Smoked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Sour Cream

I love smoked potatoes. Smoking them adds such a fantastic (but not overpowering) smokiness. And it’s cooler than just baking them in the oven. And since I also love sweet potatoes, why not just combine two of my favorite things? Smoked sweet potatoes are sweet (duh) and creamy, and oh so tender. To counter that sweetness just a bit I top them with a nice (also smoky) sour cream and chipotle mixture. And a little bacon for some more smokiness and a bit of crunch. Forget russet potatoes, smoked sweet potatoes are the best!
smoked-sweet-potatoes-with-chipotle-sour-creamDon’t have a smoker? You can use the technique for my perfect baked potato on sweet potatoes too. You won’t get all that smokiness of course, but the chipotle sour cream and bacon will help make up for that.

Smoked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Sour Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 chipotles, chopped, in adobo sauce
  • 4 green onions, sliced, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F.
  2. Brush the potatoes with the oil and place on the smoker.
  3. Smoke for 2-3 hours or until soft but not mushy.
  4. Remove from the smoker and let cool slightly before slicing open. Chop the insides lightly.
  5. Sprinkle the potatoes with the crumbled bacon.
  6. Combine the sour cream and chipotles with some of the adobo sauce and spoon over the potatoes.
  7. Garnish with the onions and serve.

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

The North End Barbecue & Moonshine restaurant in Indianapolis is definitely one of my favorite restaurants. They have a fantastic menu, but for me, the best dish by far is the Texas red chili. It’s simple, spicy, and oh so packed with flavor. Smoked brisket, homemade bacon and a red sauce that I could just slurp up with a (big) straw. I can’t always make it to North End BBQ, so I decided to make my own (slightly different) version of their Texas chili. I was absolutely pleased with it. Nice and spicy, with a bit of smokiness.
smoked-brisket-texas-chiliNow, you could make this smoked brisket Texas chili with just cubed chuck that has been lightly browned in the Dutch oven first. Nothing wrong with that, not one bit, but if you have smoked brisket, it really gives the chili a completely different flavor than just regular ole chili.

I roasted a few jalapenos on the grill and chopped them to use as garnish. They added even more bite and flavor to what was already a great bowl of chili.

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 8 dried chiles (I used guajillo, but just about any chile will work)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (if you don't have any masa, take a handful of plain tortilla chips and grind them in a food processor or by hand using a mortar and pestle)
  • 2 pounds smoked brisket, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Garnishes (sour cream, roasted jalapenos, grilled lime edges, etc)
Instructions
  1. Toast the chiles in a hot skillet over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Remove to a large bowl and cover in hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Remove chiles (do not discard the water). Cut off the stems and remove the seeds.
  4. Chop lightly and transfer to a food processor.
  5. Add the cumin, pepper and a few pinches of salt, along with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Process until smooth. If needed add a bit more of the water.
  6. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  7. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  9. Add the broth and water. Bring to a simmer.
  10. Whisk in the masa harina and add the processed chile paste.
  11. Add the brisket and stir. Cover.
  12. Let simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender, adding more broth if necessary.
  13. Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and add more salt to taste. Simmer another 10 minutes.
  14. Serve with the desired garnishes.

 

Smoked Chex™ Mix

There are some things were self-control just doesn’t happen for me. This smoked Chex™ mix is one of them. Put a big bowl of it in front of me and it’ll be gone soon. Specially the bagel chips. There’s something about the bagel chips in Chex™ mix, specially after they’ve been smoked. The smoke flavor is not overwhelming, but it’s there, and it’s different in a wonderful way. The smoke compliments traditional Chex ™ mix flavors perfectly.
smoked-chex-mixThe cereal in this smoked Chex™ definitely soaks up the smoke, so do not go crazy with the wood in your smoker. Use a very small chunk, smaller than would fit in your palm, and use only a lighter wood. No mesquite or hickory here, go for the lighter fruit woods.

