Eucalyptus

"Wood!" you say..."that's not an ingredient!" You bet your sweet ass it is. When it comes to Pollo Perfection, even the wood matters. Although Pollo a la Brasa is never ment to be "smoked", a hot burning hard wood is essential for Pollo on the Grill.

Eucalyptus is a fast growing, aromatic, hardwood. In other words, it is sustainable and therefore generally grown to be harvested. So if you buy your wood from a reputable supplier, chances are fairly good that you alone are not responsible for the deforrestation of the Amazon. If in doubt, ask your supplier. They are generally familiar with their own source suppliers and should be happy to tout the sustainability and value of Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus wood burns readily and burns hot. It will burn for longer and emit more heat than many other types of wood. California apparently was unaware of this fact and used eucalyptus trees in LA. When the bushfires hit, the Eucalyptus trees went up like a matchbook. The aroma is unbelievable, but I doubt that is what the people of LA were thinking...."QUICK...lets go get some Chickens and turn this into a Pollo Party!" If we were in LA at the time, we would have been roating chickens like Smores, but that is just us. If you happen to have a fresh supply of Eucalyptus, make sure that you have let it dry for 12months or so before using. This wood has a very high volitile gas (oil) content that makes for the amazing aroma and the sparking, but if not dried properly, will make an oily (and potentially dangerous) mess of your grill or chimney.


How to Get it:

There are a few options here. Jump on CraigsList.org and see if there is anyone local to your area that may be offering it online. You might get lucky as some people would love to have you simply come and take it off of their hands. If you have one growing in your yard, you are obviously in business: removing, chipping, and seasoning select branches will give you enough to add flavor to other combustiables like Oak Charcoal or brickets. If you are VERY patient, you could grow the stuff. As we have said, it is fast growing (6-7feet a season), cold/heat tolerant, and is generally a nice addition to any landscape. These guys are a reputable supplier of Eucalyptus and other fast growing trees.


Substitutions:

This is a tough wood to substitue in terms of Aroma, but as far as the heat is concerned you can get very close with many hard woods. Oak is readily available in most places and has similar hard wood characteristics. Avoid using Fruit woods like Apple and Cherry when making Pollo a la Brasa as they impart way too much 'smokey' flavor to whatever they come in contact with. If you are not using wood, Charcoal is the next best thing. Royal Oak™ is a great brand that is available in most Hardware stores. Other brands may be available. Try to avoid using Brickets when Grilling Pollo a la Brasa as they add a noticable flavor to everything they cool. However, if all you have to cook Pollo a la Brasa is are Brickets or a Gas Grill....go for it: as long as you put love into what you make, it will be good. We just generally like to put Love and Eucalyptus in our Grills, but Love will do JUST FINE!. Wood Chips are also an option, but be careful again that you are not smoking you Pollo. Rather than soaking chips as directed, throw them right on your fire and let 'em burn. Maple and Oak will do nicely (again...no fruit trees!)