The Tasty Charms of Smoked Pears- Dr. Smoke

The Tasty Charms of Smoked Pears- Dr. Smoke

 

SMOKED PEARS PERFECTION!Listen to the audio of this blog

 

Pears, pears, everywhere! Why not try your hand with this easy method for smoked pears Depending on where you’re located, you’ll have at least a few varieties of pears to select from. Rather than just enjoy these as a raw fruit, try something truly unique that will give them a kiss of wood flavoring?

Stovetop smoking is so easy and a great way to still enjoy wood-fired flavorings during the winter months, when you may not want to venture out to the grill or smoker. I’ll be highlighting Bosc pears in today’s technique. To do this technique you will need:

 

Pears cut in half

Pears cut in half

PREPARING THE SMOKED PEARS

When I purchased my Bosc pears, I made sure that they were firm to the touch so that I would have some longevity to their use in recipes for a while. Carefully, wash each pear and then pat dry with a paper towel. I then slice each pear in half, removing the stem tip. This will give me a flat surface to smoke and cook my pears since I am using a stovetop grill pan with my process. That will allow me to form some great grill marks on the pears while they cook. The benefit to using halves of pear is I can feature larger pear cuts in a salad or dessert, highlighting the golden smoked color.

Once the pears are halved and the stems removed, I will core out the seeds and hard seed membrane with a small paring knife. Once that step is complete, I start the heat under my stovetop smoking pan.

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Smokinlicious collects wood chips by Air

Smokinlicious collects wood chips by Air

Wood chips collected by Air are cleaner for burning Click To Tweet

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Over the past several months, you have learned how your own hands can play host to transmitting the virus known as COVID-19. Once transmitted, the virus can potentially live on surfaces for up to several days.

Of course, there are factors that determine how attracted the virus is to the surface. Porous surfaces like those of cardboard and wood are not very attractive to the virus. It prefers smooth surfaces.

But there is still so much we do not know. SmokinLicious® continues to prioritize limiting human contact with our product manufacture and packaging. Our position is, we do not know enough to stop being diligent in our efforts.

Time to revisit our cartoon friends! Tom and Bert recently discussed the SmokinLicious® air collection process for wood chips.

Why Air Collected Packaging is Better!

Chef Bert and Tom visiting our production facility

Tom asks a great question, as often, we do not think about the wood we cook with. How is it bulk stored, what has it been exposed to, how much dust is in the product? Remember, dust slows combustion and can cause equipment failures. This is the main reason why SmokinLicious® designed a process for screening our wood chips to eliminate as much dust as possible. That is just step #2 in the process after producing the chips from larger pieces of wood.

Dedicated Air Piping

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Grilling meals while home working provides hands free cooking and healthy choices!

Grilling meals while home working provides hands free cooking and healthy choices!

Home Working? Break out the Grill with Smokinlicious! Click To Tweet

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It has been months since the new normal occurred. You thought working from home would be brief but it is now clear this situation has no end. Reality has set in that you are working, educating, entertaining, eating and sleeping from home.

One benefit is you no longer are commuting. For those that use mass transit like a subway, bus line or rail line to get to work now find they have more time to devote to family and meals. For those that have had to drive to work now have freedom to cruise online recipes and those old cookbooks. This is your opportunity to make the most of those meals while not making cooking a chore.

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Our Neighbors at the BBQ don't understand to Wait on smoking ribs

Our Neighbors at the BBQ don’t understand to Wait on smoking ribs!

Wait on smoking ribs if you are a beginner Click To Tweet

Story time on Smoking Ribs:

Let me tell you a story about my neighbor, Tom, we can all relate to.

A few years ago, Tom, a semi-trained Chef, wanted to smoke some food. So like all newbies, Tom went off to a box store, picked out a smoker ( offset), loaded a big bag of charcoal, a big plastic bag of wood chunks; next stop was at the butcher for three racks of ribs! Arriving at home he assembled the smoker, filled up the firebox with charcoal and wood, put on the rack of ribs and cooked them for hours. Finally, before dusk, he presented his charred masterpiece to the family!

