No, we don’t mean cannabis. Although as soon as I link this on our Facebook page, I’m sure a bunch of you will make that joke, which is fine. That said, you’re not limited to wood when it comes to going low-and-slow in the backyard.
Photo by Alexander Mils from Pexels
There are other wood-like flavorings to add to the heat source, but we don’t recommend smoking with them for lengthy periods of time because they create smoke that is very intensely flavored. If you like the flavor of coconut
, then smoke or grill fish with a little coconut hull added. Also, grapevines make a tart smoke that can overwhelm poultry or lamb. Use it sparingly. Herbs, such as oregano, sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and basil, used both dried and fresh, can imbue the meat being smoked with their own particular flavor profiles. Since rosemary and sage have woody stems, their thick stems can be used as well as the branches and leaves. As with grapevine, a little herb–in either form–goes a long way.
Yes, I know. The tea smoking mix looks like potpourri. No, you can’t have my man card.
Incidentally, do not burn chile pods to flavor grilled or smoked meat. The pods produce an acrid smoke–so irritating that Native Americans burned huge piles of them in an attempt to use gas warfare against the invading Conquistadors. It didn’t work with the Conquistadors and it won’t work with your Cornish game hen. Apply the chile in the rubs used to flavor the meat, or in the basting sauce, or in the barbecue sauce used to finish it on the table. Or maybe in all of them.
Editor’s Note: Our sister site has a good Smoking 101 story with more information just like this. Click here to check it out.
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Managing Editor | Mark is a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles. He’s our Do-It-Yourself specialist, and happily agrees to try pretty much every twisted project we come up with.