Smoked Chex™ Mix
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cups
 
For a slightly spicier version, add a few teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce to the melted butter and Worcestershire sauce mixture. Don't go crazy with it or the mix will take longer to get crispy.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 1 cup small pretzels, or pretzel pieces
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 cup small bagel chips
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I used some of my homemade mix, see below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Homemade seasoned salt (makes more than you'll need for the Chex mix)
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 250 F. Add only one small piece of light wood, such as apple or peach. If you are using a smoker that has a water pan, such as the Weber Smokey Mountain, do not fill the pan with water.
  2. Combine the cereals, pretzels, nuts and bagel chips in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir.
  4. Combine the seasoned salt, garlic powder and onion powder and slowly whisk into the melted butter.
  5. Drizzle the butter mixture over the cereal and gently toss to coat.
  6. Place into a disposable 9" x 13" deep aluminum pan and place on the top rack of the smoker.
  7. Smoke for 1 hour or until the mixture turns golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes.
  8. Remove and let cool completely before serving, or store for up to 2 weeks.
Homemade seasoned salt
  1. Combine all ingredients. Store in an air-tight container.

Burnt Ends

I made some poor man’s burnt ends not long ago. They really got my burnt ends mojo going, so I ran out and picked up a gorgeous Wagyu beef brisket and proceeded to make the real thing, brisket burnt ends. And suddenly, all was good in the world again. Nothing compares to burnt ends in my book. Tender as you can get. Beefy good flavor. Every bite is a treat.
Burnt EndsI could eat burnt ends all day long. As much as I love sliced smoked brisket, or chopped smoked brisket, to me burnt ends pack more flavor into every bite. And they’re really great served on a hoagie bun with lettuce and tomato as a burnt end po boy!

Burnt Ends
Author: 
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
For the brisket
  • 3-4 pound brisket point
  • Peppery rub (I used Tataonka Dust, but a mix of salt and pepper is perfect too)
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
Texas Crutch sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon more peppery rub
Instructions
For the brisket
  1. Rub the rub all over the brisket.
  2. Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks. Burnt ends need a little more smoke than say sliced brisket, in my opinion.
  4. Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  5. Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  6. Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  7. Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  8. Remove the brisket from the foil.
  9. Cut beef into 3/4" - 1" cubes and place into a large disposable pan.
  10. Lightly (very lightly!) drizzle the meat with the BBQ sauce. You just want the flavor from the sauce. Toss gently to coat.
  11. Sprinkle with more of the rub and return to the smoker for 1 more hour.
  12. Devour.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Some folk aren’t fans of the ‘Texas crutch’ method of cooking brisket (in this case, a brisket flat). Some folks do the crutch with butcher paper. Some crutch with foil. This here is how I smoke my brisket using the Texas crutch. The end result is packed with flavor, tender and juicy. I slice it thin then pile it on buns for sandwiches or just eat it right off the plate. And yes, a good amount of it disappears while I’m slicing it.
Texas Crutch Smoked BrisketI do not sauce my brisket before slicing it, but you can if you like. Wait until it’s almost done to sauce it and don’t use too much sauce. You don’t want to hide the fantastic brisket flavor. The rub really adds fantastic flavor to the meat and you don’t want to miss out on that!

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
Brisket
  • 1 4-5 pound brisket flat
For the rub
  • 2 tablespoons beef base
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Texas Crutch sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
Instructions
  1. Optional: Cut a small piece off a corner of the brisket perpendicular to the meat grain. This will make it easier to find and cut against the grain after the brisket is done.
  2. Combine the rub ingredients and rub all over the brisket.
  3. Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks.
  5. Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  6. Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  7. Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  8. Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  9. Remove the brisket from the foil and return to the smoker (and brush with BBQ sauce, if desired) until the temperature reaches 200-205 F.
  10. Remove from the smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Smoked Glazed Salami

I picked up a few fancy salami the other day while at Jungle Jim’s market outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. I didn’t get them by accident. Someone on an online BBQ group had recommended cutting them Hasselback-style, smoking them and glazing with an apricot glaze. The thought had my mouth watering, so I proceeded to make awesome smoked glazed salami. A little sweet, a little smokiness, and flavor-packed cured meat. Perfect.
Smoked Glazed SalamiThese sliced salami treats are perfect on crackers with cheese. Or even on sandwiches. Or by themselves. If you like a little spiciness, you can substitute jalapeno jelly for the apricot preserves. The heat really works well with the flavor of the salami.

