Smoked Spiral Hot Dogs

What fun these smoked spiral hot dogs were to make and devour! I’ve made spiral dogs before, but this technique is much better than my old way. The key is inserting a skewer thru the dogs to keep them together after slicing. And of course, the skewer keeps you from slicing in too far. I smoked my spiral dogs, but you could just as easily grill them.
Anita and I recently ran across The Mustard Man at an event at the Jungle Jim’s market in Fairfield, OH. After sampling each of mustard I instantly picked up a bottle of each one. They are truly fantastic. I squeezed a bit of the Simple Pepper and Simply Maple on each of our spiral dogs. The mustard runs down into the spirals, filling each bite with mustardy goodness. We cannot recommend The Mustard Man’s mustard enough!

Love hot dogs as much as I do? Check out my free eCookbook that is packed with tons of hot dog recipes.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Spiral Hot Dogs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Large hot dogs
  • Wooden or bamboo skewers
  • Your favorite rub or seasoning (I used my Fire-Eater seasoning)
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 225 F. You can also make these hot dogs on a grill
  2. Carefully guide the skewer through the center of the hot dogs. If you get the skewer crooked at it pokes out of the side of the dog just pull it back and try again. I found that laying the hot dogs down on a flat surface and sliding the skewer in from the side, parallel to the counter top, worked best.
  3. Lay the skewered dog down onto a cutting board or flat surface.
  4. Holding a knife at a 45 degree angle, starting at one end of the dog, cut into the dog down to the skewer. Start rolling the hot dog, keeping the knife inserted into the hot dog, making cuts that are about 1/2" apart. Continue rolling and cutting until you reach the other end of the hot dog.
  5. Gently pull the dog apart, separating the cuts. Be careful, you don't want to break it.
  6. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.
  7. Place dogs onto the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. If grilling grill until done as desired.
  8. Serve hot.


Smoked Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Wow. I love beets, but I really wasn’t expecting these smoked beets with balsamic glaze to be so amazing. The perfect combination of flavors, starting with just a hint of smoke and ending with goat cheese drizzled with a fantastic balsamic glaze. The more I cook, the more I find myself using balsamic vinegar in my dishes, and it certainly was a star in this one.
If you don’t have a smoker you can still make these beets. Just toss them in a 375 F oven and roast them until tender. They won’t have that light smoky flavor, but they will still be great with the glaze and cheese.

In a pinch you can skip using fresh beets. Grab canned or jarred, slice and serve with the remaining ingredients. Or just make my non-smoked beet but-still-really-great beet salad.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Beets with Balsamic Glaze
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
For the beats
  • 4 large beets
  • Your favorite herb goat cheese
  • Balsamic glaze, from below
For balsamic glaze
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Instructions
For the beats
  1. Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F.
  2. Meanwhile, boil or steam the beats until just tender. Let cool completely then peel.
  3. Transfer beets to the smoker and smoke for 30 minutes-1 hour. You just want a hint of smoke flavor.
  4. Remove from the smoker and let cool then slice thin.
  5. Serve with the cheese drizzled with the balsamic glaze.
For balsamic glaze
  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring often, until thick. The glaze should coat the back of spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and cover until ready to use.

Barbacoa-Style Smoked Chuck Roast

It’s an understatement to say I’m a big fan of smoking chuck roast. When it’s on sale it’s big time cheaper than brisket and yet still tender, moist and ‘beefy’. Sometimes I slice my smoked chuck roast, but more times than not I chop it for sandwiches or cut it into chunks for use in a chili or stew. This barbacoa-style smoked chuck roast packs fantastic flavor and juiciness, with a nice hint of heat. Perfect on a chopped beef sandwich!
I do not trim my chuck roasts before marinating them. I want all that fat to still be on the meat when I smoke it, adding flavor and moisture. After the meat is done I slice or chop it, leaving off the fatty pieces.

5 from 1 reviews
Barbacoa-Style Smoked Chuck Roast
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3-4 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 3-4 pound chuck roast, untrimmed
Instructions
  1. Combine all but roast in a bowl.
  2. Place the chuck roast into a large resealable bag or container.
  3. Add the marinade. Toss to coat, seal, and marinade overnight.
  4. Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use a medium wood such as hickory.
  5. Remove the beef from the marinade. Shake off the excess and transfer to the smoker.
  6. Smoke until the roast reaches 145 F., about 1 hour.
  7. Transfer the beef to a large piece of foil. Seal up tightly and return to the smoker. Smoke until the temperature reaches 200F, 4-5 hours more.
  8. Remove from the smoker and let rest 15 minutes before slicing of chopping. Add any juices from the foil back into the meat for extra flavor.

