Sometimes when I’m grilling something on the quick, I find myself wanting to add just a little smoke to it. This is where The SmokeStack comes into play. Its job is to bring that touch of smoky goodness to meals where you don’t want to fire up the smoker and go low-and-slow for a few hours before you chow down. They gave us a four-pack of their varieties to review and you’ll see more in the coming weeks.
Right now, we’re going to deal with the Gourmet Mesquite. The SmokeStack went through a recent upgrade, adding aromatics into their respective mixes. For the mesquite, that meant fennel and thyme.
Using it is pretty easy. Just pre-heat your grill to at least 300 F, fill the tin cup with the wood mixture, put the lid on, and set it directly to your heat source.
You then close the grill lid and wait four to eight minutes for The SmokeStack to start working, then cook your food. You don’t necessarily need a grill to use The SmokeStack; they’ve had success using it in a pan with a pasta pot over it as well. A full cup of the shredded wood mix makes smoke for about twenty to thirty minutes. That’s plenty of time for direct cooked yumminess like steaks, burgers, chicken breasts, and sausages or hot dogs. If you really want to get the most out of your ‘stack, you might try starting the food over indirect heat first, then move it to the hot side after about ten minutes. That way you’d get the most smoke without overcooking your food.
I tried it out on a set of burgers this weekend and The SmokeStack did exactly what it claimed, infusing the patties with a subtle smokiness that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meat. What it won’t do is give food a strong smoke flavor but that’s fine by me. I have other implements for that. If you’re grilling a lot of food at once on a larger grill, having a second SmokeStack for both halves of your operation is worth considering. Where I think the product would really shine is with a minimally seasoned steak (or pork chop, chicken breast or fish, depending on which smoke option you’re using). The subtlety of the smoke wouldn’t get lost in sauce or tons of rub and it would enhance the existing flavor. I don’t know about you, but when I grill a ribeye or porterhouse, I want to savor it for its own sake more than anything else. And I believe The SmokeStack would work well for that. Overall I was happy with the results and look forward to playing with The SmokeStack again this weekend. See their full product line.See their full product line.
- 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat your grill for medium-high cooking. Note that you'll need it to be at least 300 F for use with The SmokeStack.
- Sautee the mushroom and onion mixture over low heat until the onions are clear, stirring often. Turn off the burner but leave the mixture on it with a lid to keep it warm.
- Fill The SmokeStack tin and place it on the heat source of your grill. Close the grill's lid, wait 4-8 minutes, and then add the patties to the grill.
- Grill the beef patties for 4-5 minutes. Flip them, then add the cheese to each one. Close the lid and grill for another 4-5 minutes.
- Move the patties to the cool part of the grill, then grill the buns for 30-60 seconds, lid closed.
- Assemble the completed burgers, adding lettuce and tomato if you like. Note: If I hear you've put steak sauce on these things, I will hunt you down. Just kidding. Maybe.
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