What else can be smoked with good flavour?

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herr tulpe

Fire Starter
Original poster
May 21, 2007
Tianjin, China
Does anyone know anything or have experience with what else other than wood can be smoked? I friend told me that his wife used to use green tea leaves.. That got me wondering...

Some things I am curious about:

Cherry Pits
Peach Pits
Used Coffee Grinds
Used green tea leaves
dried fruits

any ideas or stories to tell?

I've smoked with grape vine, and hickory nuts. Both work well. I have heard of people using corn cobbs after eating the corn. I have also used various herbs such as rosemary, etc both in a pouch to smoke and in the water to add essence to the steam.

I've heard of using tea leaves in your oven for a light smoke flavor on say a duck...you put the duck on a riser over the pan and place the tea leaves under it.
Corn cobs.. thats a great idea, and just happen to have some lying around.. Will try that soon, maybe with a piece of chicken!!

You have both given me a further idea, how about sunflower stems and the flowers after the seeds are taken off?

Further more what about hazelnuts, walnuts, nuts or shells??

If anyone knows that some of these items should NOT be tried please jump in before I do!!

When you get a moment, please tell us a little about where you live. We hear so little about China...........
I've heard any kind of nut shells. I've got a few bushel of gravevines from spring trim I'm curious to try and saved all my nut shells.


How was the grapevine?
A few years ago, I had way too much Rosemary. Could'nt give anymore away. Yea, you guessed it. Used a bunch on a chicken. Turned so well, tried it on salmon. Also turned out pretty well too.
I was in Beijing over the weekend and at one of the small (but expensive) import supermarkets they had bags of Kingsford Mesquite and Hickory Wood chips. Bought a bag of each to tie me over until the peach log my mother in law brought me seasons a little bit.. Hoping to cut that into smaller pieces and have it cure quicker!

Rosemary sounds good!! Gonna have to plant a big bunch!!
Usually any non wood materials can be used for smoking. The smoking times is different from the long smoking using wood chip / chunks.

Since you're in China, you can do tea smoking. The mixture is just rice, tea leaves, and sugar. This produces an intense smoke, so you need to finish cooking your food using another method.

All you need is a good sized wok, a wire rack, and a good fitting wok lid. This should all you to smoke a couple of rib racks, or chickens. Some aluminum foil would help keep the wok clean.
Kueh, That sounds like a nice mixture. Do you use cooked or uncooked rice? Would be tempted to throw in a couple of garlic cloves into the mix!!
I've thrown spices in the firebox, mostly pepper and garlic bulbs, a fella I trusted told me to try that, can't say if it really made that much difference with the strong flavored post oak around here.

But I brewed several beers with peat smoked malt before, and in every case I way overshot the mark. That's a strong flavor at least when applied to malted barley.
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