How to add smoky flavour to Homemade Suya

Homemade Suya
May 28, 2014
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Suya in our part of the world is made over open fire which gives it a smoky taste, when I shared the suya  recipe yesterday I left out this part because I didnt want the post to be too long and become a bit tedious and complicated.  If you go ahead and make the suya as is, you will certainly have delicious tasting suya. I decided to take it to another level by adding that smoky taste externally as pan frying it wasn’t going to do it for me.

It’s a very easy process, professionals use clarified butter for this, as a baby chef I jejely used my regular butter. This smoking effect is done after the beef has been skewered.

What you need to give your suya that smoky taste the Mai Suya’s own has;

A chunk of charcoal

Teaspoon of butter

Aluminium foil


Place the charcoal on a lit small gas burner and let it stay till some of it turns amber.


While the coal is getting hot, make a small bowl with foil, set aside. Make a lid for the plastic bowl using foil, keep it nearby.

Once the coal is red in some areas, quickly drop it into the small foil bowl, drop the butter on the hot coal which will start smoking immediately, drop the foil bowl into the large plastic bowl, place the suya sticks around the smoking coal and cover quickly with the foil lid.


Please make yours redder than mine 😀



Let the smoking coal do its job by adding rich smoky flavour to the beef for at least 1 hour.

Go ahead and grill afterwards. I used my oven top grill for some of the suya sticks and the grill pan for some.


It’s important that soaked kebab sticks are used when open fire grilling otherwise the sticks will burn.

Oven grilled (broiled)

Oven grilled (broiled)

I preferred the pan grilled ones because they had a perfect sear ( slightly crisp/burnt outer flesh), the pan grilled ones were also tender and cooked faster whereas the oven grilled ones took longer to cook and were a little tough.

Pan grilled

Pan grilled

Pan grilled, perfect sear

Pan grilled, perfect sear


Use whatever method that works for you!



Azu 🙂 .


  1. neker17 says:

    Please is clarified butter the same thing as ghee?

    • Nneka’m moo…I remember saying I’m a baby chef lol! Ghee is gotten when clarified butter is heated for a while so I guess they are similar and can be used for smoking the suya. Let me know if it works 🙂 .

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