Three or four years ago, we reached out to outdoor cooks around the country to hopefully discover that perfect seasoning for cooking on planks. And what we discovered was that there are hundreds if not thousands of them out there to choose from. Some you can find in specialty stores, but in most cases, they are a home grown mix concocted by some BBQ enthusiast. And I must admit we found some excellent combinations that today we still use on occasion. But each of us at Kelly Craig also has our own special mix. In fact, depending upon the meat choice and the flavor of the plank or wrap we are using we often have more than just one each.
Lately I have also been enjoying smoking with fresh herbs. In the past I have used dried herbs and they have added a wonderful flavor to the food, but fresh herbs do something special that even tastes bolder. With them you get these fresh herb oils which seem to explode as the herbs heat up. And with many, as they start to burn, they further release that pleasant bouquet. And now, I must admit for now, “fresh is best” when it comes to the barbecue.
We have developed our Smoke Sacks which, as we have found, are very versatile in use. You can hang them up in your tent or RV if you are camping or traveling to add a fresh aroma to the air. Then when it is time to fire up the BBQ, you can just drop them in water, wine, beer, sod
a, etc for about 5 minutes, squeeze out the excess and throw them directly on the coals. And if you like, you can even add some fresh or dried herbs to the sack which can add to the experience. In fact, even adding the herbs, in many cases, to the sacks before hanging them in the tent or RV can be interesting. Then when added to the coals, the sacks provide about 1 hour of smoky flavor. It is suggested to add your food on the plank to the grill just as the sacks begin to smolder.
Regarding the herbs, I personally find that:
Oregano works well with lamb, chicken, pork and seafood.
Rosemary goes with poultry, lamb, and salmon.
Sage is often my choice with pork, veal, sausage, and poultry.
Tarragon with veal, chicken and stuffed mushrooms.
Thyme can enhance seafood, poultry, pork, or veal.
Savory can pick up veal, pork and barbecued eggplant.
Cilantro adds that Mexican flavor to pork and chicken.