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Fried Smoked Wings

Wonderfully smoky, tender meat with a lightly crispy skin, these smoked and then fried chicken wings were a thing of beauty. These are one of most dangerous things you could ever put in front of me. I don’t even need any sauce to toss or dunk them in, either. Just give me a big basket of them and get out of the way!
The process is simple. Season your wings, and place them onto your smoker. No messing around with them either. Just smoke for 2 hours.

When the wings are done you toss them into a deep fryer for a minute or so, until golden brown and lightly crispy. You can also make a big huge batch and freeze the smoked wings (before frying). All you have to do is thaw them and deep fry them when you’re ready to serve them at a later time. I was worried that making them from the frozen smoked wings would result in over-cooked, tough wings, but oh no, they were fantastic!

There’s a brewpub by our house, Redemption Alewerks, that makes crazy-good chicken wings. They smoke them first over a mix of mesquite and cherry woods, then flash fry them. They sauce them then place them over a hot flame to finish them off. My approach is similar, but I don’t always put them onto the grill at the end. They are fantastic either way, but grilling them real quick does help set the sauce.

For smoked wings that seem like they were fried, but weren’t, try my almost-fried smoked wings. Same great crunch and flavor without the oil.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

5 from 1 reviews
Fried Smoked Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • Your favorite rub (I used Albukirky Seasoning's Green Chile Rub)
  • Canola oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like. I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks because I wanted a good, noticeable smoke flavor. Use a lighter wood if you want your wings to be a little less smoky.
  2. Place the wings onto the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. No need to rotate or flip them.
  3. When done, remove from the smoker. You can deep fry them immediately or freeze them for thawing and frying later.
  4. To fry, heat canola oil to 350 F.
  5. Working in batches, add the wings and fry for 1-2 minutes or until they are the desired color.
  6. Let cool slightly. Serve tossed with your favorite sauce and your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
  7. Optional: Toss the wings onto a hot grill for 1 minute after saucing them to set the sauce.

2-2-1 Smoked Baby Back Ribs

I’m a huge fan of spareribs trimmed St. Louis-style and smoked low-and-slow. I have to admit, my favorite part are the rib tips that come from trimming the spareribs. And that’s why, until recently, I haven’t really smoked a lot of baby back ribs, which have less fat and no tips. Well, now I cannot stop making them. This is my go-to method for making the most tender, juicy, flavor-packed baby back ribs in around 5 hours. They’re truly easy to make and are about as fool-proof as you can get, and you get the same results time after time.
Don’t be afraid of the mustard on these smoked baby back ribs. It’s there to help the seasoning adhere to the ribs. Trust me, you won’t taste it a bit when the ribs are done.

So why are they called 2-2-1 ribs? Because you smoke them uncovered for 2 hours, then smoke them wrapped in foil for another 2 hours, and finally finish them off uncovered for another hour. Now, depending on the size of the ribs and the temperature of your smoker, they might be done a bit earlier or later, but a minute here or there won’t make a big difference. Just make sure they’re nice and tender before removing from the foil.

If you prefer spareribs, check out my technique for making 3-2-1 smoked St. Louis-style ribs. Need a great homemade sauce? Here are just a few of the ones I’ve made and love: smokehouse, southwestern, atomic, Sriracha and sweet-n-spicy.

5 from 1 reviews
2-2-1 Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 rack
 
Ingredients
  • 1 rack baby back ribs, any loose meat removed, membrane on back removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • Prepared yellow mustard (generic is fine)
  • Your favorite BBQ rub
  • Honey
  • Chili sauce
  • Margarine (the kind in a squeeze bottle works best)
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use a medium or light wood. I prefer hickory, cherry, apple, peach or maple.
  2. Spread a thin layer of mustard on both sides of the ribs. Dust lightly with the rub.
  3. Smoke for 2 hours, bone-side down.
  4. Lay out a large piece of thick foil (double it if using thin foil). In center of the foil squeeze out a thin line of honey, a few teaspoons of chili sauce, and a line of margarine.
  5. Place the ribs bone-side down onto the center of the foil.
  6. Squeeze out another line of honey, a few teaspoons of chili sauce, and some more margarine along the meat side of the ribs. No need to spread out the ingredients.
  7. Seal the foil tightly and return to the smoker for 1 hour or until you can easily slide a toothpick between the ribs.
  8. Carefully open the foil (the escaping steam will burn!) and remove the ribs, placing them directly on the smoker grates. Reserve the basting juices and brush them onto the ribs.
  9. Smoke another 30 minutes, brushing with the basting juices every 10 minutes.
  10. Now, brush the ribs the BBQ sauce and smoke another 30 minutes or until the sauce is set as you desire.
  11. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Smoked Grits

