Fired Up to Use Meat Smokers This Summer? Find Out the Right Wood to Use For Your Next BBQ!

Grilling Meat On The Barbeque Barbeque.  It's a seductive word, an exciting word. A word that elicits a tingling in the taste buds in even the most stalwart of us. Barbeque speaks volumes about not only its bold flavor,...

Grilling Meat On The Barbecue
Grilling Meat On The Barbeque

Barbeque.  It's a seductive word, an exciting word. A word that elicits a tingling in the taste buds in even the most stalwart of us. Barbeque speaks volumes about not only its bold flavor, but also about the experiences that go with that flavor. The friends, the good times, the comfort. After all, who doesn't love a good barbeque?

All of which means, it really is no surprise that right around the time the cold and ice of Winter is thawing, our minds turn to the glorious possibilities of Spring and Summer barbeques and of meals prepared in part by the time honored tradition of smoking.  But, do you know what woods you will be using as you fire up your trusty meat smoker this barbequing season?

There are many kinds of woods that can be used successfully in most modern meat smokers.Various woods are often more popular depending on the region, and what type of wood grows in the area.  For example, mesquite wood is utilized in areas such as Texas the most, and peach, or pecan wood is often used in Georgian barbeque.  However, with the easy access to different woods (even those not native to the area) both in local stores, and through the internet, choosing the right wood based solely on the meat being smoked is becoming more and more prevalent.

Choose the Right Wood
Choose the Right Wood

The most common woods you can purchase are hickory, pecan, oak, maple, cherry, apple and mesquite.  However, alder wood is also gaining popularity for a more delicate smoke finish.  When it comes to beef, almost any wood will impart a good smokey flavor, but apple, cherry and oak woods work the best, especially for beef that is not heavily seasoned, or sauced.  Pork favors maple, as well as apple and cherry wood when smoked with a dry rub, but pairs beautifully with pecan wood when smoked using a vinegar based wet rub.  When grilling fish, avoid maple and pecan as they tend to create too bold of a smoke flavor and lean more towards the delicate alder, or a sweeter peach, or apple wood.

The right wood for smoking chicken (much like beef and pork) can be dependent on the level of sauce, or seasoning used during the smoking process.  Stronger woods such as hickory, mesquite, oak, and pecan work wonderfully when using a sauce, or a bold seasoning rub.  Or, for a more "naked" meat smoking experience, try the fruit suggestive apple, or cherry wood, imparting the meat with a sweeter smoke flavor.  Turkey also benefits from the sweeter, fruit woods when smoked.

No matter the wood you choose, there is always the debate of to soak, or not to soak.  Wood that is used in a smoker will smoke when thrown into the smoke chamber no matter whether it is wet, or not .  Soaking chips is thought to delay the ignition of the wood, causing a smoldering effect and therefor, longer lasting chips and a deeper smoked flavor to the meat.  When using smaller chips, or less dense chips, soaking can be somewhat beneficial in this way for which you can use this wood chip soaker.  However if you are using larger pieces of wood, the soaking process does not seem to be helpful at all, as the water hardly penetrates the surface of the larger chunks and burns off so quickly that the time effort put in to soaking outweighs the benefits.

Fox Run Outset Wood Chip Smoker Box
Fox Run Outset Wood Chip Smoker Box

For an excellent way to extend the smoke time of the wood you use while smoking meat, look into using a smoker box in your smoker.  The Fox Run Outset Stainless Steel Wood Chip Smoker Box holds your wood chips, and pieces out of the fire, allowing them to smoulder as opposed to burning.  A longer smoke time is convenient for reducing the number of times you must add wood during smoking, but also allows you to keep more consistent smoke on the meat, giving time to fully penetrate and flavor your meal.

Don't want to start up a whole barbecue, but still want that smokey flavour? Try the Demeyere Stove Top Smoker to smoke fish, meat and whatever you want!

Demeyere 11 Inch Stovetop Smoker
Demeyere 11 Inch Stovetop Smoker

Barbeque season is fast approaching.  Get prepared with Cilantro, The Cooks Shop.  Contact us today to for all your meat smoker, and meat smoking needs.

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