When you’re grilling or smoking foods, you can use regular charcoal briquettes, or you can use larger wood chunks or smoking chips. Different types of wood have properties that lead to specific types of flavors, which can lend themselves very well to particular types of meat. Wood chunks are especially ideal for smoking because they burn very slowly and release their smoke over a much longer period of time than charcoal briquettes. Wood chips, meanwhile, burn hot and fast, and will release their smoke very quickly.
So, what kind of wood should you try out for your smoking? It really depends on what you’re smoking, but here is a quick overview of some of the most commonly used types of wood for smoking food:
- Apple: Apple wood is mild and sweet. It is ideal for poultry, beef, pork (including ham), lamb, game birds and some seafood. You’ll probably come across sweet apple wood smoked bacon in grocery stores pretty frequently—this is probably the most common popular application, but it can be beneficial for a variety of foods.
- Cherry: Another sweet and mild flavor, cherry wood smoke is good for just about any type of meat. It’s highly versatile.
- Hickory: Hickory wood is a favorite for smoking meats. It too creates a sweet flavor, but one that shows up a little stronger than apple or cherry. It has a very pungent smoke that can be used to flavor any type of meat, but it’s especially popular for pork and ribs.
- Maple: Maple is another sweet, mild flavor that is great for darker meats. It’s one of the hottest burning woods, so care must be taken when working with it.
- Mesquite: Mesquite is commonly used for smoking barbecue, especially in the South. It creates a strong, earthy, unique flavor that fits a lot of dark and red meats. It also burns very hot.
- Oak: Oak has a moderate smoky flavor that differs a bit from the previous entries on this list. It’s not quite as sweet as some other woods. It can work great by itself, but it also is great when blended with apple, hickory or cherry (some mild sweet smokes). It will be great for any meat.
- Olive: Olive wood, in terms of the flavor given off by its smoke, is essentially a lighter version of mesquite. It’s ideally used for smoking poultry.
- Peach: Peach wood is similar to other fruit wood in terms of the sweet, fruity flavor it gives off. It’s especially great for poultry, small game birds and pork.
- Pear: Pear wood, as another fruit wood, has a light and fruity flavor that works particularly well for poultry and game birds.
- Pecan: Pecan wood is a bit stronger than a lot of the fruit woods, but still milder than woods like mesquite or hickory. It’s great for grilling poultry, but it can be used for just about any kind of meat.
- Walnut: Walnut wood creates a strong and bitter flavor that is ideal for red meat and some game. It’s often mixed with other woods to make it a bit milder and more palatable for people with more sensitive taste buds.
For more information about some of the most popular grilling woods in Wausau, WI for smoking meats, we encourage you to contact Marcell’s Specialties Inc. today.
Categorised in: Grilling Tips
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