Scott Schumaker, president of PacificBasin Communications and interim publisher of Hawaii Home + Remodeling is an avid barbecue hobbiest. He often tempts co-workers by posting images of his culinary feats on his Instagram, @schuboxphoto. We have convinced him to share his secrets this summer with our readers in our Fired Up Friday blog. His grill/smoker of choice is a Big Green Egg which he purchased from POP Marine and Fishing. He also uses a Weber Summit gas grill, especially for rotisserie cooking, which he got at AirGas Gaspro Kapolei.


Sweet. Check. Savory. Check. Crunchy. Check. Smokey. Check, check and double-check.

If you think your grill or smoker is just for meats and veggies, you’re nuts. This Fourth of July, add something different to the smoker — something all-American using California almonds, Texas hot sauce and Hawaiian rock salt. These almonds will explode in your mouth like an illegal aerial firework .

All credit for this wonderful recipe goes to the folks at Yellowbird Sauce, makers of a small-batch, all-natural hot sauce in Austin, Texas, home of some great barbecue. I love these sauces so much I would bathe in them if I had the chance. This recipe uses one of their hotter sauces, Habanero Condiment. They describe this sauce as “a deliciously spicy blend of carrots, habanero peppers, onions, garlic, tangerine juice and lime juice.” It is perfect with almonds and apple wood, which, when married together, go perfectly with beer. Or wine. Or spirits.

Simply follow the recipe at the link above, but, instead of cooking the almonds in an oven, smoke them on your grill over very low coals (or use the indirect cooking method). I put mine on the smoker after all main courses have finished smoking and the coals are starting to wane. Just be sure to check and turn them frequently.

Sure, you could buy smoked almonds in a can, complete with all the chemicals, additives and fake smoked flavor. Or, you could actually care about your friends and family and make these homemade, fresh, all-natural ones. Of course, if your Fourth of July luau features fast-food burgers and chicken in a bucket, then go ahead and get the nuts in a can. But if can, no can please. Fresh smoked nuts are so much better. Check them out.

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