We may live in Colorado but don’t be fooled by the headline. We aren’t talking about rolling up or smoking anything in your pipe. The point of this post is to discuss the best foods to smoke in a smoker.
And it’s kind of a trick question because there really aren’t any bad foods to smoke! Except maybe chocolate. However, there are a few foods that do tend to smoke particularly well.
First, let’s share a little bit about the smoke. Hardwoods are used in a smoker. Softwoods, like cedar or pine which are very aromatic; will create terrible soot that can be hazardous to breath. For our smoker we use hickory which is considered a medium wood. It burns longer and is better for larger meats. It is interesting to note that slight variations in taste may result depending on where in the country that the hickory is harvested.
Meat may be one of the most traditional foods to smoke. Historically, it was one of the few ways to adequately preserve it without refrigeration. Plus, you really cannot beat the flavor packed and packable nature of a bag of jerky. Buffalo and elk might be two of our all-time favorite foods to smoke. The leanness and sweet undertones of the meat counterbalance the smoke, salt and other flavors very nicely. Try some in your backyard smoker or grab a bag of ours…we dare you to not finish the bag in one sitting!
Cheese is one of the least known of the smoked foods. You may see some on an appetizer platter around the holidays but what people should know is that smoked cheese is a wonderful treat any time of year. What we offer is a hickory smoked, pepper cheese that is creamy and spicy. Smoked cheese makes a great quesadilla with some shredded chicken and caramelized onions. It’s also fantastic in eggs and as an appetizer; we recommend serving it at room temperature.
Fish is another wonderful food to smoke. Salmon is probably the most common of the smoked fish. The slightly higher fat content makes salmon a great jerky as it doesn’t dry out as fast as some other fish. Salmon jerky is great in our easy cobb salad recipe. Trout is also quite nice and makes a great appetizer with cheese and crackers. No matter which type of fish you choose, always opt for the freshest catch you can find!
Nuts can be smoked, did you know that? We smoke organic pistachios and they are delicious. There are two flavors. (1) traditional hickory smoked, which tastes like a regular roasted nut, but a bit better. (2) We also offer a habanero flavor that can be described as having a medium heat. It is more of a subtle heat, but only people who like spice will enjoy this flavor. These are packaged in 12oz. re-sealable bags which make them the perfect size for a backpack or a picnic with friends.
We know that you can smoke all sorts of things. These are just a few of our favorites. What’s the craziest food you’ve smoked?