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One enticing whiff is enough to bring customers straight through your restaurant’s doors. The irresistible aroma of barbecue makes everyone’s mouth water. However, that heavenly smell doesn’t always come from a grill.
Many commercial kitchens are developing a wide range of smoked side dishes. It’s a centuries-old tradition, it often includes root-to-stalk cooking, and it offers exciting opportunities for culinary innovation.
7 Simply Delicious Smoked Side Dish Ideas
They side burgers and barbecue with extra servings of rich flavors. They pair perfectly with steaks, poultry and seafood. From fresh Brussels sprouts to creamy mac and cheese, these seven savory smoked sides are sure to fire up appetites at your restaurant’s tables.
1. Maple-Smoked Stuffed Jalapenos
Mini sausages and a bacon wrap transform smoked jalapenos from spicy appetizers to fiery sides. Cheddar and cream cheese hold down the heat and fill up hungry customers. A slow smoke over hardwood maple adds subtle sweetness to the stuffed hot peppers.
2. Smoky Deviled Eggs
Some of the best ideas for smoking food start with surprising ingredients. For example, hard-boiled eggs aren’t considered grilling fare, but an in-house smoker turns them into brand new classics. Keep smoky deviled eggs casual with chopped chive toppings, or dress them up with dollops of caviar.
3. Smoked Brussels Sprouts
Applewood smoke gives the nutty flavor of Brussels sprouts a deeper, richer taste. This simple smoked Brussels sprout recipe tosses trimmed sprouts with garlic and sweet onion and seasons the side with a sprinkle of paprika. The smoky accents really complement barbecued beef and poultry.
4. Smoked Corn on the Cob
This is another easy side that’s served well by the sweetness of a slow smoke over applewood. Prep fresh ears by removing silks and leaving husks intact. Smoked corn on the cob finishes in 30 minutes and only needs butter, salt and pepper. Smoked corn gets extra points for beautiful presentation.
5. Skin-On Smoked Potatoes
Plain potatoes become perfect barbecue sides with a little rub and a few hours in the smoker. A massage of spices and bacon grease yields tasty, crunchy skins and soft, fluffy interiors. A touch of brown sugar in the rub gives skin-on smoked potatoes a special barbecue accent.
6. Smoked Onion Slaw
Surprise customers with a sensational slaw brimming with healthy ingredients. Smoked onion slaw transforms the traditional dish into a snappy side filled with bright tastes and colors. Hold the mayo on this one. Instead, bring out the slaw’s tasty tang with apple cider vinegar and liquid reserved from the smoked onions.
7. Smoked Macaroni and Cheese
Recreate a customer favorite by finishing classic, creamy mac and cheese in the smoker. Prep your best recipe, and let a slow smoke over a favorite wood do the rest. Smoked mac and cheese can easily become one of your restaurant’s most popular signature side dishes.
Tips for Sensational Smoked Sides
Smoked side dishes almost market themselves with rich, savory flavors. They have another selling point too. They’re easy to prepare without excess fat or salt, and that’s always a plus with health-conscious customers. Try out these tasty tips for smoking sensational sides.
If you don’t already have a smoker, research equipment options before investing. Factor in your kitchen’s layout, any zoning that might affect an outdoor setup and different fuel options. You’ll want to connect with a good source for different woods and chips too.
Celebrating Smoked Sides Year-Round
Smoked side dishes aren’t just for annual corporate barbecues and summer catering jobs. Commercial kitchens all across the country are picking up steam with slow smoking techniques.
Boggiatto joins everyone in celebrating smoked sides on restaurant menus all year-round. We’re here for your foodservice operations year-round too with premium produce, culinary inspiration and the latest industry news.