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.”

Caution- When selecting wood chips for smoking know the wood source!

Caution- When selecting wood chips for smoking know the wood source!

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $3.99 WOOD CHIPS FOR SMOKING AND THE SMOKINLICIOUS® BRAND

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listen to our blog regarding wood chips for smoking

 

 

If you’ve ever looked at the wood chips for smoking products available at most discount retail stores, you’ll notice that they seem to have consistent pricing in the $3.99 or less bracket. Yet, you look at the SmokinLicious® brand and come up with a price that’s close to twice the cost. What’s the deal with the price difference?

There are many factors involved in determining the retail price of wood chips many of which I’m sure the average consumer hasn’t considered. What exactly are you paying for when you select a specific wood chip brand?

Let me give you some insight.

Wood Chips for Smoking- Let’s Start with the Raw Material

The raw material is by far the largest cost factor with selling wood chips for grilling, smoking, and cooking in general. I’ll make the comparison to cotton purchased by a t-shirt manufacturer. There are grades of cotton. Higher grades of cotton go into more expensive cotton clothing. Purchase a $5 t-shirt and you’re guaranteed a lower grade cotton was used. This means you likely won’t get more than a year of consistent wearing and washing out of that $5 t-shirt!

The same is true for wood chips. There are 8 different grades of wood or lumber for purposes such as cabinet making, flooring, construction, and pallets. Only one culinary wood company specifically purchases raw lumber material for cooking wood manufacture only. That would be SmokinLicious®.

Other companies will do one of three things; have a primary business in one of the areas listed above and use the waste product for producing the wood chips, or, purchase another company’s waste product to market as a wood chip grilling and smoking wood, or, have the company with waste product package a private label brand of grilling and smoking chips and deliver to a centralized distribution warehouse for the brand, something commonly done by equipment manufacturers who feel a need to offer a wood chip to go with the equipment.

Cleanliness of the Manufacturing Process

Another key factor in cost is the handling of the material during the manufacturing process. Now I understand that we are talking about wood and not a food item. However, if you are using a wood to add flavoring to food through smoke vapor from burning wood, then I see the wood as an ingredient. As with any ingredient, I would prefer to use something that is clean and pure since I will be eating this.

Since I’ve already pointed out that many companies use materials that are labeled as waste wood, you have no idea how the waste material was collected, stored, moved, and processed. You also don’t know what’s in that waste wood (treated lumber pieces, a mix of woods, some softwoods) or how old that material is which directly affects the moisture level. Remember, moisture is needed to smolder the wood and produce smoke vapor.

SmokinLicious® is the only culinary wood manufacturer that is Kosher certified, attesting to the steps taken to ensure the culinary products are clean, clean stored, and preserved.

Wood Chips for Smoking- Varieties and Availability

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This is our discussion on salt choices and why you should add salt to food

Adding salt choices has a purpose and why

SALT CHOICES- HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND?

This article was born from a question which was recently forwarded to SmokinLicious® to answer. “Why salt choices are necessary in food despite adding different ingredients even for sweet dish need(ing) salt”.

I realized just how important salt is to the style of cooking known as barbecue.

Salt Choices- Why the Need to Salt?

Our salt box is a great storage unit for any saltSalt is a mineral found in crystalline form that is used as a seasoning for food. Simply put, salt brings out the flavor or natural essence of food. Salt choices draw out the natural juices in raw meat and dissolves with the liquid forming a brine that gets reabsorbed by the meat. This results in the meat’s ability to hold on to more of its own natural juices during cooking.

Salt Choices- Types

Over the past 5 years, salt choices have become a very hot commodity in the food industry. There are hundreds of kinds of salts but for simplicity sake, I will discuss those that are commonly found in grocery and food specialty stores.

These are our four salt types that we discuss in our blogTable Salt:

Decades ago, this was simply known as iodized salt. This is the most refined salt that is known to have a metallic taste due to the grinding process and high-heat process to produce it. It is almost pure sodium chloride and has the highest per-granule sodium content of all salts. When used in cooking, the cook generally will use too much due to this refined grind size. I recommend you never cook with standard table salt.

Sea Salt:

This salt type is made by the evaporation of seawater which results in the retainment of natural micronutrients. Unlike table salt which uses a high-heat process, sea salt provides minerals of iodine, magnesium, calcium, potassium and bromide. There are many different grind levels in sea salt and each of those, affect the taste, color, and mouthfeel of the salt itself.

Kosher Salt:

Known for its ability to distribute evenly on the surface of food, kosher salt is harvested by mining dried up ocean and sea beds. It has a much coarser grind than table salt, which is considered flaky (For cooks, it is reliable, consistent, inexpensive, and pure).

