Smoking with Grape Vines
Summer is almost gone, but that doesn’t mean BBQ season isn’t! Sometimes a nicely smoked chicken on the grill is just what you need on those cool September nights.
And what better way to celebrate the grape harvest then to fire up the grill and get a nice smoke using some grape vine cuttings.
We use our signature Bacchus vines for smoking food in the Bacchus Bistro, as well as selling them in the Wine Shop. The vines were among the first planted when Claude and Inge Violet started to build their Chaberton dream into a reality. Thirty-five plus years of history in a piece of wood to bring out the slightly sweet and aromatic berry flavours in the smoke.
Grapevine smoke is known to go well with virtually any type of meat, and provides a mild flavour while cooking over a high heat grill. Additional flavours can be imparted in your smoke by soaking the vine chips in wine, beer, or tea for 15- 20 minutes before putting onto the charcoals or into the smoke box.
Below is a step by step of how to use grape vine chips for smoking (Or any other wood chips for that matter)
1. First, start soaking vine chips in water (check the recipe for the amount you’ll need). They should soak in water for at least 15 minutes or else they are likely to light on fire and give you more flame than smoke.
2. Start the grill by preheating your grill for 10-15 minutes on high and then brushing the cooking grates clean.
3. Add wood chips to your smoker box. Using long-handled tongs, open the lid of the smoker box. Grab some of the soaked wood chips with the tongs, let the excess water drain off, and drop the wood chips into the smoker box.
Spread out the wood chips so they cover the bottom of the box, directly exposing as many chips as possible to the burner below.
Continue to add as many wood chips as the recipe suggests. Close the lid of the smoker box.
Close the lid of the grill and wait a few minutes for smoke to pour out of the grill. Now it’s time to lower the heat of the dedicated burner under the smoker box to medium or low so that the wood will smolder slowly.
4. Start smoking your food. Arrange the food in the middle of the cooking grate, over the unlit burner(s). Close the lid as soon as possible and let the food cook.
Keep in mind that most of the smoke will accumulate around the smoker box. The closer your food is to the smoker box, the more smoke flavor it will absorb.
*Always make sure to cook your meat to the recommended temperature. The best way to check the temperature of the meat is to use a meat thermometer.