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Sweet Smoke


Strike A Light

Who would have thought tree prunings could produce such delicious flavours in barbecued food? Lennox Hastie, recently of Ex Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain, took us for a trot through the woods at the FIRE MasterClass in Melbourne this weekend, extolling the virtues of applewood, grapevine clippings and lemonwood as fuel, with the proviso that the wood be thoroughly dried over a period of months. The wood should make a good snap when broken, he says. Don’t use wet wood because although it smokes easily, it creates harsh flavours. What you want is slow burning, seasoned (weather-dried) wood that provides an even heat, as well as aromatics and flavour. And forget the sizzle.

Lennox’s style is slow and sweet, allowing the food to take on the flavours of the wood without blackening.

This autumn gather up any tree or vine prunings and let them air-dry before the weather turns. Come summer, use readily available wood such as pine for kindling, but cook over your lovingly dried fruit woods for flavour. You’ll taste the difference.

FIRE MasterClass Friday 9th March

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Collingwood Children’s Farm Abbotsford Melbourne


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