Smoked Hazelnuts

I’ve made the ‘usual’ smoked nuts a number of times. You know, peanuts. Walnuts. Pecans. Those things. This was my first time smoking Hazelnuts. In fact, I’d never even thought about making them until I ran across a picture someone posted of a big batch of smoked Hazelnuts. They looked so amazing I could almost smell and test them. I’ve always loved Hazelnuts, so I figured I’d love them smoked even more and I was right!
Smoked Hazelnuts

You can shell and eat these nuts just as they are. And I certainly devoured a few handfuls. But, my main reason for smoking them was to use them in recipes. First up? A smoked Hazelnut butter for baked sweet potatoes!

As you can tell from the recipe, I didn’t add anything to the nuts before I put them on my smoker. They don’t need it. No oil, no salt and pepper. Just put them on ‘au naturale’ and let them go for a while.

Smoked pistachios are also amazing! Try them too!

Smoked Hazelnuts

Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling 30 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • raw Hazelnuts in shell

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 225-250 F cooking. Use hickory or a fruit wood.
  • Add the nuts to the smoker. Don't crowd them. Smoke for 1 hour.
  • Remove and let cool completely before shelling.

Grilled Chive Potatoes

Well now, these little bites of yumminess didn’t last long. Grilled chive potatoes didn’t take long to make either. Creamy and tender inside, the potatoes had nice crispy skin. Covered in butter and chives, with just a hint of lemon,  each one was sooooo good. I grilled the potatoes, but you can make them in the oven just as easily.
Grilled Chive PotatoesWhat will I do different next time I grill some grilled chive potatoes? Probably nothing. Oh I might add a pinch of red pepper flake but that’s it. They don’t need anything else.

If you don’t have fresh chives just use green onions instead.

Grilled Chive Potatoes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a gentle boil and let boil until the potatoes are just starting to turn tender, 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Slice into halves.
  • Fire up your grill for medium-high direct grilling.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the chives and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the potatoes to the grill, cut-side down and let grill until just starting to turn golden brown and getting just a little char around the edges. Brush lightly with the butter mixture.
  • Remove potatoes and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Drizzle with remaining butter mixture and serve.

Smoked Pecans

My goodness, me, there went my self-control again. Good thing I made two big batches of these smoked pecans because a lot of them were sacrificed in the name of ‘quality control’. The nuts are smoked just enough. There is a such thing as too much smoke on nuts. You don’t want it to be overwhelming, but you do want to still taste smoke. Otherwise, you can’t call them smoked pecans!
Smoked Pecans

I used two different spice mixtures for the smoked pecans. The first batch I made a somewhat sweet, southwestern-inspired mix. It was a great balance of flavors, and one enjoyed by everyone. The second version I went a bit spicier (but not too spicy) route. It’s the same as the first mix, but with cayenne instead of cinnamon. People often shy away when they see ‘spicy’, but I found them to have just a hint of a kick and a little sweetness.

If you just finished smoking ribs, pork, whatever, on your smoker and still have some fire, smoked pecans are a great way to use up the rest of that smoke time. Never waste it, I say!

Also try my smoked pistachios.

Smoked Pecans

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 30 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shelled raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted

Spice mixture

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika pimentón
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoke for 250 F. Use a fruit wood, such as apple, or pecan. Since the smoking time is short compared to say, smoking ribs, I recommend using extra wood to generate more smoke than you might usually.
  • Place the nuts in a disposable aluminum pan. Drizzle with the melted butter and stir to coat.
  • Combine the spice mixture ingredients and sprinkle over the nuts. Stir to coat.
  • Place the pan onto the smoker and smoke 60 minutes. Stir the nuts every 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the smoker and let the nuts cool completely before serving. On the off chance you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container.

Notes

For a spicy version, substitute cayenne pepper for the cinnamon.

Rotisserie Pineapple Bourbon Glazed Boneless Ham

I recently bought a new gas grill, retiring (at least for now) one I’d had for 19 years and had used almost 4,000 times. This time, I got a grill with a rotisserie. I didn’t think I’d need one, but I’d been looking forward to trying some new things, like this rotisserie pineapple bourbon glazed boneless ham.

I chose a boneless ham because I wanted to slice the end result thin and use it for sandwiches. Normally I’d score my ham, but I’ve found that scoring makes it very difficult to slice so thin. I still got that wonderful pineapple flavor, with just a hint of bourbon. It was delicious!
Rotisserie Pineapple Bourbon Glazed Boneless Ham

You can use this same approach on any pre-cooked ham, smoked or not. I found this rotisserie pineapple bourbon glazed boneless ham to be absolutely delicious. I could not sampling the slices as I cut them. The thin slices were for sandwiches. The thicker ones will find their way into omelets and yes, even homemade Spam!

