By now you’ve smoked burgers, chicken, ribs, and maybe even a brisket. But did you know there’s a huge list of unusual foods you can smoke on a Pit Boss pellet grill? In this article, we’ll take a look at some foods that can be hot or cold smoked using a pellet grill.
While I’m always talking about the Pit Boss pellet grill (because that’s what I own) these foods can be cooked on any pellet grill, regardless of brand.
17 Unusual Foods You Can Smoke On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill
Most of these foods can be either cold or hot smoked. Below, we discuss the different types of foods and the best way to smoke them.
#1 Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a type of cheese that is made from the whey of cow, sheep, or goat’s milk. It has a high moisture content, and a soft, creamy texture. Ricotta cheese is a great option for smoking because it doesn’t have a strong flavor that will overpower the smoke.
Ricotta cheese is typically cold smoked, utilizing a smoke tube. This allows the smoke to penetrate the cheese without cooking it. The result is a delicious, smoky flavor that pairs well with many different foods.
Wrap the cheese in cheesecloth and use butcher’s twine to tie and place it on grill grates and fill our choice of pellets.
You can smoke store-bought or homemade butter, although, homemade butter will work the best. When smoking store-bought butter, cut them up in smaller pieces and place them on a metal container.
Make sure the grill is cut off and use the smoke tube to infuse smoke into the butter. It won’t take long, it’ll take a minute or two, as fat absorbs odor quickly. Once it’s smoked, you can use the cheese for your favorite foods such as chili, breakfast toast, biscuits, or savory scones.
Once you get the hang of it, you can try smoking different flavored kinds of butter such as this smoked honey butter recipe.
The possibilities are endless of how to eat smoked butter.
Smoked mayonnaise is a great way to infuse more smoky flavor into your potato salad, burgers, and etc. Smoke imbues umami (sweet, sour, and bitter) flavor you could never have imagined.
Umami is a “pleasant savory taste” that is referred to as the “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese. When cold smoking or hot smoking, keep the mayonnaise on ice. It contains eggs, so you want to keep it from heating up, which can cause bacterial growth.
Mayonnaise contains oil, so you will want to stir it often to ensure the flavor of the smoke goes beyond the surface.
While you can buy smoked salt, it is kind of pricey. If you’re on a budget or just like experimenting with your pellet grill, you can smoke your own. Grap a baking sheet and layer with aluminum foil and spread the salt (Kosher or sea) evenly on the pan, about ⅛ layer thick.
Cold smoke for 10-12 hours or hot smoke for 4-6 hours. Use a spatula to stir every half hour, to ensure the salt smokes evenly. Once done, flavor any of your favorite foods with smoked salt.
Mustard is not only great as a binder, but it is so easy to cold or hot smoke on the pellet grill. You can smoke any of your favorite brands, or even make your own using mustard seeds.
Place some mustard in a bowl, cover lightly with foil and place it in the Pit boss. Every 15-20 minutes remove the foil to stir the mustard. Smoke for 45-60 minutes or until you’re satisfied with the taste.
Smoked mustard goes great with ham, pork, or you can use it as a topping for your sandwiches.
#6 Water and Ice
Many people love to add a little extra flavor to their drinks. If you’re one of them, smoked water is a perfect way to add a smoky flavor to your favorite drink.
To make smoked water, place water in a large glass bowl or smoker-safe dish. Set the smoker to around 200°F, but no more than 225°F as that’s when water starts boiling. Close the lid and allow it to smoke for 2-3 hours, or until you’re happy with the color and taste.
Use a strainer or cheesecloth to strain the water, this removes any particles that may have been flying around the cook chamber. Use the smoked water to make smoked ice tea or smoked lemonade.
You can even pour the water into molds and freeze it to make smoked ice cubes for your favorite drinks.
You may think that cheese is too acidic for smoking but that’s simply not true. You can cold smoke any type of cheese but Mozzarella, Gouda, and Pepper Jack are some of the most popular to smoke.
Softer cheeses will crumble and retain too much smoke, making them taste too acrid. If you’re thinking about cold some, be sure to check out my blog post on how to cold smoke cheese on the Pit Boss.
To smoke your capers, drain and coat with olive oil. place them in a single layer on an aluminum foil-covered pan. For cold smoking, use the cooking chamber as a holding place and fill the tube with your favorite pellets. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until they are suited to your taste.
If hot smoking set the temperature to 200°-225°F and smoke for 1-3 hours. Once done, remove from the grill and allow them to rest before enjoying them with your favorite food.
