Skip to Main Content

Island Smokehouse a game changer for food

Skip to Next Section

Island Smokehouse a game changer for food

Justin Dietz

As resident food expert, I run the Our family travels around to all of the Cedar Fair amusement parks to have FUN and try all the latest food offerings. Come join us to share a funnel cake sundae and see some of the great food options you may not have known existed.

Planning for the new Island Smokehouse inside Kings Island's Soak City started during the summer of 2016. Chef Nathan Gushulak helped customize the layout of the Island Smokehouse from top to bottom, turning a blank canvas into a masterful piece of art. 

Inside of Island Smokehouse, the park installed custom smokers, grills, and a new state-of-the-art kitchen that can create barbecue masterpieces, and that they did!  

Lets take a look and taste at all of the amazing menu options at Island Smokehouse (by the way a lot of the menu options are also on the dining plans!).

Smoked Chicken Wings

We eat a lot of amusement park food because, well, it is our job at the CPFoodBlog! It is no secret that both Don Helbig (Kings Island Public Relations Area Manager) and I have an affinity for amazing chicken wings, and we take it seriously! It was only within the last year or so that our world was turned upside down (and not from a roller coaster) when we had our first smoked chicken wings instead of the standard fried version (or worse yet, the baked version). 

So we were really excited back in February when Kings Island broke the news of Island Smokehouse coming to the park and that they would introduce guests to a smoked version of chicken wings. 

Kings Island smokes all of their meats for 12 hours to lock in that smokey flavor. One could stop there and make very happy customers. However, Chef Nate takes it one step further and gives the wings a 30 seconds flash-fry before giving them to the guests. This gives the wings the perfect crispy outside with incredibly moist and smokey chicken inside.

We have tried chicken wings at Cedar Fair amusement parks across the country, and think the Island Smokehouse has taken the crown as best! 

While we really enjoyed the chicken wings as is, we also tried them with some of the Island Smokehouse spicy BBQ sauce, and they were incredible! 

Smoked Shredded Pork

Kings Island rubs their pork down with dry rub before smoking for 12 hours and hand shredding. Guests have the option of having the pulled pork alone or in a bun and served with a side. 

Create an enhanced meal with either a sweet BBQ sauce or spicy version. We think the spicy BBQ sauce is fabulous and paired it with the pork for the perfect meal. The pulled pork packs tons of flavor and is an incredible option that appeals to a wide audience.

Hand Breaded Chicken Tenders

We have a weakness when it comes to visiting Kings Island in that 99% of our visits must include some of the Chicken Shack hand breaded chicken tenders. The Chef marinades the chicken in buttermilk, hand tosses them in breading, and frying them golden brown. The Kings Island Chicken Shack tenders are superb! 

So we were very excited to learn guests in Soak City can get the same recipe chicken at Island Smokehouse. Why mess with perfection!?

Hand Breaded Shrimp

One of the new menu items up at Cedar Point this season are breaded butterfly shrimp, which we thought were really good. However, Kings Island hit the ball out of the park with their Island Smokehouse shrimp.

They hand toss the shrimp in breading before frying, giving them a subtle sweet flavor on their own. However, make sure to grab some of the "Boom Boom" sauce from the cooler for dipping, which you will recognize from the Reds Hall of Fame Grill. The final product is a fantastic meal with a great combination of sweet and heat. The shrimp will surely be a regular meal on our All-Season dining plans!

Smoked Brisket

While the brisket will not be a regular menu item at this time, when it is available you will want to make sure you grab some to eat! If you are like us, you might want to choose one of the end slices, loaded with tons of the crispy dry rub that packs a powerful flavor. 

The brisket was really good, featuring a very moist piece of meat with the crispness of the rub. We tried ours as is but you can always add either of the Smokehouse BBQ sauces to the meat.

Side Options

We have gone over the incredible lineup of meat options at Island Smokehouse, but there is more not to be missed menu options. Each meal includes a side and you have the option of purchasing additional. 

Chef Nate has taken care to hand make a variety of sides to suit a wide audience. 

Guests can choose Sidewinder Fries, which are a really good spiced (but not spicy) fry. Or a really good creamy coleslaw that is the same as that served in Reds Hall of Fame Grill. Try mac and cheese or baked beans, both of which are very good, especially when paired with the variety of meats. However, there is one side dish that was absolutely fantastic! 