Finishing Salt:

Just as the name implies, this type of salt is used only when a dish is finished, for instance, sliced tomato with mozzarella and basil, grilled to perfection steak, and even watermelon. Therefore, it is considered a very light tasting salt.

Tamari and Soy Sauce:

I am including tamari and soy sauce as these are very common substitutes for salts in sauces used for barbecue. Sometimes, soy sauce is used in addition to salt or garlic and onion salt for these items, making them much higher in overall sodium content. On average tamari has 700mg sodium per serving while soy sauce comes in at a whopping 1000mg per serving.

Salt Choices in Relation to BBQ Rubs & Seasonings

Hopefully, you’ve learned how to read an ingredient list on any label. The first ingredients listed make up the largest amount of the contents, while the last few ingredients make up the least. I looked at five (5) popular BBQ rubs and seasonings sold on Amazon.com to see what ingredients made up the bulk of these items and where salt rated on the ingredient list. Here are my findings:

McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning coarse salt, spices, garlic

17th Street Magic Dust All-Purpose Seasoning & Rub salt, sugar, dextrose

Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub – brown sugar, sugar, salt

Stubb’s Beef Spice Rub sea salt, spices, cane sugar

John Wayne Rubs salt, garlic, sugar

As you can see, salt is a primary ingredient of commercially marketed rubs/seasonings for barbecue. Therefore, I always recommend that you give some consideration to making your own rub or seasoning. When produced in large quantity, you can keep these in the refrigerator for up to a month in an air tight container. Best of all, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you can control the level of sodium in your meal.

We hope you found this article informative and valuable. We’d love your comments! Don’t forget to subscribe to and follow us so you don’t miss a thing. We’ll continue to bring you tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind all things wood-fired!

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

Related reading:

-10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD SMOKE

-SMOKING FOODS IN FOIL: PROS & CONS

-JUST BECAUSE YOUR SMOKING (FOOD THAT IS!) DOESN’T MAKE IT ALL BAD!

Purchase products:

Smoking Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chips- Minuto® and Piccolo®

Dr Smoke- "Making the right salt choices. This is the hardest part of cooking- too little or too much are both bad."

Dr Smoke- “Making the right salt choices. This is the hardest part of cooking- too little or too much are both bad.”

Our finished wood roasted onions!

Our finished wood roasted onions!

WOOD ROASTED ONIONS TO DIE FOR!

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listen to our blog regarding wood chips for smoking

 

One vegetable that is available throughout the year is the onion. Although you’re likely accustomed to using this in recipes as an added natural flavor when you wood-fire the onion, something magical happens to its cell structure that turns these into the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth gems that you’ll want to use in even more recipes.

Onions are high in vitamin C, can aid in weight loss, and have reduced certain cancer risks, especially those associated with the digestive tract.

Our onion assortment, White, Sweet and Shallots

 

 

 

 

Whether you elect to do the standard yellow onion, the sweet red onion, or shallots, you will love how smoke vapor works to bring out the best in any variety.

Wood Roasted Onions- Preparing for the Grill

Before preparing the onions for the grill, let’s get the grill started by lighting the burners on only half the grill. This is referred to as two zone cooking. On the lit burner side, I place 2 wood chunks – I’m using the Single Filet size from SmokinLicious® – directly on the heat shields of my hot burners. This will provide the wood flavoring to the onions. My burners are set to medium-low which usually produces a cooking temperature of about 300°F. Simply adjust your burner setting to reach this temperature.

For the onions, I simply cut the tops of, slice in half and remove the skins. I place the halves cut side down in a roasting pan and add about ¼ cup of oil to the pan. With my pan ready, I place it on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid. In about 75 minutes, these will slightly charred, tender, and juicy.

Tasting Notes: Although I used avocado oil since you are not grilling over direct heat, you can use other oils such as olive, almond, walnut, grapeseed, coconut, sesame, canola, etc. Remember, some varieties of onion are considered herbs so doing an assortment of types will give you an abundance of flavors.

Wood Roasted Onions- The Longer the Wood Roast the More Flavor

Onions on the grill with wood chunk over the flavor bar

You’ll find as these onions cook and absorb both the smoke vapor and oil, the scales of the onions will separate and caramelize. The results are tender, juicy and flavorful with a hint of woodsy from the charred edges.

I decided to make a simple sauce of butter, cheese, parsley, and pepper for my onion mix and served these alongside a pork steak, also cooked on the grill with a two-zone method.

The best part is onions are available year-round so I can do this method even in the dead of winter, as remember, the gas grill still functions even in the cold! For those who like to freeze produce, this freezes very well so grill a lot keep them so they’re ready for the winter days you don’t feel like lighting the grill. Just think what an onion soup will taste like when you wood-fire the onions first!

