Smoked Sweet Potato: a loaded, smoked sweet potato for the ages

The Trashed Sweet Potato: smoked sweet potato with the works

I just recently started liking sweet potatoes, specifically smoked sweet potatoes.  I had this weird aversion to them as a kid, but as an adult, I’m finding (as with other foods) that I’m liking them much more.

This particular recipe is sure to be an autumn classic; to top it off, it’s vegetarian, so your less-carnivorous friends will certainly be able to enjoy this. It makes use of apples, onions, and green peppers to make the topping, and we applied some food science from our friends at America’s Test Kitchen to get the most flavor out of the sweet potato.

The Origin

This is another recipe inspired by the Acquisitions Intoxicated Twitch show. The Penny Arcade crew designed a beer for Holly Conrad’s character, Stryx the Trash Witch. (Go listen to the podcast here and here, and watch her at PAX West to see how awesome she is with this character and cosplay.) The beer, a monstrous Imperial Stout (and I mean “monstrous” in a complimentary way) lends itself to pairing with a more rustic plate. As Holly is vegetarian, I went that route with this recipe, and the Trashed Sweet Potato was born.

The Science

The trick to getting the best flavor out of the sweet potato is to allow it to cook at a near-boiling temperature for some time so that the water held inside evaporates, and the flavors have time to condense into a complex, caramelesque pallet. As with most things on a smoker, this will take some time, but the wait will be well worth it.

Crank It Up

If you want to elevate this to another level, season the apples and onions with Saint Brian’s BBQ Zombie Blend spice rub prior to grilling. The Caribbean jerk spices will really brighten up the flavors, and will add another layer of complexity to the whole dish.

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Smoked Sweet Potato: a loaded, smoked sweet potato for the ages
A sweet potato, smoked to perfection, and loaded with a tasty apple hash
smoked-sweet-potato
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
smoked-sweet-potato
Instructions
  1. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the water and salt in a bowl and stir until the salt is mostly dissolved. (Slightly warming the water will help with this process.)
  3. Prick the sweet potatoes 3 times with a fork, turn a quarter turn, and repeat until you've pricked it 12 times. Roll the potatoes in the brine.
  4. Place the sweet potatoes on the smoker, and insert a remote probe into one of them. Add your desired wood to start creating smoke. (For this recipe, I used pecan.) The goal here is to get the sweet potatoes to 200 degrees internal temperature (this takes about 2 hours), and then hold them there for an hour.
  5. Core and slice the apples into 1/2" slices. Peel the outer skin off of the onion, and slice into 1/2" rings, keeping the cross section of the onions intact.
  6. Heat your grill or barbecue to high, and set up for direct grilling. Oil the grates, and place the apple slices, onion slices, and bell peppers on the grill. Cook apples and onions until just they just start to caramelize, about 4 minutes per side. Grill the peppers until the skin blisters, turning to get an even cook on all sides.
  7. Finely mince the peppers and onion. Finely chop the apples. Toss in a bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  8. When the sweet potatoes have been smoked at 200 degrees internal temperature for one hour, remove them and immediately cut a "x" into the top. This will allow the steam to escape and prevent the flesh from getting waterlogged and soggy.
  9. After allowing the sweet potatoes to cool for 10 minutes, gently open the skin some more so that there is exposed flesh and a place for the hash. Spoon the hash onto the flesh, and sprinkle on the Gruyere. Place back on the grill for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve hot.
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Easy Grilled Chicken Wings

Thanks for requesting a complimentary consult for our private chef services.  We certainly hope that we will be able to find a cost-effective solution to help you free up more time to spend with your family and pursue your passions, all while letting you eat good food.

As promised, here is your bonus recipe. Chicken wings are an easy food to prep and cook, but also easy to overcook. Follow the steps below to get amazing wings, every time.

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Easy Grilled Chicken Wings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
wings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
wings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife, separate the wing flats from the drumsticks. You will be able to feel where the bones join; this is where you should insert the knife, and you should be able to slice through. Cut the wing tip off of the flat, and dispose of the tip.
  2. Put the wings in a large, non-reactive bowl, and toss with the sea salt. Add enough water to cover the wings. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  3. Remove the wings from the brine solution, and dispose of the brine. Pat the wings dry with a paper towel,
  4. Preheat your grill to high (500-600 degrees Fahrenheit).
  5. Toss the wings with the Saint Brian's Spice Rub until coated.
  6. Oil the grill grates. Place the wings on the grill, and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. The wings will release easily from the grill when they are ready to flip. If you need to scrape under them with the spatula, then they aren't finished cooking on that side.
  7. Flip the wings once, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. The meat will feel firm to the touch, and the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer will be 165 degrees.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve with Saint Brian's Barbecue Sauces for dipping.
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Quick Pickled Slaw

With the savory flavors of grilling and barbecue often being the primary, and sometimes overpowering, flavor note, having something on the acidic side, such as this quick pickled slaw, can cut the richness with a counterpoint that enhances the flavor. It seems counter-intuitive, I know, but having a balance of flavors highlights the flavor notes on all sides, and keeps the food from becoming overwhelming.

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Quick Pickled Slaw
Quick Pickled Slaw
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick Pickled Slaw
Instructions
  1. Add the cider vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Make sure that the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  2. Strain the vinegar into a glass or non-reactive bowl. Discard the peppercorns and bay leaves.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage and jalapeno slices to the vinegar. Cover, and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
To Preserve
  1. Stuff sterilized mason jars with the cabbage and jalapenos, and fill with the vinegar. Seal tightly, and refrigerate.
Recipe Notes

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Salt Roasted Chicken

Indiegog-backer-party

Grilling a whole chicken on a gas grill can be challenging: too long, and you dry it out, too soon, and you have undercooked chicken. This recipe will guarantee you perfect chicken every time, and will wow your guests as well.

I found this technique in a few different places, and adapted it for a barbecue I hosted for my Indiegogo backers.  The leg bones literally pulled straight out of the bird with no resistance.

Pork Recipes
Beef Recipes
Chicken Recipes
Side Dish Recipes
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Salt Roasted Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1-2 hours
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1-2 hours
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavities in the chicken. Put the lemon, onion, and garlic into the main cavity.
  3. In a large, clean pot or in a sink with the drain plugged, slowly add water to the 3 pounds of sea salt, mixing with your hands until it has the consistency of snow. Cheat on the drier side if you aren't sure how much water; you can always add more later.
  4. Put a remote thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
  5. In a foil catering pan, create a bed of the sea salt about 1" thick. Place the chicken on the salt bed, and then pack the remaining salt around the chicken so it's about 1" thick all around, and that there are no cracks. The chicken should be completely encased in the salt.
  6. Place the pan in the middle of your grill, close the lid, and let it roast for 1-2 hours, depending on how large the chicken is, how thick the salt pack is, how much water is in the salt, etc. The chicken will be done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the chicken from the grill, and using a meat mallet, heavy knife, or your buddy's skull, break open the salt crust and reveal the chicken. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes, and then carve and serve.
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