Incredibly delicious, easy dishes from the guru of backyard smoking, Steven Raichlen.
July 27, 2011
1 of 7Photo: Charles Masters
Healthy Backyard Smoker Recipes
With all the fuss made about smoking food these days, you'd think you had to be one of those hard-core hobbyists who'll spend $3,000 on a pellet smoker and devote their free time to getting a master's degree in the ancient art. Or one of those high-end chefs who smoke everything in sight (smoked yogurt, anyone?). In the almost religious vogue for smoke lies a suggestion that this is not a job for the average home cook. Not so: You can smoke pork shoulder, poultry, brisket, even oysters and potato salad at home on your charcoal or gas grill to dazzling effect, as the recipes on these slides show.
We’ll begin with Fantastic Bourbon Smoked Chicken. To reinforce the whiskey flavor in the brine and basting butter, recipe developer and global grilling authority Steven Raichlen says to use Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chips for smoking—widely available in grill and gourmet shops. This bird is so wonderfully moist and flavorful, it doesn't need added embellishment.
2 of 7Photo: Charles Masters
All-Purpose Spice Rub
Use 1 tablespoon per pound of pork, chicken, or beef. Store extra in a sealed container at room temp.
If your experience with smoked oysters is limited to the oily, strong-flavored bivalves sold canned, you're in for a revelation. The brininess of the olive- and caper-laced relish echoes the fresh, oceany notes of the oysters. Keep as much of the oysters' juices as possible in the shells while shucking and grilling. Smoke-roast the oysters just long enough to poach them, but not so long that they overcook or dry out.
4 of 7Photo: Charles Masters
Smoked Potato Salad
Smoking the potatoes for this salad with mesquite wood chips gives them a strong distinctive, slightly bitter flavor. According to Steve, mesquite chips tend to overpower poultry and seafood, but they bring just the right hit of flavor for this recipe.
5 of 7Photo: Charles Masters
Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade
No grilling skillet, no problem: Thread the shrimp on skewers instead. The delicious, tangy, and cool rémoulade is the perfect condiment.
6 of 7Photo: Charles Masters
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Mustard Sauce
Steve advises, “[Hickory is] rich-flavored, with an earthy sweetness that goes well with pork.” This is a pulled pork sandwich unlike any other.
7 of 7Photo: Charles Masters
Coffee-Rubbed Texas-Style Brisket
With larger cuts like pork shoulder or brisket that need to smoke for hours, maintaining an even temperature is critical to prevent overcooking or drying out your meat. On a gas grill, you can regulate temperature easily via the burners and monitor it from the built-in thermometer in the lid. But charcoal grills require a little more finesse.