Finished wood roasted onions ready for serving

Tasting Notes: If using a charcoal grill, still use a two-zone cooking set up meaning charcoal on only one side of the grill. Be sure you only cook with hot coals, no flames. This type of grilling can have more challenges to steady temperature so make sure you check the onion pan more frequently.

 

 

 

Smokinlicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

 

 

 

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

Additional reading:

-EASY GRILL ROASTED TOMATOES

-Roasted/Toasted Onions over Embers

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD

 

Dr. Smoke- Wood roasted onions will add a superb flavor to these vegetables

Dr. Smoke- Wood roasted onions will add a superb flavor to these vegetables

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

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

THE EASY METHOD TO COLD SMOKED CHEESE

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listen to our blog regarding wood chips for smoking

 

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

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Chef Bert and Tom combining hardwoods for smoking flavors

Chef Bert and Tom combining hardwoods for smoking flavors

Learning how to combine Hardwood species to change their smokey flavoring Click To Tweet

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There is misinformation out there that you may have been victim to. When cooking with hardwood, you may have been under the impression that only certain woods can be used with certain foods. For instance, hickory is reserved only for pork shoulder and brisket. Cherry for chicken, etc.

But that is hardly the truth.

Hardwood used for cooking must be viewed as another ingredient. As a key ingredient, it needs to be balanced with the food item and other ingredients used in preparation before grilling and smoking.

The intent today is to provide a guide on combinations of hardwood that work well for specific foods. Essentially, the ingredients of a rub, glaze, sauce or marinade will dictate what hardwoods will maximize all the flavors to become a finished masterpiece.

Combining Hardwoods- Hardwood Selection as a Compatible Ingredient

The goal when using hardwood is balance of the flavor outcome. You never want the hardwood to produce an ashy or burnt flavor. The essence of the wood should simply add to the beautiful flavor outcome for a memorable eating experience.

Here is SmokinLicious® rating on boldness of flavor for the hardwoods we offer:

When I design wood recipes for specific foods, I like to think about balancing out a medium or bolder flavor with one that is lighter. For lighter fare items like vegetables and fish, two wood combinations are generally used while longer cooked animal proteins can tolerate three hardwoods well.

In the chart that follows, reference is provided to various foods that benefit from exposure to the specified hardwoods. Use the color blocks indicated under each food group to guide you on combinations. Find the same color blocks in that group, and you have the balanced combination of hardwood. For instance, under Fruit, there are two red squares for an alder and cherry combination. Under the Fish column, there are 3 options: Alder and Maple represented by the pink square, Beech and Cherry represented by the orange square, and Ash and Maple represented by the gray square. These combinations are balanced by the essence they produce in the smoke vapor. Just use equal parts of each wood and remember, always start with a small quantity of hardwood as it does not take much to produce great flavor.

TIP: if you are using a spicy rub, default to combinations that includes mild to moderate flavor intensity. Using sweet ingredients, include a bolder hardwood flavor.

Our Guide for Combining Hardwoods

Experiment to find your favorite combinations of hardwood and soon you’ll have your own personal, detailed guide!

Do you have a favorite combination of hardwood? 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!

Products discussed in this Blog:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

 

More Related reading on this subject- More Related reading on this subject of cooking & Grilling with wood

More Related reading on combining wood species and sizes to change their smoke profile and more!

Related Reading:

-COOKING WOOD WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

-WHAT WOOD TO USE FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

-10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING WOOD FOR COOKING, GRILLING & SMOKING

Dr. Dr. Smoke- Combining hardwoods by mixing different species and sizes increases your smoking results!

Dr. Smoke- Combining hardwoods by mixing different species and sizes increases your smoking results!

 

Plant-based burger taste better when cooked with wood chips or wood chunks for added flavor!

Plant-based burger taste better when cooked with wood chips or wood chunks for added flavor!

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What is a plant-based burger? There is no question that this has become the new rage. Plant-based burgers have been introduced not only to the grocery meat case in over 8000 locations but to thousands of restaurant locations world-wide.

It is a genetically modified version of heme, the iron containing molecule in soy plants, which is what accounts for a “meat” flavor. It also incorporates coconut oil and potato starch to give a more burger-like texture, something that has been a complaint with vegetarian or vegan patties. Brands like Impossible Burger® use a braiding of minerals, fats, and proteins to keep the burger from falling apart.

To compare an animal protein burger with a plant-based burger from a nutritional view, you’ll find that the plant-based burger may not always be the better choice. It really depends on the brand but know you should look at the saturated fat level and calories as the plant-based burger is not always lower than the traditional beef patty or even a poultry patty. Sodium levels should also be monitored.

Plant-based Burger- Make It More Like A Burger Experience

You may know that many people accept that there are two camps for cooking burgers: grill grates whether on a gas grill or charcoal, and a griddle whether on a stove top or on a griddle insert of a grill.