Elliott Moss’ Buxton Hall Barbecue’s Book of Smoke is one of my favorite cookbooks. It actually contains more than just recipes, much more, but the recipes are usually very easy to make and yet still fantastic. Smoked grits are about as simple as you can get, but what you do end up with are grits (and I do so love grits) with just a nice hint of smoke. Not crazy overpowering smoke, you want just a hint of it.One thing I don’t go cheap on is grits. There are a number of small grist mills in Indiana (and in fact my father-in-law once worked in the grist mill at Spring Mill State Park which still operates today here in Indiana) where you can buy freshly ground grits, but you can also find quality grits in the grocery store. My motto is: don’t buy the cheap stuff. Grits are a magical thing and being cheap with them just isn’t necessary.

I like smoking things that I haven’t smoked before, like these grits. I’ve also smoked peppercorns, which where a new thing for me too. They also came out great.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coarse ground grits
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker. Use a light or medium wood, such as apple or hickory. Make sure you have a good amount of smoke.
  2. Spread the grits out 1/2" deep in a pan and place onto the smoker.
  3. Smoke for 4 minutes.
  4. Stir and smoke another 4 minutes.
  5. Cook grits as you normally would.

Smoked Pork Shanks

Sometimes what you think might be a mistake can end up being one of the best things that you have ever done. I ordered some pork shanks from our local butcher. My goal was to make pork wings, which are made from the shank. Well, I didn’t explain myself well and what I ended up with was a big bag of shanks that had been cut in half, which definitely weren’t going to work for pork wings. Well, a quick glance around the web and I found tons of great recipes for braising shanks, which I will do but I also found the idea of smoking them and using them in the place of smoked hocks. Now that’s an idea I can get excited about because I love hocks and beans. So I took 8 of the shanks (trust me, I have plenty more), brined them for a while and then smoked them. The end result was tender, perfectly smoky-flavored shanks that were amazing in a big pot of beans.
I wouldn’t hesitate at all to get more shanks from my butcher for no other reason than to smoke them. They’ll be great this fall and winter in soups and stews. They also fit in well with my ‘no empty space on the smoker’ rule, which says if you’re going to fire up your smoker, use all available room that you have. No point in wasting smoke. Shanks are the perfect size for using up valuable smoker grate space in my opinion.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Pork Shanks
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 shanks
 
This recipe can also be used to make fantastic smoked ham hocks.
Ingredients
For the smoke pork shanks
  • 4 pork shanks cut in half (ask your butcher to cut them for you), so you'll end up with 8 smoke shanks in the end
For the brine
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2/3 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Tender Quick
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled dried thyme
Instructions
For the brine
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer and stir until the salt is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. Place shanks into a large resealable container.
  5. Add the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 1-3 days.
For the smoked pork shank
  1. Rinse with water and place in cold water for 1 hour..
  2. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. I used hickory wood and added a few more chunks than I normally would for say ribs so that I got a good strong smoke flavor in the shanks.
  3. Remove the shanks from the brine and pat dry.
  4. Transfer to the smoker and smoke for 3-5 hours until the internal temperature reaches 160 F.

Smoked Eggs

I’m not sure why I was hankerin’ for egg salad, but I was. But I figured it was time for a little twist on the ole classic, so I decided to fire up my smoker with a few charcoal briquettes and a chunk of apple wood and smoke a few eggs. I figured a little smoke flavor would really make for a special egg salad. I was right.
Eggs are also a great thing to toss (er, gently of course) onto your smoker after you’ve finished smoking a pork butt, ribs, brisket or whatever, and you still have a good fire going. They take just two hours. Smoked eggs can have just a hint of smoke (use a small chunk of light wood) or a stronger smoke flavor (use hickory), but it doesn’t take much smoke so don’t overdo it.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Eggs
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Eggs
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for smoking 225 F - 250 F.
  2. Use a light smoking wood, such as apple. I used one fish-sized chunk of wood, which produced a lightly smoky flavored egg. Use more for stronger flavors.
  3. Smoke for 2 hours.
  4. Remove, let cool slightly then transfer to a fridge overnight.
  5. Peel and eat.