Smoking with Ample Oak ChunksOctober 7, 2018
Dishes imparted with the delicious flavour of smoke has become a culinary trend, hence bags of firewood are the latest décor in barbecue restaurants. Naturally not every wood is “delicious” enough to be used for this ancient cooking method. Fruitwood like apple and pear will infuse a sweet mellow flavour and great to be used for smoking delicate meats such as chicken, turkey and white meat fish.
A lot of gourmet barbecue restaurants in Sydney have turned to using hardwood such as oak and ironbark as their smoking wood base, as it is low in resin and high in flavour and can later be blended with assorted fruitwoods for a more distinct palette of flavours. Oak is a very versatile hardwood, it burns very hotly, is great for blending and lends a strong to medium flavour to the meat which is seldom overpowering. Oak works well with any type of meat but especially red meats and game will benefit from its smoky perfume. People who are new to smoking and have recently purchased a smoker to be used in their own backyard to create succulent ribs and nicely crusted briskets have been seen to make their first smoking meats experience with ample oak chunks.
Our firewood bags come in three cuts: plugs, chunks and logs. Whereas plugs and chunks are often bought by backyard barbecue chefs, logs are used in restaurants to fire large professional grills and smokers for sublime results. The plugs and chunks can be tossed directly on the coals for a light smoke flavour or soaked in water for about an hour to generate more smoke by smouldering rather than burning. If you own a kettle grill and want to enhance the flavour of meat by adding a little smoke to its crust, try out our succulent roasted leg of lamb recipe that will feed 6-8 meat lovers.
Smoked Leg Of Lamb
Ingredients: Half leg of lamb, ca. 1.5kg, deboned, 1Tbsp. coarse sea salt, 1Tbsp. ground coriander, 1 Tbsp. ground cumin, 1Tbsp. chilli powder, 1Tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper, 6 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
Method: Mix the ingredients for the rub, apply to the meat and leave in the fridge overnight. Next day, fire your barbecue with coals on one side, remove the meat from the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. As the coals turn grey, fill a tray with 5cm of water and place it beside the coals. Lay leg of lamb above the coals on the grill and cook for 15 minutes. Put a handful of ample oak chunks on the charcoal, move the meat on the grill above the tray and close it with a lid but vent open to smoke for about 45 minutes. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing it and serve with some Greek yoghurt and chopped mint leaves, roasted potatoes and your favourite vegetables.