Grills and bbq’s are great and all, but what can they do with butter, cheesecake, cocktails, and even ice cream. If you are looking to get more creative this summer with your meats and practically anything you can think of, you may want to look toward one of cooking's newest trends, smoking.

Although smoking is an ancient and coveted way of cooking, it has only recently become viable for home cooks across the nation. In order to smoke foods, you would need a big rig and lots of wood to achieve the desired flavors. Smaller and affordable smokers now allow anybody to smoke foods to their hearts content.

“I say that smoking is the new grilling. For the last two decades we have become experts in grilling and now people are hungering for smoking, it is kind of the next frontier,” said Steve Raichlen on Boston Public Radio Tuesday. Raichlen has written multiple cookbooks and is the host Primal Grill. His most recent show and book, Project Smoke explores the new frontier of smoking.

“Smoke is the umami of barbecue,” said Raichlen. “Smoke adds a fantastic flavor,  great complexity; think about icons of American bbq like ribs, pork shoulder, texas brisket, all of those are smoked.”

Instead of cooking directly over the fire like when you grill, smoking uses the smoke from wood to cook and flavor your food. “Unlike smoking, grilling is a high heat method. You cook directly over the fire, it’s well suited for quick cooking food like steak, chicken, and fish fillets. Smoking on the other hand, in general, is a low heat method, done for a long time, very gentle heat, and the essence, of course, is wood smoke,” said Raichlen.

In Project Smoke, Raichlen outlines 28 foods you thought you could never smoke including, smoked butter, smoked sugar, smoked mayonnaise, and a smoked Bloody Mary called a smokey Mary. One of Raichlen’s biggest surprises was how delicious smoked ice cream turn out.

“It’s like that moment in the Wizard of Oz when it goes from black and white to color,”  Raichlen said about tasting smoked ice cream. “This is the most amazing ice cream I've ever tasted because it has this veneer of wood smoke,” he said.

Smoking foods creates new flavors and tastes that can change the way think of cooking meat, says Raichlen. “When you smoke it, you add a layer of complexity. You are somehow bringing a different light to shine on the meat that brings out all kinds of flavor and nuances you don’t get when you just roast it,” Raichlen said.