Barbecue has become a gourmet meal for a lot of families. There are many different grills that can be used for barbecuing as well as an assortment of fuels that can be used for cooking food on the grill. One of the most popular is smoked woods. Smoked woods give food, especially meats, a better flavor and aroma. Smoked woods are generally used with cooking grills that have charcoal as a source of fuel. Knowing the best smoked woods for barbecue can help make your next gourmet barbecue meal a smashing success. This is everything about using smoke woods for barbecue.

Using wood for smoking meat with cooking has become very popular in recent years. Smoked woods can be used for cooking a variety of meats. Not only is smoking wood for cooking creating a delicious meal, but it is also more environmentally friendly than charcoal. Smoker wood can be used in a charcoal grill or you can also cook your meat in a smoker which a grill specifically designed for wood smoking and foods.

What woods to use for smoking

The most widely used and popular types of wood used for smoking meats are oak, mesquite, pecan, alder, cherry, apple and hickory. In general, the best woods for smoking meats are wood from a tree that bears fruit and are hard woods. Fruit woods will give meat a lighter smoke flavor than wood from nut bearing trees. Wood from nut bearing trees has a tendency to give meat a stronger smoke flavor when used for barbecuing.

What woods not to use for smoking

There are some woods to avoid in general for smoking meats. These include; cedar, cypress, elm, liquid amber, redwood, eucalyptus, spruce, sycamore and fir. If there is any doubt whether or not a wood should be used for smoking during cooking, play it safe and avoid it.

You can mix different types of woods for smoking. Different types of smoke woods give a different and distinctive flavor. It’s best to mix fruit bearing tree woods together for smoking with each other and nut-tree bearing woods together. However, avoid mixing fruit bearing tree woods with nut bearing tree woods while cooking.

Flavored smoke woods for grilling

Retailers have realized the popularity of smoking woods for grilling. There are several retailers that have created flavored smoke woods for cooking purposes. These flavored smoking woods come in wood chunks, pellets or wood chips in different sizes.

Flavored smoke woods for grilling from these retailers has been soaked in wine or tabasco or else made from old wine and whiskey barrels. The wood creates a unique aroma and flavor to cooked meat smoked with these flavored woods.

Chunks, chips and pellets used for wood smoking

There is a difference in how wood burns depending on what form it comes in. chefs may want a form of wood for smoking depending on what type of meat is cooked. For an example, smoking wood chips burn hot and fast, but smoking wood chunks will burn slower while releasing the smoke over a longer period. Chunks are more popular for smoking than chips.

Wood smoking pellets are actually constructed from compressed sawdust. There are a number of assortments of smoking wood pellets. Smoking wood pellets burn fast and hot the same as smoke wood chips.

Smoking wood chips will burn faster than chunks or pellets. When using chips for smoking wood need to be added more often during the cooking process, smoke is released in quick bursts with chips. A lot of chefs that want to prolong the burning of wood chips add them to a pouch of aluminum foil and place the pouch of wood chips directly on hot coals while cooking. Poking holes in the foil pouch will let the smoke from the chips to escape.

Soaking wood chips in water

There are some cooks that prefer to soak smoking wood in water before using them for cooking. The water soaking is generally overnight or at least for several hours.  Soaking the smoking wood in water is not a necessary action for cooking. The purpose for many that do use soaking wood in water for cooking with smoke wood is to slow the burn time. However, many grills have vents in the charcoal bowl which can control the air flow. Additionally, water doesn’t really penetrate wood that is seasoned very well.

Should bark be removed from the wood?

Some people are adamant that the bark should be removed from the smoking wood before barbecuing. Removing the bark according to a lot of chefs is necessary to the flavor of the cooked meat. There is one type of flavor that is introduced with the bark on the smoked wood and another when the wood is removed. Many chefs claim there is no difference when cooking. In order to decide which one is best for meat, try cooking both ways. However, it is not a necessity to remove the bark from the smoked wood for cooking.

Smoked wood for cooking is a wonderful way to create a different type of flavor for any food cooked on a charcoal grill. There are a variety of different woods that can be used for smoking. Additionally, smoked woods come in different sizes and shapes for cooking preferences. Adding smoked wood for any chef can make a barbecue into something more delightful and tasty than ever before.