Get Out and Grill

For many people, Memorial Day is the official beginning of outdoor cooking. They pull the covers off their grills and enjoy the warm weather. Whether it’s a back porch or yard, outdoor cooking is fun and entertaining for the whole family.

One of the most popular trends in grilling is smoking. Smoking your food does not require a whole new machine or an expensive piece of equipment. There are now small smoker boxes that fit nicely into any standard gas grill and turn you into an expert smoking chef.

Barbecue Hot Wings

The sauce or “mop” goes on these wings at the end of cooking time, so it does not burn.

For the wings:

  • 15 chicken wings (approximately 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the “mop”

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups hickory or oak wood chips soaked for 1 hour in water, then drained
  • Rinse the chicken wings and pat dry.

Make the marinade:

Whisk together the hot sauce, lemon juice, oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the wing pieces and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 to 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning the wings several times so that they marinate evenly.

Mix the ingredients for the mop sauce and set aside.

If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in a smoker box under the rack and run the grill on high until you see smoke. Then reduce the heat to medium by turning off the burner on one side. If using a charcoal grill, preheat the grill to medium, then toss all the wood chips or chunks on the coals. Place a foil pan under the rack to catch drips.

Remove wings from marinade and discard the marinade. Oil the grill with an oil-dampened paper towel. Place the wings on the rack away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the wings until the skin is crisp and golden brown and the meat is cooked through — 30 to 40 minutes.

During the last 10 minutes, baste the wings with some of the mop sauce.

Transfer the grilled wings to a shallow bowl or platter, and pour the remaining mop sauce over them.

Grilled Chicken Salad

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 tablespoon vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

For the salad:

  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 romaine hearts, washed, checked and dried well
  • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed and washed
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ head of purple cabbage, shredded
  • 8” skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes

Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. Wipe grill grate with an oil-dampened paper towel. Season chicken and cut it into strips or small pieces. Thread the pieces on to skewers. Grill chicken for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Using a wire whisk, stir together dressing ingredients until well emulsified and sugar is dissolved. Place grilled chicken skewers into dressing to absorb flavor.

Cut or tear romaine into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add snow peas, pepper strips and cabbage. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Divide salad among 12 plates. Top with two chicken skewers and serve immediately. Serves 12.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.