Oh, he claimed to love the over-smoked taste! Politely and begrudgingly, the family told him how good the ribs tasted! Well, the smoker never was used again, went to the garage sale, the massive amount of wood went to the campfire, the charcoal lasted the summer for the kettle grill! The moral here is “wait to take on the rib”! Dr. Smoke doesn’t want this to happen to you! So, here are some suggested tips to follow!

First, go purchase the smoker/grill of your choice; next purchase a bag of quality hardwood charcoal; go home and assemble the unit. Then take some vegetable/olive oil and coat the grill! This is what is called seasoning.

Burn #1: start a charcoal fire in the unit or firebox and let it bring the unit up to temperature (250 degrees F)- do not put any food in the unit! Then let it cool down overnight!

Burn #2: start a charcoal fire in the unit or firebox, bring to around 200 to 225 degrees F. then put on some pork or beef hot dogs in the unit, then time the cook, sample the dogs for flavor, watch for hot spots and learn how to smoke- this is not charring. Learn the smoking process in your unit!

Burn #3: start a charcoal fire in the unit or firebox, bring to around 200-225 degrees F, then put on some chicken legs or thighs. No chicken breast-you need something with a bone. Time the cooking and taste the product!

Now order a SMALL number of wood chunks or chips from SmokinLicious®.

Burn #4: do the same as burn #3 only reduce the amount of charcoal and add SmokinLicious® chunks/chips to produce the smoke. Again time the cook, taste the results. Chicken is like a sponge it will absorb a lot of smoke so be careful when adding the quantity of wood.

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BBQ Box Smoker should be used as much as your tongs on the gas grill!

BBQ Box Smoker should be used as much as your tongs on the gas grill!

Learn how to use the BBQ box smoker Click To Tweet

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Bert and Tom discuss when the weather is cold use your BBQ box smoker year round!

We have all been in Tom’s position. We love grilling and smoking but prefer the warmer weather. For those of us in 4 season climates with below zero temperatures in winter and lots of snow, it seems too hard to continuing grilling! But just as Bert remarks, you do not have to give up cooking outdoors just because of the weather.

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Collage of Smoked Chestnuts go on a Stovetop Smoker

Collage of Smoked Chestnuts go on a Stovetop Smoker

SMOKED CHESTNUTS ON A STOVETOP SMOKER!

Depending on where your located, chestnuts may only be available for a short period each year, usually around the holidays. Mostly pan roasted in the oven, why not do something unique with this prized fruit and smoke them! In addition to the chestnuts, you’ll need a stovetop smoker, purchased or you can make your own with tools likely in your kitchen. You can see our writing on the “The Kitchen Find” which will guide you on what is needed.

You will also need:

  • Minuto® Chips Size #6 from SmokinLicious®
  • a cutting board and knife
  • about 2 hours of time. Be sure you also have a hood vent where you will be using the stovetop smoker in order to maintain a smoke-free kitchen.

You will find chestnuts available prepackaged or in bulk when in season. Although the packaged product will include a directive to cut an X in the flat surface of each nut, I grew up in a household where we always cut off the stem side. This is the small, dark cap side to the chestnut. The chestnut has a cap and a pointed end giving it a bloated teardrop look. I have found that when smoking, I get better control of the smoke infusion with a fresh cut to one end. Keep in mind, not all the chestnuts purchased will likely be viable as often mold will take hold of some of the chestnuts which you won’t see until you cut into them. As the chestnuts age, they can develop a fuzzy mold on the outside which will tell you not to waste your time cutting that one open! Simply discard!

Generally, chestnuts have a flat side and a rounded side.

To prepare them:

  • lay the chestnut on the cutting board with the flat side down. Place your knife blade over the small dark cap, and slice off in one motion. This will reveal the chestnut meat inside which will have a yellow-white hue. Once the cap is off, you’ll be able to tell if any mold has set in as it will have a marked gray/black appearance. If any mold is noted, discard the chestnut as it won’t cook tender. If the majority is free of mold, go ahead and keep it for the smoking/cooking process.Triming the chestnuts

 

To do stovetop smoking, there are 4 parts needed:

  • a pan to hold the heat and wood chips
  • a drip pan to prevent rendered fat and juices from entering the wood. Generally, you only need the drip pan when you actually have a food item that will produce juices or fat drippings.
  • a grill pan
  • a lid.

