Q: How do I get a smoky flavour to meat that is cooked in a kettle braai?

A: Smoking with Speciality Wood – Speciality wood is the secret many grill fanatics swear by for authentic barbecue smoke flavour. Which type of speciality wood to use is widely debated, since each creates a certain flavour. Think of speciality wood as a seasoning for your barbecue. Using it will give flavour to the meat just like using a barbecue sauce.

Varieties of Speciality Woods – Wood from nut trees, such as hickory and pecan, tends to be much stronger flavoured, which some people don’t like. Fruit trees tend to have milder flavours – pecan, cherry, hickory, oak, orange, mulberry, apple, peach, apricot. Until you know which type of smoking wood you like, you might want to try a variety. That way, you can experiment with different flavours without having to buy a whole bunch of different cooking woods.

How to Cook With Speciality Woods – Like wine, certain types of specialty woods go best with certain types of meat. Most barbecue experts like oak with beef, and lighter fruitwoods, such as apple, with chicken. Many seasoned chefs also mix their smoking woods. For instance, you can use half pecan and half apple for a new taste when grilling chicken.
To use speciality woods, soak the wood chips in water for at least half an hour before adding them to the grill. If you have a smoker box in your grill, you can put the chips there. If you are using a gas grill, wrap them in foil and puncture a few holes. If you are using a charcoal grill, you can put them in right on top of the coals.


Smoky roast chicken

Simple roast chicken is delicious. Together with baked potatoes and boiled vegetables, or a green salad it makes a really good healthy family meal. For a delicious slightly smoky flavour, there is no better way of cooking chicken, than on a kettlebraai. Simply rub with salt and pepper, and maybe a bit of lemon juice and cook. The addition of wood to the fire as you put the chicken on gives a wonderful smoky flavour.

1 x ±1,5kg chicken
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice – optional

1-2 sticks of fruit tree wood

  1. Trim the chicken of excess fat, checking especially the neck and tail cavities and make sure that there are no feathers left on.
  2. Rub the chicken well, including the stomach cavity, with salt and pepper, and lemon juice if using.
  3. Place the chicken on the roasting grid of the kettlebraai, breast side down with a container underneath to catch any dripping juices. Add the wood onto the coals, if using.
  4. Roast the chicken for 40 minutes, at about 180°C, then turn it over, breast side up and roast for a further 20 minutes.
  5. Carve into pieces and serve.

Serves 4

Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252sunninghill@wickedfood.co.za

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these classes are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.