I would argue, however, that there is another camp. Those of us who believe in live fire with wood for cooking common items like burgers and dogs. This is how you take an average burger and maximize the experience of eating while creating a newness to a very popular American item.

The influence of plant material combustion and release of the flavonoid composition of this material is what can take your average burger to the next level. I don’t know how many times I’ve had dinner guests inquire how I made something like a burger taste so high quality. It’s only then that I reveal my use of hardwood, whether chunks in a smoker box, chunks directly on hot charcoal, or a sprinkle of wood chips on a griddle or plancha. Wood takes even the most basic food item and brings out umami.

Plant-based Burger- Grill Set Up

For the easiest cooking of your plant-based burger, start by setting up an outdoor grill with a two-zone cooking set up. That means one half of the grill has no burners lit for the gas grill, or no hot coals on one half of the charcoal unit.

Start the burger cooking by placing the plant-based burgers on the indirect side (no direct heat) and adding wood to the direct side. This is where a smoker box comes in handy on the gas grill, which I fill with small wood chunks. Close the lid and cook for about 7 minutes, unless the burger is particularly thick which would call for 10 minutes cooking. Open the lid and turn the burgers over still using the indirect side for cooking and allow to cook for another 7 minutes (or 10 for thicker cuts).

If you’re going to medium finish which is 145°F, then at about 125°F internal temperature, move the burgers to the direct heat side of the grill and cook leaving the lid up. This will sear the outside. Be sure to keep flipping the burgers every minute to ensure a perfect sear and not an overdone burger.

To me, this makes a plant-based burger even more of an authentic burger flavor with the simple addition of hardwood on the grill of your choice.

Have you tried and loved a specific brand of plant-based burger? Leave us a comment to state your preference and follow us or subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products:

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

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

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 Plant-based burger and other smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More topics to read about:

BOOST UP THE FLAVOR OF YOUR SMOKER BOX!

GRILLING & SMOKING QUESTIONS/ANSWERS THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU!

APPLEWOOD – WHY WE DON’T USE IT! – HERE’S WHY

Dr. Smoke- Plant-based meats need wood chunks or chips to enhance their flavor profiles
Dr. Smoke- Plant-based burger need wood chunks or chips to enhance their flavor profiles

Smokey Hungarian Peppers on our kettle Grill!

Smokey Hungarian Peppers on our kettle Grill!

Let's Do Smokey Hungarian Peppers on the Kettle Grill! Click To Tweet

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I love growing Hungarian wax peppers in my garden and then harvesting for recipes and freezing for future recipes. Hungarian wax pepper come in different levels of heat depending on the variety chosen. Mine are a hot variety but work perfectly for mixing with other creamy flavors to produce some great condiments and sauces. I will introduce you to two versions of my Smoked Hungarian Pepper Spread in our recipe blog which will post soon.

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logo and grill introducing our COOKWARE THE GRILL

Enjoy our COOKWARE FOR THE GRILL

COOKWARE FOR THE GRILL-THAT WORKS!

Top 5 cookware accessories for your grill Click To Tweet

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If you’ve followed my writings for some time now, you’ve likely learned that I believe outdoor equipment is the same if not better than the traditional indoor options. You literally can make anything on the outdoor equipment that you make inside your home.

Knowing this, I have received many questions regarding the type of cookware that I use when grilling and/or smoking on said equipment. Today, I’m going to discuss the preferred cookware materials and the potential issues that can arise if you use a material that is not considered ideal for high heat temperatures.

Material #1: Cast Iron- Cookware for the Grill

This is my first choice and many other cooks, and the only material I use when I coal cook with cookware. Why? It is durable, it is relatively inexpensive, it is unbelievable at heat retention, and you can cook almost anything in it. Literally, it never wears out!

Downside? It is a material that needs to be maintained meaning oiled consistently. It is heavy!

Material #2: Carbon Steel- Cookware for the Grill

Carbon steel is a beast at retaining heat and it can be used on any cooking surface. Although lighter in weight than cast iron it is still heavier than stainless steel. Similar in many attributes to cast iron, it also requires frequent seasoning and the base of the pan will become discolored from the high heat exposure. Plus, it is not dishwasher safe so you need to love this material and be willing to put some work into maintaining it. If you’re lucky enough to find a piece you love, you will make magic in it whether near or in the fire.

Material #3: Stainless Steel Combo

I’m sure every one of us owns at least one piece of stainless steel. This is a very attractive piece of cookware from the aesthetic view. However, on its own, stainless steel is not the best heat conductor. This is the main reason why it often is combined with another material to improve its heat retention properties and keep it light in weight. Suitable pairs you’ll find for stainless steel include copper and aluminum. All three of these materials on their own, are not ideal. Cooper and aluminum heat very quickly which means they can burn very quickly as well, while stainless steel on its own can take forever to heat up. But combine copper and aluminum or aluminum and steel and you have an ideal heat conductor and safe high heat material. Rule of thumb: never use aluminum and copper cookware on their own for high heat cooking.

