smoking chicken with herbs, not wood chips?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by karkar, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. karkar

    karkar Newbie


    i'm a texan that's new to smoking but i live in switzerland where smoking essentials aren't readily (or cheaply) available. however, i have a large garden of herb plants. i have a mammoth sage bush that's about 3 feet by 3 feet, a normal rosemary bush, and a small thyme plant. i also have a large bag of the natural wood coal (not the briquettes).

    is there any way that i can smoke the chicken with this wood coal and large branches of the sage and/or rosemary bush? will this cause the chicken to taste bad? too strong of a taste? too bitter? has anybody tried this before?  

    if i were in the states, i wouldn't be asking this, but i need to figure out if i can find a replacement for the expensive imported wood chips. i have a friend here, in switzerland, who's a wood worker and who will start setting aside rejected pieces of good smooking types of wood for me, but in the mean time (tomorrow!), i'd like to experiment with my new smoker.

    thanks for the advice! :)

    - kara
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  2. karkar

    karkar Newbie

    also, if this is okay to smoke the chicken with only the herbs and wood coals, can i put the fresh sage or rosemary branches directly on the hot coals or should i put them on the grill above the coals?
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well I don't smoke over it but I do cook over sage when we camp in the desert. I can tell you that it does give the meat a strong sage flavor. Keep in mind this is over an open fire not in a smoker box. So if I had to guess I bet it could get a bit over powering. A good test would be to try it without any food and smell the smoke produced.

    As for supplies you can order wood, pellets, charcoal, etc online through Amazon and other vendors.

    Have you checked out the Amaze N smokers that Todd on here sells?
    karkar likes this.
  4. karkar

    karkar Newbie

    amazon actually does not have a switzerland site. we are forced to use either germany's amazon or france's amazon site. using those sites incurs import taxes. also, wood chips are not as cheap on those sites as in the USA, as USA is the country with the meat smoking culture. 

    ordering from the USA amazon site would incur import taxes as well as mammoth international shipping taxes. not worth it.

    basically, my primary option is to get in touch with a wood worker and buy his reject pieces. my friend will give me some freebies, but i want to use my grill tomorrow.

    thanks for the advice about the sage, i was a bit apprehensive that it would be too strong.

    does anybody have any advice about rosemary? too strong?
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rosemary works. I've done grilled shrimp with rosemary dropped directly on the coals. I'd use 2-3 smallish sprigs at the beginning. Start with small amounts as it can be really strong. The resulting flavor won't scream Rosemary, but it's a nice pungent smoky flavor that will go well if you season the chicken with Rosemary also. The lump coal will work well for chicken as well. I don't know what kind of smoker you have, but lump tends to run a good bit hotter than briquettes, which is fine for chicken.
    One other thing, when smoking with Rosemary, it will smell strongly reminiscent of another herb that is "smoked" by some people. If you have neighbors close by you may have to do some explaining.

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