Oh, yes, people laughed when I brought up the idea of smoking Velveeta. “Why?” “Are you insane?” You name it, I heard it. But I was not deterred because in my mind I had already tasted smoked Velveeta mac-and-cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches and they tasted fantastic.
I used the exact same process that I use for cold smoking cheese blocks except that I froze the Velveeta overnight first. Velveeta gets soft even at room temperature, so by freezing it I was helping to guarantee that it didn’t melt on a smoker. And it didn’t! It came out absolutely amazing! Next time, I’m loading up my smoker big time with Velveeta! This stuff is awesome!
I use an A-Maze-N smoke tube when cold smoking. It gives me perfect control over the temperature and produces consistent smoke. I buy wood pellets and stuff the tube completely, then light one end. The tube stays lit for a few hours, perfect for smoking cheese. I highly recommend it. It’s also great for adding smoke flavor to dishes being cooked on a gas grill.
Note: Make sure you unwrap the Velveeta completely before freezing!
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 d 1 hr
Unwrap the Velveeta. Place on a plate and place in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
Fire up your smoker for cold smoking. If you don't have an A-Maze-N smoking tube you can still cold smoke with just a few briquettes and a chunk or two of wood
Make sure you keep the temperature below 90 F, and preferably at 70 F.
Place the Velveeta on a grate or in a disposable pan and transfer to the smoker.
Smoke for 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on how strong you want the smoke flavor. If the cheese begins to sweet wipe it dry and make sure the temperature is staying low.
Remove from the smoker and let cool completely. Place in a vacuum sealer bag or resealable bag and close. Refrigerate for a least 2 weeks before using.
If you’ve never made or tried burnt ends, I highly recommend them. As great as smoked brisket is, burnt ends are brisket candy. Highly addicting, they are a real treat. But hey, they do take time and brisket isn’t always the cheapest cut. So what to do if you want to feed a crowd of some meat candy without breaking the bank? Yep, you guessed it: hot dog burnt ends. Smoked hot dogs covered in a caramelized sauce, you’ll never eat those little sausage thingies again. Perfect for a party, these goodies will disappear in no time.
There’s absolutely nothing challenging about making these hot dog burnt ends. If you don’t have a smoker you can make the entire dish on a grill. You can even use a gas grill. If you do, I recommend you use a smoky BBQ sauce to add a little of that great I-made-these-on-a-smoker even-though-I-didn’t flavor.
Hot Dog Burnt Ends
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
- 2 8- count packages hot dogs no need to get the expensive stuff here
- 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons your favorite BBQ rub
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ Sauce
Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like, these turn out great whether they are smoked over fruit wood or a stronger wood such as mesquite.
Squeeze the mustard over the dogs then brush around all sides. (I found it easier to just spread the mustard with my hands).
Sprinkle the rub over all sides of the dogs. Transfer to your smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, fire up your grill for medium heat cooking (or pre-heat your oven to 375 F).
Remove dogs and cut into thirds (about 1 1/2" pieces). Transfer to a disposable pan.
Combine the butter, brown sugar and BBQ sauce and pour over the hot dogs. Stir and place on your grill (or in the oven).
Cook dogs an addition 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the hot dogs have begun to caramelize.
Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
Not too long ago I made a fantastic batch of red pepper flake using my dehydrator, a Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I use the spicy flakes on just about everything. But, I thought, nothing wrong with making an even tastier, hotter version. So I grabbed a big bag of red habaneros and proceeded to make smoked habanero flake.
Smoking the habaneros, though not required, gives the flakes a fantastic slightly-smoky flavor and aroma, much more complex than if you just ground dried habaneros. And oh, yes, these flakes are mighty hot. You have to be careful handling the peppers, and trust me, when you grind them, do NOT put your face over the grinder when you remove the lid. I speak the truth here, it’ll get you!
Smoked Habanero Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Note: You'll need a smoker (wood, charcoal, or electric), a dehydrator, and a spice grinder (I use a blade-style coffee grinder) to make these smoked habanero flakes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time14 hrs 30 mins
Total Time14 hrs 40 mins
- Ripe habaneros any color, preferably all roughly the same size
Fire up your smoker. Add a few chunks of stronger wood, such as hickory. Do not use a fruity wood such as apple, peach, etc.
Add the habaneros to the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. You're not looking to dry them (though you could given plenty of time), just get a nice smoke flavor.
Remove the habaneros and transfer to your dehydrator, set to 165 F.
Dry the habaneros until crispy, 8-12 hours (or more if they are large, less if they are smaller). Rotate the trays every 2 hours to ensure even drying.
Remove the habaneros and let cool slightly.
Remove the stems from the peppers.
Working in batches, transfer the peppers to a spice grinder with blades (do not use a burr grinder) and grind until the desired sized flakes are achieved.
Store in an air-tight container.
Note: The flakes will be mighty hot, so use sparingly.