pickled onion and finished with candied lemon peel. This course was served in a martini glass and accompanied by Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine considered the Italian champagne.

The second course of the Dining For Smiles dinner featured roasted organic butternut squash with the subtle flavor of White Gords was the serving bowl for the Butternut Squash Soup. The chef prepared the soup and the support team cut the tops on the gords. nutmeg and topped with a crisped sage leave and touch of maple syrup. My favorite part of this dish was its serving bowl – a charred mini white gourd. By retaining the top of the gourd, you can ensure that the soup stays hot until its placed in front of the guest. Each gourd was hand cut and charred to ensure no off flavors transferred from the gourd to the soup. Just a perfect vessel for this scrumptious soup.

Following the first two courses of Tuna Crudo and Butternut Squash Soup, the third course was the salad course featuring mixed greens of green and red leaf lettuce, spinach, and frisee; apple slices; candied walnuts; ember cooked red pepper slices; and a fresh vinaigrette. This course helped to balance the stomach in preparation for the upcoming courses that would be richer and more substantial. Paired with our salad course was a full-bodied chardonnay.

Chef prepared homemade lobster ravioli for the fourth course. This was a decadently rich dish featuring a brown butter sage sauce and fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top. This course was paired with a beautiful Rosé, with both items being well received. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall a plate coming back to the kitchen that wasn’t completely clean!


Halal leg of Lamb seasoned with garlic, rosemary, thyme and roasted over cherry wood for 2 hours then rested before slicing. Served medium rare Now, it’s time for the main course – course number five! First came the proteins. We produced a wood-fired leg of lamb and lamb rib loins cooked over charwood, ash, sugar maple, and wild cherry wood chunks. The wood-fired cooking offered a fabulous color to the meat.

Our Canadian salmon enjoyed cooking over charwood and sugar maple and wild cherry wood chunks. A combination of orange butter, olive oil, and smoke vapor produced that beautiful golden skin. After resting a while, the lamb and salmon were sliced in preparation for full plating.

We start with Jasmine rice topped with wood-fired brussels sprouts and carrot. Next to the plate, a slice of wood-fired lamb and a filet of salmon. Served with a custom mixed wine of Sangiovese and Syrah. Simply a perfect course!

Finally, we’ve reached the end of a fabulous meal – the final course – dessert. Panna cotta with fresh mango, served with a German Reisling,Chef Cal lay’ home made Panna Cotta (italian cooked cream) topped with macedoine fresh Mango the perfect end to a fantastic evening.




A Meal that Stays in Memory

Chef Vahl’s vision for a flavorful, entertaining evening proved to be a realty as these 18 guests can attest to. We are so thankful and honored to have been a part of it.

If you want to donate to the Alliance For Smiles mission, visit www.allianceforsmiles.org and view all the lives that have been touched by the commitment of so many. Always remember to help others in need in any way you or your company can, just as SmokinLicious® was able to do with this Dining For Smiles event!


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Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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Dr Smoke- "This charity event was wonderful to do because it's such a great cause and makes a tremendous difference in people's lives around the world."

Dr Smoke- “This charity event was wonderful to do because it’s such a great cause and makes a tremendous difference in people’s lives around the world.”

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® 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!”


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.”

Join Dr Smoke and the Culinary crew as we visit teams that competed in the Jack Daniels competition! Dr Smoke discusses Barbecue, smoking wood chunks and chips, how teams qualified for the competion! Overall just a great time during the competition.


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Dr Smoke and the Culinary crew (Donna, Aaron and Adrienne- Big John[out hunting wild game]) went to Whole Foods Market (Oakville Ontario) for a demonstration of their BBQ products. They have been using Smokinlicious products on their two Southern Pride smokers. Stephen and his crew have been perfecting their smoking techniques and have been improving for the past 4 months.

Well! they had a little surprise for the Dr and crew! They made up a BBQ chile for the “Gray” Cup weekend! It was a texas sytle chile! It was wonderful! Yes Wonderful! The Dr and Aaron were doing the sampling- one for the public and two for us!

Stephen says that it will be a standard feature in the store. So if you are close to Oakville Ontario, Take the Trafalager exit off the QEW go south one block and stop into the Whole Foods Market! Try the BBQ chili for sure, plus their other BBQ items! Say hello to Stephen, Patrick, Melody and the rest of the BBQ crew!

