I’ve spoken before about my love of cooking outdoors and of holidays in the USA. Nowhere is that more aligned than when I get to  start smoking some great food on a Sunday afternoon.

Discovering Smoking

The first thing I ever smoked in my ceramic egg barbecue was turkey breast, following a holiday in Vegas where American family members were talking about Thanksgiving and how they smoked their turkeys – I was inspired!  I also discovered pretzel burger buns on that holiday so recreated those to pair with the turkey and melted cheese.  It also goes well with barbecue beans, which are easy to make and go with everything.  Make a huge batch and freeze them, they are great for a last minute midweek dinner with poached eggs on toast (I recommend my sourdough, the best in the company).  The recipe is one of those which you can adapt to suit you; add spices for more heat, change the vinegar to balsamic or even, my wife’s favourite trick, add a big sticky spoon of marmite.

It needs a lot of attention

Something I’ve recently realised with smoking is, for me anyway, it does need quite a lot of attention to make sure it all goes to plan.  I was recently immobilised with a bad back so had to instruct my wife on what to do as we had some pork belly and turkey that needed to be smoked.  She kept a note of all the orders (her word) I was giving her and later on posted the pictures with a step by step record of what she had needed to do.  I’d like to think there was some exaggeration on her part but I’m not sure that was the case. When you see it all broken down in front of you it shows how important it is to maintain the temperature and stop the meat from drying out.

The great thing about using a ceramic barbecue for smoking is that you can cook other things at the same time, like jacket potatoes wrapped in tin foil with a pinch of salt and a little bit of butter, or bone marrow if you really want to push the boat out.  Leave a small hole in the top of the foil to let the flavour penetrate a little bit.  You can also throw a few tomatoes or peppers on, to use in a nice smoky sauce for a midweek pasta dish.

If you fancy trying Daryll’s recipes, just follow the links below:

Smoked Turkey

Pretzel Buns

Barbecue Beans