Note: Smoked chestnuts will not produce any drippings though they do have a percentage of water that will be released as steam into the lid of the pan. Just be sure when you open the lid that you keep any collected water from dripping back into the cooking grate.

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Our Fresh Herbs smoked and Iced ready to bring great flavors to our winter soups!

Our Fresh Herbs smoked and Iced ready to bring great flavors to our winter soups!

HERBS SMOKED AND ICED MAKE THE PERFECT WINTER FLAVOR CUBE

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#smokinlicious

Here’s the perfect way to keep great flavors on hand for when you need them. I’m going to show you how to make smoked herb flavor cubes which consist of our previously smoked fresh herbs and, in my case, bone broth. Whether you smoke all the components of these flavorful cubes or not is up to you. I happen to like the combination of smoked bone broth and smoked herbs for some of my soups, sauces, and glazes. These are the perfect little flavor gems for all your recipes and the prefrozen cubes make adding so simple.

Herbs Smoked & Iced- Tools

#flavorcubes

Here is all you need to make these flavorful cubes . Silicone ice cube trays, your choice of herbs and spices, as well as broth or stock. It will take about one quart of broth to make 40 flavor cubes.

To make portioning the cubes a snap, I use a measuring cup for the liquid. As I previously smoked my herbs and placed them in spice jars, I can portion out the herbs directly from the jars. Today, I’m using smoked parsley and oregano dust for infused broth cubes. These are two of my more popular blends for sauces, soups, and extra flavor to vegetables. Be sure your broth or stock is well strained before adding to the cube trays.

Tasting Notes: Don’t forget about fruits as well. These make perfect flavor cubes and can be cold smoked using a handheld food smoker .

Herbs Smoked & Iced- 1-2-3 And Done!

The best part of making flavor cubes is the freezer does most of the work. I simply place previously smoked herbs of my choice into the bottom of the silicone tray compartments and pour in the broth. I like to put my cube trays on mini sheet pans for easy placement and removal from the freezer. Just be sure to label the trays so when you go to un-mold, everything will be easy to identify. That’s it! How easy is that??

Tasting Notes: You do not have to use silicone cube trays but I prefer these to metal or plastic. I find they don’t taint the flavor of the cubes and they are extremely easy to release.

A New Umami

pouring bone broth into the trays

#smokedherbs

After adding smoked herbs to silicone ice trays and pouring in smoked bone broth, these flavor cubes just take hours of freezer time to set and then they are ready for use. I like to un-mold mine and place in storage bags that allow me to reach in, grab what I need, and reseal the rest. The depth of flavor these little cubes add to soup and sauces, whether for meats and poultry or vegetables, is fabulous.

Don’t forget to experiment with a variety of tastes and don’t feel you are restricted to just one herb or spice per cube. Make flavor blends like Indian flavor cubes with curry, ginger, allspice, and cumin. Or an Italian blend with oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. Or, combine fruit and spices for cocktail-like blends. There are no rules to the combinations you can use so find the flavors you love and flavor cube away!

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Minuto & Piccolo

More Related reading

More of our blog writings other than -Herbs smoked and iced #flavorcubes . follow us weekly as we update our blogs

Related reading:

-SMOKED HERBS FLAVORS WITH SMOKED HERB DUST

-STOVE TOP SMOKED CHIVES

-SMOKED BONE BROTH FOR HEALTH & FLAVOR

 

 

Dr. Smoke don't waste the flavor of fresh herbs this winter. Herbs smoked and iced for winter use brings great flavors all winter long!

Dr. Smoke don’t waste the flavor of fresh herbs this winter. Herbs smoked and iced for winter use brings great flavors all winter long! #smokedherbs

Don't ruin your experience by making simple smoking & grilling mistakes!

Don’t ruin your experience by making simple smoking & grilling mistakes!

