So this year, we won’t be getting dressed up and spending Valentine’s Day wining and dining at our favourite restaurant. Whether you’re into grand romantic gestures or tend to mark the occasion more casually, it’s time to think about how to celebrate from home.
Why not use your smoker to bring this dinner above and beyond the ordinary? You’d be surprised by the variety of refined courses you can prepare!
From succulent meats to smoked shellfish, from unexpected appetizers to mouthwatering desserts, the options are indeed endless!
Any of the following delicious ideas can be prepared using an offset pellet grill (such as any of the Traeger Pro Series models) or a Kamado grill like the incomparable Big Green Egg. You can also use a vertical propane smoker and achieve much the same effect.
If you’re working with an electric smoker, on the other hand, beware! The lack of real combustion makes for a noticeable difference in flavour.
The low-and-slow smoking style also makes it difficult to get a crisp finish on meats. However, an electric smoker’s moist environment is ideal for handling foods you’d want to give a more delicate smoking, such as fish, sausages, vegetables, and cheese.
The takeaway: electric smokers are great at what they do and provide a low-maintenance, low-mess cooking experience, but don’t expect to use it on meats and get crispy chicken skin, crusted ribs, or grill-lined steak.
Cooking something different together can be a great date in itself! Homemade pizza is always a fun option, especially if you want to involve the whole family. While relatively easy to do, making pizza from scratch shows that special care has been taken.
It also allows you to get creative with toppings, so you can keep it classic or go as funky as you’d like.
Here are some recipe ideas to inspire your from-scratch creations (feel free to pretend you invented them!)
Useful Pizza Grilling Accessories:
The Big Green Egg pizza baking stone
The Big Green Egg deep-dish stone
Sometimes all it takes to make an at-home meal memorable is to break it up into courses like they do at restaurants. Having an appetizer course, however modest, is precisely the sort of extra effort that adds pomp and circumstance to a home-cooked dinner.
We’d be hard-pressed to find a “Valentine’s Day Specials” menu that didn’t have seafood on it. If your Valentine is a fan of fish and seafood, wow them with the enhanced flavour from your Big Green Egg or Traeger Grill.
Useful Fish Grilling Accessories:
A grill basket
A shellfish rack (ideal for smoked oysters!)
It’s not for nothing that fillet mignon and osso buco are Valentine’s Day menu staples. A beautifully cooked cut of meat is a treat to make any occasion memorable.
If you’re a meat-lover (or trying to impress one!), your biggest menu hardship will be the burden of choice. There are just SO MANY excellent options to explore. Here’s a quick list of some slightly-elevated recipes to make the meal feel extra special:
Useful Meat Grilling Accessories:
The Chicken Throne
The Instant-Read Thermometer
Smokers aren’t just for meats! In addition to making a vast array of vegetarian appetizers and sides, your smoker can also boast some delicious and satisfying meatless main-events.
Just as including an appetizer course signals a departure from the everyday dinner, indulging in dessert is sure to make the whole meal more memorable.
You may not associate your smoker with sweets. Still, many dessert recipes will allow you to tie the whole dinner together with those smoky flavour notes.
Does a smoked plum and thyme fizz sound good to you? A grilled grapefruit cocktail? Or maybe a smoked Bloody Mary with grilled garnishes? Thirsty yet?
These are just a few among the many cocktails you can prepare with the help of your smoker! For a tall and variegated list of amazing smoky-cocktail recipes, click HERE.
Whether you’re preparing a romantic meal for two or a feast for your family, we hope that you and your loved ones enjoy your smoked spread! We know we will!
Thank you to our friends at Traeger Grill and Big Green Egg for supplying us with these mouthwatering recipes.
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