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A Wedge Salad is the Perfect Side for Smoked Meat

There are a lot of different smoked meat sides you can serve, but few come close to the wedge salad. When I first started using my Traeger I spent a lot of time focusing on the main course and didn’t pay much attention to the side dishes. Over time, I’ve come to realize that the sides are almost as important as the main dish. In this post, I’ll share with you the best way to make a wedge salad that is the perfect compliment to any smoked meat main course.

wedge salad

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A Good Wedge Salad Takes Time


There are quite a few steps necessary to make the perfect wedge salad.

Before we get into the steps and techniques I use to make the perfect wedge, it’s important for you to remember this one tip: a perfect wedge salad is served as cold as possible.

The best wedge salad is served cold.

In total, it took me about two hours to get all of the ingredients prepped and ready to make this wedge salad, plan accordingly. There’s going to be a lot of sliving and dicing, so make sure your knives are sharp, and you have some extra room in your refrigerator.

Smoked Bacon

The first ingredient to prep for a delicious wedge salad is the bacon. Don’t even think about cooking the bacon in a skillet. The perfect wedge salad has bacon that is cooked on your smoker. I like to cook my bacon at 225 for about 40 minutes, and then crank the heat up to 350 and cook for an additional 30 minutes. This gives the bacon a little extra smoke flavor. When the bacon is done cooking pull it off the smoker, and let it cool. Once the bacon is cool cut each piece into small pieces. Put the diced bacon into a bowl, and place into the refrigerator.

How to Get Lettuce Extra Cold for the Wedge

After you put the bacon on the smoker you’ll have some time to slice and dice. The first ingredient to cut will be the lettuce. Take a whole head, and cut it into 4 equal wedges.

Then, wet 4 pieces of paper towel. Wrap each of the individual wedges with the wet towel, and then put them in a large ziplock bag. Put the ziplock in the refrigerator. The wet paper towel will help crisp up the lettuce and make it super cold.

Crisp Wedge Salad Tomatoes

I use cherry tomatoes for my wedge salad, but you can use one whole large tomato instead if you’d like. With the cherry tomatoes, I just cut each one in half. After all of the tomatoes are cut, put them in a small strainer over a bowl, and sprinkle salt on them.The salt will help crisp up the tomatoes. After you’ve salted the tomatoes, put them in the refrigerator.

Pickled Red Onions

The next ingredient to dice is one small whole red onion. Place the diced onion in a small bowl, and add a 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. This will pickle the red onions, and help them get extra cold (see a trend here?) Place the bowl in the fridge.

So far we have our Lettuce Wedges, Bacon, Tomato, and Red Onion prepped. You’ll want all four of these ingredients to chill in the refrigerator for at least in an hour to get nice and cold.

Chives and Blue Cheese Crumbles

The last two ingredients I like to include in my wedge salad, are chives, and blue cheese crumbles. It doesn’t take much to prep either one.

Building the Perfect Wedge Salad

After your wedge salad ingredients have spent an hour in the refrigerator, it’s time to build your wedge. This is a straightforward process. Put one wedge of lettuce on a plate. Sprinkle bacon crumbles, tomato, red onion, blue cheese crumbles, and chives over the wedge. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over top, and enjoy!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how I make a wedge salad. It’s a common salad, that can really become extraordinary if you follow the steps I outlined above. Do you have any additional wedge salad advice? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

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wedge salad

Smoked Bacon Wedge Salad

There are a lot of different smoked meat sides you can serve, but few come close to the wedge salad. When I first started using my Traeger I spent a lot of time focusing on the main course and didn't pay much attention to the side dishes. Over time, I've come to realize that the sides are almost as important as the main dish. In this post, I'll share with you the best way to make a wedge salad that is the perfect compliment to any smoked meat main course.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4
Calories 300 kcal
Author Nick

Ingredients

  • 1 head Lettuce
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp chives
  • 4 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. The first ingredient to prep for a delicious wedge salad is the bacon. Don't even think about cooking the bacon in a skillet. The perfect wedge salad has bacon that is cooked on your smoker. Cook the bacon at 225 for about 40 minutes. Crank the heat up to 350 and cook for an additional 30 minutes. This gives the bacon a little extra smoke flavor.

  2.  When the bacon is done cooking pull it off the smoker, and let it cool. Once the bacon is cool cut each piece into small pieces. Put the diced bacon into a bowl, and place into the refrigerator.

  3. After you put the bacon on the smoker you'll have some time to slice and dice. The first ingredient to cut will be the head of lettuce. Take a whole head, and cut it into 4 equal wedges.

  4. Wet 4 pieces of paper towel. Wrap each of the individual lettuce wedges with the wet towel, and then put them in a large ziplock bag. Put the ziplock in the refrigerator. The wet paper towel will help crisp up the lettuce and make it super cold.

  5. I use cherry tomatoes for my wedge salad, but you can use one whole large tomato instead if you'd like. With the cherry tomatoes, I just cut each one in half. After all of the tomatoes are cut, put them in a small strainer over a bowl, and sprinkle salt on them.The salt will help crisp up the tomatoes. After you've salted the tomatoes, put them in the refrigerator.
  6. Place the diced onion in a small bowl, and add a 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. This will pickle the red onions, and help them get extra cold (see a trend here?) Place the bowl in the fridge.

  7. So far we have our Lettuce Wedges, Bacon, Tomato, and Red Onion prepped. You'll want all four of these ingredients to chill in the refrigerator for at least in an hour to get nice and cold.
  8. The last two ingredients I like to include in my wedge salad, are chives, and blue cheese crumbles. It doesn't take much to prep either one.
  9. After your wedge salad ingredients have spent an hour in the refrigerator, it's time to build your wedge. This is a straightforward process. Put one wedge of lettuce on a plate. Sprinkle bacon crumbles, tomato, red onion, blue cheese crumbles, and chives over the wedge. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over top, and enjoy!