Flame Free BBQ Food

By Victoria Glass •

Come rain or shine Victoria shows how with just a splash of liquid smoke and a sous vide machine you can have all the flavours of a barbecue in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Living, as I do, in a third floor flat with no garden hasn’t stopped me lighting up the barbecue on occasion. But, for this weekend at least, I thought I’d try getting my fix of smoke flame-free.
I have used liquid smoke before. I added a few drops of hickory to slow-cooked pulled pork for a party we were having, which proved so popular the lot was wolfed down before I’d finished bowling up the Boston beans and coleslaw to go with it. I won’t make that mistake twice. Next, time I will be first with my fork at the front of the queue, but pulled pork isn’t really a meal you make for two. 
For this weekend’s indoor barbecue, I thought I’d try my hand at smoke two-ways. I decided to liven up four deboned, skin on chicken thighs with a few splashes of pecan liquid smoke before vac-packing them and popping them in the Sous Vide Supreme at 70°C for 2 and a half hours.

In the meantime, I whisked up some aioli, to which I added a few more splashes of pecan liquid smoke to make smoked mayonnaise.  It made a fantastically moreish potato salad to go with the smoked chicken thighs, which I had decanted into a hot frying pan to crisp their skins up.
It’s reassuring to know that come rain or shine and come garden or no garden, with just a splash of liquid smoke you can have all the flavours of a barbecue in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Smoked Chicken Thighs


4 deboned skin on chicken thighs
A few splashes of pecan liquid smoke
A little salt and pepper
Splash the meat of the thighs with liquid smoke. Vacuum pack, two in each bag, and pop them in the water bath at 70°C for 2 and a half hours. Drain off the liquid and pat the chicken dry before seasoning and chucking them in a hot pan, skin side down to crisp up the skin.

Smoked Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
½ garlic clove, crushed
A good squeeze of lemon
unflavoured oil (I used sunflower)
A few splashes of pecan liquid smoke to taste.
Put the egg yolk, Dijon, salt and pepper, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together. Gradually, a drop at a time to begin with, start adding the oil, whisking between each addition. Once it starts to thicken slightly, you can start pouring in larger amounts of oil. Keep adding the oil until you get the consistency you want (probably between 200 and 300ml, depending on the size of your yolk). Whisk in the liquid smoke and taste. Adjust the seasoning and add more smoke if necessary.
This is excellent stirred into boiled Jersey Royals.

Inspired? For more delicious barbecue recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


Victoria Glass

Victoria is a London based food writer. She founded Victoria's Cake Boutique in 2008 & her first two books, Boutique Wedding Cakes and Deliciously Vintage are out now. Her celebrity clients include Miranda Hart, Dave Gorman and Zach Braff. She's cooked her way through the alphabet from artichokes to za'atar zebra on her blog, Alphabet Soup. She is currently writing her fourth book and her third is out in September. She has just been appointed the food writer in residence at The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre.

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