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Smoked/Chargrilled Zucchini & Chuck Steaks in OTG-26: Q-View

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Any one else like to try different ways to prepare veggies and create a new meal? Thought I'd toss out a quick outdoor cooked meal after work today...huh, am I starting THAT AGAIN??? :yahoo: I had a couple chuckies in the fridge and several Zucchini from yesterday. I thought these might have been too seedy for slicing as they were pushing over 3" diameter, but they surprised me. I like pan-fried Zucchini, but, since I had the OTG-26 laying out cherry, apple and hickory smoke to the chuckies for a warm smoke, I figured, hey, why not give the same treatment to the squashes? So, I did...

 

 

Ancho Chili & Garlic Rub:

 

Chuckies starting their 40-minute ride in ~130* smoke...charcoal basket in the rear, lid vent positioned in the front for even heating and smoke distribution throughout the kettle:

 

After 15 minutes I tossed the squash in...I had a wood flare-up by the time I got all the Zucchini onto the grate for searing...dropped the lid on, closed the intakes and lid vent for about 30 seconds, cracked the lid vent for a peek and the flame was out...back to smoking...opened everything back up and we're good to go...let's smoke those Zukes. At least it makes it look more like I can still justify having this beast when I load it up a bit more to cook the whole meal for the two of us, right?:

 

The Zucchini were sliced about 1/2" thick and tossed around in a large bowl with Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Garlic Powder and Black Pepper prior to smoking. 15 minutes smoke and I place them back into the bowl while I prepared for searing. I placed the grate with steaks off to the side on another kettle grill (lid off) while I loaded up the coal grate with hot coals.

 

Building up a HOT coal-bed with 1/3 Embers briquettes (in the bottom of the chimney to prevent the smaller RO from dropping through) and 2/3 RO lump...2 full chimneys, total:

 

 

 

I pulled the steaks off of the grate after spreading the coals out and letting it get rolling better...felt like close to 700* in most spots after I put the grate on to preheat it...perfect:

 

 

Oh, yeah, that's nice:

 

 

Resting briefly before serving:

 

I tried, but I could not eat all of this 1.33lbr...I did take a second serving (the last) of the Zucchini, though:

 

A little further along than I prefer, though still juicy @ medium...wife wanted mushrooms to top these steaks, but she didn't ask early enough to start them...and, I told her we're never going to be able to eat all of this food...I was right:

 

 

 

So, the char-grilled Zucchini, which I haven't prepared for several years (been so long I can't remember when) was even better with a little smoke, of course. It could have used another 5-10 minutes in the smoke for my tastes, as it was more of a lighter background flavor...but hey, maybe that's a good thing...don't want a strong smoke with a mild flavored food, so, yeah, good smoke after all. The char added a nice flavor and some texture variations. Yeah, yeah, I know...charred food is a carcinogen...all things consumed in moderation, my friends. I haven't eaten any char for months...not my thing, but with veggies it's just too tempting to not indulge a little once in a while.

 

The dry rub was a nice change of pace from the typical store-bought steak rubs and such...not earth shattering, but a different take on steak, for sure. It's not a strong, hot flavor like red chili powder...milder and smoother...if you've never used Ancho Chili powder or flakes, it's worth your while to experiment with a little and see where it can take your dishes. I've made rubs years ago based on Ancho Chili and it can be made as mild or as hot as you like with additional ingredients, but the flavor of the Ancho always shines through nicely.

 

A simple, easy and relatively quick meal...about 75 minutes from striking the first spark until I was sitting down to eat...oh did I mention tasty? OK, now I did.

 

Enjoy those fresh garden veggies!!!

 

Great smokes (and sears) to all, and to all a good night!!!

 

 

Eric

post #2 of 6
Looks tasty,never had a chuck steak.
post #3 of 6
Wow. Great meal.

I have some zucchini in the fridge I was wondering what to do with. Gonna try this.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b-one View Post

Looks tasty,never had a chuck steak.

 

Chuck to beef is like butt or picnic to pork. The chuck is from the shoulder and can be tough, depending how you trim, prepare and slice, of course. The upside is that they are packed with flavor. My favorite is the cross-rib chuck...they seem to have a bit more tenderness in more of the muscle and have more marbling. I think maybe a bit smoother finished flavor, as well.  There is one called a 7-bone chuck roast...you've probably seen it...good flavor due to being bone-in, but a bit more limited with ways to prepare. I guess if one got really creative you could come up with a fair amount of good eating menu ideas with a 7-bone. If you go looking for chuck, I recommend the cross-rib...even the cross-rib roasts turn-out a bit nicer smoked pulled beef...just remember, low & slow with the chuck roasts so they have time to melt the collagen and render more fat out.

 

I have smoked/seared chucks to med-rare and trimmed them up well and sliced into strips for adding to a dish such as with rice and gravy, and I've cut them up smaller for soups and stews. It may be a lesser cut of beef, but that doesn't mean it isn't versatile.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

Wow. Great meal.

I have some zucchini in the fridge I was wondering what to do with. Gonna try this.

 

Thanks, hey if your squashes are uncut/whole and in good condition, they'll keep fine at room temp for a while, but if your house is hot, not so much. You may or may not know this: many squashes don't like being chilled...messes 'em up a little and they kind of soften up inside. Some winter squashes can take a frost or two, then they're about done-in. Some folks have dozens of fresh Zucchini laying in their store-room waiting to cook or process, then they start handing them out to friends so they don't go to waste...we've gotten 2 batches that way in the past 2 weeks.

 

If you've never had them fried, grilling is a good place to start. I dust them in seasoned flour, or just toss in the pan sliced, then season as they cook. Today for the grill, the toss in oil and seasoning worked out prefect...oil helped them caramelize on the grill...not sure, but I don't think they'll brown much without it. I know the acorn squash I spun with a bird a while back took a ton of high heat before it got very dark on the skin, and part of that was from smoke.

 

The larger ones that have a lot of large, harder seeds can be split, seeded and roasted...or better yet, high-temp smoked or grilled!!!

 

Enjoy!!!

 

 

Eric

post #5 of 6

Great smoke Eric!

 

Everything looks delicious!

 

Point worthy for sure!

 

Al

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

Great smoke Eric!

 

Everything looks delicious!

 

Point worthy for sure!

 

Al

 

Thanks Al, and for the point!!!

 

We have more Zucchini to cook up for couple days...made a quick stir-fry with some last week... that was good, but smoked and grilled tastes far better.

 

 

Eric

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