Also try my Brazilian rotisserie pineapple.

Rotisserie Pineapple Bourbon Glazed Boneless Ham

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 1 ham

Ingredients

  • 7-10 pound boneless smoked ham
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, ground
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for direct cooking. You're aiming for a cook temperature around 350 F.
  • Carefully feed the ham onto the rotisserie and secure the ends.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the mustard and rosemary. Rub the mixture all over the ham.
  • Turn on the rotisserie, close the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the juice, sugar and bourbon. Brush onto all sides of the ham. Save a little of the mixture for the last glaze.
  • Continue cooking another 15-30 minutes or until the ham reaches 140 F. Brush with remaining glaze, carefully remove from the grill, and let rest 15 minutes before removing from the rotisserie and slicing.

Cedar Planked Spam

Oh sure, somewhere there’ll be someone that’ll say ‘ewww’ when they see Spam. But oh, do not poo-poo cedar planked Spam. Ever! The cedar imparts a special lightly smokey different flavor to the Spam slices. A little rub and a little time on your grill is all you need. Make them sweet, make them spicy, however you prefer. Watching your sodium? Just us a low-salt or no-salt seasoning. You don’t need anything strong, as the cedar will add a special flavor that you do not want to hide.

Cedar Planked Spam

My favorite thing to do with cedar planked Spam (besides munching on it right off the grill) is to get a nice crust on it using a super hot skillet or griddle and put it on a sandwich. I treat it much like I do my grilled or smoked bologna. One of my favorite sandwiches is a pool room burger. Try it. You’ll never look at Spam the same way again, specially after you’ve cedar planked it

Also try my smoked Spam.

Cedar Planked Spam

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Soak a cedar plank in water for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, season the Spam slices liberally with the rub.
  • Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking. Once it gets hot, place the plank over the flames and char it on both sides. Keep a spray bottle of water on hand in case the plank catches on fire.
  • Transfer the Spam to the plank and move it to indirect heat. Cook 20-25 minutes or until lightly charred along the edges. Cook longer if eating directly from the plank.

Easy Grilled Creole Potatoes

You’re throwing some burgers on the grill. You need a quick and easy side. One that uses ingredients you already have on hand. These easy grilled Creole potatoes check all the boxes for a tasty but simple dish that’s ready in no time. I like to cook my veggies in a grill basket. I find it easier than using skewers and I don’t have to worry about the potatoes splitting when I skewer them. Easy, each and every time.

Easy Grilled Creole Potatoes

You can substitute a Dijon mustard for the Creole if you prefer. Just make sure to get a good hearty mustard. You know, one with ingredients you can see. Not that creamy stuff. For me, Creole is the way to go when making easy grilled Creole potatoes. And I’m not shy with the mustard, either.

Also try my grilled potatoes with mustard-garlic dressing.

Easy Grilled Creole Potatoes

Course Side
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes about 8, all about the same size
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard I prefer Zatarain's
  • 1/2 teaspoon. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Stab the potatoes with a knife or fork. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the water and cover. Microwave for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let cool.
  • Quarter the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard and pepper. Add to the potatoes. Stir to coat and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Fire up your grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a vegetable basket (or thread onto skewers) and grill 8-10 minutes until lightly charred and tender, turning a few times.
  • Remove, transfer to a platter, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Red Chile Smoked Bologna

This isn’t my first time smoking a bologna chubb (often called a log). But it is by far the best I’ve ever made. I used Albukirky Seasoning’s Red Chile BBQ rub (you can use any rub you want, but I highly recommend theirs) and it added a fantastic flavor (and a slight spiciness) to the bologna.

I sliced my smoked bologna about 1/2″ thick and then fried it up to get a bit of a crust on it. It was absolutely crazy good on a bun with lettuce, onion and mustard for the world’s best bologna sandwich!

Red Chile Smoked Bologna

Just about everyone can score a bologna better than I can. I’ve seen all sorts of fancy fru-fru angled scoring works of art. Me, I’ve had to resign myself to a simple checkerboard pattern. It really doesn’t matter how you do it, but you do need to do it or the chubb will crack or even blow open while smoking.

I went with a mellow wood (apple) when smoking my red chile bologna. I wanted that smoke flavor, but I didn’t want it to be so strong that I couldn’t taste the rub or the bologna. Feel free to use whatever wood you prefer, of course!

Also check out my traditional smoked bologna.

