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.
- Big Poppa Smokers Sweet Brine O’ Mine*
- 2 Pounds Large (21 to 25 count per LB) NC Shrimp (brown, pink or white variety depending on time of year
- Lemon Wedges
- Broil King Dual Prong SS Skewers*
Directions for Brine
- Mix enough brine to submerge shrimp and in accordance with label instructions
- Mix and then lightly heat the brine mixture to completely dissolve the brine
- Cool in refrigerator for quicker chill or chill at room if planning ahead
- Once brine is cool submerge prepped shrimp in Brining Bucket*with adjustable plate to keep shrimp submerged
- Brine for 15-20 minutes
Spicy Garlic Paste Ingredients
The garlic paste adheres perfectly to the shells and will coat your fingers as you peel and eat the grilled shrimp …yummm
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
- To make a paste,drag a chef knife thru the salt and minced garlic over and over until a paste is created
- 2 teaspoons of Himalayan Salt*
- 1 ½ teaspoons of Dizzy Pig’s Jamaican Firewalk*
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Directions for Spicy Garlic Paste
To make the garlic paste you have 2 options.
- If you have a fine grater you can grate the garlic gloves & mix with salt, stirring to create a paste as the salt drys out the garlic and creates a paste
- You can mince garlic, mix with salt and drag blade of a chef’s knife back and forth over the salt and minced garlic putting fair amount of pressure on mixture to make a paste as salt works to break down garlic and knife pressure breaks minced garlic into paste
- After garlic has formed paste add remaining ingredients
- Coat the shrimp well with garlic paste
- Lightly oil skewers and thread seasoned shrimp onto Double Pronged Skewers*