I finally made something I've been wanting to make forever; smoked beets! Actually, I've been wanting to create a makeshift home smoker and make carrot lox for a long time, but then I had smoked beets and knew I wanted to make that first, so here we are! With St. Patrick's Day upon us (depending when you're reading this I suppose) I thought it would be the perfect time to create smoked corned beets and use them in a delicious reuben sandwich. I know this recipe may seem daunting at first glance, but the prep/hands-on time is very minimal. You're mostly just waiting for it to cook.
So without further ado (because I dislike recipes with an entire novel before the recipe) here it is! Pictures first to give you an idea of how the process went. Oh, I forgot to take a picture after taking the beets out of the oven, so the final picture was taken the next day. However, you can watch my Instagram Story Highlights to see more of the cooking process. Enjoy!
First, you want to soak your wood chips! I used Hickory.
Then you want to peel and slice your beets.
Mix that marinade!
Put the marinade and the beets in the Stasher, or other sous vide, bag.
Cook in a big pot of water at 185°.
Drain the beets, rinsing if needed to remove the pickling spice, and spread on your smoker device.
Create a foil tent, or top with another foil pan like I did and put in the oven.
Use the beets on a buddha or poke bowl, eat as a snack, slice into a salad, or the best option... make a reuben...
Smoked Corned Beets
2 large red beets peeled and thinly sliced*, approx. 4 cups
2 cups water
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp pickling spice
1 tbsp liquid smoke*
Place 2 cups of wood chips in an aluminum foil pan, or enough to cover the bottom if using a larger pan, cover with water and let soak for at least 1 hour. (Only do this step if you want to smoke them)
Fill a large pot approximately 3/4 full with water and bring to a low simmer, approximately 185°
Meanwhile, peel and slice your beets and add them to the sous vide bag.
Whisk together 2 cups of water, salt, and pickling spice and add to the beets.
Squeeze out as much air as you can from the sous vide bag (without spilling it!) and seal it. Place it in the pot of water and cook for approximately 90 minutes until beets are tender.
Once done, remove the bag from the water and let cool. Drain the beets, reserving the liquid for another use. Rinse the beets if needed to remove and pickling spice that remains stuck to them.
Feel free to use the beets like this - they're delicious! Or continue on to smoke them.
Preheat your oven to 150°
Drain most of the water from the pan of wood chips, leaving only a very thin layer at the bottom. Add the liquid smoke to the pan and mix.
Place the cooling rack across the metal pan, or place inside if it fits.
Distribute the beets across the rack trying to keep them from overlapping as much as you can - a single layer is best.
Use aluminum foil to create a "tent" over the beets and seal the sides. Alternately, you can top with another foil pan like I did (I had to get creative with my small oven). This step is important as it will allow the beets to "smoke"
Place the pan in the oven and cook for approximately 2 hours, using convection if available.
If your beets are overlapping a lot like mine were, they may need to cook closer to 4 hours and flipping them halfway through / separating slices is a good idea.
Store the beets in the refrigerator. Rehydrate them in a bowl of water if needed - mine didn't dry out as much as they should have due to overcrowding in my small oven so I didn't need to rehydrate.
*I suggest using a mandoline so the beets are the same size and evenly cooked.
*Target also sells Weber wood chips
*Liquid smoke is optional, but highly recommend! My wood chips weren't "smokey" enough for me and adding this in really lifted the flavor!