'Not Low and Slow'
I have been pondering for a while how to hot smoke live mussels in the BS. Currently I steam them first on the hob then smoke them separately for a short while, I like my shellfish cooked on a medium to high heat for as short a time as possible and I have usually restricted use of my OBS to cold smoking shellfish.
Anyway, I came up with the method for the BS below which I was very pleased with.
- 1-2 pounds live mussels
- 2 oz. butter, add more or less to taste
- course ground black pepper to taste
- Heat resistant metal colander-like container. A grill wok (see below) with holes works fine.
- Pyrex or other heat resistant bowl, of similar diameter, or size to grill wok.
- Both pieces of equipment must be small enough to fit inside your smoker.
- Set up the smoker with V pan, tray, water bowl (plus water), and adjust the vent from 1/2 to 2/3 open.
- Install racks on the lower two shelves.
- Put the grill wok or similar in the middle of the upper rack. I used:
The mussels can be piled into this dish when smoking as there enough gaps between the shells for the smoke to penetrate.
- Directly below the grill wok place a glass "Pyrex" type heat resistant glass bowl of similar diameter.
- Switch the BS on, turn on the generator and slide the temperature control up to as high as it will go, whilst on my OBS the highest temperature possible when empty is about 320°F, the max temp achievable when loaded as above is around 270°F.
- Whilst the BS is warming up prepare the live mussels (1 - 2 lb), removing any that are cracked or don't close on tapping etc. Wash thoroughly.
- When the BS temp is approaching 270°F, place 2 or 3 bisquettes (I would recommend apple or oak) in the smoke generator hopper plus bubba pucks etc. Load the first bisquette. Let it go the full 20 minutes, smoke from this will coat the Pyrex dish with smoke residue.
- Let the second bisquette load and just as it is starting to produce smoke open the door and load the mussels into the receptacle in step 2 above. Do this as quickly as possible to minimize temperature drop, hopefully no more than 30 - 40°F.
- Smoke for 20 - 40 minutes depending on preference, however leave the mussels in the BS for around 40 - 45 minutes in total. This time may have to be extended slightly if the initial temperature is less than 270°F.
- The liquid from the cooking / smoking mussels will drop through the holes and be collected in the Pyrex dish below; the smoke residue already on the Pyrex dish will impart a nice smokey flavor on this liquid.
- After 40 - 45 minutes take the mussels out of the smoker and put in a bowl, pour the liquid from the Pyrex dish over the mussels.
- Leave for a few minutes to cool somewhat then remove and discard any mussels that haven't opened. Add 1 - 2 oz butter and coarse ground black pepper to taste.
- Transfer contents to a vacuum seal bag and seal; try to keep the mussels spread out to a single layer in the bag which will aid reheating. Place in a refrigerator for 24 -48 hours, no longer than 48 hours.
- Mussels may be re-heated by boil in the bag or I have found the microwave works equally well!
- Eat with crusty French bread; this is great for mopping up the juices!!
We probably eat mussels at least once a week, usually with garlic butter and pepper added. Hot smoked mussels make a nice variation to this.
Comment by Habanero Smoker: I made smoke mussels following this recipe, and they came out great. My smoker would only get to 260°F, so I had to leave the mussels in for an extra 15 – 20 minutes. The liquid in the bowl evaporated but with a small amount of hot water I was able to "deglaze' the bowl, and recover that wonderful smoke/mussel liquid.