We asked the building management if we could please, please, please set up a Big Green Egg on the roof of our building. The answer was polite (we love our building and management!) but firm. Nope. No dice. It’s in the lease. But we have a lovely electric grill on the roof.
And we totally understand. This is New York City! You can’t just have flying embers sailing willy-nilly off the tops of buildings. Fair point.
So we’ve been working hard at achieving great smoky flavor from an electric grill, and yesterday’s pork tenderloin tells me we’re definitely stepping up our game. While we don’t have the smoke ring I’d love to see on the meat, we’re getting lots of great hickory flavor with Weber hickory wood chips and patience.
We soak the chips for at least an hour, then put them into the grill just as we turn it on. We let the chips smoke and dry for a full hour in the grill before putting meat or peppers in it. We’re still playing with the best temperature for that first hour of smoke development. Surprisingly, we decided to try using the same set of chips a second time and found the richness of the smoke and flavor even better the second time through!
We were also really pleased with the way these peppers (from the Jackson Heights Green Market) took on the hickory smoke. The small poblano peppers turned into lovely smoked ancho chiles and are in the process of becoming a smoked chile sauce for our next round of Cochinita Pibil.