Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Smoked Ice Cream with Rum Raisin Sauce

Recipe adapted from Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke

Photo credit: Richard Dallett

Ice cream may seem like the last food you’d smoke, but wood smoke gives it a haunting quality. Sure, you could smoke the cream and churn the ice cream from scratch, but there’s a far easier way to do it: Use a charcoal grill or smoker. Or use a handheld smoking device, like a Smoking Gun or Aladin, to smoke your favorite premium commercial ice cream.


  • Yield: Makes 1 quart
  • Method: On a grill, in a smoker, or with a handheld smoker
  • Equipment: Wood chips (unsoaked)—enough for 5 minutes of smoking, or hardwood sawdust of choice—enough for 15 minutes of smoking
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  • 1 quart best-quality ice cream (vanilla or your favorite flavor), slightly softened
  • Rum Raisin Sauce

Step 1: Place the ice cream in a shallow bowl over a large flameproof bowl of ice. Keep this in the freezer until you’re ready to smoke the ice cream.

Step 2: On a charcoal grill: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400°F). Place the ice cream over its bowl of ice on the grill. Add 2 cups unsoaked wood chips to the mounds of embers. Cover the grill and smoke until you see a light patina of smoke on the ice cream, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the ice cream over with a spatula and smoke the other side the same way. Remove the ice cream from the grill. If it melted too much, refreeze it.

In a smoker: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the ice cream over its bowl of ice in the smoker. Add the unsoaked wood chips to the fire. Smoke as described previously. You may need a bit longer to put a patina of smoke on the ice cream.

With a handheld smoker: Place the ice cream in a large glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, leaving one edge open. Place the bowl over a pan of ice. Fill and light the smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Insert the tube of the smoker, fill the bowl with smoke, withdraw the tube, and tightly cover the bowl with the plastic wrap. Let infuse for 5 minutes. Repeat once or twice more, until the ice cream is as smoky as you like. If the ice cream starts to melt, refreeze it.

Tips:

If using a charcoal grill or smoker, you want to add a lot of dry chips to the fire to generate dense smoke quickly before the ice cream melts. (Chips start smoking faster than chunks or logs and dry chips start smoking faster then wet chips.)

Serve with Rum Raisin Sauce.

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