It is definitely time to be outside for these gorgeous summer nights. Every now and again, on a cooler night, it’s fun to put some pecan, hickory or mesquite into the fire pit and scorch up some smoked meats and veggies.
Side Note To Start With Because it Makes Sense, You’ll See
It’s always a good idea to have your yard maintained in some way shape or form just for aesthetic purposes. Especially just after spring when everything is overgrown. Not to mention it is a fire hazard to have overgrowth near your house.
So, not too long ago we had a pecan start to lean in the yard and decided to have a professional tree trimming service come out and salvage it. Indeed they did. Cedar Park Tree Trimmers are the professional arborist we used. During the process of cabling the tree to save it by balancing it, they also trimmed a lot of branches. Instead of hauling them off I kept them to COOK with.
First I had the team that trimmed the tree chop the huge branches into cubes/blocks and turned the rest into chippings and mulch (which I also used to burn for flavor).
Let’s Char Shall We…..
1) Soak the wood blocks for two hours, gather additional firewood, kenneling and charcoal if you prefer.
2) Marinate your meats and veggies. I always prefer a milder spice for charring and smoking foods as to not interfere with the organic flavor of the woods and smoke. Go for some simple salt, pepper, worcestershire and a pinch (or three) of cayenne if ya like it spicy. Love love this organic worcestershire. Let sit for an hour and don’t exclude the veggies in the marinade.
3) My favorite favorite favorite fire charred veggie is a cheese stuffed Pablano pepper. Use a good ole pepper jack, nothing fancy. I don’t even add any salt or pepper. Just cheese and a teensy bit burned pablano. To die for. Slice a small hole near the stem of the pablano and stuff that sukka chock full with the cheese. Fire it up.
4) Start your fire and let it burn for a good hour to ensure it gets super hot. Then add the soaked wood blocks. Be prepared for them to smoke like crazy cuz they will. Let those simmer on the fire for about 15 minutes before cooking over it.
5) Set up your grate over the fire. This is the one I use that I got from Cabela’s. It’s seriously the best. Nothing falls through, you never lose any food to the fire and everything cooks to a great char. Though I do have to steady it on a couple cinder blocks to make it taller. The legs are a wee bit too short for our big fire pit.
6) Throw those yummy veggies on the grate. Give them a 10-15 minute head start at cooking before firing up the meats. Be sure to not forget your stuffed pablano’s at this time too. Turn your veggies people!
7) Add the meat. Cook on one side for at least 10 minutes depending on the size of your fire. I like my fire to be tall and my smoke to be full. Lot’s of flavor that way. Flip the meat. After marinating, your meats should not get tough on the fire, so don’t be afraid to let them get a little scorched on the outside. Which means the fire needs to be hot hot and tall tall for steaks as you want to sear them. For chicken, let them cook on an outer/cooler portion of the grate, flip a couple times, then move them into the flame for some serious scorched flavor.
Remove and let sit for a few minutes and dig in you talented creators!!! It’s grub time.
Extra Secret Bonus Tip: If you are NOT planning on smore’s after your lil char grill session, try throwing a couple cups of water onto the fire before pulling your cookings. This will cause the smoke to get very full adding more flavor to your meal. You’re Welcome.