10 THINGS YOU DO THAT RUIN YOUR SMOKING & GRILLING EXPERIENCE Click To Tweet

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#smokinlicious

We’ve all had those moments when the food comes off the smoker or grill and we wonder, What went wrong??

Sometimes the event is so bad you want to swear off outdoor cooking for good because of committing common smoking & grilling mistakes. I’m here to ask you to step away from the ledge and think about whether you do any of the following things. The more items on the list you engage in, the more likely you can benefit from my suggestions.

SMOKING & GRILLING MISTAKES:

#1 Resting Meat

This tends to be the common practice for roasts and steaks/chops. You’ve managed to get a nice crisp skin to the roast or steak and then you let it sit or rest, thinking it will make the outcome juicier. You end up with a soft skin, a wet outside, and waxy fat. These are meat cuts that don’t require resting. In fact, they will rest enough on your dinner plate so they are best served hot of the grill or smoker, without a rest period.

#2 Using Too Much Wood

You know that charcoal and gas are the fuels used to reach and maintain temperature while you’re cooking, and that hardwood is what flavors your food. You want to ensure there is adequate smoke flavor so you add 10 pieces of wood chunks to the hot coals when you start cooking. Then after the first hour, you add another 6 pieces of wood. STOP! That is way too much and simply put, a waste of a tree. On average it takes just 6 ounces of wood to start flavoring meat. My rule of thumb is to add 3-4 wood pieces for a full chimney of charcoal plus a couple of pounds of unlit. Only when those pieces are fully combusted (black and ashy) do I add a couple more pieces. Depending on what and how long I’m cooking, I may only use 6 pieces total.

#3 You Soaked Your Smoking/Grilling Wood

I know this is one of the biggest controversies out there when it comes to smoking with wood. To soak or not. I take the stand that you should never soak the wood as adding water will only fluctuate your cooking temperature and take more energy away from the fire to steam the water from the wood. Remember, the wood cannot start to combust until the excess water has been vaporized. Work with a wood that has at least 20% moisture for the best flavor.

#4 Room Temperature Meat

It is well documented that when you want to attract smoke vapor from burning wood, colder temperatures are like a magnet. Don’t take the meat out of the refrigerator until right before you’re ready to place it on the grill. In addition to attracting smoke vapor, colder temperature meats will warm up faster in your equipment than if you left them out on the kitchen counter.

#5 Searing to Lock in Juices

This is the one item even well-known restaurants can get wrong. Searing meats before finish cooking does not lock in the juices. What it does do is brown the outside of the meat and firm up the outer surface, giving a distinct pleasant flavor. The meat fibers do not get sealed by this method or produce any additional juiciness to the meat.

#6 Marinating Overnight or Longer

As marinades tend to contain oil and meat is made up mostly of water, the two tend to compete against each other. Here’s the thing with marinades. Marinating for long periods of time do not allow the marinade to penetrate any deeper than if you marinate for just one hour. In fact, you have an increased risk of breaking down the meat fibers too far with a marinade, producing a soggy outer layer. Stick to short marinade times and understand most of that flavor will penetrate only to the outside layer.

#7 Don’t Trim the Fat Cap

Just like meat being made up of mostly water, fat is made up of oil. Again, water and oil don’t mix. Leaving a fat cap on meat only allows it to melt and drip into the equipment you’re using. This can produce some additional flavors to the meat but allow too many drippings into the fire area, and you’ll cause flare ups that will deposit soot onto your meat. Don’t forget, most of us have a habit of trimming fat off meat before we consume it.

#8 It’s Done When There’s No Pink Meat

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Tom did pay attention to our tips on how to store wood chips!

Tom did pay attention to our tips on how to store wood chips!

How to store wood chips Click To Tweet

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It is one of our top questions. Wood storage. Where to store wood, how to store wood, temperature ideal for storing wood, shelf life of stored wood. If you are an avid follower of our readings, you are likely familiar with our two cartoon characters, Tom and Bert. Thru these characters, SmokinLicious® has been able to guide millions of home grilling and smoking enthusiasts on techniques and tips to make every wood-fired cooking event a success.

