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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chef Dan Smokes- with a CaveTools Smoker Box!

Chef Dan does a lot of smoked meats at the Elkhorn Inn, both for us and our guests, and his smoked lamb chops, ribs, duck, pork loin, and salmon are pretty amazing, if I say so myself! He even does a smoked Cajun Beer Can Chicken! Although we do have two gas grills, he usually winds up using our trusty old charcoal grill as a smoker- even in the freezing cold of a West Virginia mountain winter!  (Yes, he is smokin' in the snow in that photo!) So we were Very pleased to be able to test the Smoker Box from, and found it truly to be of great value!

The Cave Tools Smoker Box is simple enough to use: it’s a well-made, sturdy, stainless steel box (3” wide, 9” long, and 1 ½” deep) with a hinged lid that has holes for the smoke to escape, and it holds two cups of the wood chips that will turn your gas or charcoal grill into a real, live smoker! It holds plenty of chips, but its relatively small size means that it will fit perfectly between “flavorizer bars” and the grill grate, or directly on top of the charcoal, depending on what kind of a grill you have, and it’s sturdy enough that it won’t warp from the heat. You can easily lift the lid to add more wood chips, too. One of the best things about the Smoker Box is that it has no holes on the bottom, so the wood chips won’t catch fire- they’ll continue to smolder instead of burning, like good little wood chips should! No “instructions” come with it, but that’s not so terrible: you simply put the soaked wood chips in the box, and put it on the grill!
One of the coolest things about the CaveTools Smoker Box is that it comes with a special website link that has a 30-page Barbecue Recipe Book, as well as a Meat Smoking Guide, that lists the times and temperatures for different meats, as well as the flavor profiles for different kinds of wood chips, so you can decide what you want to use, depending on what meat or fowl or fish you are preparing. We’ve collected a lot of recipe info over the years that Dan has been a chef, but this Guide was new to us and of Great value!  The list of wood chips alone made us long to try ones we haven’t yet used!
Cave Tools also has a GREAT YouTube page, with 100s of excellent BBQ video tutorials:  I spent Hours pouring over their videos, which cover basically everything you’ve Ever wanted to know about grilling, smoking and BBQing!
Chef Dan likes to use Hickory (“Sweet to Strong with Heavy Bacon Flavor”) and Mesquite (“Earthy Smoke Flavor”) wood chips, as well as Jack Daniel's Whiskey Barrel Oak chips and for smoking chicken breasts and riblets, he used the Jack Daniels chips. He first soaked the chips in water for ½ hour, and then placed them in the Smoker Box, and put the smoker box on the grill- he used our Weber Gas Grill.
Chef Dan also likes to use a variety of Rubs and Mops, which he makes up himself, depending on what he’s smoking. For his smoked lamb chop racks, for example, he’ll coat them with olive oil and a mixture of Italian herbs, wrap them in Saran Wrap, and let them marinate in the fridge overnight. He’ll then “mop” them periodically, as they smoke, with a mix of coffee and wine and spices. Rubs and mops are where you can really get creative!
For the smoked chicken breasts he mopped them with Korean BBQ Sauce, and the riblets he coated with olive oil and mixed Italian herbs before placing them on the grill. Then he tucked the Smoker Box under the grill rack, shut the grill and let 'em smoke! Easy-Peasy!
Chef Dan, smokin' in the snow- at night, no less!

Our Weber Grill, with the Smoker Box on the left, under the grill rack
 The Smoker Box is quite inexpensive, and with all the cool stuff you get to go along with it, it’s quite the bargain! AND, for my loyal readers, I have a special coupon that will get you an ADDITIONAL 15% off when you purchase it on Amazon! 15% Off Coupon Code: TJ4VTYCS
It also comes with a LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE, so if, at any point, you are unhappy with your Smoker Box, you can return it for a full money back refund! They REALLY take Customer Service seriously- which we love!
Smoking, BTW, is for WAY more than ribs and burgers! There are tons of really delicious "foodie" things you can do with a Smoking Box:  
Herb-Rubbed Smoked Ribs

Smoked "Lacquered" Duck

Smoked Pork Tenderloin with a Chilean Quince-Merken Glaze

Herb-Rubbed Smoked Cornish Game Hens
Chef Dan with his Smoked "Cajun Beer Can Chicken"

Herb-Rubbed Smoked Lamb Chops

Salmon, smoked on a wood plank, and Smoked Corn on the Cob

They have a lot of other cool BBQ tools, too, so this really Is the place you want to go for your BBQ needs- and for great gifts for the Grill Master in your life!  
Let me know in the comments what YOU like to smoke- and how you do it!

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