WOOD FOR SMOKING
Smoke is a traditional method of flavoring anything you can prepare. Smoke was once used to keep meat fresh for long period of time. We can increase the flavor of meats by adding wood to the fire. Of course, not just any wood will suffice. A range of woods—hardwoods—that are low in resin and high in flavor make good smoke.
Various kinds of wood have different flavors, and each tree has different composition and burning point. Larger wood pieces or smaller smoking chips can be used. Wood chunks will burn slowly and produce a lot of smoke over time. Wood chips will burn quickly and rapidly, producing a rush of smoke.
Depending on what you’re smoking, the type of wood you use will change. While meats are the most commonly smoked foods, you can also smoke nuts, cheeses, veggies, and other foods. Non-meat things should be cooked using woods that have a milder flavor.
WHICH WOOD FOR SMOKING
Hickory and Oak are the classic smoking woods. The following is a list of good smoking wood.
- Acacia smoking wood chips burn extremely hot and should only be used in little amounts. Most meats, especially beef, and most vegetables go well with this sauce.
- Alder smoking wood chips is a delicate wood with a light sweetness to it. It’s often used to smoke salmon, but its light flavor complements most fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.
- Almond smoking wood chips is similar to pecan. It has nutty and sweet flavor. Great with all meats.
- Apple smoking wood chips is the most used fruit smoke wood because of its sweet fruity flavor. This wood is excellent for smoking poultry, beef, pork (especially ham), game birds, lamb and some seafood. Apple will discolor chicken skin (turns in dark brown). In general we can say it is good with all meats.
- Apricot smoking wood chips is very similar to hickory but it has sweeter and milder flavor. Can be used as substitution for apple. Generally good with all meats.
- Ash smoking wood chips is a fast burner and has a light but distinctive flavor. Great with fish and red meats.
- Bay smoking wood chips has medium floral and good with meats and vegetables.
- Beech smoking wood chips is mild like oak. It is good with meat and seafood.
- Cherry smoking wood chips is one of the most popular wood that goes great with everything. If you don’t know what wood to use, you can start with cherry wood. It has sweet mild and fruity flavor. Like apple, cherry will also discolor chicken but the taste will be great.
- Chestnut smoking wood chips has nutty flavor and good with all meats.
- Fig smoking wood chips has mildy and fruity flavor so it goes well with all meats.
- Hickory smoking wood chips has a strong flavor to meats, so don’t use it in excess. It goes well with both beef and lamb. It is a strong bacon flavor so good with pork, ham, and beef.
- Juniper smoking wood chips has highly aromatic flavor. It is ideal for fish, pork and game birds.
- Lemon smoking wood chips is good for any meat.
- Maple smoking wood chips has mild and sweet flavor like fruit wood. It goes well with poultry and small game birds. Maple is also commonly used to smoke vegetables and cheeses. But best for smoked turkey.
- Mulberry smoking wood chips has an apple-like flavor that is perfect for grilling poultry, fish, and pork.
- Nectarine smoking wood chips is similar to hickory but sweeter. It goes great with white and pink meats.
- Oak smoking wood chips flavor is stronger than apple and cherry but lighter than hickory. It can be used by itself but mixing with apple, cherry or hickory woods will work good with any meat. Oak also gives the food a nice smoked color.
- Olive smoking wood chips goes best with poultry.
- Orange smoking wood chips gives food a golden color and produces nice mild flavor. It is excellent with beef, poultry and pork.
- Peach smoking wood chips has woodsy flavor and sweet like other fruit woods. Peach is great for white and pink meats including chicken, turkey, pork and fish.
- Pear smoking wood chips is similar to apple and has sweet, mild flavor. Pear smoking wood definitely smells great. Great with poultry and pork.
- Pecan smoking wood chips has sweet and mild flavor similar to hickory but not as strong. Good with poultry, beef, pork and cheese
- Walnut smoking wood chips has a very heavy flavor so usually it is mixed with lighter woods such as apple or pear.Walnut is stronger than hickory. It is good for red meats.
Wood that should not be used for smoking:
Alder wood for smoking
Apple wood for smoking
Cherry wood for smoking
Hickory wood for smoking
Maple wood for smoking
Mulberry wood for smoking
Oak wood for smoking
Olive wood for smoking
Peach wood for smoking
Pear wood for smoking
Pecan wood for smoking
Acacia wood for smoking
Almond wood for smoking
Apricot wood for smoking
Ash wood for smoking
Lemon wood for smoking
Nectarine wood for smoking
Orange wood for smoking
Walnut wood for smoking
Bay wood for smoking
Beech wood for smoking
Chestnut wood for smoking
Fig wood for smoking
Juniper wood for smoking
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