We know how most cuts of meat taste wonderful after smoking. But your trusty smoker can actually do more than just cook moist brisket and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Read on our list of other foods you can smoke and give your usual sauces, side dishes, and even desserts that extra unexpected punch!
Give your salsa, marinara sauce, or gazpacho a different flavour twist and use smoked tomatoes in place of your fresh ones. Do this by slicing your large tomatoes in half then place them on the smoking rack lined with foil. This will prevent juices from dripping or any tomatoes from falling through. Drizzle some oil on top then season them with salt and pepper. Place your rack in the smoker and smoke until your tomatoes are tender, shriveled, and close to being caramelised. Try doing this for cherry tomatoes with apple wood chips then use them for your salads. They are great for making exciting glasses of bloody Mary, too!
If you love smoking with apple, hickory, or peach wood chips, their smoky flavours match peaches perfectly. Slice your fresh peaches in half then remove the pit. Place them on your grill grate, cut side up, then smoke them between 93C to 102C for about 20 minutes. Remove the rack, flip each halved fruit cut side down, then continue smoking for another 10 minutes. These smoked peaches are great on salads and salsas as well as with pork, duck, and ham dishes. Serving these with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce is also the perfect way to end a lovely lunch.
Smoking with apple or cherry wood chips is the ideal set up to infuse your hard cheeses with great smoky flavours. Place your Monterey Jack, cheddar, or gruyere on a perforated grill pan then set it over a pan of ice. Smoke it at 29C to 38C for about 1 to 1.5 hours. A slice of smoked cheese is sure to take your usual lunch sandwich up a notch. It also makes your cheese sauce for the fondue or broccoli extra tasty. In fact, you can even cook your mac and cheese as usual then have it smoked for added flavour!
Thinking of doing something new to your side of potatoes for the family roast or grilled fish? Try smoking your whole and unpeeled medium to large potatoes with apple or hickory wood chips. Before putting them in the smoker, rub each potato with butter and salt for added flavour. Smoke it for about an hour at 99C to 107C, then continue baking them in the oven until tender and cooked. These taste amazing when tossed in herbed butter and garlic. Or if you want to impress your guests, use these to make potato salad that is guaranteed to be a party hit.
While perfectly pan-fried scallops are heavenly, cooking them in smoke is even better. Using a combination of cherry and apple wood chips, pat dry your scallops and smoke them at 141C to 149C for 5 minutes per side. These smoked scallops will make your bruschetta, salad, or pasta look and taste elegant.
Give your glass of martini a simple yet flavourful twist by smoking your green or black olives with apple or maple chips. Toss your pitted or unpitted olives in olive oil, then spread them in a single layer in a foil pan. Place your pan on the smoking rack then smoke your olives for about 20 minutes at 93C to 102C. Aside from using them for your cocktails, these make the perfect appetisers especially when stuffed with blue cheese or anchovies. Try adding them to your tuna or chicken salad and pasta sauces, too.
Add a levelled up classic element to your cheese board by infusing your whole and shelled pecans, almonds, or walnuts with hickory smoke. Place your choice of nuts on a foil plate then smoke them for about 2 hours at 99C to 107C. Toss them in your salads or trail mixes for an extra special lunch or snack.
Hard-cooked eggs are already perfect for your appetisers, salads, or sandwiches. But cooking them further with smoke from apple or maple chips gives any egg dish an extra burst of flavour. Set your smoker at 93C to 102C and smoke your hard-boiled eggs for about 15 minutes. These will make your cobb or nicoise salad restaurant worthy and your devilled eggs a favourite at any party!
Alder or apple wood chips can easily turn your half-shell oysters into an even fancier hors d’oeuvre. Smoke them at 113C to 121C for about 18 minutes and you have a delicious appetiser that taste even better with butter and lemon or a cream cheese dip.
Finally, smoked chocolate chips? With small chunks of your favourite wood and a pan with ice to protect them from melting, smoke your pan or dish of chocolate chips for about 30 minutes for a mild smoky taste, or add 15 minutes more for a stronger smoked flavour. Just make sure that your rack is as far away as possible from your heat source. Store your smoked chocolate chips in an airtight jar until you’re ready to add them to your cookies and ice cream. The smokiness of your chocolate tends to mellow over time, so storing them for a few days before use is best.
With summer days coming, this is the perfect season to put your smoker to good use. And when you plan to entertain your guests with delectable smoked meats, make sure to make the most of that flavourful smoke by smoking some of these foods to make an equally tasty party appetiser or memorable dessert!