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Wings are supposed to be deep fried. Heart attacks are supposed to be avoided. Life is full of conflicts.

How do I satisfy the wing craving without eating myself into an early grave? Obviously if it comes down to a straight choice, it’s a no-brainer, but I feel I should at least try to investigate some healthy options. I can just about tolerate baked wings, having got the sauce recipe perfect, but it’s always there at the back of my mind, this nagging feeling that they just aren’t quite right.

Then I had an idea – could smoked wings be a worthy alternative to the One True Way?

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This is healthy – low fat, low carbs, plenty of fishy goodness and a decent step towards your five a day. It’s tasty but light, so it’s a good option when you can’t face anything too rich. I apologise for including such a thing on this site.

You will need:

  • A bunch of asparagus
  • Tuna steaks (one each)
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Baby leeks (or one grown-up leek)
  • BBQ rub (I recommend Cajun seasoning)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

The recipe is dead easy: stick everything on the gridle.

Griddling tuna

Griddled Tuna

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This is my new toy, a ProQ Excel 20 smoker barbecue. (If you want one, they are made by Mac’s BBQ, and their site has lists of dealers. Of the four UK dealers, the freebies and availability of accessories swung me towards ForFoodSmokers, who were great, but I’m sure the others are lovely too.)

I have used an offset smoker before, but this stacker design is new to me. Just in case it all goes horribly wrong, I’ve invited the in-laws round to act as guinea pigs – they’ll be sympathetic if it ends up with an emergency run to the chippy.

It’s a reasonably complex menu for the first attempt: ribs, chicken, sausages and something for the token vegetarian. That means I’m going to need a Plan.

A portrait of R2D2


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