Flank Steak September 06 2016

Life continues to be more than interesting and I seem to have not been able to find time to write recently.  That being said I always find time to cook.  So here is a little update on my learning curve into the world of smoking.  My big brother found me a lovely smoker and delivered it to my house so I could try moving outdoors over the summer to experiment with various cuts of meat, marinades, rubs, etc.

A good Flank steak is hard to beat any time.  Rubbed up with a blend of various spices and then rolled and tied, it fits nicely onto the smoker and gives you a juicy bite and paired with a nice salad, some sauteed zucchini fresh from the garden, a crusty baguette and a good glass of red wine, it is hard to beat.  I even had time to relax a little in the back yard with a good book, a glass of that red and my trusty side kick, Louie.  Here is how I did it:

1 – Using my new smoker, I found a nice spot away from the house with good air circulation.


2 – I got a nice bed of coals going.  I think it is important to use real wood charcoal which is available almost everywhere these days.  You want to keep the heat on the low side so that your meat is slowly cooked through the smoking process and not flame broiled.

3 – I added my soaked wood chunks above the coals.

4 – I placed a drip pan above the chunks to prevent the fat which will render out of the meat from dripping onto the soaked chips as we want smoke not fire from the chunks.

5 – Time to add the meat.  I rubbed the Flank steak with a blend of spices and let it marinade for several hours before placing it in the smoker.  My recipe follows but use your favorite rub or experiment with different spices till you create your own new favorite.

6 – Relax!  This is going to take several hours if you have the coals nice and low and maintain an environment for perfect smoking.

7 – Bring the meat off the smoker when it hits your desired temperature for your taste.  Let it rest a bit so that the juices return to the center of the meat and don’t run out as soon as you slice in.

8 – Plate it up.  I recommend a nice salad and some fresh veggies sauteed till just cooked.  Pair it with your favorite beverage and a nice bit of bread and it will be fabulous.

9 – Dig in!

I love Bob!  He knows I love to cook and will come up with some great recipes.  He also loves to cook and like myself, he has passed that love onto his son.  We are blessed to have these guys in our lives and we celebrate through our food.  Here is to the Bobs in our lives, especially the ones at Bob’s Smokin Hardwood.

Happy Smokin!

Lori Coates

Lori’s Dry Rub Blend

1 Tsp. Cumin

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

1 Tsp. Paprika

1 Tsp Crushed Rosemary

½ Tsp. Cinnamon

½ Tsp. Salt

¼ Tsp. Ground Pepper

Blend together using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and rub into all surfaces of your meat.  Let the meat absorb the spice blend for several hours or even better, overnight.  

Planking it! July 08 2016

Life over the last couple weeks has been pretty hectic for me.  I've crisscrossed the US dealing with a variety of things.  I have literally been from one coast to the other and between (Seattle, WA, Wichita, KS, and Durham, NC).  

Like so many people, I am coping with family stuff and financial stuff and well, just life in general.  So, when life gets me feeling pressed for time, how do I get to enjoy a nice meal in short order and still feed my inner foodie?  I have discovered Planking It!

Soak some planks for 30 minutes to an hour.

After washing and patting dry chicken breasts or salmon fillets, place them onto the soaked planks and generously season with just salt and pepper.

Turn your oven on quite high (425 degrees) or get your grill good and hot.  Place the planks in the oven or on the grill and close the door or lid and walk away.  In 15-30 minutes depending on the thickness of your meat or fish, you will have a lovely, softly smokey entree.  I paired mine with some quickly sauteed asparagus.  Um!

By the way, I did bring along one of the Bobs of Bob's Smokin' Hardwood to Wichita with me.  After a day of packing our sister up to move to Seattle, we deserved some good chow.

Life is so much more enjoyable when you share it with those you love.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoy your next meal.

Lori Coates

Wrapped up in a neat little package June 22 2016

Being new to the smoking world, I decided to start out gently and build my abilities.  First up is the use of wraps.  This method is so easy and the results are the prettiest little package you can put on a plate.

