Many of us only think of grilled vegetables, fruit and seafood when entertaining in the backyard. It is truly a great way to prepare these foods but it is not the only way. Did you ever think about smoking them? Probably not and rightly so. Most foods that can be grilled can also be smoked.
Why smoke them? Well, smoking adds another element to the flavor profile of the intent food. Also, the flavor profile can be altered to “change it up” when you want to try something different.
Do you have to have a smoker? No, you can get very close to the flavor of a smoker on a gas grill. Since a gas grill only uses propane or natural gas you will have to use one of the many smoke generators available.
Here are just a few of the foods that lend themselves to smoking:
Cheese attracts smoke real well. Place the cheese on a cookie rack, place in your UNLIT grill and place the smoke generator on the grill grate. Usually 15 mins. to 1 hour is sufficient. Softer cheeses, reduce the smoke time to your desired taste. Fruit flavored smoke works best.
Potatoes do real well in a smoker. Keep the skin on and rub with vegetable oil and coat with Kosher or Himalayan salt and place in the smoker and cook till tender. Hickory and pecan works best.
Oysters are simply delicious when smoked. It is best to have moisture (water pan) under the oysters if they are closed. If you open them the moisture source is not necessary. Smoke until the oysters open but leave them on for 15 minutes longer so the smoke gets to the interior. If open allow 15 minutes on the smoke. Peach, apple and alder are perfect for oysters. Take the same approach with scallops, fish (cook to internal temp 145) and shrimp.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Who would even think it wise to smoke hard boiled eggs? Well, they are very tasty. Boil the eggs, peel and put in the smoker for about 25-30 minutes with sugar maple, peach or apple smoke.
Smoked peaches are great by themselves or over ice cream as a desert. Half the peaches and remove the pit. Peach or apple smoke is the best. Allow the peaches to smoke for about 20 minutes.
These are just a few to start with and the only limitation is your own imagination.