Material #5: Enameled Cast Iron- Cookware for the Grill

Know as the “pretty” cookware, enameled cast iron is cast iron at the heart-and-soul but with beautiful ceramic enamel outside surfaces. It has fabulous heat conductivity and retention but it is not non-stick which can cause some issues. I find it works really well when I use more of a two-zone cooking set up rather than direct coal or heat cooking.

Material #5: Non-Stick

Teflon is a non-stick, promoted material, that should be avoided. It has no ability to be used for high heat and in fact, excessive heat can melt this material. Also, Teflon is documented to flakes off after extended use, moving these flakes into your foods. At higher temperatures, the material produces toxic fumes that have been proven to be a health risk.

What Are High Heat Levels?

Now we know what materials are optimal for high heat cooking but what are the actual temperatures that can be handled?

Cast iron and stainless-steel combos can tolerate 1500°F, with stainless steel excelling to 2200°F. Although copper has a melting point of 1984°F and aluminum at 1221°F, cast iron, and steel materials in cookware still perform the best.

Now you have the education behind your choice of cookware. My last piece of advice is to always think about how you plan to use the cookware. If you love to nestle in the coals or be as close to the flame as you can, the items that may not look as pretty are likely the best choice. Take our tips in this blog USEFUL COOKWARE OPTIONS FOR YOUR GRILL and expand you cooking/Grilling skills and techniques!

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on Cookware for the Grill

More Related reading on Cookware for the Grill

Related reading:

-TOP TOOLS NEEDED FOR GAS GRILLING

-TOP TOOLS TO OWN FOR CHARCOAL GRILLING

Dr. Smoke- I hope you enjoyed this blog- Cookware for the Grill!

Dr. Smoke- I hope you enjoyed this blog- Cookware for the Grill!

-THE WOMAN’S GUIDE TO ‘MAN’-ING THE GRILL

Our top 12 Grilling Mistakes!

Our top 12 Grilling Mistakes!

Did you do one of these top 12 grilling mistakes this Year? Click To Tweet

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As a billion-dollar business, selling grills is likely not going away any time soon. In fact, sales are gaining strength thanks to COVID-19 which forced many to find ways to keep cooking and eating interesting while forced to stay out of restaurants.

When asked, most people say they grill or barbeque for flavor. If that is the case, then why are some of the most common practices the ones causing the most variation in the taste of your grilled foods?

Here are the top 12 grilling mistakes you should avoid.

#1 Skipping Preheat of the Grill

It does not matter if you prefer to use a gas grill or a charcoal unit, you need to preheat the grill before adding food. Why? It is the only way to avoid having your foods stick to the grill grate. When you allow the metal to heat to a very hot level, the protein in meats cannot form a bond with the metal grate. Plan about 5 minutes preheat time for charcoal grills and 15 minutes for gas units.

#2 Cooking on an Unclean Grill

Yeah, I know. The grill is located outside so you think it does not need the same care and cleaning as your kitchen equipment indoors. Wrong! Leftover food particles, grease, smoke tar and creosote can build up on various parts of the grill and cause changes in food flavors as well as make the food stick. Plus, a grease trap that has never been emptied can ignite which will ruin your planned grill day! Get in the habit of scraping the grill grate after preheating and lightly scrub the cooled down grill including the lid area, with steel wool and water. The lid likes to hold on to carbonized grease which becomes flaky and falls off onto your foods if left in place.

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To our blog kiwifruit gets smoky

A SPICE FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT: SMOKIN’ DUST®

There seems to be some legend out there that wood-fired cooking methods are all about the endless hours of tending food and fire that produce taste results that are only granted to a small percentage of committed cooks; nothing could be further from the truth. Ready for simple methods of wood flavor infusion that do not take stockpiles of wood and equipment so large, you start thinking about adding on to your house?

Wood-fired cooking includes the simplest methods of wood infusion like the current rage with hand-held food smokers or even the stovetop smoker. Kitchen gadgets that have opened the door to anyone who wants to explore the fragrant and flavorful bounty that awaits all foods and beverages. One thing that still is evolving is the concept of spices not for your food but for your equipment!

If you’ve read some of our previous articles on wood flavoring you’ll come to understand and appreciate that there is no set rule on wood-fired cooking. Oh, yes, there is plenty of science when it comes to cooking with fire or as I like to say when you combust to flavor, which is what you are accomplishing with wood for cooking. I feel more attention should be given to the actual wood products; rather than focusing on the ingredients to the foods being cooked.