Please send the Dr an E mail on what items you liked! Look on the events schedule for the next time we will be doing a Whole Foods demonstration in Oakville.


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Please see the winning edge for team results regarding the Lake Placid “I love Barbecue” championship and the “Canadian Open Championship”! These are the results that have been revealed to us so far. If we have missed your team results and you have used a Smokinlicious product please send your information to Info@smokinlicious.com and we will post it.

A special congratulations to the grand champions “The Purple Turtle Catering Company-Lake Placid and “Team Cedar Grilling” Canadian Open Championship both teams used some of our products!

Our First Podcast


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We will be heading to the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tennessee this week. Please stop by and see our booth or check back as we will be posting from the event.

For more information on the event go to: http://www.jackdaniels.com/displaypromo.asp?promo=bbq_promo.htm

How THE JACK Influenced Our Customer Service

It has been many years since SmokinLicious® was a sponsor of The Jack. Despite this, steps we took during our involvement with this great event shaped how we are as a company. First, we learned what a competitor is looking for in product. Second, we interacted with the public to gain an understanding on what the home cook’s needs were. Lastly, we learned how to share our knowledge and support.

Our International Reach Extends

One of the perks of The Jack is the international involvement. Teams from around the globe participate, even if they don’t speak English. This made the event even more fun! We had the chance to provide wood to all the international teams. We learned what woods they preferred, the type of equipment they were used to using, and how sizing reference was so different from what we do here in the USA.

Without question, this shaped us into the global company we are today. We have a better understanding of barbecue terms used around the world, styles of wood-fired cooking, preferences in hardwood, and just how vital a good wood source is to those outside of North America.

When you purchase your next SmokinLicious® products or are considering a new supplier, remember how we started: working with competitive teams around the globe to shape our products into the best available. After all, we are a key ingredient to a successful cooking event!


Product Development @ the “Big Pig Jig”

(2006) While we attended the “Big Pig Jig” in Georgia we noticed a significant amount of competing teams using the firewood approach to cooking. The wood they were using for the smoking process was covered in bark! We discussed not only the health concerns but also the effect of the bitterness that bark imparts on the food. Some teams swore by its use as an added flavor additive to their cook product while others were very much unaware of the health concerns.

We all have allergies, no matter what part of the country we live in, the biggest contributor to this is the pollen from plants that are caught in the bark of the trees. This pollen is in the bark portion of the tree and will be released only during the burning process! Therefore this pollen will be either imparted into the foods that are being cooked or in the air. There are creatures of the world that use the bark of the tree for their home, which will be released only during the burning process. Likewise, they will have an effect on the taste! While all teams are looking for the edge to win! My team and I could not believe that the firewood approach was so widely used!

Present Day Update

It is hard to believe that we first attended the Big Pig Jig® barbecue competition in Vienna, GA back in 2006. An exclusive whole hog competition that originated in 1982, the competition grew to include 120 teams. Subsequently, competitive categories were added making it one of the largest competitions held on the east coast. Most importantly, though, that competition launched our product development!

What We Learned from The Big Pig Jig®

Our focus then was to determine exactly the product sizing that would serve the competitive enthusiast. Talking with nearly every team, looking at the current wood being used, and examining how the wood performed in the humid conditions of GA in Fall were goals. We wanted to know what made a person seek a certain wood.

What did our efforts produce?

First, the experience proved we needed to produce a bullet list. For example, why firewood is not ideal for smoking meats. Most everyone was using a split firewood or some sizing of firewood. And, bark was found on most of the woods.

Second, our product line began to take shape. Chunk sizes, log options, and saleable carton sizes all resulted from our observations.

The main result though, was on moisture. We studied just how wood could be stored to allow competitors from around the globe to have an ideal competitive hardwood.

In the end, the Big Pig Jig® was responsible for our success as a hardwood supplier. Our selling points of being bark free, made from heartwood, and offering an assortment of sizes resonated with many. However, the biggest incentive was our moisture information. Now, everyone had an edge to become a winning cooking even if the cooking was only happening at home.

Dr. Smoke image as he toured the event

Dr. Smoke image as he toured the event