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Huskee's Ultimate Wood-Smoked Lasagna recipe

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    Huskee's Ultimate Wood-Smoked Lasagna recipe

    Even health nuts break down and have lasagna once in a while, right?

    I call this lasagna Huskee's Ultimate Lasagna since I cut no corners and spare no calories. When you eat lasagna, you aren't eating it to be healthy, it's a splurge food like pizza. And when you want it, you want it right. So buckle up, here it is!

    Preheat smoker to 375. My oven recipe for this is 375*F for 45 minutes, covered in foil. Remove foil for last 15 minutes to help brown the cheese. To adapt for a smoker, cook it uncovered. You want the top layer of cheese to get smokey. If you cannot get your smoker to 375 with a cold pan of lasagna in it, try to get 325-340 at least. It may take 1:15 or 1:30 at lower temps.

    This lasagna goes a long way.


    Bake time: 45 min to 75min

    Prep Time: 45 min - 1hr

    Ingredients:

    2- 16oz boxes lasagna noodles
    (you wont need all, but you may need more than one box. Plan on about 18 noodles)

    1- 48 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce. Don't skimp on the sauce, get 48oz or close. I prefer Prego Traditional or Meat. By far my personal favorite in this recipe FWIW.

    Smoke the sauce: To really take this dish up above & beyond, place your sauce in shallow dish(es) like a pie pan, and place it on your smoker for, say, half hour. Stir it at least once midway through. Then proceed.. If you want to limit the actual smokiness of the dish you can skip this step.

    1 to 1.5 lbs ground beef

    .5 to .75 lbs ground sausage (use mild or sweet)

    Ricotta cheese, small tub (optional)

    1 large 24oz. tub cottage cheese, small curd (optional but highly recommended)

    Parmesan cheese shaker

    2.5 - 3 lbs cheese (I like 1 lbs mozzarella, 1lb provolone mixed (or 2lbs mozz), and ~1 lb sharp cheddar) The cheese makes it! Don't skimp!

    Large lasagna pan, I use a 16x11 pan, 3.25" tall.

    Do this:

    1) Begin browning the ground beef and ground sausage, it's easiest to do them in separate skillets. Try to chop it into small pieces, especially the sausage, it likes to clump as it cooks. I like to season my beef with salt & pepper. Drain them both well when cooked thoroughly. Mix them together evenly. Set aside.

    2) Check your noodles for size. Most are roughly 9.5-9.75" long, and the inside bottom of a 16x11" pan is about 9.5" wide. I like to break my noodles (pre-boiling) to the rough width of the pan. They swell a little so you don't have to be exact. No one cares if they break jagged, but if you can't stand that you can cut them or scissor them once they're cooked.

    3) Par boil about 18 noodles. Only take them to "al dente" or medium doneness, with some firmness and chew left. they will cook the rest of the way when "baking". Drain in a colander. I like to lay them flat on a plate after draining so they hold a nice flat shape for easier assembly of the lasagna. Add a little bit of water to them to keep them from sticking to one another.

    4) Add a generous layer of sauce to the bottom of the pan. Spread it evenly.

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    5) Add the noodles, single file until it's tight on the bottom.

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    6) Add the ricotta cheese. 2-3 dabs on each noodle, then spread out evenly but don't get too picky, it doesn't matter much how it looks.

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    7) Same with cottage cheese, add some dabs of it along lengths of each noodle, spread out if you want to (not pictured)

    8) Add a dusting of Parmesan cheese to each noodle.

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    9) Add meat to each noodle on top of the ricotta & cottage cheese, make sure you get a fairly even mix of the beef & sausage. Use about half. Plan on 2 layers of meat. Don't overdo the meat or you'll run out.

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    10) Add a decent dribble of [smoked] sauce on top of each line of meat.

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    11) Add about 1/3 of your total cheese, use most of the cheddar on these lower layers mixed with some of the provolone & mozzarella. Use all white cheese for the very top layer.


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    12) Place the next layer of noodles on, pressing firmly to even and flatten it all out.

    13) Repeat steps 5-12 one more time.

    14) For the top (third) layer- add everything except meat one more time. Use a VERY generous top layer of cheese, so that the sauce is largely not visible underneath. Try to use only the mozzarella & provolone on the top, and a little more than you used in the lower layers. You want the top layer to be thick with cheese!

