Tip #23 – Don’t over smoke your food – 30 Days to Better BBQ

A big part of learning the art of smoking your food is learning that there is such a thing as adding too much smoke. Smoke should be treated as another flavour to compliment your meat, it shouldn’t be the star of the show.

Today’s tip is by fellow NI Q’ers Alan and Christine Dale from Chillin n Grillin NI. They share their love of BBQ on their Facebook page and love to help beginners with their questions in a number of groups including Barbechoo, Country Wood Smoke and BBQ Life Ireland. You can also follow their cooks on Twitter and Instagram.

Alan and Christine demonstrate how to cook a variety of different food on their BBQ’s with their next demo at the Bangor Sea Festival, Northern Ireland this Sunday ( 25/06/2017)


Smoking on your BBQ

James asked Alan and I if we had one tip that we would have loved to have known when we started Smoking what would it be. Strange as it would seem we both agreed that it would be don’t over smoke your food.

At the start we were putting a chunk of hickory in every hour for the first 4-5 hours. As a result I always thought I wasn’t a fan of smoked food. However after going to Grillstock Festival and meeting James Brady from Smokewoodshack we discovered we were doing it wrong. We now put in a couple of chunks and that’s it.

We have also discovered that we are a big fan of fruit woods. Apple, has a light, slightly sweet aroma and is nice with pork or chicken. Cherry is mild and fruity and we like it with beef, it also works well as a dust for cold smoking cheese. Oak is lighter than hickory and is great mixed with apple or cherry to give a slightly stronger smoke. We also recently discovered Silver birch which is similar to maple and fairly mild too.

I have attached the link to Smokewood Shack flavours, don’t be afraid to experiment to find the level of smoke that suits you.


Christine and Alan – Chillin N Grillin NI


I like to think of smoke as another seasoning on your food. You wouldn’t dream of adding more rub to your meat periodically through the cook so try to think of smoke in the same way. 30 minutes of smoke is generally enough to get a great smokey flavour but still allow the meat to shine through.

A massive thank you to Alan and Christine for providing such a valuable tip. Remember to say Hi to them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram , I’ve learned a lot from them and their advice has helped me in all area’s of my BBQ cooking


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