Smoked Fine Food

Smoked Fine Food

the home of fine food cooked over charcoal and wood

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These pages describe some of our cooking journey using the Big Green Egg® which we first came across in 2013 and since then has completely changed our cooking habits.  The Big Green Egg is one of a family of Kamado ceramic ovens and from my experience is the best I have come across.  The BGEs were inspired by clay cooking vessels initially developed some 3000 years ago in China.  They seem to have been embraced by the Japanese from where the term kamado (oven, fireplace) derives.  The story goes that American servicemen stationed in Japan last century came across dishes prepared in the characteristic clay pot and took the clay pots back home with them to the United States to cook their favourite outdoor food!  In 1974 the Big Green Egg company was founded and started to import Japanese and Chinese ‘kamados’. Over time they started to develop their own models even using some of the ceramic technological advances  developed by NASA and now produced in Mexico, building on their long history of ceramics manufacture.   The rest, as they say, is history!

The BGE has some real advantages for outdoor home cooking.  Its heavy ceramic dual-layered construction is incredibly temperature stable.  This means that although heated using charcoal it can maintain a constant temperature at least as well as an expensive kitchen oven.  This is particularly useful when doing ‘low and slow’ cooking, at which the BGE excels.  It is almost as useful when ever you want to use the BGE as a ‘domestic oven’ allowing you to take any of your favourite recipes into the great outdoors and add the delight of cooking over charcoal and when you want to, adding subtle flavouring from your favourite woodsmoke.  Because of its thermal characteristics the BGE is very economical on fuel. I have done many 24hr ‘low and slow’ cooks and still had fuel left at the end from a single filling!  If you are cooking for shorter periods, closing off the air vents means the charcoal just goes out and is left in the BGE to light up for the next cook.  It is not just low and slow cooking that the BGE excels at; high temperature cooking for steaks etc at around 250-300C are a joy and high quality searing can be done with no fear of smoking out the kitchen!  Pizza cooking at 400-450C – yes quite possible too!  These are some of the obvious BBQ targets which are easily done on the BGE, but there is so much more too: gentle fish cookery, bread making, hot and even cold smoking – hopefully these pages will come to show you some of the many things we have done and inspire you to try these and develop and share your own cooking favourites.

We cook on our BGEs throughout the year.  When it is warm enough we eat outside too, but as the temperature falls lots of the cooking is still done outside even if the eating is inside!  I hope that sharing some of the cooking experiences we have enjoyed will inspire you to do something similar.  The recipes here have been developed on and for the Big Green Egg but can be easily adapted for other BBQs as long as there are ways to set up and cook directly or indirectly, and indeed many of these recipes can be cooked indoors.  Which ever way, we hope you find some real ideas that appeal to you and inspire you to ‘have a go’ yourself     ………………….. bon appetite!

 

Friends we follow:-

 

Here are some our friend’s sites. They cook some amazing things on the Big Green Egg – click here to take a look

 


A Selection of Recent Posts

It is more economical to buy the whole chicken – Chicken Shawarma

It is more economical to buy the whole chicken – Chicken Shawarma

In this current health crisis we have been trying to make better use of our food and make fewer calls on our food suppliers.  One area that this has worked well with is chicken.  So often an ‘also ran’ meat – but from well reared […]

Smoked Mackerel Dauphinois reinvented!

Smoked Mackerel Dauphinois reinvented!

Just after we thought we had perfected the smoked mackerel dauphinois dish we decided to try yet another different potato!  Classically, dauphinois potatoes is made using a floury potato – but we had found the waxy potato Linda 1974 made a great tasting dish – […]

Smoked Mackerel Dauphinoise Potatoes

Smoked Mackerel Dauphinoise Potatoes

The 2020 health crisis has given us time to think as well as having frightening implications on our lives.  In that thinking time we have been reconsidering amongst other things what we eat and how we prepare it.  We are trying to reduce our food […]

Roast Chicken Breast and Stuffed Drumsticks

Roast Chicken Breast and Stuffed Drumsticks

We This is a short followup on the recipe for Roast Chicken Breast and Mushroom Stuffed Wings (here).  We had divided a large chicken as there are just 2 of us and we are trying to make our food go a little further to reduce the […]

Smoked sea trout and seafood pâté

Smoked sea trout and seafood pâté

This recipe is based on an idea for a seafood pâté that we first saw on Jamie Oliver Christmas Cooking programme in 2019. It is a very simple recipe. It can be made from ingredients normally easily available in your local supermarket but we had […]


What's been cooking?

The Big Green Egg goes on Holiday!!

The Big Green Egg goes on Holiday!!

Summer 2016  I simply said to my wife Jackie: Do you think it would be a silly idea to take the Big Green Egg on holiday with us? – quite expecting the “yes of course it is silly!” reply.  We were driving to Tuscany from the North of England for three weeks before coming back into France for a week with our French family then making our way home through northern France and Holland.

“No I think it would be a good idea” said Jackie.  Well, that will teach me…

The practicalities of it now needed to be thought about. I’d need to slim down the usual things I would pack, slightly less bike gear, slightly less camera stuff actually this was going to be quite do-abIe as long as we took our smallest Egg – the Mini.

No longer available in the UK it is a little smaller than the MiniMax – but as this was a travel experiment it would be a good test without much impact on the amount of other belongings we would take!

So the Mini was cleaned and loaded with charcoal so ready to go at a moment’s notice.  The Platesetter, the Cast Iron Grill and the Duel function Metal top all put inside together with a box of firelighters, some matches and the grill gripper.  The Big Green Egg was wedged between our bags and was as stable as anything.

Goodbye Northumberland – hello Tuscany!

Unpacking in Tuscany was completely uneventful. Turns out this was a very easy way to transport an Egg!  We later found out that when driving out for picnics etc with the Egg that a stretched cargo net over the Egg made driving with the Egg completely worry free. Two lessons learned already!

So the Big Green Egg goes on his holidays – welcome to Tuscany!

Now to decide what to cook first – let’s see what day 2 Tuscany brings …