Smoking your own food is easier than you might think. We’ve experimented with the best ways to create your own delicious smoky dishes in your own kitchen – here are some tips to follow if you’re planning to give it a try.
Smoking is a little different to your traditional barbecue – Barbeque is technically ‘smoke cooking’, but Smoke Cooking isn’t necessarily Barbeque. To barbeque truly means to cook in the smoke, well off the heat source. Many smoke cooking recipes are done very near or over the heat source, but at very low temperatures. The smoke is used to flavour the food and both the smoke and the heat source cook it.
We joined forces with pioneering East London smoker Adam Snow to create a smoked feast earlier this year. Using a Landmann Kentucky off-set smoker, we smoked rabbit, beef short ribs from the Ginger Pig in Borough Market with Adam’s BBQ glaze, a lamb joint, pork belly, coquelet and chicken livers. But it wasn’t all meat on the smoker – we also tried chilli, which chars and looses some of its heat but gains an amazing smoky flavour, potato and rosemary bread from Gail’s Bakery, Oglsfield and Lincolnshire Poacher cheese from Neals Yard, which smokes and melts at the same time – amazing in a sandwich with the smoked bread.
We also tried smoking sea bass, which took about an hour and was wonderful. We had this in a salad, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. And you can even smoke potatoes, as you bake them – they become wonderfully charred, you have to try them!
The run-away surprise success of the day was our smoked potato salad with smoked chilli mayo. We smoked the potatoes for about an hour sliced them up and mixed whilst still hot with mayonnaise seasoned with salt, pepper, chopped smoked chilli and lemon juice.
The inspiration for our smoking recipes came from Adam’s smoking heroes, two excellent chefs who have made their name by combining fantastic ingredients with a skilled smoking process: The Ribman and Hansen Lydersen.
If you’re planning to smoke a few of these yourself we recommend adding Adam’s BBQ Glaze, which you can make by combining the following ingredients:
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp molases
Juice of two limes
Paprika to taste
Sea salt to taste
Don’t worry if all this smoking sounds a little too much hassle, you can try some delicious smoked dishes at one of Adam’s favourite smoking restaurants. Here are his top three:
Ollie Dabbous protégé Matt Young brings taste of Scandinavia to London at Rok. The name is the Swedish word for smoke. There’s a custom-built charcoal barbecue right in the centre of the kitchen, which is presided over by Matt Young – we loved the ‘beef with birch syrup’ – sweet, juicy and full of flavour.
This restaurant is run by David Moore, who also owns Pied à Terre, L’autre Pied and Pied Nus. But the cooking here is more centred around US smokehouse techniques. Try the smoked bone marrow mash, which TimeOut called “richer than Oprah!”
This Islington restaurant opened its doors in August 2013 to much critical acclaim. It’s won its fair share of plaudits but the philosophy is still the same: offering the best and most original smoked and grilled food in London, alongside the best beer list in London (20 on tap, 60 in the bottle) and wine from small family-owned vineyards.
Let us know how you get on with your smoking, we’d love to hear about it.