One of my favorite kitchen tools doesn’t live in my kitchen: It sits outside the front door, looking weathered and well used. It’s both, whether the summer heat has made me abandon the oven or we’re digging it out of a snowbank for a winter meal. I’m talking about an old charcoal Weber kettle grill, handed down and repaired so many times it’s probably had nine lives.
For years it was just a grill, regularly loaded with fish, shellfish, and many kinds of vegetables and fruits. Then we discovered it made an easy, low-tech cold smoker for cheese. Add a few more briquettes, and we’re smoking chilies, beets, nuts, and more.
I got excited about smoking beets after falling for a vegetarian Rueben sandwich created by a local deli. But when I started harvesting my first beets a week ago, we’d already gobbled up the winter’s stash of sauerkraut. Fortunately, smoked beets are delicious with fresh greens and sourdough bread.
Learn to make Roasted and Smoked Beets and Smoked-Beet Sandwiches