Ridder's Q Club: Smoked Green Beans

Does the smell of wood smoke excite you? Does it make your saliva glands begin to secrete? Do you love hovering over a fire watching meat being cooked to perfection. Then you are MY kind of people!

Whether it's smoking, roasting, baking, braising or grilling; with quality meats and some imagination, you can create some mouth water meals and memories with loved ones. As a barbecue addict myself I'm here to give you ideas to take your taste buds on a wild ride.

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Typically when you think of BBQ it's natural to assume meat. But BBQ can be so much more; in fact there are many vegetables that lend themselves well to the added flavor of wood smoke. Beans and in particular green bean is one of the amazing vegetables that can shine with a little wood fired flavor added.

These smoked green beans were created as a side dish for some grass fed New York Strip steaks and would go great with grilled chicken thighs or any fish as well.

You're going to need a pan that fits inside your grill/smoker. I strongly recommend a cast iron skillet. A 12" and a 14" cast iron pan should be two things every person owns anyhow. You can cook anything in those two sizes. You don't need one any bigger.

A side from a skillet you will need some hardwood charcoal and hunks of your favorite smoking wood. I prefer hickory or pecan.

Here's everything else needed:

  • 2-3 cups of fresh green beans
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon, or 4 oz of bacon ends; diced into lardons (What are lardons?)
  • 1 medium onion, medium diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning (or Penzey's Chesapeake Bay)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 2oz of water

Now let's get started! First fire up your coals and place them in the grill mounded to one area, and place some of the smoking wood around the outside edge of the coal pile.

  1. Place your grate/s on the grill and place your cast iron right over the coals with the bacon lardons inside.
  2. Render down the bacon, right before it's starting to crisp add in the onions. Stir every min or so keeping the grill covered/closed between.
  3. Once onions are beginning to caramelize scrape contents of the pan to the outsides and toss in green beans and season with about a half a tablespoon of the Old Bay. Close/cover the grill.
  4. After a few minutes toss all ingredients in the pan to combine and move away from direct heat and close/cover the grill to allow smoke to so it's magic for about 5 minutes.
  5. Open grill and deglaze the pan with 2 oz of water, cover and let steam for another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and cover tightly with foil. This time you can spread coals and cook your steaks, chicken or fish if needed. Otherwise move dish to the table.
  7. just before serving drizzle lightly with balsamic and toss.

*tip: you can also add some shaved almonds before serving as well.

These beans are amazing as a side but could also be a meal in itself. You could also do the same recipe just swap the green beans with brussel sprouts. But really they went amazing with these steaks.

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