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Unread 02-01-2011, 05:33 PM   #1
Alba Gu Brath
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Default The use of Peat in BBQ revisited

Whilst perusing the site and looking through some of the older threads I came across a thread that asked about the use of "Irish Peat" in BBQ.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=22604

This thread is from December of 2006.

The general consensus was ( and may still be ) that it was useless for anything other than barley and not a viable substitute for hardwoods.

I have what I consider to be extensive knowledge of its use ( and misuse) and agree that it is in no way a sub for the hardwoods , but used properly , can be a very , very nice addition to our arsenal.


Biggest pitfalls IMHO are:
  • Using way to much of it to begin with... As many of you Scotch drinkers out there know. Peat is a very powerful kick.
  • Not having the proper environment inside the cooker. It really needs a somewhat humid environment to do well.
  • Too much direct heat. The ideal method is to have just the slightest" old man's beard starting.
  • Sourcing what I like to term as "Food Grade" peat. Having had experience with many sources I am convinced that there is something to be gained by using Peat from the areas of the world on the same latitudes as Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the like. None of the peat from the Carolina's is what I consider to be "Food Grade"
I have no affiliation with any of the Companies that import peat to the US but I can tell you that the only reliable source as of this writing is "Sneaky Peat". There were/are only Two companies SP and Irish Smoke LTD importing in the US. To the best of my knowledge Jim Gallagher of Irish Smoke passed away in July and there has been no filling of orders and no refunding of monies to date ( Ask me how I know) There are some companies in Canada that do as well but I have no knowledge of their product or practices.

At any rate ... the object is to use heat to get the essential oils or volatile oils airborne and picked up by whatever liquid you have for humidity.

When using peat I usually cut the amount of hardwood that I am using in half. I walk on eggshells around woods that become bitter quick. Peat usually amplifies the smoke flavor alot. I only use 1 ounce by weight for an entire cook added at the beginning and have found this sufficient to "enhance" 24 lbs of pork. Gamy things like sheep and lamb I'll use 2 ounces by weight as it seems to cut through the gaminess.

Secondly, I use a bowl of distilled water down low and on the rack that I am cooking the meat on. At the end of a cook the bowl on the rack will be a golden color from the peat and smoke-wood and meat with flavor to match. I use this to start a sauce with.

I plan on doing a butt or two this weekend and will get a step by step pictorial for those who may be interested. Used correctly , it will leave your friends trying to guess exactly what it is . Sometimes I feel that it gets a bad rap becausepeople believe that their meat will reek of Scotch. Sometimes I think that A really smoky peaty Scotch is marketed specifically to Americans because we believe that it supposed to taste like a smoked pine tree or it isn't Scotch

Since the original thread there may be those of you out there who have tried it. I'm going on the assumption ( I know..I know...) that the lack of threads on the subject say there are few that have but may have run afoul of the aforementioned issues that I had to work through via trial-and-error. I welcome any and all comments , Good, Bad, or in between. Thanks to the Brethren in advance for the time!
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Unread 02-01-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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I don't anticipate that I will use peat for smoking, but I highly enjoyed reading your thoughtful and knowledgeable post and look forward to seeing your posts on this subject.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
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I'm looking forward to the report!
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Unread 02-02-2011, 11:16 AM   #4
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Wow... Glad to have you aboard. Look forward to your dissertations
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Unread 02-02-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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I just ordered some peat myself, but to use for beer. I thought about smoking some fish with it, too, maybe to have along with a dram of Lagavulin.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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Never thought of using it before, but now I'm intrigued!
My head is spinning with thoughts of salmon, beef and lamb smoked with peat.

You mentioned that there were some Canadian sources. Could you please post them? Thanks.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FattyMac View Post
Never thought of using it before, but now I'm intrigued!
My head is spinning with thoughts of salmon, beef and lamb smoked with peat.

You mentioned that there were some Canadian sources. Could you please post them? Thanks.
This is the only one that I know of in Canada that Imports from Ireland ( allegedly) I have never dealt with them before but plan on contacting http://genuineirishturf.com/home.html

Thanks to all for the interest in the subject. I will be as detailed as possible with the postings and pictorial.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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Been a little crazy at work here as of late, but I haven't forgotten y'all... Looks as if the weather is going to more than co-operate on Saturday so I'll get it going. Wife is picking up batteries for the camera this eve. Thanks for your Patience
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Unread 02-16-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
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Ain't no thang, bruddah! We're patient. Mostly. :)
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
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This is why I love coming to this place -- always hearing about new and exciting ways to 'Q. Can't wait for your report!
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Dog BBQ View Post
This is why I love coming to this place -- always hearing about new and exciting ways to 'Q. Can't wait for your report!
Ditto
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Interesting post! I learned something.

Does anyone make peat pellets?
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Unread 02-17-2011, 07:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Does anyone make peat pellets?
You sir, are a genius!
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Unread 02-17-2011, 03:42 PM   #14
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Mmmmmm...Scotch eggs on a Trager using peat pellets!!

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Unread 06-04-2011, 02:49 AM   #15
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UPDATE: Apology extended for the long wait. Long Story Short, I am faced with many trials and tribulations as of this writing that have sapped most of my time and all of the energy. As soon as I can get to a place that is somewhat normal, I will continue the thread Thanks in advance to all of the Brethren.
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