Smoked Cherry Jam

In July of this year, my husband and I had the pleasure of experiencing a bit of Montana. It’s been on our travel bucket list for years, specifically Glacier National Park, which did not disappoint.

Our home base was the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, and we had a few outstanding meals at their restaurant. To start off our last meal before flying home, we ordered a charcuterie and cheese platter. There was elk sausage, prosciutto, artisan cheeses, pickled vegetables, pears and more, but what really got my attention was a cherry jam of sorts, pictured here on the Montana-shaped board. It looked like perhaps it was made with dried cherries.

On the menu it was referred to as a chutney, made with Montana’s famous Flathead cherries. But it was not savory enough to be a chutney in my book. The cherries were soft, in a not-very-sweet syrup, and had a smoky punch that really took me by surprise.

I knew when I got home I’d try to replicate this condiment. I decided to use my stove-top smoker and seriously smoke fresh cherries.

It worked really well. Here is the jam paired with goat cheese on a cracker.

Smoked Cherry Jam

1 pound cherries, firm and unblemished
2 tablespoons cherry wood, pulverized
16 ounces cherry or pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Pinch of salt

Rinse the cherries, and dry them. De-stem and pit the cherries.

Prepare a stove-top grill and use cherry wood.

Place the pitted cherries in the grill, start up the heat, and when you see smoke, cover the grill and lower the heat. You’re not trying to cook the cherries, just add smoke flavor to them.

The cherries smoked for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees; I used a convection setting. I just wanted to dehydrate the cherries a bit. It took 2 hours.

Meanwhile, add the juice and sugar to a pot large enough to hold the cherries. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and reduce the mixture until syrupy. Depending on the juice, you might have to adjust the amount of sugar. I wanted a syrup consistency, but not a super-sweet syrup.

Let the syrup cool slightly, then add the lemon juice, chipotle powder, and salt. Stir well, then stir in the smoked and somewhat dehydrated cherries.

I paired the condiment with goat cheese, brie, apples, fresh cherries, and rosemary crackers.

The jam was delicious with brie.

The smokiness was spot on. I just love this jam!

I can really see the jam being paired with roast pork or turkey. It would be fabulous with duck or brisket.

The pairing possibilities are endless, really. It takes a little work to make this jam, but so worth it!

By Published On: August 26th, 202062 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

62 Comments

  1. sallybr August 26, 2020 at 8:07 AM - Reply

    Just showed this to hubby, the Smoker Man Extraordinaire (I just gave him this title)
    this sounds scrumptious!

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      Oh, it truly was amazing. It was even better than what i had at the restaurant.

  2. Healthy World Cuisine August 26, 2020 at 9:05 AM - Reply

    Mimi, your smoked cherry jam looks amazing. Thanks for those step by step photos as that is really helpful. Need to get a batch of cherries before the season is over and try your recipe. Stay well and take care

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 11:07 AM - Reply

      Thanks! It really was amazing, to be truthful. It’s sort of a cross between a jam and a barbecue sauce.

  3. Jeff the Chef August 26, 2020 at 9:25 AM - Reply

    That charcuterie board looks fantastic. I can only imagine how delicious the cherries must be. This is the first I’ve heard of smoking them!

    • chef mimi August 29, 2020 at 10:39 AM - Reply

      I know, I’ve tasted anything like this before, unless it was more of a barbecue sauce made with cherries. It’s outstanding!

  4. kitchenriffs August 26, 2020 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    Wow! Smoked cherries? Who knew! Love the idea of this jam — sounds wonderful. Thanks!

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 11:06 AM - Reply

      It was really amazing, I have to say. It didn’t look like what we got at the restaurant, but the taste was very similar.

  5. cookingwithauntjuju.com August 26, 2020 at 10:41 AM - Reply

    I use to make a lot of jams but never smoked the fruit – what a great idea!

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 11:07 AM - Reply

      I’m going to start smoking more fruits now! The flavor was incredible.

      • cookingwithauntjuju.com August 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM

        I don’t have a smoker any more but I wonder if you could get about the same smoky flavor by adding chipotle peppers – that might make it too spicy!

      • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 11:42 AM

        I use my stove top smoker a lot. Have you looked into one of those? Cameron’s, about $50.00. You could try adding chipotle, but you’re right, it gets pretty spicy. This jam was seriously smoky, not just spicy.

  6. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats August 26, 2020 at 11:05 AM - Reply

    This must be so delicious, especially when paired with ripe Brie.
    Your post reminded me of a smoked tomato sauce I used to make years ago. Need to make it again soon! :)

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 11:08 AM - Reply

      Oooh, well that sounds wonderful. This came out so well, even though I’m pretty sure what I had was made with dried cherries. But the “jam” was really soft, and to me no matter what you do to hydrate dried cherries they’re always dried cherries!

      • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats August 26, 2020 at 11:16 AM

        No doubt using fresh works better for any jam.
        The sauce was indeed amazing. I need to buy some wood chips and try to remake it.

      • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 11:17 AM

        Please do a post on it!

      • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats August 26, 2020 at 5:49 PM

        Will do! :)

  7. The Parmigiana Whisperer August 26, 2020 at 3:47 PM - Reply

    such an interesting recipe, I am definitely going to try it!

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 3:58 PM - Reply

      thanks! I was really happy with the results!

  8. Mary August 26, 2020 at 3:51 PM - Reply

    What a lovely condiment!
    You smoked fresh cherries and then dried them in the oven. I wonder if it would produce the same or similar results if one smoked dried cherries instead of fresh. The chance of me getting fresh cherries at present is nil and I would love to give this a try. I will get some dried cherries next time I’m shopping. Sounds wonderful!
    Thanks Mimi :))

    • chef mimi August 26, 2020 at 3:57 PM - Reply

      I truly don’t know. Perhaps if you hydrate them first, and then smoke them? It’s worth a try!

  9. sherry August 26, 2020 at 9:22 PM - Reply

    this sounds fascinating. i love cherries and i love smoked foods. Yum. just curious about you going to montana? so there are no travel restrictions over there? We can pretty much only travel in our own State atm.

    • chef mimi August 27, 2020 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      There were restrictions within the hotel and restaurants, but where we traveled to in Montana, like Glacier National Park, we saw very few people. One day on a hike we saw 2 people. What I didn’t like was flying – they packed us in like sardines, which isn’t what they’ve been advertising. But we’re happy we went, because it’s been on our travel bucket list for so long.

  10. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 26, 2020 at 10:58 PM - Reply

    I love cherries so I know I would love this. Travel safely when you go away next.

    • chef mimi August 27, 2020 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      We’re not going anywhere for a long time, most likely. This Montana trip was a private, customized trip, which was supposed to include daughter and boyfriend, now husband. They got trapped in England, which isn’t a terrible place to be trapped!

  11. 2pots2cook August 27, 2020 at 4:41 AM - Reply

    Never smoked cherries before but will definitely do ! Thank you Mimi for this lovely idea !

    • chef mimi August 27, 2020 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      You’re so welcome. It was such a fabulous combination with the cheeses.

  12. David @ Spiced August 27, 2020 at 6:15 AM - Reply

    You had me at smoked! You know that I love to smoke anything and everything, but I don’t think I’ve ever smoked cherries. I’ll have to try this out…and over goat cheese? Yum!!

    • chef mimi August 27, 2020 at 7:13 AM - Reply

      Yeah, it was really really good. I wish I’d made a larger batch.

  13. annie@ciaochowbambina August 27, 2020 at 10:44 AM - Reply

    WoW! This looks amazing, Mimi! My hubby loves smokey flavors – he’ll go crazy for this!

    • chef mimi August 27, 2020 at 2:29 PM - Reply

      I seriously want to make it for our thanksgiving turkey!

  14. Liz August 27, 2020 at 6:01 PM - Reply

    That photo of the brie topped with this jam has my mouth watering! What a magnificent combo!

    • chef mimi August 28, 2020 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      It really was. I’m definitely making it again for Thanksgiving, instead of cranberry sauce!

  15. sippitysup August 27, 2020 at 7:00 PM - Reply

    This sounds remarkable. GREG

    • chef mimi August 28, 2020 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Greg. It was definitely outstanding.

  16. dawnyucuiscooking August 27, 2020 at 8:23 PM - Reply

    This recipes sounds wonderful!!

    • chef mimi August 28, 2020 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      It truly was wonderful!

  17. Fran @ G'day Souffle' August 28, 2020 at 9:27 PM - Reply

    YES! The combination of the smoked cherries and goat’s cheese looks fabulous! I suppose one could also take the easy route and use one of those machines with a tube that transfers smoke into a bowl containing your ingredients (shh, don;t tell anyone I said that)!

    • chef mimi August 29, 2020 at 7:22 AM - Reply

      I was given one of those, but never used it! I don’t remember why… but this worked really well. And when I use my stove-top smoker, the house smells really good!

  18. David Scott Allen August 29, 2020 at 11:39 AM - Reply

    Saw this on social media and was very excited. I am so embarrassed to say that I have yet to get out my new smoker. It was a Christmas gift, for Pete’s sake. Am I afraid? I just don’t know. I need to man up and do something about this.

    • chef mimi August 29, 2020 at 12:01 PM - Reply

      My god man. You’re like my husband. I gave him a drone for Christmas and he’s still never gotten it out of the box. Smoke some salmon!!!!

  19. Lauren - BasicGinger.com August 29, 2020 at 3:47 PM - Reply

    This sounds sooo good! I received a counter-top “smoke infuser” for Christmas last year. It works great for smoky cocktails but in truth that’s all I’ve used it on. I think it might work for this recipe too, bookmarking to try! I love cherry jams and the smoky touch sounds divine!

