smoke2

If you’re trying to sell your house, apparently the smell of baking bread or freshly-brewed coffee is a help.

Curry and fry-ups are a no-no though!

I think that one of the nicest aromas in a house is wood-smoke.

For years I’ve looked at various ways to smoke my own food, but I’d never tried it until recently, and now I’m hooked!

smokeThere are many different types and prices of smokers on the market, and you can even get barbecues with a smoker attached.

But it’s easy to smoke food on the cooker. This is how I do it.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you where you can find sawdust.

Oh, alright then! Ask a neighbour who saws his own logs. Or go to a local sawmill. They’d be glad to give you a bag or two of sawdust.

smoke3Line a wok with two layers of foil crossways, allowing plenty of length to cover your food.

Place a handful of sawdust on the foil.

You can add different flavourings, mixed in with the sawdust, like a sprig of rosemary or a teabag of jasmine tea, opened and emptied onto the sawdust.

Place a rack of some sort on top of the sawdust. You could use a cake rack. I use a layer of my steamer.

Make sure that it’s not resting directly on the sawdust. There should be a slight gap between the sawdust and the food, or it will get slightly tarred and burnt.

smoking 039 (Small)The first thing I smoked was a pheasant that we’d been given, so it didn’t really matter if it went wrong. But it didn’t!

Marinate the meat for several hours with a dryish marinade.

You can use salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and herbs.

Experiment and taste it.

Mix the ingredients together and rub it over the meat.

Leave to stand for several hours or overnight.

Rub off most of the marinade so it doesn’t drip onto the sawdust.

smoking 041 (Small)If you don’t want to marinate the meat, you should rub it all over with salt and leave to stand for at least half an hour as the salt stops bacteria forming while the meat is being smoked.

Stand the meat on the rack and wrap the foil over it.

At this stage, I sometimes tuck in a couple of peeled hard-boiled eggs and a head of garlic.

Smoked eggs are delicious in a sandwich or a salad.

You can squeeze the smoked garlic into dishes as it turns into a paste. It adds a delicious smoky flavour.

smoking 042 (Small)Place a lid on top of the tinfoil.

I use an upside-down frying-pan as it’s the right size.

Turn the cooker ring on to a medium heat, and smoke the food for about half an hour-40 minutes.

If you like your meat well-done or you’re not sure if it’s completely cooked, wrap it in foil and roast it in the oven for another 20-30 minutes.

The smell of wood-smoke will linger in your kitchen for about 24 hours. Lovely!

We had smoked pheasant for dinner, then I boiled the carcass for several hours. I let it cool and then stripped off the meat.

I made a pheasant stew by adding a chopped onion, a couple of chopped potatoes, a handful of lentils, a chopped carrot, a couple of mushrooms and some herbs. Then I cooked it for about an hour.

smoked hard-boiled eggs & garlic

smoked hard-boiled eggs & garlic

I could have thickened it and served it in a pie.

The smoky flavour was still noticeable and it gave the dish a distinctive taste.

Do give it a try. You can smoke almost anything. Make your own smoked salmon, or smoke some cheese.

It’s quite easy to smoke food on the barbecue.

Add some sawdust and some herbs if you like to the hot charcoal, and shut the barbecue’s lid.

It’s easy to do and your guests will think you’re a brilliant chef!