When I am doing my favorite thing cooking on my Pellet Smoker for my family and friends. I like to make something different as a side dish or desert on the smoker, because smoke will give things you never considered putting on a grill a whole other flavor.
Smoke And The Wood Used To Create It !
There are so many types of wood to use for smoking that creates a whole different taste to the things you are grilling on the smoker. It will really add a real twist for the meal that you are preparing for people you love. Here I will touch on only a few because there are too many to review here today.
Alder wood is seen in Northwest, it adds a sweet musky flavor, not overpowering. Goes great with small game birds, poultry, beef, and fish. Can also work well with fruits.
Applewood a bit denser sweet, fruity flavor smoke. This complements beef, poultry and pork ( really good with ham), use it is one of the strongest flavorings of the fruit trees.
Cherry wood gives a hint of sweetness. Great with poultry, will give a turkey a rose tint real nice. Also, great with veggies and fruits.
Hickory wood gives a sweet strong flavor used when smoking bacon. Will work great with beef, pork ribs, ham, and poultry. If using best to soak in water for hour lessons chance of bitter taste.
There are so many other woods to use when smoking, we will talk about them at a later time.
When using chips or chunks of wood many people feel best to soak them in water to enhance the smoke. I tend to have a problem with this because it takes a long time for wood to get really soaked. It is common belief to soak the chips or chunks for an hour. My back round is water restoration, due to the density of wood, only a few millimeters of the wood surface will really retain water. But again I am not a Pitmaster, just a Dad likes to smoke and grill for family and friends and why I use a Pellet Smoker.
Let’s get into What to grill as a side dish.
Side Dishes That You May Not Of Thought To Smoke
Another key component in creating a good smoke is temperature, it best to keep it between 180f and 225f. Also, find having a perforated pan is a big help, here two that are good.
Something good to add to a summer salad. Take a nice Georgia Peaches cut them into halves and pit them. Now use a combination of Hickory and Applewood chips or pellets, bring the smoker up to 200F to 215. Place the peach halves cut side up for 15 – 20 minutes, flip them cut side down for 10 minutes. You will have heavenly sweet smokey peaches, slice them and mix it in with the salad. I have used a raspberry salad dressing delicious. If you have any left over put them on a dish of vanilla ice cream and drizzle warm caramel over it. Hmm, sinful!!
Another thing to add to a salad. Take those tiny tomatoes Place them in one of the above pans and brush a little olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and garlic powder on those red jewels. Lite the smoker with apple and cherry wood chips or pellets and bring the temperature to 180F, Place the pan on grill and cook for five minutes. Add them to a Caesar salad.
When I am thinking of what to grill as a side dish this is one of my favorites. This is one that my daughter’s boyfriend made, it was a crowd pleaser. Bacon wrapped figs the First time made 24 but you should double that, ran out of them in 20 minutes. Okay, for 24 figs need 8 slices of hickory bacon and cut them into 1/4 pieces and wrap the figs use toothpicks to secure them ( soak toothpicks in water for an hour). Then is a bowl combine 1/2 cup soy sauce,2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of smoked paprika. Whisk them until the brown sugar dissolves and them brush it over the wrapped figs. Turn of the smoker to 180F and use hickory chips and get it smoking, once have a good smoke place the Bacon wrapped Figs on the grill for ten minutes, then turn it up to 450F. When bacon is crisp take them off and serve.
This is another family pleaser, Take hard-boiled eggs peeled and leave them hole. Lightly coat with smokey paprika seasoning. Then use maple wood chips and fire up the smoker to 200F to 215 and get a good smoke going and then place the eggs on the grill for 15 to 20 minutes. Great for Cob salad or egg salad.
My Favorite Dessert (Well one of them)
This wonderful dish is called Peach and Raspberry Crisp
You will need
- 6 cups diced peaches ( which I smoke like in prior passage Use about 5-6 peaches)
- Juice of a fresh lemon
- 2 cups of wash raspberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup flour divided use)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 ounces shortbread sugar cookies, broken into pieces
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- vanilla ice cream for serving
Now grease a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the peaches and the lemon juice. Add the raspberries, the granulated sugar,1/4 cup of the flour, and the cinnamon. Whisk to combine ingredients. Then pour into the pie pan.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cookies, brown sugar, butter, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Pulse until the cookies are crumbly and the butter has been broken down into pea-sized bits. Spoon the topping evenly over the fruit in the pie pan.
Now set up the smoker with either Cherry or Applewood, could combine them. Set it for 350F.
Bake the crisp for about 45 minutes, the crisp filling should be bubbling around the edges and the topping is browned.
Call everyone to the table and serve it over vanilla ice cream and watch the smiles appear.
What To Grill As A Side Dish?
So we see that side dishes do not have to be boring. And they do not have to be just corn or string beans. Which I could have told you how to change corn and string beans into something different. You also see why the temperature is important in creating smoke. And that the taste that smoke gives the food changes with the different type of woods you can use. We found out our smoker grills are not just for meats. So let the imagination go and try different things to change the next family BBQ into a memorable experience.
As always thank you for visiting Smokeypelletsbychris. I encourage you to please leave comment or suggestions.