Today we are going to take a look at some of the varieties of wood used for smoking and the different flavours they can add to your food. As with any ingredient you use in your cooking, each different variety of wood works better with some meats than others and will give you a different flavour and colour.
Fruit woods such as Apple, Cherry and Pear are some of the milder flavours out there and are a great place to start. The flavour isn’t too intense and has a slight sweetness to it. For some, the flavour of strong smoke can be a little overpowering so these milder woods will give you a great flavour and colour whilst letting the meat come through.
Oak would be considered a medium strength smoking wood and ideal for those who really like to taste the smoke on their food.
Whilst most hardwoods are suitable for smoking, there are some woods you should avoid as they can be harmful. These woods are Redwood, Pine, Fir, Elm, Liquid Amber, Cypress, Spruce, Sycamore and Cedar. You should also avoid any wood that has been treated with any kind of preservative.
Blending different varieties of wood
It is a great idea to play around with blending different varieties of wood that have different flavours to achieve an overall flavour profile. Blending fruit woods like apple, cherry or pear which give a slightly sweeter smoke with something like beech, oak or hickory can give you a great flavour on your meat.
This is also a great way to intensify the smoke flavour on your food. If you like the flavour of a fruit wood but would like a slightly stronger smoke flavour then rather than adding more wood, try blending a different wood in with the fruit wood to get the best of both worlds.
I have put together a wood smoking chart with some of the more common wood varieties, their strength of flavour and what meat they work well with. This is not an exclusive list and there are other varieties that work well but these will give you a nice mix to get started with
To help you experiment with all these different wood flavours and find the right flavours for you, James over at SmokewoodShack.com is going to allow the giveaway winner 25% off their next order so you can stock up on some of the best quality smoking wood around. Make sure to visit the Smokewood Shack website to see their range of Chunks, Chips and Dust.
This is the fourth and final prize to be added to the 30 Days to Better BBQ Giveaway, to find a list of all the prizes and how you can win them, visit http://www.barbechoo.com/giveaway. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, 28th June 2017.