Wood is an ingredient

First, wood to us IS an ingredient, one that still needs to be balanced with the other components to bring forth a food memory. As an ingredient, the easiest by far to manage for wood flavor infusion is sawdust or in our Company’s listing, Smokin’ Dust®. Compatible with all types of equipment, Smokin’ Dust® literally becomes a ‘spice’ for your equipment.

Thinking of island flavors of pineapple, coconut, and mango for a recipe? Why not add one or more of those flavorings through the wood product? Yes, using all-natural flavoring infused into our Smokin’ Dust® is one of the quickest methods of getting the great flavor to a specific regional dish. With 15 flavor-infused options that are 100% all natural, designed for cooking, and infused in hardwood, as well as 8 natural hardwood flavors, we’ve given new meaning to the word ‘spice’ as ours can now apply to the wood product! Remember, applewood doesn’t smell or taste anything like an apple. Use our apple infused product, and you’ll experience hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and the bite of an apple!

Why settle for a run-of-the-mill smoking sawdust product that you don’t know where it comes from? A softwood, swept from the floor, shoveled from the ground, or worse, taken from under an animal? Instead, get excited about the flavor opportunities awaiting you and your equipment when you use a smoking sawdust product from a real cooking wood company. Get excited about the opportunities out there to experiment with, whether for hot smoking, cold smoking, handheld food smoking, stovetop smoking, or even traditional LP and charcoal grilling. And get ready to experience the world through flavor aroma!

Smokin Dust is one of our most customized and versitle cooking wood product.

Dr. Smoke- “Smokin’ Dust is one of our most customized and versatile cooking wood product.” which is a spice for your equipment

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-TASTE IS AROMA!

-JUST BECAUSE YOUR SMOKING (FOOD THAT IS!) DOESN’T MAKE IT ALL BAD!

-KIWIFRUIT GETS SMOKY

Our products used in this Blog:

Flavored Smokin’ Dust

The handheld smoker will allow you to smoke fresh corn indoors for a great taste.

The handheld food smoker allows you to smoke fresh corn indoors! It’s so easy and so tasty!

SMOKE FRESH CORN INDOORS

 

listen to our blog

Listen to our blog

 

Triming the kernels off the corn on the cob

Corn is one of those vegetables that has an extended season to allow you to do all kinds of recipes and techniques. Given that there are times when you frankly don’t have a lot of time to stand over a grill to do whole ears of corn, I’m giving you an easy technique to add smoke flavor using a handheld food smoker. Then, I’ll give you a recipe for a spicy butter to coat the corn in to bring out the best in this seasonal vegetable. I’ll also provide some flavoring pairing that works great for other butter topping recipes. Go visit your favorite corn seller and pick up some fresh corn.

Smoke Fresh Corn Indoors- Easy Corn Prep

I’ve purchased 6 ears of corn and have boiled them in water until tender, which is the most traditional way of cooking corn. I allow them to cool enough to handle, then using a sharp knife, I stand the ear of corn on its wide end and cut the kernels from the cob into a disposable foil pan. If you cook the corn and then refrigerate it prior to removing the kernels, know that the kernels will not come off individually but as one long strand. Don’t worry about reducing these strands as when we add the butter topping, it will break down the kernels. Next, I’ll be taking the fresh kernels to the smoke using the Breville-PolyScience The Smoking Gun Pro Smoke Infuser which is a cold smoke application anyone can do!

Smoke Fresh Corn Indoors- Cold Smoke Infusion

If you’re familiar with The Smoking Gun™ note that the version I’m using was a collaboration between Breville and PolyScience, the originator of the concept, and designed specifically for commercial use. It is manufactured from heavier materials and can stand independently while you work the smoke vapor production.

I’ve gathered together my pan of previously cooked corn kernels, the handheld food smoke infuser, SmokinLicious® Minuto® wood chips in size #8, a lighter, a plastic food bag, and a cable tie. After sliding my corn pan into the plastic bag, I place a pinch or two of the wood chips in the unit’s bowl, extend the smoking tube into the plastic bag, then pinch off the end of the bag around the tube, and lite the chips.

Tasting Notes: You may select any hardwood microchip for the smoking but do note that this infuser produces a lot of smoke vapor. I tend to recommend using light to medium boldness levels of hardwood: Ash, Maple, Cherry.

After placing the corn pan in the plastic bag and lighting the chips with the handheld food infuser, I synch the bag’s end tightly around the tubing. This allows me to trap all the smoke vapor in the bag and surround the corn. Once filled – the bag will expand – I turn off the smoker, remove the tubing, and attach a cable tie to the bag’s end. I prefer to wait until the smoke vapor has dissipated from the bag. That’s when I cut the tie and remove the corn tray from the bag. Time to take this to the kitchen and make a spicy butter for the fresh, smoked corn.

