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Smoking is not just for meat lovers

Most of the time, when people think of smoked items, they envision meat. Smoking has long been the territory of sausages, jerky, ham, and all other assortment of fleshy products. In a pinch, the flavor has spread over to cheeses, the likes of Gouda and cheddar. We won’t get into the ills of these today, but rather we will be celebrating the unique and unmistakable flavor produced by slow-smoking food, and no doubt, this can be enjoyed through a grand selection of plant-based options.

While most of us are accustomed to barbecue being things grilled over open flames, many professionals consider smoking the ultimate (sometimes only) means of preparation, and they have a point. Using a smoker creates a completely different spin on what’s cooking. It’s a slow, food-of-love type of cooking that involves hours upon hours, a process that won’t take kindly to store-bought sauces (make your own!), and impatience. Nearly always riddled with trade secrets and personal peculiarities, it makes for a fantastic day of communing over good eats out in the yard.

Most patios are donned with grills. These are the barbecue pits that come with metal grates perched above direct heat typically provided by either propane or charcoal, both of which have debatable merits. This type of barbecue is referred to as grilling, and it involves the sizzle and trademark burn lines across food. This is a faster method, with high temperatures and mere minutes of cook time. Grilling is perfectly delicious and wrought with delicious vegan recipes

Smokers, on the other hand, rely on indirect heat, utilizing the smoky air rather than direct flame to slowly heat the food and then maintain low temperatures, typically between 200 to 250 degrees, until things are fully cooked. Obviously, this provides a smokier, tenderer barbecue. It also allows for cooking large hunks of food, say an entire zucchini or eggplant versus sliced medallions, the slow process allowing the whole thing to cook through. A whole different vegetable!