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Smoked Portobello mushrooms enhances the natural flavor of this fungi

Smoked Portobello Mushrooms enhances the natural flavor of this fungi

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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.

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Thinking about using cedar wood for cooking? 6 reasons to don't!

Thinking about using cedar wood for cooking? 6 reasons to don’t!

6 REASONS TO AVOID CEDAR WOOD 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 other methods to use cedar wood for cooking.

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

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

#1 Softwood Classification Presents a Concern for Using Cedar Wood for Cooking

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. In using cedar wood for cooking, 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 and why have cedar plank cooking and other methods of cedar wood 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 cook with softwood yet when it comes to cedar wood 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

DrDr. Smoke says "Just because it might be a "fad," cedar wood for cooking may not be good for your health."

Dr. Smoke says “Just because it might be a “fad,” cedar wood for cooking may not be good for your health.”

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 Smoked Foods- Coffee Varieties for Smoking

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.

Coffee Smoked Foods- 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.

Coffee Smoked Foods- Pre-Roasted vs. 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

 

Smoking color is correct when white smoke is present

Smoking color is correct when white smoke is present

In Grilling the smoke means everything! 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 is a flavor experience that is in a league of its own.

Recently, our cartoon friends, Tom and Bert, had an exchange about what the color of smoke means.

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These chips are produced to fit the Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven

These wood chips are produced to fit the the Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven

Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven-“Smoke”with Smokinlicious®

We love having the opportunity to work with chefs throughout the world in determining what they desire in a wood-fired flavor for various menu items.

As you can imagine, we get the opportunity to work with a variety of equipment lines that use wood for flavor and coloring. One of our favorite commercial equipment lines is produced by Alto-Shaam® who specialize in food service and retail markets by offering cooking, holding, display, and chill equipment lines.

Part of the Alto-Shaam® cooking offerings is Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven which not only offers convection cooking but smoke infusion as well. This highly efficient oven works with hardwood chips to bring the aroma and taste of wood infusion to all types of meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. In fact, when SmokinLicious® began development of our microchip line, we targeted Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® oven for ideal sizing production to meet the needs of the commercial kitchen. In the end, we found that our smaller Minuto® Wood Chip line offered even greater flavor than traditionally-sized wood chips with little ash residue when used with the Combitherm®.

Here’s the best part: because we manufacture every product, we can offer chefs single species of our filtered specialty wood chip line or we can custom blend to give their menu items greater diversity from others. That includes blending different wood species as well as sizes. Smaller chip particles may be used for more pungent woods while larger sizes of sweet or savory chips are included for a fully balanced wood recipe flavoring based on the overall food ingredients.

Chefs who use the Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® simply love the ease of adding our dust free product to the equipment, dialing in the smoke infusion level they desire, and letting the oven do its magic. The best part is they don’t have to worry about an unclean wood source going into their expensive equipment and causing equipment failure or producing off color and taste to the foods being cooked.

We know we can offer the best flavor in wood combustion by starting with the ideal hardwoods for cooking. The rest can be left to the cook’s imagination. We know the effort it takes for those in the food and beverage industry to commit to a specific piece of equipment. We know the expense involved. What we don’t understand is why the same time and research aren’t spent assessing the wood supply to be used in the oven? Why risk this investment to an unvetted supplier?

If you own an Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven or you are in the market for a new piece of equipment, join those who have already experienced the benefits of our exceptional Minuto® wood chip line and get ready to be blown away with the possibilities our products can bring to your kitchen!

Bon Bar B Que!

Dr. Smoke- It's our opinion that we have best small diced wood chips for commercial smoking use.

Dr. Smoke- It’s our opinion that we have best small diced wood chips for commercial smoking use.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Pit cooking fire We built by using Smokinlicious ash wood to develop great coals for our ember cooking of Peppers

Build an open pit cooking fire for grilling and ember cooking! Is easier than you may think follow our steps below!

OPEN PIT COOKING- BUILDING THE PERFECT FIRE

SmokinLicious® receives a lot of questions about wood-fired cooking and one of the most repetitive concerns the building of the fire for cooking. We’ve developed this series to address how to build the fire by equipment and technique. For Part I, we cover the open pit cooking fire.

