The Most Delicious Smoke Flavors
If you are looking to give the best flavor to the food you cook on the grill, the BBQ Guru points out that the smoke wood you use can play a sizable role in the taste of the final product. Charcoal is what you use for heat and while it can bestow a little flavor, smoke wood is what really gives BBQ its flavor. Fruity flavor? Bitter flavor? Earthy flavor? Citrus smoke? Subtle smoke flavor or strong flavor? There are many different flavors, so it's up to you to choose the wood flavor profile.
What's the Best Type of Wood for Your BBQ?
What Kind Of Wood For Your Grill?
When doing a long cook with red meats, like ribs or pork butts or a brisket, you want fruit wood chunks like applewood, cherrywood, or pecan wood, all are very popular woods among grill masters. Those woods burn longer, letting the meat soak in smoke for a longer period of time.
If you are working on chicken or anything that takes less than an hour to cook, light-meat game birds, you want to focus on wood chips like maple wood. When working with chips, know that you can put them in dry or soak them.
Soaked wood chips take longer to smoke and dry chips reach a smoking point faster than soaked ones. Choose the type of wood depending on the wood flavor profile you want to achieve with your smoked pork shoulder, or with other smoking meat.
Which Flavor For Smoking?
After you have narrowed down the shape of wood for your BBQ endeavors, its important to consider the subtle smoke flavor that you want to impart upon your food.
- Pecan and hickory are nutty trees that can add a nutty flavor.
- Cherry and applewood are fruit trees that can impart a light sweet flavor and fruity smoke, a more delicate flavor.
- Mesquite is the wood you use when you want that hard strong flavor, "Texas-style" flavor" in your smoked meat.
These notes on flavor are also determined by how much wood you use. A common mistake upon newcomers to smoking wood is to just toss in all of the wood that can fit and the result will be perfect.
People who know what they are doing and what smoke flavor profile they want understand that smoke wood is like any other ingredient; using too little or too much results in an unsatisfying product and smoky flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best wood for smoking fish?
Alder wood is the go-to choice for smoking fish. To see more options, check out our Meat Smoking Guide.
How can I use wood on a grill that is not a smoker?
Get a Smoker Box! This handy tool will allow you to use wood chips and create delicious smoky flavors for smoking meat.
How do I know which wood to use to grill my meat?
Game meats? Dark meat? Light-meat game birds? We've got you covered. Take a look at our Meat Smoking Guide to see which wood is right for the meat you are grilling!