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Monday, October 25, 2010

Tea-Smoked Barbecue

No wood?  No problem!

If you have some dry rice and tea leaves and a few spices in your house, you can still make some awesome barbecue outside your house.  In fact, you can get pretty creative with tea-smoked barbecue.  Most recipes start with rice and tea leaves as a base, adding extra ingredients such as star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange zestBrown sugar is often added to the tea-smoking mixture too, which some sources claim results in a sweet flavor and rich color.

So what's it taste like?  Have you ever had spare ribs from the Chinese restaurant?  Think about that flavor, only smokier.  Think about the flavor of plum sauce and five spice being infused into slow cooked meat, without ever using a drop of either ingredient.  This method produces a truly incredible flavor. 

Of course, Asian-themed barbecue recipes like smoked duck or Sizzle Grove's Chinese-Style Spare Ribs are perfect suitors for tea-smoked barbecue, but we see no reason why you can't try any of your favorite recipes.  Sizzle Grove tried it with our Cherry-Glazed ribs recipe, substituting spare ribs instead since we like them and often find them on sale. 

Additionally, the tea we used was a Japanese green tea infused with dried cherry pieces, to compliment the cherry glaze.


2 tbsp dry rice
3 tbsp loose tea
2 tbsp brown sugar
About 5 pieces of star anise
About 5 whole cloves


1. Put mixture into an aluminum foil pouch, as similarly outlined in this tutorial.  Remember to keep the top of the pouch open for smoke to escape, or poke several holes in the top.

2. Light coals as needed.  Place smoking pouch directly ontop of coals.

3. Wait for smoke to generate, then put food on the grill, close, and cook as usual.  Don't expect the same kind of billowing smoke as is commonly produced from hard wood, but do expect an equally bold flavor.
Tea and star anise smoked spare ribs
For quicker barbecuing or grilling (less than one hour cook time), you might want to heat up the tea mixture a little bit before smoking, but for slow barbecue, just leave the ingredients dry.  Pair your tea-smoked barbecue with a strong, dark Belgian ale.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Tea smoked barbecue....I like!