Men know BBQ and understand the importance of properly smoked meats. However, what some may not know is that one of the most important roles in the quality of the finished product is the type of wood used to smoke.
Smoke wood comes in a variety based on the type of tree the wood is harvested from. The flavor of the meat will be enhanced by not only the type of wood used, but the duration the meat is smoked and the spices and marininades used in preparation.
Different types of smoke woods will yield a flavor similar to the woods base.
Cherry wood derived from the cherry tree is said to give off a sweet, robust flavor. Meat smoked with cherry are typically more light such as chicken, and pork.
Hickory wood burns very well and gives off a significant amount of smoke. The wood is dry and will burn fast, meaning it will require more attention and upkeep than other woods with a slower burn. Hickory is typically used with meats and fish such as salmon and pork. Hickory is also a favorite when smoking ribs.
Mesquite wood has a very bold flavor and is used mainly in smoking red meats. When mesquite is used to smoke, it slows burns giving the meat a nice smoke ring seen once it is sliced.
Peach gives a bit of sweetness to the meat along with great color and a beautiful smoke ring. One of the more rare woods for smoking, this particular cut requires a bit more moisture when smoking. Try soaking woodchips before they are placed on coals for a slow smoke.
Apple wood adds great flavor to smoked meats as well as a sweet taste, like peach. A favorite among master smokers, the wood from golden delicious apple trees produces a flavor unlike no other.
One thing to remember when smoking with any of these types of woods is that the type of meat that you are smoking will dictate the type of wood you will use. Wood is like wine, where certain woods and meat pair well together.
Don’t want to go through all of the trouble and long hours of attention required to smoke your next dinner? Not to worry, there is several non-wood based smoke flavoring available. Wrights liquid smoke, for example, gives any meat a smoky flavor without the wait. The liquid will have a strong smoke smell, but the flavor that comes from that little bottle will make you feel like a BBQ master in no time.