The corn bread pudding is not only good, it is not only great. It is easily the best corn bread pudding we have ever eaten! Super moist with a nice sweetness from the corn and the crispy top layer of bread is the perfect side option. We could seriously eat a giant serving of the corn bread pudding on its own and go home happy! 

If none of that meets your fancy, the Island Smokehouse also offers a variety of wraps, salads, fresh fruit, parfaits and more. Plus you can grab your favorite Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages. The menu at the new Island Smokehouse is really a game changer when it comes to food at Kings Island! Grab a plate and chill at the Soak City wave pool, because this is going to be the best summer ever! 

If you do not have a Kings Island dining plan, this is the time to do it, because the new Island Smokehouse will be your go to stop each visit.


Share This

Justin Dietz

As resident food expert, I run the Our family travels around to all of the Cedar Fair amusement parks to have FUN and try all the latest food offerings. Come join us to share a funnel cake sundae and see some of the great food options you may not have known existed.

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Soak City Water Park opens for the season on Saturday

Home to exhilarating attractions – Tropical Plunge, towering seven stories and featuring six water slide experiences; Rendezvous Run, which turns you 360 degrees in the dark; Mondo Monsoon, a four-person thrill ride; and our huge wave pool, Tidal Wave Bay – Soak City Water Park is the premier water park in the region.
Read More

Free admission to active military members, veterans Memorial Day weekend

Kings Island is offering free admission to active and retired members of the U.S. military during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The deal is available beginning on Friday through Memorial Day at the 364-acre amusement and water park.
Read More

An epic gender reveal at Kings Island

On a cool evening on April 17, Kelsey Zielinski and her husband Zac waited nervously on International Street, their eyes fixed to the Eiffel Tower. In just a few moments, they would know the gender of their first born child, due in August. The lights on International street danced back and forth between blue and pink, as the anticipation built for the big reveal. And in one moment, the wait was finally over. All 314 feet of the Eiffel Tower lit up solid blue: It was a boy!
Read More

WinterFest an epic holiday experience for families

Imagine an old-fashioned winter…rosy-cheeked skaters gliding under twinkling lights, the magic of dazzling holiday shows and carolers in traditional costumes, shops filled with ornaments, trinkets and toys, the aroma of freshly-baked treats and the spirit of everyone’s favorite season captured in an atmosphere of warmth and nostalgia. A place where memories of holiday’s part are present; a place where memories of holidays now are waiting to be made.
Read More

Roller coaster fans in U.S., Canada to gather at fourth annual Coasterstock

Hundreds of roller coaster enthusiasts are expected to gather at Kings Island to ride roller coasters and share stories of their experiences riding coasters around the world. Friday begins the fourth annual "Coasterstock" event for roller coaster enthusiasts.
Read More

Photoblog: Sweet Spot

As much as we love the outstanding attractions like The Beast, the PEANUTS characters and entertainment that Kings Island has to offer, there’s also all those tempting treats.
Read More

Daily operation begins for 2018 season

Here's a sure sign that summer is just around the corner: Today, Kings Island begins daily operation for the 2018 season. Kings Island will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays through May 24. Operating hours vary for the rest of the summer beginning Memorial Day weekend.
Read More

Planet Snoopy the perfect place for families with young children to spend the day

Many of the rides in Planet Snoopy are designed for children and their parents or grandparents to enjoy together, such as the Character Carousel, Flying Ace Aerial Chase, The Great Pumpkin Coaster, Woodstock Gliders, Snoopy's Space Buggies and Race For Your Life Charlie Brown. If interactive experiences are more your family’s speed, Planet Snoopy hosts meet-and-greet opportunities with your favorite pals from PEANUTS TV shows and comic strips – Snap a picture of your little ones meeting Charlie Brown and Snoopy for the first time.
Read More

Stop by McDonald’s to save $20 off admission to Kings Island

Planning a visit to Kings Island this spring? Stop by a participating McDonald’s in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana from May 7 through June 3 and Score with an Ice Cold Coke. Large soft drink cups have $20 off admission to Kings Island while supplies last.
Read More

Start your day with a ride on Mystic Timbers

No visit to Kings Island is complete without a ride on Mystic Timbers. Voted “Best New Ride” in 2017 by Amusement Today and featuring all of the best elements of a modern day wooden roller coaster, Mystic Timbers is a story-driven attraction that appeals to both thrill-seekers and families. The ride experience is fun, thrilling and memorable (for all guests who meet the minimum height requirement of 48 inches).
Read More