Wood Flavorings for Grilling or Smoking
Vicki Butts (lazyme)
- 1 c
- wood chips (this is not used, but needed to post the recipe)
The traditional wood for smoking salmon in the Pacific Northwest, alder also works well with other fish. It has a light, delicate flavor.
Both woods produce a slightly sweet, fruity smoke that's mild enough for chicken or turkey, but capable of flavoring a ham.
Hickory is the king of the woods in the Southern barbecue belt, as basic to the region's cooking as cornbread. The strong, hearty taste is perfect for pork shoulder and ribs, but it also enhances any red meat or poultry.
Mildly smoky and sweet, maple mates well with poultry, ham, and vegetables.
The mystique wood of recent decades, mesquite is also America's most misunderstood wood. It's great for grilling because it burns very hot, but below average for barbecuing for the same reason. Also, the smoke taste tunas from tangy to bitter over an extended cooking time. Few serious pitmasters use mesquite, despite a lot of stories about its prevalence in the Southwest.
If hickory is the king of barbecue woods, oak is the queen. Assertive but always pleasant, it's the most versatile of hardwoods, blending well with a wide range of flavors. What it does to beef brisket is probably against the law in some states.
The choice of many professional chefs, pecan burns cool and offers a subtle richness of character. Some people call it a mellow version of hickory.