Smoked lemon goes great with fish. To smoke a lemon, use a sharp knife and cut in half crosswise, remove the seeds with your hands or fork. Place the flesh side up directly on the cooking grates and smoke using hot or cold smoking techniques.
Smoked ketchup is much like any other smoked food, it just has a richer flavor. You can use this for all of your barbeque sauce needs. You can smoke store-bought or make your own.
To smoke ketchup, set the smoker to 250°F and use any flavored pellets you have on hand. Pour some ketchup in a smoker-safe medium-sized bowl and set it directly on the grates.
Close the lid and let it smoke for 2 hours, stirring every hour.
You’ll know it’s done when the sugars caramelize and it becomes darker.
Smoking nuts is a great way to add a smoky flavor and make a delicious snack. You can use any type of nut you like, but I prefer using almonds, pecans, or cashews.
To hot smoke nuts, set the smoker to 225°F, using fruitwood (apple) pellets, indirect heat, smoke for 1-2 hours stirring every 15-30 minutes. Pour some nuts in a smoker-safe bowl or sheet pan and set it directly on the grates.
If you want more of a smoky flavor, use hickory, mesquite, or oak pellets.
When cold smoking, smoke for no more than an hour. Infusing too much smoke into the nuts will cause them to take on a burned, sooty flavor.
#12 Hot Sauce
Smoking hot sauce is a great way to add flavor and complexity to your sauce. Start by selecting a hot sauce that you like the flavor of, and then smoke it using your favorite wood chips.
You can even make your own homemade hot sauce and smoke the peppers before making the sauce. Smoke the peppers on the smoker at 225°F for 10-20 minutes, careful so they don’t get too charred. They can also be cold smoked if you prefer cold smoking the peppers.
Remove the seeds and prepare the hot sauce like you normally do. When using store-bought, opt for a thick hot sauce like sriracha.
Smoked olives are a great appetizer for your next party. To make them, start by rinsing and drying the olives.
In a smoker-safe container or bowl, place the olives in a single layer and coat them with olive oil. Smoke at 225°F using any cherry or apple-flavored pellets smoke on indirect heat for 20-30 minutes or until they have a smoky flavor.
Green olives smoke much better and easier than the black variety.
#14 Garlic, Shallots, and Onions
Smoke gives alliums an amazing flavor that is unlike any other vegetable. To smoke garlic, shallots, or onions, peel the outer layer.
Coat garlic cloves in olive oil and layer on an aluminum-covered pan. Both the onions and shallots, cut in half or quarters, and brush lightly with oil. They can be smoked on a pan or skewered and smoked directly on the grates.
Hot smoke the garlic for 1 hour and 2-3 hours for both the shallots and onion at 225°F on indirect heat.
#15 Vanilla Beans and Cinnamon Sticks
There are a few reasons why you might want to smoke vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks. The first reason is that smoking the spices will add a smoky flavor to them, which can be a nice addition to recipes. The second reason is that smoking the spices will help to preserve them, so they’ll stay fresh for longer.
Smoking foods is one of the oldest food preservation methods, and many cultures still practice it today. You can cold or hot smoke both vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks.
Once smoked, use the smoked cinnamon sticks in smoked apples or cider. Smoked vanilla beans go great in custards or cocktails.
#16 Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are best when hot smoked at 250°F for 30-45 minutes over indirect heat. Spread the seeds on a ⅛-inch layer smoke-proof aluminum pan and stir or toss occasionally, to ensure the smoke coats the seeds evenly.
Once the seeds are toasted, sprinkle on salads, stir-frys, rice, chicken, fish, and meat. The nutty smoked flavor will give your dish a boost of flavor.
#17 Olive Oil
Start with good quality extra virgin olive oil, and set the Pit Boss for cold smoking. This technique will infuse the oil that will add a smoky flavor to any foods you cook with.
While you can buy already smoked olive oil, it’s much funner to experiment with smoking your own. A bottle of Smoked Sonoma olive oil costs about $26.00 for about 8 ounces, which is a little too pricy for me.
Instead, choose a flavored pellet you like. Some of the pellets that pair well with olive oil are; alder wood, cherry, hickory, or apple.
Pour some olive oil in a heat-resistant bowl such as a Pyrex glass bowl. If this is your first time smoking olive oil, start b smoking half a cup. Cold smoke for 2 hours or until flavored to taste.
Ensure the temperature stays below 110°F, too much heat will degrade the flavor making it inedible.
A Pit Boss pellet grill makes it easy to smoke a variety of different foods. You can smoke anything from meats and fish to fruits, vegetables, and spices.
With a little experimentation, you’ll be able to create smoked dishes that are full of flavor and will impress your friends and family.