Spicy Butter and More Recipes

melting the butter on the stove for spicey butter

Time to share my recipe for a spicy butter that works perfectly with the sweetness of the corn.

First, melt 1-1/2 sticks of butter over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, 2 tablespoons Chipotle Chili pepper, 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce. Whisk together, then remove from heat. This will be poured directly over the smoked corn and reheated until warmed through. Serve immediately.

There are so many options for corn that it depends if you want a spicy flavor, sweet, savory, or citrus. In addition to the spicy butter recipe I provided, here are some other flavor combinations that work just as well:

Truffle Butter: garlic, butter, truffle oil, salt & pepper

Sundried Tomato Butter: butter, chopped sundried tomato, basil, parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan

Siracha Butter: beer, siracha, butter, garlic powder, cilantro, salt, pepper, and oil

No matter what combination you prefer, adding another flavor level through smoke vapor will make this corn season one to remember and enjoy! Remember with this kitchen Handheld smoke method for fresh corn can be finished quickly without lighting a grill!

SmokinLicious products used in this blog:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

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

Additional reading:

-KIWIFRUIT GETS SMOKY

-FRESH CORN ON THE COB- GRILLED

-SMOKED MAPLE SYRUP MARINADE

 

 

 

Dr. Smoke try our handheld SMOKE METHOD FOR FRESH CORN technique for smoky flavor!

Dr. Smoke try our handheld SMOKE METHOD FOR FRESH CORN technique for smoky flavor!

Our nicely grill marked avocado halves look yummy after we did our wood grilled avocado technique explained in this blog.

Wood grilled avocado is a fun way to add different flavor to this wonderful fruit.

WOOD FIRED GRILLED AVOCADO

To our blog kiwifruit gets smoky

Oh, the wonderful, healthy, creamy, flavorful avocado. With more potassium than a banana and 18 amino acids for daily intake, you can’t go wrong with this single seed fruit.

Did you ever think to grill this fabulous fruit with a little wood to give it even more flavor? We’ll show you just how easy grilled avocado can be on the gas grill using wood chunks for your smoke infusion.

Grilled Avocado with a Wood Fired Touch

Regardless of the brand of gas grill you have, you can add wood chunks to the grill for wood fired flavor. My grill has heat shields over the burners so I use that area to add one small wood chunk under the grill grate, directly on the heat shield. No, you won’t damage your grill, as the wood combusts to ash and basically blows away.

One chunk is all it will take to get great flavor into the avocados. I keep the burner that the wood chunk is located on set to medium as well as the burner next to that one on medium. Since I have 4 burners, 2 are on and 2 are off.

Once the grill is to 300° F, this technique will take less than 20 minutes.

Simple Preparation for Wood Fired Grilled Avocado

The only preparation needed for the avocados is to cut them in half and remove the seed. The avocados are placed flesh side down on the grate only on the side with the burners off. The heat captured within the grill will spread throughout the grilling area and cook the avocado while adding wood smoke vapor. Note, it’s important that you don’t attempt to move the avocados for at least 10 minutes otherwise you will find the avocado flesh will stick to the grate and you’ll lose much of the fruit’s flesh. Wait until some of the fat renders and chars making removal so simple.

Grilled Avocado- Prep To Finish In Less Than 20 Minutes

In less than 20 minutes you will have wonderfully wood flavored, charred flesh avocados ready for your favorite recipes. Think of using this fruit in smoothies, dips, on salads, as a creamy ingredient for sauces – remember, avocado can be used to substitute the amount of butter used in most recipes. We will take some of our avocado and make a wood fired guacamole first. Our recipe will post soon so stay tuned and don’t’ forget to send us your pics of wood fired avocado.

Did you get motivated to fire up the grill with wood? Send us a comment or your avocado fired pics and don’t forget to subscribe. Bringing you fun, innovative tips, techniques and recipes on all wood fired methods for foods, beverages, spices, herbs and so much more.

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

Be sure to check out:

-The Top 10 Vegetables To Cook In Hot Embers

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

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "For a great smoky flavor try a wood fired grilled avocado."

Dr Smoke- “For a great smoky flavor try a wood fired grilled avocado.”

Our Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition with sweet onion, Tomatoes, and fresh herbs!

Our Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition with sweet onion, Tomatoes, and fresh herbs!

GRILLED PEACH SALAD- THE PERFECT SALAD!

 

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Listen to our blog

If you’ve been a follower of our recipes and techniques for a while, then you’re aware of our preference to grill, smoke, coal cook, and ember fire in-season produce. Peaches are no exception and with our Grilled Peach Salad, get your taste buds ready for a real treat!

