Vegetable Grilling Guide
You can smoke almost any vegetable – here is a list of a few of our favourites - the ones that really shine when infused with smoky flavor over a low heat, and our suggestion for grilling them.
VEGETABLE PREPARATION APPROXIMATE COOKING TIME Zucchini Thickly sliced 1 ½ hours Peppers Halved and Seeded 1 ½ hours Eggplant Halved 3 hours Eggplant Thickly sliced 1 ½ hours Tomatoes Halved 2 hours Squash (Butternut or Acorn) Halved and Seeded 3-4 hours Garlic Whole 1 ½ hours Corn on the Cob In husk, with outer silk removed 1 ½ hours Asparagus Tough ends snapped ½ hour Mushrooms Wiped clean, ends trimmed 1 hour Cauliflower Cut into large florets 1 hour Sweet Potatoes Peeled and thickly sliced 1 ½ hours Onions Quartered 1 ½ hours
With this method your vegetables are not only smoky, but are also very sweet and have a creamy texture. You can scatter a few vegetables around the smoker any time you use it for meats or other dishes. This way you have the base for pizzas, salads or soups.
Smoking Wood Guide
Smoking is another seasoning to add to grilled favourites. Like spices, different woods impart very different flavours – from the intense, spicy notes of mesquite and hickory, to the sweet and fragrant notes of apple and cherry.
TYPE FLAVOUR IDEAL MEATS Mesquite Pungent, Smoky, Spicy Beef, Pork Hickory Pungent, Smoky Beef, Lamb, Pork Whiskey Spicy, Smoky Pork, Poultry, Beef Maple Sweet, Smoky Pork, Poultry Pecan Rich, Flavourful Pork, Poultry, Lamb Cherry Sweet, Smoky Pork, Poultry Apple Sweet, Smoky Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Cheeses Alder Mild, Smoky Lamb, Pork Cedar Bright, Spicy, Smoky Seafood, Cheeses
If you've never done any smoking before, don't overdo it – start with a small amount of wood chips (1/2 cup or so), and soak them in liquid for at least ½ hour. Drain the wood chips, and then scatter them directly on top of the smoldering coals.
TIPS FOR USING THE KEG AS A SMOKER
SETTING UP THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT
Keg should be set up to cook at temperatures between 225 and 275°F for at least 5 hours.
The lid on the Keg should be kept closed
Use the diffuser kit to add moisture to your cooking environment and help maintain the temperature
Use wood or wood chips to impart that smoky barbecue flavour into whatever you are cooking.
It is very important to soak wood chips for 20 – 30 minutes before use. Adding dry chips to a hot grill will often cause unwanted fire. The smoke from fully burnt wood chips will add an acrid, bitter taste.
Add wood 5 – 10 minutes before putting your meat on the grill – raw meats take on smoky flavours much better than even slightly cooked meats. Having a smoky environment to start will enhance and deepen the flavours.
Once the outer portion of the meat has begun to developed a crusts, it is very hard to increase the 'smokiness' of what's on the grill. For more info on choosing the right wood see our Smoking Wood Guide.
LAYERING THE FLAVOURS
The key to successful smoking is to create complex flavours in the food that stand up to the rich smokiness created while cooking in the Keg. We accomplish this by layering on flavours. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, but layering often looks like this:
Rub meat with a layer of yellow mustard, then pat on dry rub and let sit for an hour to develop a crust.
This step allows the vinegar in the mustard to tenderize the meat and helps the rub stick to the meat so that a crust forms while in the smoker.
This helps develop the wonderful flavour of the spices and seals in moisture.
Mop or spray the meat while in the smoker every ½ hour.
This contributes to the flavour development and adds moisture to the food.
Apply sauce/glaze during the last ½ hour of cooking.
At this point, the vents are opened to increase the cooking temperature and the meat is basted with a sauce, to give it the final burst of flavour.
Always allow the food to rest, covered for at least 20 minutes, to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat.
The same principles can be applied to cooking with vegetables, but more simply, using salt and pepper, simple spices and a fruit juice spray.
A fun alternative to starting off with a dry rub is to brine the food, such as turkeys, pork chops, to infuse the flavour and moisture directly into the meat.
