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Herbs suitable for smoking?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by walterwhite, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    My daughter-in-law mentioned a recent Rachel Ray article that suggested placing herbs directly on the coals instead of applying to meat. I haven't seen the article, but a web search did locate recommendations for putting Rosemary directly on the coals.

    Does anyone here do that? Are there other herbs suitable for use that way?


  2. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've done that when grilling beef, but that is not smoking, I cannot say anything about using other herbs in that manner.It's all good my friend.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well you got the answer from the master herb man with Rich. You can use them for the grill like richs says for very short time like for some steaks or something like that. You can't use them in a smoker cause you would be replacing them all the time and you nevr be able to shut the door. Now you can pierce the meat with a knife and stuff some fresh herbs into the meat that way. Now I have done that with a prime rib roast before and it works well to.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I also use rosemary for grilling but not for smoking - I just lay the rosemary on the grill and put the steak or chicken on top and it gives off a nice flavor for my tastes - some think it is too strong
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I know of a couple of herbs that are great for smoking ,But we can't talk about them here. LOL
  6. Hello Walt

    I'm new here and your post caught my attention because I use them in combo smoking with woods.

    My personal preference is a "smoke pouch" consisting of equal parts basmati rice and brown sugar, shallots and an herb mixture I get (shallots, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander, lemon peel, black pepper, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed and orange).

    I've used this on about everything for bbq smoking mainly pork and pork ribs, chicken, turkey and beef.  Typically, I use about 3/4 cup each the rice and sugar and about 3/4 tablespoon of herbs sometimes more or less depending on quantity of meat. I will add an additional shallot clove to the smoking pouch as some directly on the fire. I have even put a couple two or three inch pieces of corn cob in there from time to time for pork. And (cloves) too  but just a touch for a hint of flavor. 

    This method originated in Asian smoking using dry teas instead of herbs. When I first experimented with this I found that the pouch directly on the grate above the fire was too hot. So, I now put it atop a small smoke box that's sitting on the grill grate to prevent it from getting to terribly heated.  You can also adjust your coals in this way so the pouch is stituated where it's getting adequate heat without scorching.

    *If you're cooking/smoking for longer periods of time, make sure to remove the herb pack prior to the mix becomming very charred.  A little bit around the edges is ok but if it all of that "stuff" gets to the point where there's not much moisture left getting burnt you're going to get a burned, scorched taste. If you're grilling for shorter periods this will be less an issue for me an hour or so is about max. Plus I want to avoid  that type of smoke in my cooker.    

    If it's something you like to match up with a particular meat I'd say that it is probably alright whatever it is to make a smoke pouch or the add herbs directly to the coals for smoke. If you just want to add the herbs to the coals you may want to consider combining them with a little bit of water making a paste. I think you'll get a little more flavor that way their smoldering rather than quickly burning.

    I've learned that less is usually better to begin with and then scaling it up if necessary.

    Happy grilling! 

  7. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very interesting!!! I need to try that!! Especially now with turkey day on us!!
  8. surgem7

    surgem7 Fire Starter

    I have placed sprigs of rosemary on a pork butt as I foiled it. Worked pretty good.
  9. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now that I think about it? Whats the rice & sugar for??
  10. Basmati rice is a fragrant rice associated with Indian cooking. Jasmine rice is also used for this, personally I think that would be better for fish perhaps(?) as it has floral aroma. My experiences with basmati is that it gives a subtle, sweet, roasted nutty flavor.  Watch that the pack doesn't get scorched. The way I do it it takes about an hour before I remove it.  

    Sugars are typically used with Asian smoking with rice and tea is used. I really haven't found a tea yet that I would want to mix with wood smoke so I experimented with this. I've had excellent results with the these herbs. I just substituted them for the teas used. Sugar makes sort of a syrupy taste it's mild adds a nice mohogany color it seems. If you like maple it has a similar affect. I usually use dark brown and it works good with pork and ribs especially. I smoke quite a bit and usually put a light coat of peanut oil or cooking spray weekly otherwise I think that the sugar  residue may build up.  

    The best combo of woods I've come up with (for ribs) is 1 parts guava, 3 pecan and 3 almond. Pork, 2 parts wild cherry, 3 pecan and 2 almond, all about half fist-sized with my smoker using this method. For brisket, 2  parts red oak, 3 pecan and 2 almond.  Chicken and turkey, olive and grapefruit or pecan and apricot. Olive, pecan or apricot alone. Those are my personal fav's anyway.  

    These rices can be found in the Asian cooking section if not alongside rice.  For your turkey, put a pierced Asian pear in there or two and a braut or bit of sausage inside the cavity. When it's done up to temp. double wrap it in foil and a layer of plastic film and let it rest about 25 min. on a rack before cutting/serving for moistness.  I like coating chicken and turkey with a good coat of olive oil once patted dry prior to cook. and then my rubs letting them all meld together while the meat is brought up to nearly room temperature before cook.  

    Ok, I'm quite enthusiatic about this as you can tell. It was probably a little "more information" in reponse to your surgar question. :p