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    If your smoker is at or above 375, and holds there, bake about 45 minutes or until top cheese looks how you want it. Nearing a nice golden color is what I shoot for.

    If you cannot get 375, try to get about 330-350. It may take about 1:15-1:30 at these lower temps.

    After roughly this amount of time, and once the cheese looks how you want it- it's done! No need to temp anything since everything was cooked upon assembling it.



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    Let rest on the counter about a half hour before trying to portion it or it will be lasagna soup.

    Keeps well in the fridge, and is probably even better reheated than fresh!

    Enjoy!

    Smoke the sauce: This step makes it a smoky dish, if you don't want it very smokey, skip it. I took my sauce, as noted above, and put it in a couple pie pans (shallow, more surface area for smoke exposure), and placed it on the smoker for about a half hour while the smoker was heating up. I went out and stirred it once about halfway through. This will help get the sauce infused with smoke. Otherwise, only the top cheese layer gets smoke exposure. Try it!

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    About the smoker: You can do everything here in your indoor oven. In fact that's how my recipe came to be, all the above at 375*F for 45 min in a regular oven. I only recently did this on a smoker, and it really takes a 10/10 dish up to 11. Try it!

    Wood? Use whatever wood you like. I used ash wood, and it's simply delicious. Any wood should be fine that you'd use on other things, the dish is so flavorful that the wood type really gets lost in the big picture. Be leery of mesquite though. If you use only charcoal, I highly recommend adding wood chunks! Smoke it baby!







    Last edited by Huskee; December 2, 2015, 09:06 AM.

    #2
    Looks great! And great post.

    Comment


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you sir!

    #3
    It looks great and that was an excellent write up.

    Comment


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks JeffJ!

    #4
    Huskee thanks for recipe. I'm going to do this but instead of ground beef and sausage I'm going to use pulled pork. Watcha think?

    Comment


    • DWCowles
      DWCowles commented
      Editing a comment
      bbqoaf I was thinking about the pulled beef also

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      DWCowles, fantastic idea! I hadn't thought about that, but pulled beef lasagna that would be incredible!

    • DWCowles
      DWCowles commented
      Editing a comment
      Huskee I hope you make lasagna using pulled beef so you can let us know how it turn out. I will do one with either pulled pork or beef but it will be four weeks before I can make the lasagna.

    #5
    "This is how we do it!"

    Comment


      #6
      Love it! I sent this over to SWMBO to see if she'd like to try it.

      Comment


        #7
        Huskee... Mmmm. I have a nice lasagna recipe I've been using for about 20 years. It's very similar to yours. I've never considered smoking it but now seeing your method I'm game. It would be easy to do in my BGE. Thanks for the idea and a great presentation.

        Comment


        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          Huskee... I just make a meat sauce for my lasagna.

          2lbs of hamburger meat... 15/80 fat content.
          1lb of Italian sausage
          Two cups of diced onions
          10/15 diced garlic cloves... Depending on your love of garlic
          A small handful of oregano
          A small handful of basil
          A smaller handful of Rosemary
          A teaspoon of sugar... To cut the acidity
          96oz of hunts tomato sauce
          20oz of hunts tomato paste
          2 cups of red wine.
          2 cups of Parmesan cheese... To be added later.

          Do this...

          Sweat down the onions... Once they become translucent spread them to the side of the pan
          Drop in your garlic... Let it open for about a minute
          Add your spices
          Then add your meat and mix in your garlic so it doesn't burn. I chop the meat into small pieces with a sharp spatula, the smaller the better, no meatballs!
          Then add the red wine
          Bring it to a simmer and put the lid on. You can eat it in 2 hours if... Time is an issue. I prefer to let it simmer for 4 hours.
          Add the Parmesan cheese a half hour before you are going to serve it... Let it simmer in slowly.

          I think I'll divide it into 2 hotel pans and put it in my BGE for the last 2 hours of the cook with smoke. Stirring every half hour.

          Then I'll let it cool and sit overnight... Spaghetti sauce is always better the second day. Then I'll par broil the
          lasagna noddles and build the layers with meat sauce, ricotta, provolone and a little shape cheddar in a large Pyrex pan. I'll finish it off by reheating it in the BGE and let the top layer of cheese brown a little bit... With smoke.

