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Happy Bastille Day

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Post Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:34 am
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 266

To celebrate, we're making eclade de moules , mussels grilled on a bed of dry pine needles. France doesn't have a lot of traditional grilled dishes, but this one knocks it out of the park. Recipe on page 513 in Planet Barbecue. Pine smoke flavor out of this world. How are you celebrating Bastille Day?

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:44 am
Attrill well done
well done

Posts: 663
Location: Chicago

Did a variation of the chicken tarragon paillard from BBQ USA - excellent as always!

Does Pine actually work for many things? Have never tried pine (and I've still got some Xmas tree in my backyard!)

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:24 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7324
Location: Stoughton, WI
I suspect the dry needles don't contain enough resins to affect the food but coniferous wood might need to be really, really dry.

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:45 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 5790
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
ScreamingChicken wrote:
I suspect the dry needles don't contain enough resins to affect the food but coniferous wood might need to be really, really dry.


Actually, I've pressed the needles to make turpentine, so they've got plenty of oils in them - more than the wood. From my experiences with campfire cooking, both the wood and the needles burn up very quickly so they add a blast of taste rather than a deep smoke flavor. Keep it uncovered and go easy on coniferous wood, though, as it creates a fair amount of soot and that's not something you want on meat.

Unless you're one of the cousins I posted about a few weeks ago. They seem to love the taste.... :twisted:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:23 am
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 266

You're right. Normally, I discourage grilling over soft woods, like pine. In this instance though, the pine needles provide a flash smoke flavor. The actual cooking is done by both by the flaming pine and the hot charcoal or wood fire under the pan. In France, they use old chestnut pans--cast iron skillets with holes in the bottom once used for roasting chestnuts. In the U.S., I use an aluminum foil pan with 1/2 inch holes in the bottom I made with an old paring knife. If you're interested in seeing a video, there's one on my Secrets of the World's Best Grilling E-Book.

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:30 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5790
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Steven wrote:
You're right. Normally, I discourage grilling over soft woods, like pine. In this instance though, the pine needles provide a flash smoke flavor. The actual cooking is done by both by the flaming pine and the hot charcoal or wood fire under the pan. In France, they use old chestnut pans--cast iron skillets with holes in the bottom once used for roasting chestnuts. In the U.S., I use an aluminum foil pan with 1/2 inch holes in the bottom I made with an old paring knife. If you're interested in seeing a video, there's one on my Secrets of the World's Best Grilling E-Book.


Well, the only reason I have a lot of experience grilling with pine, spruce, tamarack and related softwoods is 35 years of backcountry camping experience. Sometimes they were the only woods we had to cook with, so I got used to the taste. It's nice in small amounts as you described but it can get pretty overpowering if you're cooking over it for a long time. My uncle once cooked a roast over seasoned pine wood and it tasted like the surface of the George Washington Bridge. :twisted:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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