Get Organized- Open Pit Cooking

The first step is to know where you will build the fire. Are you planning on using an outdoor fireplace, a fire pit, or will you construct a temporary fire location?

When using an existing fireplace located outdoors, you must ensure that the firebox is clean of previous ash and wood. The same is true for a open pit cooking fire pit. If you will set up a temporary location for the fire, consider what you will use for materials to secure the area. It is never recommended to use your patio, paved driveway or lawn because a hot fire is sure to damage them or, at the very least, mar their appearance (thin charcoal black coating the surface). Using large stones, interlocking bricks, or a metal fire ring work great at securing the area to contain your fire.

Once you’ve decided on the location, you’ll need to collect some supplies to make the cooking safe and fun.

▪ material to contain the fire like stones, bricks or a cast iron/wrought iron ring. You can use an outdoor fireplace or open pit cooking fire pit whether permanent or portable

▪ water, shovel, dirt, and/or fire extinguisher to deal with potential fire spread or wayward embers

▪Smokinlicious® smoking wood chips for quick lighting

picture of Smokinlicious Double filet wood chunks make a perfect source for developing the perfect cooking firesmall twigs or small pieces of hardwood to create a tepee around the wood chips (we like our Smokinlicious® smoking double or single filet chunks)

▪ larger hardwood pieces to create a 2nd tepee around the first (Smokinlicious®1/4 cut logs work great for that)

▪ rolled newspaper or fire starters

▪ have additional hardwood for producing more coals for cooking as needed

▪ a coal rake, fireplace tongs for moving and relocating wood pieces, spray bottle of water to tame flames near food, instant read thermometer (you can also use a traditional wrought-iron log holder to make the fire – the hot coals will fall through and then you rake them to the cooking side)

The Perfect Fire for Open Pit Cooking

Always take note of the day’s temperature, wind conditions/direction, and conditions of your wood (dry or wet, fresh cut or aged) before you start. You want to be sure you set up and start the fire where the wind direction won’t cause smoke to enter house windows or the dining area. Keep those locations upwind.

stack the wood into a teepee shape to maintain the flame and burning processIn your fire safe area, pile up a few handfuls of hardwood chips (you can use newspaper but I like to try to stay with wood in its natural state). Make a small tepee around the wood chips using small wood pieces (our single filet wood chunks work great) or twigs. Make a second tepee of larger wood pieces around the first one. You’ll see that you’re graduating from small wood pieces to larger as you build but you’re also ensuring good oxygen pockets to help feed the fire to the next level. This is what ensures even combustion and even coals. Now, light the wood chips at the center and allow everything to ignite. Don’t add any additional wood until you see the outside wood ablaze.

Fire for Fuel, Coals for Open Pit Cooking

The purpose of your shovel other than as protector of wayward fire, is to take those hot coals and move them to the cooking area. Remember, the fire area is not where you are going to cook. That location is nearby but not with the flames. You should never cook over direct flame as it will overcarbonize the foods and result in bitter tastes.

Ideally, you want to cook over coals that have a white colored ash over them. Now, here’s how to determine temperature of those coals: 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.

Bring on the Food!

We have burnt down the ash single fillet into a bed of hot coals. Ash wood is a perfect coaling wood to useOnce your coals are at the perfect temperature for the foods you want to cook, it’s all about cooking! Remember, you can set up different heat areas to cook different foods. That’s what makes the experience with wood cooking, specifically with coals, so exhilarating.

We hope this article was full information you didn’t know. Leave us a comment and subscribe so you don’t miss anything concerning wood fired cooking, flavors, and the science behind the fire.

More Related reading on "What Wood for Smoking" and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

More Related reading on “What Wood for Smoking” and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

Interested in reading more? Try:

-Top 10 Vegetables to Cook in Hot Embers

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

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Smoker Logs

Dr Smoke- "Spending time on fire preparation for open pit cooking will enhance your cooking results."

Dr Smoke- “Spending time on fire preparation for open pit cooking will enhance your cooking results.”

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