Smoked Glazed Salami
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (1 pound) salami
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Cut thin slits in the salamis, but do not cut all the way thru. Tip: I lay two wood spoons alongside the salami. Then, when I cut down thru the salami the round spoon handles keep me from cutting too far.
  2. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use a light wood such as apple or peach.
  3. Smoke the salami for 1 hour.
  4. Combine the apricot preserves and Dijon and brush half over the tops of the salami.
  5. Smoke another 30 minutes then brush with the remaining glaze and smoke another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the smoker.
  7. Serve as is, with a knife for slicing, as a great topping for crackers. I also sliced the salami and served it on sandwiches.

Smoked Scotch Eggs

Smoked Scotch eggs have been on my bucket list for a while. I finally had a little room on my smoker so I jumped at the opportunity. As easy as they are to make, Scotch eggs are really amazing. It’s like breakfast in a bite. Perfectly hard-boiled eggs, smoked breakfast sausage, and a bit of BBQ sauce for dipping. They look great and they taste great. Awesome appetizers for your next cookout.
Smoked Scotch EggsIf you want a bit of kick to your smoked Scotch eggs add a bit of cayenne pepper or your favorite spicy rub to the bread crumbs. Not a lot, just enough to bring a little spiciness.

Smoked Scotch Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 14 eggs, divided
  • 2 pounds bulk pork breakfast sausage
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • BBQ sauce, warmed, for serving
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F.
  2. Hard-boil 12 of the eggs and remove the shells.
  3. Combine the sausage and minced onion. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 12 equally-sized balls and flatten.
  4. Place an egg in the middle of each flattened sausage patty and wrap the meat around the egg. The egg should be completely covered by the sausage.
  5. Place the flour in a shallow bowl.
  6. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in another shallow bowl.
  7. Place breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl.
  8. Roll sausage-covered eggs in the flour. Shake off excess.
  9. Roll sausage-covered eggs in the egg. Shake off excess.
  10. Roll sausage-covered eggs in the bread crumbs. Shake off excess.
  11. Smoke for 2 1/2 hours
  12. Slice eggs lengthwise and serve with warmed BBQ sauce for dunking.

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Burnt ends are an absolute treat that I only get to enjoy on occasion. They’re normally made from the point of a beef brisket, smoked low-and-slow for hours and hours. But, you can get that same magical tender juicy beefy bite using a much cheaper (poor man’s so-to-speak) cut of meat, a chuck roast. The process is the same. Smoke for hours, cut into pieces, add a bit of sauce, and smoke some more. That’s it. Every bite just falls apart. Great by themselves, on a roll as a sandwich, or my favorite, served over cheesy grits.
Poor Man's Burnt EndsYou do not want to use a heavy, thick BBQ sauce when making poor man’s burnt ends. Use a milder sauce that doesn’t have a lot of sugar or molasses. Less is definitely more. You can always add sauce to them when you serve them.

You can also just smoke a chuck roast as you would any other large piece of meat, such as a pork shoulder or butt. It makes for the perfect shredded beef sandwich. Check out my post on smoked chuck roast here.

Poor Man's Burnt Ends
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • Your favorite BBQ rub
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
Instructions
  1. FIre up your smoker for 225 F cooking. Use a few chunks of hickory or a lighter wood.
  2. Season the chuck on all sides with the rub and place onto the smoker.
  3. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 185 F.
  4. Carefully remove the chuck and wrap in foil. Let rest on your counter for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the chuck roast from the foil and transfer to a cutting board.
  6. Cut into 3/4" cubes and place into a disposable aluminum pan.
  7. Lightly (very lightly!) drizzle the meat with the BBQ sauce. You just want the flavor from the sauce. Toss gently to coat.
  8. Sprinkle with more of the rub and return to the smoker for 1 1/2 more hours.
  9. Devour.