A smoked bacon cheeseburger “fatty,” may look like a funky bacon-woven beef Wellington, but it’s easy to put together and customize, using ground beef and fillings. (Photo courtesy Danny Morris)

The cherished summer tradition of outdoor cooking holds even more succulent surprises in store for smoker devotees and those intrigued to experiment.
The concept of cooking turkey in a smoker, once considered quirky, became a revelation to culinary adventurers willing to try it, eventually consuming mainstream sticklers and transforming the star of Thanksgiving.
Along with melt off the bone, juicy main course entrees, it turns out to be surprisingly simple to upgrade almost any menu item – from condiments to cocktails – by adding a touch of subtly savory smoky flavor.
For Danny Morris, creating unexpected smoker delights started as an occupational imperative.
President of Aqua Pools and Spas of Easton, Morris also oversees the company’s related AquaBBQ enterprise, offering cutting edge Traeger and Primo brands of outdoor cooking chambers combining grill and smoker. (They also provide Primo parts service nationwide.)
While the Traeger equipment came with a full menu of suggestions from the company’s culinary team, Primo’s offerings were a bit leaner.
To help introduce customers to the line’s creative possibilities, Morris wrote blog posts featuring an array of items pleasing to the Eastern Shore palate in particular.
Though not a wide-ranging smoker chef up until then, Morris said he enjoyed coming up with recipes to share with others and the tweaks readers have shared back.
Listed by category, Morris’ recipes cover the basics, from beef and spare ribs to brisket and chicken dishes, branching out with popular innovations including meatballs, duck pastrami, smoked scrapple, plus smoked pork belly pleasures such as burnt ends and homemade bacon.
Besides being crowd pleasing, scrapple and beef ribs offer simpler prep, with no brining or trimming involved.
Everyday favorites like meatballs and wings can be “elevated” with customized brines, sauces, rubs, and, of course, “a kiss of smoke.”
For a change from the same old bacon cheeseburger, Morris decided to try an internet idea that caught his attention: a smoked bacon cheeseburger “fatty,” which at first glance resembles a funky bacon woven beef Wellington. Despite the dressed-up presentation, it’s also easy to put together and customize, using ground beef and fillings.
For those familiar with smoking ribs, Morris calls smoked pork belly “a bucket list” that, if tried at least once, is sure to become a staple.
You can quarter or leave whole, but the quickest cook time comes from cutting into 2-inch by 6-inch pieces (which also offers the most area covered in tasty rub and sauce, he suggested.
Overnight brining is enhanced by a rub application, and the glaze provides a sweet finishing touch.
Once you find a local source for pork belly, prepping a curing spice to cover refrigerated for about a week prior to smoking, is a relatively simple taste sensation well worth the wait, he added.
For Morris’ blog posts and additional recipes, visit www.AquaBBQ.com.