Project Smoke

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Steven Raichlen tells us about his new book Project Smoke.
Smoked Ice Cream
Yield: Makes 1 quart
Method: On a grill, in a smoker, or with a handheld smoker
Prep time: 5 minutes
Smoking time: 6 to 10 minutes on a grill; 30 to 45 minutes in an offset smoker; 15 minutes with a handheld smoker
Fuel: Wood chips (unsoaked)—enough for 5 minutes of smoking, or hardwood sawdust
of choice — enough for 15 minutes of smoking
Shop: To make your life easier, start with a good commercial vanilla ice cream like Ben & Jerry’s, Häagen-Dazs, Graeter's, or Talenti.
What else: You have three ways to smoke ice cream. Use a charcoal grill or smoker: you want to add a lot of dry chips to the fire to generate den se smoke
quickly before the ice cream melts. (Chips start smoking faster than chunks or logs and dry chips start smoking faster the n wet chips.) You place the ice
cream in a bowl of ice to keep it from melting while you smoke it. Alternatively, use a handheld smoker.
1 quart best-quality ice cream (vanilla or your favorite flavor), slightly softened
Place the ice cream in a shallow bowl over a large flameproof bowl of ice. Keep this in the freezer until you’re ready to smoke the ice cream.
On a charcoal grill: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400°F). Place the ice cream over its bowl of ice on the grill. Add 2 cups unsoaked wood chips to the mounds of embers. Cover the grill and smoke until you see a light patina of smoke on the ice cream, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the ice cream over with a spatula and smoke the other side the same way.
Remove the ice cream from the grill. If it melted too much, refreeze it.
In a smoker: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the ice cream over its bowl of ice in the smoker. Add the unsoaked wood chips to the fire. Smoke as described previously. You may need a bit longer to put a patina of smoke on the ice cream.
With a handheld smoker: Place the ice cream in a large glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, leaving one edge open.
Place the bowl over a pan of ice. Fill and light the smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Insert the tube of the smoker, fill the bowl with smoke, withdraw the tube, and tightly cover the bowl with the plastic wrap. Let infuse for 5 minutes.
Repeat once or twice more, until the ice cream is as smoky as you like. If the ice cream starts to melt, refreeze it.


Serves 4

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup whole pecans

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dark rum

Pinch of salt

Melt the butter in a frying pan.   Add the pecans and cook over high heat until fragrant.   Stir in the brown sugar, rum, and salt.    (Stand back—the rum may catch fire.)

Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil until thick and syrupy, stirring with a wooden spoon, 3 minutes.

Pour the Pecan Rum Sauce over the smoked ice cream.


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