Start by soaking your wraps in water for 30-60 minutes.

Next, pile on the veggies ( I used sugar snap peas, match stick carrots and slivered sweet onion dressed with a little drizzle of soy sauce, olive oil and a grind of lemon pepper).  


Top the pile of veggies with a nice meat serving (I had a package of baby back ribs that came pre-cooked and slathered in BBQ sauce).  

Fold the wrap up over the food and tie it with a length of cotton cord (included with your wraps).  

Place it into a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes on a shallow backing dish or jelly roll pan.  Alternately you can place it on tin foil with the sides gently folded upward to catch any drippings.  This can also be done directly on a medium heat grill.  Close the lid if you use the grill and sit back and wait.  

All that is left to do is plate it up and watch the eyes of your guests when they see the gorgeous little bundles. But, wait for it, soon you will hear the moans of delight at they dig in.



Lori Coates

Your Newest Blogger on Bob's Smokin' Hardwood! June 18 2016

Hi there!

I am Lori Coates, your newest blogger here at Bob's Smokin' Hardwood.  I am the sister of Bob senior and auntie of Bob junior.  My two Bobs have great products and it will be my pleasure to give you some ideas, tips and tricks and a few recipes for using the products that these guys offer.

I am a foodie from a long line of foodies.  Growing up in Michigan with grandparents and lots of aunts and uncles living on farms, I was treated to the freshest ingredients and learned how to use them to create great meals.  My son once told me that he had no choice but to become a chef since his mom set such a high culinary bar.  That being said, I am new to smoking and will enjoy sharing my foray into this side of food with you.

For the last 16 years I have lived in North Carolina which offers up some of the best pit smoked selections to the culinary world.  Now I am in Seattle and my craving for these smoky delights has been challenged.  It rains a lot here in the northwest so I will not only be exploring outdoor options but options for those of us who do not have the ability to smoke in the more traditional method.  You do not have to have a conventional smoker to still enjoy the wonders of smoking your foods.  

As I begin this learning and sharing experience, please let me know what you like, dislike and if you have questions or ideas for future blogs.  Write to me at  Thanks for visiting my blog and stay tuned for future posts.  I look forward to sharing.

Lori Coates


Why wood quality matters; a great article by Scott Thomas October 14 2015

Hi Folks,

I've been trying to write a good article on wood for smoking and the important details thereof, plus a wood smoke pairing guide for a long time. Before I could manage to finish my own, the folks over at contacted us about a similar article they had recently published by Scott Thomas (the gentleman behind, called "Up in Smoke: All About Smoke Woods for Grilling". They also offered us use of the infographics on our own site to assist interested folks when they are selecting woods for purchase based on intended fare.

Like most of Scott's stuff, it's a great article and helps illustrate why you want the best wood possible when you are preparing food in the presence of wood smoke. We know that it doesn't take much foreign debris to change the flavor of wood smoke, it's literally in the Parts Per Million (PPM) which is an extremely fine measurement by it's very definition. Poor quality wood, wood exposed to various chemicals for preservation or colorizing, hydrocarbon contamination, and poor storage can all contribute to poor quality wood smoke that translates to poor or unhealthy food attributes when you BBQ or smoke.

These are the reasons we work so hard to bring you the highest quality product. We know the history of the wood we produce, we work closely with the growers to ensure the highest possible quality from the time it comes off the tree to the time it lands on your doorstep. We naturally season our wood and then wash it  before we store it in a controlled environment where it awaits your order to be cut. When we produce wood chips, we use the same hand selected wood we bring you in our chunk products, no compromise on the quality of the wood is made whatsoever. We don't add "junk" wood or pallets to our production line, so you can be assured you are getting what you paid for when you order wood chips from us.

I'm hoping to add the infographics to our site next week in a more useful location, but here is the main one from the article for reference below. Go check out Scott's article, it's spot on!

Smoke Wood: Wood and Food Pairing