Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Smoke-Roasted Pears

Recipe by Steven Raichlen

Photo credit: Richard Dallett

Watch how it was done on Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke:


  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Indirect grilling
  • Equipment: 1 cup wood chips (preferably apple, pear, cherry, or maple), soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover, then drained
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  • 4 large ripe pears, preferably with stems
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs or ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Poire Williams (pear brandy), for serving

Step 1: Slice each pear in half lengthwise, preserving the stem, if possible. Core the pear halves using a melon baller or small spoon. Rub the cut sides with the lemon to prevent browning. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into each cavity.

Step 2: Beat the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Beat in the graham cracker crumbs, lemon zest, spices, rum, and vanilla. Spoon the mixture into the pear cavities.

Step 3: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium.

Step 4: Arrange the filled pear halves in a single layer in the prepared aluminum foil pan. Place the pan in the center of the hot grate away from the heat. If using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips on the coals. Cover the grill and smoke-roast the pears until nicely browned and soft on the sides, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 5: Transfer the pears to a fireproof platter. Gently warm the Poire Williams in a saucepan but do not let it boil. (It should be body temperature warm.) Touch a match to it to set it on fire, then pour the flaming brandy over the pears.

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