UK BBQ Mag Summer 2017 - Page 67

It sounds the same as the UK I guess, it's got possibilities and is a melting pot, you don't know what can come out of it yet, people are seeing BBQ and it could go in lots of different ways, and that's pretty exciting, what's your favourite smoking wood? does it depend on what you're cooking, or do you have an all purpose favourite? I saw in the book you had beech in there, beech isn't a common wood to smoke with, it's more common here in the UK, but you don't see it so much in American BBQ?

In the American version, it says Oak instead of Beech, but it's not commonly available in the stores, so we have a lot more oak, particularly in California where I live, that's kind of the middle of the road all-purpose smoking wood, that's what Santa Maria BBQ is based upon, they have a particular style called red oak, but it's not too strong and not too light, and everyone kind of likes it.

However saying that I grew up on hickory, I grew up on the Eastern coast near New York, we had a lot of hickory around there, and that was classic southern style BBQ, I think with this kind of food although we like to try new variations of it we still want some sort of connection to what's familiar, what we grew up with, that's part of the comforting factor, so for me I have a little piece of hickory in the fire, I tend to throw a little bit of everything in there, like seasonings on a steak let's try some hickory, some apple, some oak

I'm a big fan of blending woods together as well, I love hickory, it's got that nice traditional bacony smell that is amazing I like pecan as well with vanilla and hazlenut flavours we use a lot of American woods over here, but I try to encourage people to explore some of the British woods as well, fruitwoods, apple, and a big fan of cherry, I always put in a little dash of cherry wood into the mix, and one that I don't know if you have in the states is SIlver birch, it's quite similar to maple and I love it, it's a flavour we could make our own here in the UK

Yeah I'd love to try it, it's like beech, we don't have birch in the stores, we have birch trees in the Northern states, fruitwoods are very popular, particularly appla nd cherry, we have a really big competition scene going on in the US, I think you do too Cherry is considered the one you have to use for the colour, it really creates a deeper mahogany colour which is really important for good scores and the flavour too

I love cherry it's got a nice sweetness...your books are associated with Weber, do you cook solely on weber, or do you have any other bits of kit you use as well? Do you think the kit you cook on is important or it doesn't really matter?

It's all a matter of controlling the fire and the smoke, and I grew up with a weber, it's what my dad had, then for the past 20 years I've been working with the company, so I'm spoilt, they send me new ones all the time, it would be ridiculous for me to go out and buy another brand at this point, I just got

used to it, I know that there are other great grils out there, but for me I'm just very comfortable with the webers, I recently started to cook on the new charcoal summit, I think you might have that in the UK, it's an expensive piece of equipment but if you're really into BBQ, I think this would be a fantastic choice because it holds the temperature better than any other product that I've cooked on, you can use one chimney of charcoal and it'll last 4 or 5 hours easily, it's a really high quality grill

at this point I only use webers, unless I'm going to the park and they have those public grills, but I'm a weber guy

I recently went to the local recycling centre and found a little weber go anywhere, it looked like it had been used once and left, it was £3, in the original box with a beautiful manual in it

I looked at the sate from that, 1981 it was in perfect condiiton apart from the grate, real traditional old school pictures and techniques but it was still relevant with some good recipes in, I love it that bit of kit had survived, it was almost as old as I am, which is a testament to weber kit, and it's good to shout about it

Thank you Jamie, really appreciate having a chat with you.