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Foods other than meat that you like to smoke

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

While my smoker is used for meat 85% of the time, I occasionally like to smoke other food items.  For example, when I used to brew my own beer, on a regular basis, one of my favorite creations was a sweet,smoked stout. I smoked all my barley and grains over cherry wood before proceding with the recipe.  That smoky hit paired beautifully with the dark roasted malt of the beer and played well against the subtle sweetness.  One of my other favorite items to smoke is tomatoes.  Once smoked they can be turned into a soup (hot or cold) a sauce for pasta or just about anything else, and killer salsa.  I've also made my own "chipotles" with some success.


What items beside meat do you like to smoke?  Any really "odd" experiments that came out really well?

post #2 of 11

A recipe that wowed a skeptical recipe tester for the latest book in my Barbecue Bible! series--Planet Barbecue--was an egg salad made with smoked hard-cooked eggs. (It's on page 13.) Its formal name is "Smoked Egg Pate," but by any name, it's addictive. I discovered the recipe in Israel at a historic inn in an artist town called Rosh Pina. The inn houses a French-Israeli restaurant founded by Gadi Berkuz and her daughter, Lea. An American friend of theirs' introduced them to American barbecue, and they ran with it. (From all accounts, local Israelis are loving what they do.) What goes around comes around, I guess.


Smoked almonds, soaked first in a mixture of tamari and hot sauce and then drained, would go great with your homemade beer. Or a smoked bourbon Manhattan.


And smoked tomatoes, whether used in soups, on bruschetta, or in pasta, are incomparable. Smoking really concentrates the flavors. I like to sprinkle cut Romas (or even cherry tomatoes, if they're better on the day I shop) with a mixture of coarse salt, black pepper, dried thyme and/or oregano, and a soupcon of sugar. Then smoke.



post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I had never thought of smoking hard boiled eggs, but that sounds awesome.  Definitely going to have to give that a try.  Thanks!

post #4 of 11

There are two ways to do it: You can roll the unpeeled hard-cooked eggs on a countertop to crack the shells all over without actually removing them. (Similar with what you do with Chinese tea-smoked eggs.) The cracked shells allow smoke to penetrate while protecting the white.

Or you can remove the shell completely before smoking. You will notice the outside of the whites gets a little tougher when you smoke it, but when chopped up and mixed with mayo, it's not noticeable. You can, of course, make deviled eggs with smoked eggs as well.

post #5 of 11

I routinely smoke paprika, kosher salt and peeled onions cut in half.  You should also be able to smoke garlic cloves.  I have read of people infusine oils with smoke by putting shallow contianers of oil in the smokers.  Even bones will take smoke.  The bones and onions do great things for items like pinto or white beans.

I have also smoked turkey necks to use in things like beans or greans.

post #6 of 11

I have tried smoking kosher salt, but it never seems to pick up the flavor I'm looking for. Do you have any special tricks?

post #7 of 11


I've been impreeressed with this stuff. Mix a little into your salt or whatever. Flavor is good, keeps well, clumps like mad. chip off a bit and grind with some coarse salt.


much better than liquid smoke and more versatile. They have mesquite too.


If you want a darker salt, a little cocoa powder is often used commercially to tint the salt mix. cant taste it in the small amounts used.



Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #8 of 11

Interesting! Haven't heard of this site or product before.

post #9 of 11

Hi Steve and the Group:

The only trick with it is time.  Leaving it on the smoker for 4 to 5 hours or longer.  It will actually take on a smoked color.  Regular salt shaker type salt takes on the smoke flavor and color quicker.  Because of this, I will sometimes smoke regular salt and mix it in with kosher salt and allow the flavors to marry.

Thanks for all your great tips.

post #10 of 11

Thanks! I'll have to try smoking salt again sometime.


post #11 of 11

Tomatoes are also one of my favorites to smoke.  One thing I have found, though, is that smoking your own sausage and then putting it with your favorite jarred pasta sauce and simmering for a while will impart the smoke flavor to the tomato sauce.  Even bites with no sausage have much of the intensity of smoking the tomatoes directly.  If you freeze a few links of sausage, it's an easy way to have "smoked" tomato sauce on a busy night!


I love smoked "baked potatoes."  Clean it, put a bit of oil on the grate, and smoke it -- I think a couple of hours (don't have my notes now).  To 195 degrees internal, I think.  I find I don't need to add butter or any other fat.  Just salt it and eat it.


Smoked plums are another favorite, and they are currently in season.  Intense plum flavor that goes well with creamy vanilla ice cream.


Smoked garlic is very good, as noted above.  Very soon I want to try to use smoke garlic to make aioli.


I know you said "other than meat," but my absolute favorite thing to make in my smoker is chipotle smoked-tuna salad.  I get fresh tuna in 1/2 lb chunks (I have a fantastic fish-monger), lightly oil the grate, and smoke it about 1 to 1.5 hours to 140 degrees internal.  Smoked this way, I find the tuna itself to be disgusting, and I love smoked fish.  But take a potato masher to break it up, and combine it with a lot of adobo sauce from canned chipotles, mayonnaise, sweet pickled peppers, yellow mustard, and salt.  Also add pureed chipotle peppers to taste (I use 2-3 for 1 lb of tuna).  You can also leave off the adobo and chipotles, which I do for my daughter.  Everybody raves over it, including my daughter who insists on taking a milder version to preschool for lunch.


I've tried lots of stuff on the smoker that didn't work.  Smoked brussels sprouts was one of my worst.  Could be that I did it wrong!


I can't count the number of things I "grill smoke."  Mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, parboiled whole fingerling potatoes (with aioli), grapes, pineapple, apricots, on and on.

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