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What OTHER things should I smoke in addition to the 'main event'?

We're probably doing another 9#ish pork shoulder this weekend. I'm thinking I should use up some more space in my (Bradley) smoker. Maybe a chicken? Some vegetables? What kinds of things do you do and how do you handle various cooking times? Do some items need less smoke than, say, the pork so you'd add them later and then some need less time so you remove them sooner? I'm wondering since this will only be our fourth venture if I'm getting a little beyond my pay grade. Any thought would be appreciated.

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  1. Tomatoes. 2 hours is about right at 225 for large tomatoes packed with some air between them. Add time if you dense pack them. Add even more time if you stack them (as I often do) -- that could bring it up to 4 hours max.

    Chicken is also great -- I use a 4 hour brine, then onto the smoker for ~5 hours.

    What I typically do is add the pork first, then add the other items. I will often smoke the tomatoes for a couple of hours, then pull them out and put the chicken on. Tomatoes then go in the oven at 170.

    5 Replies
    1. re: seattle_lee

      TOMATOES!!!!! I forgot to put them on in the beginning but they still got a couple of hours of smoke. THEN I forgot to take them out so they went about four hours total. They are AMAZING. Thank you SO much. We're having a little dinner party tomorrow with the pork shoulder as the main. I'd been considering various sides. Those tomatoes will be one of them, for sure.

      1. re: c oliver

        I have another thread on this but the tomatoes have already received roasted pearl onions and when serving I'm adding some crumbled bacon bits and chopped scallions.

        1. re: c oliver

          Thanks for the feedback. I'll try a little longer smoke the next time I do them -- sounds like it worked for you. I've been afraid the smoke would be too dominant if I did that, but it sounds like that's not the case.

          1. re: seattle_lee

            Smoked about a dozen tomatoes today. We were cold smoking some meat (two batches) so the tomatoes got cold smoked for about 90 minutes and then regular cooking in the smoker for a maybe three hours. Attached are a couple of pix, one as they came out of the smoker and the other peeled. All I do is cut off the stem end and pull the skin off in one piece from the other end. SO good. I'm freezing them individually on a baking sheet and will then put in a zipping bag. Three are going into tonight's dinner of lamb and orzo pasta ala the Frugal Gourmet.

      2. Smoked baked beans are always a good side

        8 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            Mix up your baked beans and put them on the rack UNDER your pork butt (or brisket).

            1. re: JayL

              Oh, like, not smoking dried beans :) Thanks.

              1. re: c oliver

                Right out of the can or using beans you've previously cooked in sauce. Little bits of cooked meat trimmings in the beans are nice additions

                1. re: c oliver


                  I would NOT suggest smoking dried beans! LoL

                2. re: JayL

                  oh yummmm, jay. now how come i never thought of that?!

                  c, a few yrs ago i posted my recipe (on Home Cooking)for a Smoked Pork Stew where we also smoked the garlic, onions, canned plum tomatoes, and cubed skin-on butternut squash.

                  i have also had good results smoking corn and all kinds of nuts (no salt or flavoring) I do all these on disposable half sheet pans, doubled up for strength, into which i have poked holes all over, with a skewer. I have used metal cake racks as spacers, for smoking 2 levels at once.

                  (btw, c, i have been meaning to say that i enjoy that you change his portrait from time to time. Fun to see all the ways he is so handsome!)

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Hi, o. Thanks and actually a "she." Gypsy, post beauty parlor :)

                    I appreciate all the addition suggestions of things to smoke. I had no idea. How do you do the corn please?

              1. re: Njchicaa

                Bob read about smoked meatloaf. Had we remembered it I'd have put one any. Any suggestions on timing?

                1. re: Njchicaa

                  The last meatloaf I made was smoked. Just excellent

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    s, how long did you smoke it and did you check IT?

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Can't tell you, it's been too long, but most likely smoked at around 225f till done

                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        Drool. So you didn't check the internal temp? I'm guessing 160.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          We smoke ours 3-4 hours. I don't remember to what temp. My husband has a chart that has times and temps for everything that he found somewhere online.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Sounds right. I do own a couple of Thermapens so I think I may have probed it

                          2. re: scubadoo97

                            Nice, scuba! Prettier than a $5 shoe shine!

                    2. baking potatoes. DH puts them in for a few hours when he smokes a chicken. they are so good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jujuthomas

                        Ooh, that sounds great. I think I better have some lunch :) Thanks.