I’ve got my two quarts of fresh peaches and a plan to grill these on the charcoal grill using charwood coals. Then I’ll use my luscious smoked peaches in a salad that features two additional seasonal ingredients – tomato and shallots.

Get your chimney starter of charwood or charcoal and meet me at the grill for this quick technique and grilled peach salad recipe.

Fire Up the Grill for Grilled Peach Salad

Fire up the charwood with a good quality chimney starter!

Firing up the STOK kettle grill!

Whenever you use the charcoal grill, it’s always best to get it lit about 30 minutes ahead of cooking. I’m using a kettle-style grill made by Stôk that has a removable center grate for an assortment of inserts. I won’t be using any inserts for this cook as my peaches for the grilled peach salad recipe will stay in a disposable foil pan for easy cooking and removal.

Start by placing charcoal or charwood in a chimney starter. Place a Firestarter in the charcoal area of the grill and place the filled chimney starter over the starter. Lite the Firestarter and allow to remain in place until all the charwood has ignited and started to reduce to hot coals. While that’s burning, let’s prepare the peaches. Be sure you have a couple of wood chunks available to add to the coals when we are ready to grill. I like to use the single filet wood chunk size from SmokinLicious®.

Tasting Notes: there are differences in charcoal so be sure to use a natural charcoal or charwood product rather than briquets as briquets will produce more heat than you need.

Perfect Peach Bites

With our charcoal grill going, it’s time to start on the peaches. There are a few ways to remove the skin from peaches including placing them in hot water for a few minutes then removing and placing in a bowl of ice water. The skins will just peel off. I’m an old school so I use a sharp paring knife and just remove the skin.

Once the skin is removed, it’s time to cut the peach into bite-size pieces. You can easily cut around the pit and cut those slices into pieces. Place all the pieces in a foil pan in an even layer.

Tasting Notes: Try to purchase peaches that have some firmness to them if you don’t plan to grill them right away. The peaches should have no bruising and have a slight give when touched. Too soft and those peaches won’t hold their shape when exposed to the grill’s heat.

 

Single Filet wood chunks under the grilling grate

Smoking Process for the Perfect Grilled Peach Salad

With the peaches prepared, time to take them to the grill. Pour the chimney of hot coals into the grill’s charcoal area and add the wood chunks. Add the pan of prepared peaches and placed the lid on the grill. Be sure the outtake vent on the lid is ½ way open. The intake vent at the charcoal area should be ¼ way open. Now allow smoking for 15 minutes prior to checking. Remember, we want to add smoke without reducing the peaches to a puree.

Tasting Notes: Since peaches contain 89% water, they take in the smoke vapor extremely well. Keep that in mind when you select both the charcoal and wood. Remember, oak based charcoal tends to burn hot and has a stronger undertone to fruit.

Final Salad Prep- Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition!

While the peaches are absorbing all that great smoke flavor, return to the kitchen and prepare the remaining ingredients for our salad. You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. tomatoes cut into 1/2’” pieces; or if using cherry or grape tomato, halved
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for final drizzle
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • fresh mint leaves torn
  • salt and pepper

the ingredients in the serving bowl and ready to add the dressing

I start by slicing my tomatoes in half, then add a teaspoon of salt to them while sitting in a colander so I can render some of the water. While the tomatoes sit, I start slicing the shallot into thin strips. At this point, you’ll want to check the peaches. They should be close to or ready to remove from the grill. I like to place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool them down for the salad. While that’s happening, let’s prepare the vinaigrette.

I prefer to mix all the vinaigrette ingredients in a measuring cup so I can easily pour it to the salad right before serving, to keep the tomato and peach from getting too soggy. Start with the extra virgin olive oil and add the rice vinegar. Next, the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and fresh pepper. Whisk it all together and set aside while you combine the salad ingredients.

Tasting Notes: you can substitute cider vinegar for the rice vinegar and any color of tomato will do though I lean toward the reds and purples to give a color contrast from the orange peach.

Smoked peaches go into the serving bowl first, following by the tomatoes, and shallots. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad within an hour of serving and top with the torn mint leaves. A perfect balance of sweet, tart, smoky, and refreshing. An easy method and recipe you can have in 60 minutes. I love peaches so try our grilled peaches for the perfect salad addition for your next dish to pass! You will tantalize the guest taste buds!

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Charwood

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

 

 

 

Additional reading:

-PEACHES WOOD FIRED FOR A SMOKY FLAVORFUL GAZPACHO

-WOOD FIRED GRILLED WATERMELON BECOMES A STAR

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

Dr. Smoke adds mint, onions, and tomatoes to make the Grilled Peach Salad a perfect treat!

Dr. Smoke adds mint, onions, and tomatoes to make the Grilled Peach Salad a perfect treat!

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