Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wood Smoke

Ah, the smell of neighbors' fire places!

One neighbor has a smoke-house. We seldom smell it. Smoking is usually done during the chilly months. When the luscious odors come wafting our way, the closed window panes protect us from the temptation to eat ham in copious quantities.

For years we'd had a gas grill. When it died, we replaced it with a charcoal grill. (Cheaper, doncha know?) A friend introduced Gary to natural hardwood charcoal. Christopher also introduced Gary to a chimney lighter; this saves money on lighter fluid and eliminates the chemical taste of the starter. On now, on top of this, Gary has discovered yet more good flavor: the hickory wood chunks you can soak and then toss in with the charcoal. Boy oh boy! Every time we grill, it smells wonderful around here! Even when you haul out leftover hamburgers or pork chops, the enticing aroma spreads through the kitchen.

Issue #49 of Backwoods Home had an article on how to make your own charcoal. We did that once -- by accident. A smoking log was buried under enough ash, and we thought it was out. But the next time we went out to the fire pit, we discovered some of the log had become charcoal. That was neat! But given our current location and lack of hardwood, I'm not goin' for self-reliance; we'll buy real charcoal instead of making our own. Next we're going to have to try the inexpensive brand that my aunt told me was available at Walmart.

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