We aren’t going to lie -- we had to dig deep for this one. It’s not for the faint of heart, and we’d even suggest that it’s not necessarily beginner-friendly. But, it’s definitely do-able, and definitely delicious. So, if you’re interested in a weird, Grillaholics-approved take on ice cream, read on…
Now, we would like to take credit for inventing the grilled ice cream idea, but that’s far from the truth. Some particularly illustrious restaurants and chefs have featured grilled or smoked ice cream on menus recently, in one form or another. Their methods typically consist of smoking heavy cream, and then making ice cream from scratch out of that. While this is absolutely a way to achieve a smokey-flavored ice cream, we have an easier method.
Now, before we go any further, we know what you’re thinking… Ice cream melts, and thus it is impossible to grill. Surely, this is a fools’ errand or some kind of practical joke.
The workaround here is brilliant in its simplicity. We’re going to place our ice-cream on a large slab of ice during the grilling process -- more on that later.
So, the next logical question you’ll be asking is why. In addition to just being plain fun, grilling/smoking ice cream lends a unique, campfire-esque flavor that is otherwise impossible to replicate. The cream and sugar in the ice cream will be extremely receptive to the smoke, in a way that’s quite similar to a campfire marshmallow.
Now, with all of that said, let’s get to the fun part.
1 Pt of Ice Cream (Vanilla works best)
2+ Cups of un-soaked wood chips
You can do this either on a traditional charcoal grill, or in a small-sized smoker.
First, though, you’ll need to make your ice slab. To do this, fill a metal mixing bowl 3/4 of the way with water. Be sure to use metal becuase later, it’s going directly on the grill. Freeze the water until solid.
Once the water is frozen solid, empty your ice cream directly onto the ice in the bowl. Return this contraption to the freezer and freeze solid again. (Pro Tip: You can place some wax paper between the layers of frozen ice & ice cream to prevent any water mixing in with your ice cream)
From there, you’ll want to set up your grill for indirect, high heat. Look for a temperature somewhere in the 400-425 degree range.
Once you’ve reached this temperature, go ahead and add your wood chips. The more the better. We need to generate as much smoke as possible, so give the grill a moment. Once you start to see billowing clouds of smoke, pull your bowl of ice and ice cream from the freezer.
Place this bowl directly on the grates, in the middle of the smoke. Allow the smoke to cover your ice cream for between two and four minutes. Any longer and you certainly are risking some melting! (Pro Tip: lighter-colored ice creams come in handy here, because the surface will become bronzed when it’s fully smoked!)
From there, you should plan on serving the ice cream immediately. If it is returned to the freezer, very un-tasty, crunchy ice crystals will likely form on the exterior.
And just like that, you’ve done the impossible!