                      2. I emailed a chef friend who has a smoker in his restaurant. He said, oh yeah. One of things he mentioned was grains. That sounds interesting.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: c oliver

                          I think grains may be challengiing but i've never tried. Your chef friend has smoked raw grains? i had 'smoked grits' the other night at a local new Boston restnt that cold smokes alot of components- but this particular smoke was very faint. Chef said porous foods take the smoke better, but maybe you can still get a full smokiness if you smoke them a lot longer...
                          So i'm thinking that maybe cooked quinoa, ramen etc. would smoke well and not take too long. There's a current CH feature on innovative things to do w/ ramen, and the author smokes it in its dry form.

                        2. If the smoker is going in the morning, you can do a fatty for breakfast (or any other meal if it's not morning).

                          A fatty really is nothing more than a log of ground sausage usually stuffed with "things" inside (your imagination is the only thing that limits you) and wrapped with bacon on the outside...smoked till done. Slice and serve. Pretty great way to start the day.

                          Also, you can throw on some ABTs if you don't mind stuffed/smoked jalapeno peppers.

                          Plenty of ideas for fatties and ABTs on the net.

                          19 Replies
                          1. re: JayL

                            He he. That wasn't the first thing that came to my mind when you said "fatty" --- but it sounds *really* great!!

                            What are some of your favorite stuffings for the long, and... what's an ABT?

                            1. re: linguafood

                              Check this out.


                              But really. Jimmy Dean sausage. Ugh. I grind my own pork and if I didn't I'd get something better than that.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Whoa. I do love my bacon, but that.... would be a bit overkill, even for me. I'd have to take a 4 hour nap after eating even a couple bites of that.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  It looks more like a craft project than breakfast!

                                1. re: seamunky

                                  And they are quite tasty.

                                  We often throw a few habaneros in the mix...they'll do it if the japs don't.

                                  1. re: JayL

                                    I've heard of some circles doing that and not labeling the habaneros so it becomes a game of chile roulette. . .not a game that I could play.

                                2. re: c oliver

                                  I don't want to yuck someone's yum so I'm going to reply to myself. I find the word "turd" when talking about food pretty vulgar. Sorry, kids.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I agree it's kind of a silly name. Everyone calls them ABT's though. I think it's for the shock value when someone asks "What does ABT stand for?" as they're chomping away.

                                    < I find the word "turd" when talking about food pretty vulgar>

                                    Someone made a similar comment about turducken!

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Call 'em smoked poppers and be done with it! LoL

                                      They're too good to pass up.

                                      1. re: JayL

                                        I'm going with "smoked poppers"!!!!

                                        Re "turducken," seamunky, why did you have to tell me that?!?!? :) I've always thought of it as tur-duck-en. Nevermore.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Hahah, sorry c oliver.

                                          I always thought turducken = what you have to do when you walk past a troop of monkeys

                                        2. re: c oliver

                                          it's a terrible name. DH also uses one about Rat Toes... i hate it. I call them poppers or smoked poppers as Jay suggests.

                                          they are terrific, no matter the name.

                                          1. re: jujuthomas

                                            I AM glad to learn about this even with THAT name :)

                                      2. re: JayL

                                        DH does amazing ABTs with lil smokies, cream cheese and cheaddar inside! YUM.

                                        1. re: jujuthomas

                                          I like to use pub cheese mixed with shredded cheddar and seasonings (usually dry rub or something).

                                          The wife asks for them all the time.

                                          The peppers really lose much of their heat during the cooking process.

                                          Like I said earlier, we like to add in a couple habanero peppers also. They don't lose much heat. LoL

                                          1. re: JayL

                                            I'll have to suggest that to the hubs, thanks JayL. We did some recently with a bit of smoked chicken in them. delish.

                                      3. Cornish Hens...oh yeah...

                                          1. re: Bobfrmia

                                            AMAZING indeed! If you go back and remove the quotation marks at the end, it will load. I've saved that one. Thanks.

                                          2. A bit more involved than simply smoking (requires spicing, curing, washing, smoking, resting, steaming), but well worth the effort, Montreal Smoked Meat.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: porker

                                              Just googled. Ya know, I gotta figure out why I never see brisket here in Northern CA. But that's the subject for another thread...which I keep meaning to do.

                                            2. if you have a block on hand, firm tofu for about an hour. It makes an interesting twist on stir fry later.

                                              I've also done pineapple wedges in the residual heat and served with a bit of vanilla ice cream and balsamic (or just balsamic) for desert. I put them on when I take the main off, so no more than an hour.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: autumm

                                                Cool. Let me clarify. When you take the "main" off, do you put the pineapple in and then turn the smoker/heater off. I really like this idea. Also thinking about peaches.