    Also, Whitefish, Montana is on my bucket list. I’m so jealous you got to vacation there! So gorgeous!! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • chef mimi August 29, 2020 at 5:03 PM - Reply

      Well, we’re 64, so we waited a heck of a long time! You definitely need to go! The cherry jam is almost like a cherry barbecue sauce, but not really.

  20. gloria Roa Baker August 29, 2020 at 6:30 PM - Reply

    Mimi what delicious and beautiful Cherry jam !! love it! xo

    • chef mimi September 5, 2020 at 12:00 PM - Reply

      Thank you! The smokiness really is interesting!

  21. Karen (Back Road Journal) August 30, 2020 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    You have all the best kitchen gadgets Mimi. This recipe alone makes me want to buy one.

    • chef mimi August 30, 2020 at 5:57 PM - Reply

      They really do come in handy! I especially love to hot smoke salmon with it. Obviously, it works for fruit!

  22. Shannon August 31, 2020 at 2:32 PM - Reply

    You are blowing my mind in so many ways!!! First, s stovetop smoker???? That’s AMAZING, and I need to get one! And second, smoked cherries. WOW, that just sounds absolutely delicious. I’m a lifelong lover of cherries, yet I’ve never had them smoked. Your jam sounds absolutely addicting Mimi, I need to make this! (And what an amazing vacation in Montana, sounds a beautiful and delicious trip!)

    • chef mimi August 31, 2020 at 2:42 PM - Reply

      It was a perfect trip, and we stayed healthy which is good. I have had this smoker for so many years and it’s really handy. I use it mostly for hot-smoking salmon. This jam is really incredible, I hope you make it!

  23. Ron September 1, 2020 at 5:25 AM - Reply

    Mimi, in my previous working life, I travel to Whitefish often and always visited Glacier if it was open. The “going to the sun” road is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. Speaking of spectacular, those smoked cherries look fantastic. I will be trying this come our next cherry season…

    • chef mimi September 1, 2020 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      We’ve been waiting to visit Montana for years, and it felt a little risky during the pandemic. But mostly we were in the wilderness, especially on hikes. Such a beautiful place. And I’m so glad i had that jam! Mine looked different, but tasted very similar.

  24. Molly Pisula September 1, 2020 at 8:09 AM - Reply

    This looks fantastic! Love the idea of smoking your cherries! I bet this was out of this world when paired with Brie on a cracker!

    • chef mimi September 1, 2020 at 8:12 AM - Reply

      Exactly. I’m trying to find some now to hopefully make and freeze to serve with our thanksgiving turkey. I think that would be a lovely combination! But i might have waited too long.

  25. Laura September 1, 2020 at 1:42 PM - Reply

    Mimi, I’m so impressed by this! I’ve never even considered smoking a fruit. But I am such a cherry fan! These sound truly amazing! Love your serving suggestion too!!

    • chef mimi September 1, 2020 at 3:22 PM - Reply

      Thanks! I’m so happy that i was able to try that jam, or chutney as they called it 😳. It was fun recreating!

  26. cookingontheweekends September 3, 2020 at 12:54 AM - Reply

    The smoky flavor with the cherries is brilliant. I would love this with so many things. Looks amazing on the cheese! :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi September 3, 2020 at 6:38 AM - Reply

      It turned out so well. I’m still not sure if what I had at the restaurant were dried cherries originally, but what I did worked out well so I’ll stick with it. I’m awaiting a shipment of cherries so I can make more and freeze. I think it would be fantastic with the thanksgiving turkey!

  27. neil@neilshealthymeals.com September 6, 2020 at 2:29 AM - Reply

    Your holiday in July sounds amazing Mimi. I’m jealous! We’re not sure when we will be able to fly again here in the UK at the moment due to the quarantine rule. Anyway this smoked cherry jam looks amazing. I’ve never smoked cherries before. Another thing to add to the list of “must tries”. Ha ha! Hope you are well!

    • chef mimi September 6, 2020 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      I would never have thought of smoking any kind of fruit. Now I want to smoke apples! We were hesitant about taking our vacation. The flights were all full, which isn’t what they claim about seating people.

  28. StefanGourmet September 6, 2020 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    Wow, what an intriguing condiment! I love smoky flavors and I loved that you used cherry wood chips to smoke the cherries. It could be nice to catch the drippings from the cherries as they smoke. I think cherries are out of season already here, but if I still see cherries, I’ll have to try this.

    • chef mimi September 6, 2020 at 10:52 AM - Reply

      There were really no drippings to speak of. Just smoke in the stove-top smoker. And then i dehydrated them a bit so they were less watery. It was a great experiment. I just made the jam again yesterday, but I used hickory. Amazon helped me find cherries! I want to serve the jam at Thanksgiving!

  29. jenniferguerrero1 September 7, 2020 at 6:42 PM - Reply

    This is a great idea! I’m going to share a link in the smoking group I love!

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