Red Chile Smoked Bologna

Course Main
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. I prefer a lighter wood, such as apple or peach, but you can use a stronger wood such as hickory.
  • Score the bologna chubb using a sharp knife. Make the cuts 1/4" – 1/2" deep. Use any pattern you want. If you don't score it the bologna will crack or pop open as it smokes.
  • Rub the chubb liberally with mustard. Get in there, get your hands dirty. I find it easiest to stand the chubb on one end (which is why I don't use a full-sized one).
  • Sprinkle the rub liberally all over the chubb. More is better here, so don't be shy with the rub.
  • Transfer the chubb to your smoker and smoke for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the chubb and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Smoked Pistachios

This is how you make a huge pistachio fan out of me. I love smoked nuts, but until now I’d never smoked pistachios before. Well, let me tell you folks! Good doesn’t even come close to describing how yummy these nuts were! I set out to smoke nuts to use in ice cream (I know, right? You know that’ll be awesome!). I doubt that half of them survived for my ice cream plans… I couldn’t help myself.

Smoked Pistachios

For the seasoning on my smoked pistachios I went with Sweet Red from AlbuKirky Seasonings. It has a nice sweet heat flavor to it, the perfect contrasting flavors for the nuts. I seasoned the nuts pretty liberally with it, too. Since the nuts aren’t shelled a lot of that flavor does end up on the shell. So by adding more I increased the amount of seasoning that made it’s way inside… and oh, was I ever rewarded for my efforts!

Also try my smoked peanuts in the shell and my smoked pecans. And nothing is amazing as smoked hazelnuts!

Smoked Pistachios

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F cooking. Use a light wood such as apple or peach.
  • Place the nuts in a large bowl and lightly (very lightly) drizzle with a little oil. For 1 pound of nuts I used less than 1/2 tablespoon of oil.
  • Toss the nuts to coat. Now, sprinkle them liberally with the seasoning. Now is not the time to be shy. Load up on it and toss to coat.
  • Transfer nuts to your smoker. I use a grill mat to keep the nuts from falling thru the grates. Smoke for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
  • Remove, shell and devour.

Rotisserie French Fries

This actually started out as just a test of an idea I’d had. It was a very hot day here. I have a pet peeve about cooking anything inside when it’s so hot. And thanks to my new Weber Summit S-670, I can not only cook in pots on a side burner, I have a big rotisserie I can use. I have the perfect basket for it, made by Napoleon, that I can use to cook up all sorts of side dishes, such as rotisserie French fries!
Rotisserie French Fries

I started with frozen fries. And I went with the larger wedge fries because, this being my first time, I wasn’t sure how smaller fries might hold up to the constant tumbling. My rotisserie French fries came out fantastic, with a great crispiness and flavor. Of course, you can make them on a charcoal grill too with a rotisserie and a basket and get even more of that great ‘cooked outdoors’ flavor!

I think you can easily get away with cooking smaller fries, such as crinkles. Just keep an eye on them because the cook time will obviously depend on how hot you have your grill. I kept the temperature right around 400 F directly below my basket. I did not use my infrared burner (you can see it above the basket in the picture above).

Fries on the rotisserie were perfect with the burgers I grilled at the same time! Win! For even more spinning goodness, make my chicken wings on the rotisserie too!

Rotisserie French Fries

My rotisserie French fries came out fantastic, with a great crispiness and flavor. No need to heat up the kitchen, just fire up your grill!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for medium-high cooking and prepare a rotisserie basket setup.
  • Add fries to the basket and close. Turn on the rotisserie and close the lid. Let cook for 20 minutes then check for crispness. If the fries turn golden brown with a bit of char along the edges, they're done! If not, close the lid and cook another 10-25 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so.
  • Use heat-proof gloves to remove and open the rotisserie basket. Serve.

Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

If you like boiled peanuts, you’re in luck. If you like smoked peanuts, you’re in luck too. These smoked peanuts in the shell will satisfy you no matter which camp you’re in. Lightly smokey and well, pea-like, you’ll want to make a big ole batch for snacking during the next big game on TV.
Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

Unlike just boiled peanuts, which have a soggy shell, these smoked peanuts in the shell spend some quality time over higher heat, giving the shells an almost roasted-like texture. So when you crack one open, you might be expecting a roasted peanut. That’s not what you’ll get. The time in the brine not only softens the peanuts it lets them absorb smoke. That’s what you’re after.

Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

Also try my smoked spicy nuts and my smoked pistachios.

Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pounds raw peanuts in the shell

Instructions

  • Combine the water, salt, sugar and peanuts in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes into a large colander and then spread out on a flat surface covered with towels to dry completely.
  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use any wood you prefer, but the peanuts will absorb the smoke so I recommend a lighter fruit wood.
  • Add the peanuts to the smoker. If your grates are too wide, add foil sheets or pans with holes poked in them or use a grill mat like I did.
  • Cover grill and smoke for 20 minutes. Stir and smoke 20 more minutes. And then stir and smoke 20 more minutes. If the nuts aren't a bit crunchy continue smoking or transfer to a sheet pan in a 225 F oven or on a grill until golden brown and crunchy.
  • Store in an airtight container.