                                              2. how could I forget... chicken livers! DH puts them on for about an hour, I think.

                                                1. More pork butt! If you have the room, it doesn't take any more time to cook two butts than it does one. This way you get to do a little side by side testing with different rubs and sauces. And any leftovers can go in pulled pork tacos, or chilli, or baked beans.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: FoodFire

                                                    We've done a couple of pork butts. The leftovers get cut in 1/2# pieces, FoodSaver'ed, and frozen. On short notice, I have makings for sandwiches, tacos, whatever. Just pulled a piece out earlier. Neither of us are into pulled pork and we never sauce them, either while cooking or eating. Just us.

                                                  2. It there's room in your smoker, you can always add dishes of salt or spices to smoke. If you live near an asian grocer, you can often find bags of Korean sea salt for really cheap. They are large grains and still moist. They take up smoke real well since they are kind of moist and then they dry out from the heat and are crunchy. They work wonderfully in a salt grinder.

                                                    You can also smoke chilies - either fresh or dried. And while you're cold smoking, throw in a chunk of cheese. MMMMmmm....smoked cheese.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: seamunky

                                                      I smoked some salt but obviously not long enough. It pretty much tastes like...salt :) Will do it again next time.

                                                      @Steve, I smoked a meatloaf and it was incredible. The best we've ever had. Have also done tomatoes, another real winner.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        we had smoked meatloaf at a local bbq place and it left us wanting - wanting to smoke our own that is! it's on my list for the next two weeks while we are on christmas vacation. :)

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            thanks for the link. I may regret it, but I sent it on to the hubs...he was ooh-ing and ah-ing last night. :-D

                                                            1. re: jujuthomas

                                                              We had a couple over a while back and they saw the meat come out and then ate it. They ordered one the next day!

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                I'm sure he's now plotting to replace our smoker (a small weber smokey moutain), but I believe replacing the crappy barrel grill with a new weber kettle is first.

                                                    2. Vicarious smoking here, but if we lived in a place where I could have a smoker, I'd be doing a lot of experimenting. Aged Gouda is excellent smoked, as are many other cheeses. Smoked butter is good as well.

                                                      After smoking a variety of cheeses, I'd try meatloaf, nuts, stone fruit, pears, various veggies, and (back on the other end of the health scale) yes, those ATB's sure sound good too.

                                                      Of course, the first course would be slow-smoked brisket. Not negotiable.

                                                      1. A few weeks ago we cold smoked some thin 7-bone steaks and also a few pork chops. This morning I floured a chop and fried in butter and oil. Just perfect with eggs and toast. At 40 minutes cold smoking it seems to be just the right amount of time for something small that you don't want to be strongly smoke flavored.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Cooked one of the previously smoked and then frozen pork chops last night for dinner. S&P, oo and then into a CI skillet for about three minutes a side. Just perfect. Oh, and thawed one of the smoked tomatoes that I then mixed in with the green peas. LOVE this piece of gear! And all of y'all for the inspirations.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Your happiness is all that matters. I bet the smoked chop was good.

                                                            We had Caribbean (Trinidad) stewed pork, red beans & rice, and salad for supper.

                                                            1. re: JayL

                                                              Did that pork "start" its life smoked? Could you elaborate please?

                                                              I love opening the freezer and seeing packages of cold smoked meat and vegetables. What a geek :)

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Nah, it wasn't smoked...just fresh. I cut up a picnic shoulder...skin & all. The skin (and fat) gives it wonderful flavor...although not on the Jenny Craig plan!

                                                                I would explain, but I usually lose people right at the first step...when I tell them to burn some sugar.

                                                                Here's a basic recipe:


                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                              c, a local Mexican restnt used to do a smoked pork chop with salsa verde(w/ ground toasted almonds and pine nuts) and melted cheese-- a delic combo.

                                                            3. re: c oliver

                                                              Just picked up my 'new to me' Bradley yesterday. CANT WAIT to buy the cold smoke adaptor for it!!! Supposed to be a killer salmon year!!

                                                              Great idea cold smoking, freezing and cooking when needed.

                                                            4. Whenever I'm smoking a pork shoulder or ribs I usually throw on at least a dozen chicken thighs or turkey thighs and/or drumsticks.

                                                              1. I believe I've mentioned that recently we smoked a bunch of tomatoes, tomatillos, poblanos and jalapenos. Last night I sauteed some shrimp and served over pasta. In addition to the usual ingredients (garlic, shallot, capers, red pepper flakes, etc) I added a chopped tomato and a chopped tomatillo. SO good. It seems like anything that's already good is going to get better with a little smoke flavor.