          I've been strategizing this cook since you first posted this thread... Of course this will be served with a Ceaser salad and my home baked sourdough bread that will have lots of garlic spread on it and a good Cabernet.

          I wish I could be more percise on the spices measurements but I've been making this same sauce for 20 years and just go by feel. I always cook this quanity because what I don't use for my lasagna I put what's left in freezer bags... 2 cups per bag makes for a good spaghetti lunch. I put it in the freezer and just nuke it in the microwave while the shagetti noodles are cooking.
          Last edited by Breadhead; March 21, 2015, 12:30 AM.

        • richinlbrg
          richinlbrg commented
          Editing a comment
          Great thread and ideas here! Huskee, note the garlic in Wartface's recipe. Depending on your sensitivities, garlic is a natural mosquito repellant! Tasty AND beneficial!

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Wartface, thanks for the recipe. I just open a jar, lol. My wife makes homemade sauce that is better than Prego, she likely does something similar to your recipe here But I'm not sure. To me though, making lasagna is work enough, so I stick to opening jars when I can.

        #8
        great idea! have you ever tried lasagna w/o cooking the noodles first? Thats how we make ours, sometimes I feel like the noodles get mushy and this keeps a firmer texture.

        Comment


        • Henrik
          Henrik commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm with you on this one :-)

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Actually yes, and I found the edges stayed hard for some reason. I probably didnt have enough sauce out to the edges for them to soften. The center noodles were great (I lOVE al dente noodels) but those hard edges were not good. I found par boiling eliminated that.

        #9
        Huskee, great pictures and post. I am going to try this myself. One question, I assume you put the foil in the dish for easy clean up. Does it not get stuck to the bottom of the lasagna? Or little pieces of foil come off when you try cut it and take it out of the dish?

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes and yes. You just have to be careful when scooping the pieces up, it's not uncommon for little rips of foil to flake up and stick to the bottom of the piece. Beware when microwaving. If you don't mind the mess you could easily skip it, but my wife appreciates not having to scrape welded dried sauce out of the pans.

        #10
        Nice. Every summer I make a few batches of Meathead's amped up marinara. I'll put some of that to good use with this.

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          It really gives it a new spin on an old favorite for sure, I think you'll really like it.

        #11
        Thanks, Huskee, what a great post! I just love the "let's cook it on the smoker instead" kind of attitude. Awesome, with the knowledge we all share here i can't really see any difference between the grill and the oven, except for the fact that food cooked on a proper grill/smoker just tastes better. Inspiring!

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Exactly! And thank you Henrik!

        #12
        Drool.................

        Comment


          #13
          Love this. Thanks For sharing Huskee!

          Comment


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            You bet.

          #14
          Glad to know I'm not the only one who does Lasagna outside. I build different, I make my own meat sauce, and add ricotta or cottage cheese (My dad prefers cottage cheese, so if I happen to make it when he's here I use cottage cheese, otherwise I use what I got). Also use fresh pasta sheets usually, or no bake noodles. I do like the idea of trying it with shredded beef.

          Comment


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Cool! Yeah I think a smoked pulled beef lasagna would be something to write home about. My next one will likely be that, but it'll be a while. We don't have this meal often both for cost and calories.

          #15
          What an amazing supper, @Huskee , and one that I'm definitely going to try. Do you think that using smoked marinara, the pulled smoked beef, and smoking the whole shebang would be too much smoke flavor? I'm dying to give that a try.

          Thank you soooo much for the inspiration!

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks fzxdoc . I don't know, it might be a bit much. I think, and this is purely on-a-whim speculation, that if I used smoked pulled beef I wouldn't smoke the sauce. I'd just build it and cook it on the smoker, and try it that way. I am still eating lasagna and I already want to try the pulled beef method!

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Huskee. I always have to reign myself in when I get enthused about trying something new.

            I've never smoked marinara sauce nor cheese, so I don't know how smokey tasting they get. I'll pick up a couple of chuckies the next time I'm at Sam's< smoke them up, and give your lasagna idea a try with some of the leftovers.

            Kathryn

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