MAXIMIZING THE COOKING EXPERIENCE
Listed below are suggested times for cooking some other popular small cuts of meat:
CUT OF MEAT HEAT MINUTES PER SIDE (FOR PERFECT GRILL MARKS) TOTAL TIME COMMENTS A B C D HAMBURGERS MEDIUM 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 10 min Cook to internal temp of 160°F/71°C LAMB CHOPS 1" MEDIUM MEDIUM 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 10 min Sear chops on each side to preserve juiciness PORK CHOPS
MEDIUM/LOW 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 10 min Cook until golden brown outside and juices run clear BONELESS CHICKEN BREAST MEDIUM/LOW 3 3 3 3 12 min Brush with sauce or glaze after the last turn BONE-IN CHICKEN BREAST MEDIUM/LOW 5-6 5-6 5-6 5-6 20-25 min Sear the chicken, skin side down, then reduce heat and cook until tender and cooked through SAUSAGE MEDIUM/LOW 6 6 6 6 24 min Cook until no longer pink inside RACK OF LAMB MEDIUM 5-6 5-6 5-6 5-6 20-25 min ----- SKEWERS
CHICKEN OR PORK
MEDIUM 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 2 1/2 10 min Soak wooden skewers 2 hour before using SKEWERS
BEEF OR LAMB
MEDIUM 2 2 2 2 8 min -----
FOOD SAFETY TIPS
Some firm-fleshed fish steaks like swordfish, tuna, salmon and halibut can be cooked with Perfect Grill Marks.
To cook filet of salmon, place skin side down on a hot grill for 2 min. at MEDIUM/HIGH. Slip the spatula between the skin and the fish.
Turn onto a well-oiled grill at a 45o angle for 12 min. at MEDIUM. Rotate the fish 90o and grill 12 min. on MEDIUM.
Serve with grill marks-up for perfect presentation.
CUT OF MEAT MEAT THICKNESS HEAT SETTING MINUTES PER SIDE TOTAL TIME A B C D FISH STEAKS 1" (RARE) MEDIUM/HIGH 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2 6 min ----- 1" (MEDIUM) MEDIUM/HIGH 2 2 2 2 8 min FILLET OF SALMON 1" (RARE) MEDIUM/HIGH, then MEDIUM 2 1 1/2 1 1/2 ----- 5 min ----- 1" (MEDIUM) MEDIUM/HIGH, then MEDIUM 2 2 2 ----- 6 min
More delicate fish like pickerel, bass, perch, tilapia, or trout are best cooked using one of the following 4 methods:
- 1. In a well-oiled fish basket
- 2. In a cast-iron pan on the side-burner
- 3. On well-oiled grids
- 4. On a cedar plank
As a general rule, cook fish ten minutes for each inch of thickness using any of the first three methods. Cooking on a plank requires more time.
CUT OF MEAT HEAT TOTAL TIME COMMENTS SHRIMP
MEDIUM OR LARGE
MEDIUM 4-6 min It can be helpful to use a wok topper. Cook just until pink and opaque. Do not overcook. MUSSELS MEDIUM 5-6 min Scrub well. Discard any open raw mussels. After cooking, discard any closed mussels. SCALLOPS MEDIUM 4-6 min Turn once halfway through. LOBSTER MEDIUM 8-10 min Thaw if frozen. Grill shell side down, brushing with butter and lemon juice. Cook until opaque and separating from shell.
TYPE OF MEAT SMOKING TEMP
TIME TO COMPLETE FINISHED TEMP
BRISKET (SLICED) 225 1.5 HRS/LB 180 BRISKET (PULLED) 225 1.5 HRS/LB 195 BEEF RIBS 225 3 HRS 175 PORK BUTT (SLICED) 225 1.5 HRS/LB 175 PORK BUTT (PULLED) 225 1.5 HRS/LB 190-205 WHOLE CHICKEN 250 4 HRS 167 CHICKEN THIGHS 250 1.5 HRS 167 CHICKEN QUARTERS 250 3 HRS 167 WHOLE TURKEY 240 6.5 HRS 170 TURKEY LEG 250 4 HRS 165 BOUDIN 230 2.5 165 BREAKFAST SAUSAGE 230 3 160 FATTIES 225 3 HRS 165 MEAT LOAF 250-300 3 HRS 160 MEATBALLS (2") 225 1 HR 165 SPARE RIBS 225-240 6 HRS 172 BABY BACK RIBS 225-240 5 HRS 168 SMOKED CORN 225 1.5-2 HRS NA SMOKED POTATOES 225 2-2.5 HRS NA