Smoke & Fire
The Fraser River Lodge
Smoke & Fire
Smoke and fire are primal elements of cooking, and while I don’t think we approach our day-to-day work in such a poetic manner, smoke does nonetheless play a considerable role in what we do here at the Fraser River Lodge.
On-site we have four different smokers that are used regularly. We have branded smokers, a Traeger grill and a Bradley smoker,) and two house-built smokers, one in the west coast style and our newest addition a southern style bbq pit.
The Traeger sees the least amount of play, it is used predominantly for pork butts. We slow-smoke them for around 12 hours and then shred the butts into pulled pork, which is used as a late-night snack for many of our weddings.
The Bradley is the quickest and most convenient smoker we have, and it is used for all manner of experiments that need a quick smoke. It can also easily be converted into a cold smoker by filling the trays with ice. Smoked mussels, oysters, candied salmon, purees, and potatoes are elements commonly utilized for our plated multi-course dinners.
The west coast style smokehouse is our bread and butter. It is used daily. Briskets are slow-smoked at a low temperature all day while being basted with a bourbon onion glaze and steelhead are regularly cold-smoked. However dry-aged ribeyes are what the west coast style smoker is predominantly used for. The ribeye is cleaned, trimming off some but not all of the excess fat, then seasoned heavily with black pepper. It is then fully covered in vegetable ash which is made in-house. The ribeye dries in the ash for around a week, developing a rich depth of flavour. It then smokes for about 4 hours using local maple wood. It then rests for around 45 minutes before it is served at just about every wedding here at the Lodge. If you haven’t guessed, it's something we take quite a bit of pride in.
Our newest addition is the southern pit-style bbq. This was added last year when we were exploring whole pig dinners. We have only had the opportunity to use it a couple of times so far but it has been very exciting. We start with a large fire burning at the front producing burning hot coals which are shovelled into the bottom of the pit. The full pig is splayed out on a rack inside the pit elevated off the ground above the coals. The pit is then sealed off which creates a natural oven. The first attempt at this blind cooking style failed and the pig was overcooked, but the staff didn't seem to mind as they got to eat our mistake. Since then we have nailed it down to a science, creating extremely tender and juicy whole pigs that are then served on our barbecue menu.
With summer just around the corner, we are excited to continue incorporating the smokers to trial new dishes and refine existing techniques.
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