Smoking eggplant & other vegetables

publickmanJune 12, 2012

Last Sunday I tried smoking a couple of eggplants and forgot to prick them. They got cooked but have no smoky flavor whatsoever, but were still good in the babaganoush that I made yesterday. I wonder now if I should have cut them in half, and if so, should the cut side be up or down? I've had smoked eggplant in restaurants and liked it, but I do not know whether they grilled it or smoked it. Also, if I am smoking it, should I brush it with olive oil? I've found that fats absorb more smoky flavor. I put a mushroom in the smoker also, and it came out more or less steamed and with no smoky flavor. I guess I should have marinated it first to get some oil on it. When I have grilled mushrooms, they always had a smoky flavor (I only grill with charcoal when grilling outside), but I do not know whether that was because of the charcoal or because of the charcoal plus the marinade. I smoked some chilies on Sunday also, but I have not tasted them yet. I think they will be like the mushroom and eggplant.

I had good results with the meats that I smoked - just the vegetables were bland. Maybe I should buy a book on smoking, as I am new to this process.

Lars

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annie1992

Lars, I usually cut the eggplant into slices, brush with olive oil, give it a sprinkle of salt and pepper and put it on one of those perforated grill racks and then into the smoker, I get more of a smokey flavor that way, I think.

I've done sliced onions too, but mushrooms never seem to get really smokey for me for some reason.

It's definitely a learning curve when you are first using the smoker, but the experiments are edible and usually delicious, so that's good.

Annie

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:08PM
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publickman

Thanks for the info on the eggplant. I have another question - do you ever put frozen food directly into the smoker? It seems that since it is a low temperature that it would defrost reasonably in the smoker, but take longer to cook, of course. I hate waiting for things to defrost, and by the time they are defrosted, I may have changed my mind about what I want to cook.

I'm thinking about joining a barbeque/smoking forum. There is a Texas one that looks interesting.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:37AM
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annie1992

elery has several bbq/smoking sites he visits regularly, some of them are very interesting.

I've never tried putting frozen food in the smoker, because I'm afraid it would take too long to come up to a safe temperature. I may have to take my trusty thermometer and try it, because that would sure be convenient.

Annie

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 5:46PM
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ci_lantro

Eggplant has such a dense, tough hide that I would think you'd have to cut it for the smoke to permeate. Never thought about smoking it before but it does sound good. Love eggplant.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:25PM
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hounds_x_two

I like to use small eggplants. Cut in half, rub with lemon, sprinkle with sea salt, and let them "rest" for a bit. Pat dry, score cut side, then marinate in lemon juice, olive oil and whatever spices you like. Then, smoke or grill. I usually start with cut side on the grill, then skin-side down, then back on cut side to finish. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 7:04PM
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