You’ve probably run out of different meat types and cuts to smoke. What else is there? As it turns out, there are many unusual smoked foods you can try. And we’re not just talking about throwing some veggies into a smoker. You must venture into unchartered territory and smoke foods you never imagined you’d be smoking.
If you don’t know where to start, we have 9 unusual smoked foods in this post for you to try. But first, we’ll walk you through the food smoking process, including the methods and equipment you can use to expand your flavor profiles.
Let’s get smoking!
How to Smoke Food – Method and Equipment
In the past, food smoking served a different purpose. It was about preserving quickly spoiling fish and meat for months. Today, chefs and home cooks use traditional methods like smoking, brining, curing, and pickling to bring a unique flavor to modern cuisine.
There are two ways you can smoke food: hot and cold. Hot smoking is performed at temperatures between 165-300°F. It uses the smoke from charcoal or electric smoker to slow cook meat and other foods, infusing them with flavor.
In contrast, cold smoking is more about curing and preserving foods by drawing the moisture out gently at temperatures between 68-86°F. You can eat the food raw, including meat. Both food smoking methods take time and don’t involve any direct heat.
To make unusual smoked foods, you first need to purchase the right equipment. You don’t have to dig a hole, set wood on fire, and cover the hold anymore. Now, you can purchase different products to make your smoking adventure hassle-free. In general, there are two types of home smokers available for purchase in the market.
These include electric smokers for hold and cold smoking and charcoal smokers. Electric smokers are great for beginners, as they allow more control on smoke and heat levels. Charcoal smokers require more work and attention, but the flavor profiles are unmatched.
9 Unusual Smoked Foods to Try
The following are our top picks of unusual smoked foods you should try at your next barbeque:
1. Smoked Ketchup and Mustard
Ketchup and mustard are barbeque staples for hot dogs and grilled burgers. Imagine taking these two popular condiments and enhancing their flavor by smoking them. Simply pour some into different containers and place them inside the smoker. You can try this with mayonnaise, barbeque sauce, hot sauce, and salad dressing as well.
2. Smoked Cheese
While this isn’t necessarily an unusual smoked food, it’s not something people do themselves since you can find smoked cheese in stores everywhere. At your next barbeque or dinner, smoke a hard cheese like ricotta and drizzle with olive oil and herbs. Spread the mix on some grilled bread or use it to stuff ravioli.
3. Smoked Eggs
You might have tried out different egg recipes in your lifetime, even if it’s just adding a different veggie, cheese, or meat in an omelet every time. Have you ever tried a smoked deviled egg? If you want to impress your guests, this unusual smoked food should do the job.
And all you need is some hard-boiled eggs, smoked mayo or mustard, and some spices. Simply peel them up and put them into the smoker for about 15 minutes.
4. Smoked Nuts
Are you thinking of making some homemade peanut or almond butter? Why not smoke nuts like pecans, walnuts, and cashews instead of just roasting them to extract their oils. Just grab a metal plate or tray and place the nuts in a single layer. Set the electric smoker between 210-225°F, and they’ll be ready in 2 hours. If you don’t want to make butter, you can serve them over a salad or use them in stews, etc.
5. Smoked Salt
Salt is the most basic staple ingredient in every household worldwide. However, no matter which type of salt you prefer (iodized salt, sea salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan salt), they all taste pretty much the same. Smoking can change this seasoning into something entirely different and change the flavor of every dish you make using it.
Moreover, there are no strict rules for salt smoking. You can smoke it in a hot or cold smoker at different temperatures. The longer you smoke it, the more smoke flavor you add to the salt.
6. Smoked Tea
If you’re more of a tea person, then you can use your smoker to cold smoke a unique brew using raw tea leaves. Not only will this tea warm you up on a cold winter’s day, but its sweet, refreshing smoky flavor will excite your tastebuds.
7. Smoked Ice Cream
Perhaps this is the most unusual smoked food on this list. However, before you stick a pint of Blue Bell or Breyers in your smoker, you should know that the best way to smoke ice cream is by making it from scratch and smoking the milk. Smoked milk serves as the base of your custard, which will eventually become ice cream.
8. Smoked lemon or Limes
Smoked lemons or limes are great with grilled seafood. All you have to do is cut them in have, remove the seeds, and place them on the smoker rack. You can also use them in salads or cocktails.
9. Smoked Heavy or Sour Cream
If you love creamy soups or desserts, try adding some smoked heavy cream and never go back. All you need is a chilled metal bowl and a hand-held smoker. You can also smoke sour cream and use it in making pasta, salads, scrambled eggs, and a sandwich spread.
Our Final Thoughts
You can virtually smoke any food and give it a smoky flavor profile. Try any of these unusual smoked foods at home and creatively add more items and combinations. Whether it’s a family barbeque or a formal dinner, you can serve your guests a variety of smoked food and knock their socks off.