Smoking Rubs, Brines and Smoked Food Recipes
Basic Brine for Smoking Poultry (chicken, duck, pheasant, turkey, squab etc.)
You can also use this brine for beef brisket or pork butt roasts
2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. kosher salt
1 c. pickling spice (or peppercorns, whole cloves, whole cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole coriander seed etc.
4 c. water
Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Sugar and salt should be dissolved.
Remove from heat and add 4 c. ice.
Important – taste brine before using. If it is too salty then add more ice.
Place poultry in a non-reactive (not aluminum, copper, etc.) container (glass, plastic or stainless OK). Pour enough brine over poultry to cover. Marinate over night. Drain off brine and dry the breasts on paper towels before smoking. Smoke in wine barrel smoker for 1 hour. Barbecue, sauté or bake to finish.
WARNING: do not save brine that has touched the poultry.
Beer Brine for Pork Roasts, Pork or Beef Ribs
6 c. Water
3 bottles Light Beer
6 oz. Course Salt
9 oz. Dark Brown Sugar
9 oz. Molasses
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stir until salt and sugar have dissolved, then cool in refrigerator for half hour.
Pour over steaks and leave to marinate in fridge for four hours, turning steaks after two hours to assure even marinating.
The Best Smoked Salmon Ever
3 c. brown sugar
1 c. Kosher salt
1 salmon fillet, 2 pounds
1 tbsp. pickling spice ground finely in a coffee grinder
Mix that with 3 c. of brown sugar and 1 c. of Kosher salt. Coat salmon fillet on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for 2 day turning after the first day. The salmon should lose a lot of water and start to firm up. If it is not firming up turn over and let sit another day.
To smoke remove from dish rub and rinse off excess coating. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Cool smoke for 1 1/2 hours (I prefer apple, cherry or alder wood - never hickory) then wrap well in PVC. Let set in fridge over night before slicing or do as I do - freeze it over night. To slice frozen salmon remove from freezer and let thaw until it starts to soften. Using a sharp knife slice salmon at an angle to get wider slices.
This is great with bagels, cream cheese, capers and thin sliced red onions.
People will scream...
Easy Cucumber Relish for Smoked Salmon
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 oz. capers
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1 oz. lemon juice
1 tbsp. sugar
Toss all ingredients together cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving with smoked fish.
Mesquite Smoked Rack of Pork Loin
Now you can also barbecue this pork rack using indirect heat after it is smoked but it is unnecessary. You will still think it has been barbecued roasting it in the oven.
1 Rack of pork loin, 8 bones 4 pounds
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. ground black pepper
1/8 c. sea salt
1/8 c. fennel seeds
1 c. orange pekoe or black tea
this is also a great rub for lamb, beef, venison, moose, elk
Mesquite smoking chips,
Mix together sugar, pepper, salt, fennel seed and tea (from tea bags).
Coat pork on all sides. Refrigerate overnight (12 hours).
Cool smoke rack for 2 hours. It is best if smoked for a long time at a lower temperature. This can go straight into the oven or be refrigerated and roasted at a later time.
Roasting instructions: bake at 350°F for 1 hour 20 minutes (quick read thermometer should be at 140°F. (20 minutes per pound).
Allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing.  Allowing 2 bones per chop.
Serve with applesauce, chutney or stewed peaches.
Serves 4
Smoked Boston Pork Butt Stew
OK this turned out great. My wife bought a small Boston pork butt on sale and I was thinking what could I do to make this really awesome. Then it came to me. Smoked pork stew.
First I brined it in the basic brine recipe. I left it in overnight and cold smoked it for about an hour the next morning. I let it rest for two hours in the fridge so the smoke would penetrate the meat then I cut it into two big chunks and browned them in a large sauté pan. I put the chunks in a crock-pot and added a box of chicken stock. Next I sautéed some diced celery, carrots and onions to the pot. I also added 2 cans of diced tomatoes, dried oregano, chopped parsley, bay leaf, ground black pepper, a little brown sugar and a little salt. I left it on high for 4 hours.
The result was incredible. The meat just fell apart and was like the best BBQ you ever had but with a savory smoky sauce.
We served it with grits with fresh corn in it.
We also make sandwiches and tacos with the leftovers.
Now that's economical and tasty too.
Smoking Cheeses
Gouda, mozzarella, brie, Swiss, cheddar, or any other firm cheese can be smoked in the Grand Cru Wine Barrel smoker.
Make sure that the rack is at the highest level and is very clean and dry. Smoke the cheese using milder chips like apple wood for an hour and a half. Let rest in the fridge uncovered for an hour before serving with grapes, sliced peaches etc. and crackers or a baguette of French bread. A crisp sauvignon blanc is the best wine to serve with smoked cheeses.
The smoked brie would be great stuffed into chicken breast or in ravioli.
Smoky Apple Chowder
Before starting this recipe smoke your Gouda as per the previous instructions
2 tbsp. butter
4 apples, such as Granny Smith
2 russet potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. chopped canned chipotle peppers with adobo
4 c. chicken broth
5 smoked chicken breasts
4 oz. smoked Gouda cheese
8 oz. goat cheese
3 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. milk or cream
2 tbsp. chopped chives
Peel, core and dice apples, peel and dice potatoes. Melt butter in a large pot and set over medium heat, add the apples and potatoes, sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until they just begin to soften and take on a bit of color. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and Chipotle.
Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apples and potatoes are completely tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the cheeses and stir until they are melted. If it becomes too thick, add a bit more broth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Mix the sour cream and milk together. Use to drizzle over each portion and top with chopped chives.
Serves 4, generously
Smoked Corn and Pepper Chowder
This recipe is primarily a summer-oriented soup, though the produce used in it is usually available throughout the year.
4 ears            sweet corn
4 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 onions, skinned and finely chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
4 oz.  sweet butter
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/8 tsp.            leaf thyme
4 c. water or chicken stock
2 c. whipping cream
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
Remove husks from corn and smoke for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove kernels from cob, reserve cobs. In a 2-quart stockpot heat chicken stock or water, add the smoked corncobs and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cobs, pour liquid into bowl.
In the 2-quart stockpot, melt the butter and sauté the peppers, onions and celery. Cook over low heat until tender. Add the flour and mix well until the butter is absorbed. Add the water or vegetable stock a little at a time while stirring with a large spoon. Keep stirring until the soup begins to thicken, and the soup is simmering. Add the cream and bring to a soft boil. Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the corn. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with sour cream or lime slices.
Yield 1/2 gallon, 6 to 8 portions