Smokin’ Outside BBQ From Chef Scott Ouellete
Chef Scott Ouellete of O Steaks and Seafood and Canoe now offers smoked specialties with Smokin' Outside
Entering Center Harbor on Rte. 25 any Sunday morning this spring, it will be hard to miss the heady aroma emanating from the Canoe Restaurant parking lot. Chef Scott Ouellete will be presiding over Smokin’ Outside, a new venture that he started last fall. Chef Scott began offering Sunday smoked specials outside, served from his giant black smoker; diners could either eat them inside the restaurant or take them home.
The menu features St. Louis barbecue ribs, either a full rack ($22) or half rack ($14), as well as half a smoked chicken ($12) or a combination plate of a quarter smoked chicken and quarter rack of ribs ($16). BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12) is also on the menu, and occasionally brisket or sausages. Chef Scott is also smoking pastrami. Crisp fries and crunchy slaw accompany all the smoked meats, on in-house or take-home orders.
Ouellette got the idea of smoking outside from a trip to Europe, where he witnessed the porchetta trucks in Italy, and the carts selling smoked and roasted meats in France. In Europe, the meat trucks and carts follow the local outdoor or farmers markets from town to town, depending on market day. In Italy, porchetta is featured at most every market. A whole pig, stuffed with an herb mixture of sage and rosemary, is spit-roasted for many hours, then placed on a truck similar to our hot dog vendors or street food truck, and sold, cut to order, and served on a crusty roll or sliced and sold by the kilo for the customer to take home.
In France, Ouellette observed, the trucks were next to the bakeries, rolls or bread purchased there, then on to the meat truck for the filling, for pork or other charcuterie.
Ouellette had the impressive-looking smoker built in Georgia and hauled up to New Hampshire. The fuel for the smoker is hardwood and the choice of wood depends on what is being smoked. He hopes to resume Smokin' Sundays in April or May, weather permitting.
Magic Foods, his catering company, also offers Smokin’ Outside on- and off-premise catering.