That special smoky flavor is one of the most sought-after features of great BBQ food. While any charcoal grill will impart at least some smokiness, adding wood chips or chunks with smoking especially in mind will make a huge impact on the flavor and aroma of your meal.
Types of Smoking Wood Available
The type of wood used makes a big difference in the intensity of the food's final flavor. There are many different BBQ woods available, here are five of the most popular.
Cherry adds a light and sweet flavor rather than a heavy smoke. Its delicate nature makes it one of the most versatile smoking woods, and it's a good match for meats of all kinds. The lightness of cherry wood smoking chips can also be used when cooking vegetables without overpowering them. It is ideal as a base wood, mixed with small amounts of more strongly aromatic woods to build a balanced smokiness.
Pecan wood lies near the center of the smokiness spectrum. Its flavor is light enough for pork but can also stand up to heavier meats like beef or wild game. Pecan smoking wood chips will add a rich yet sweet and nutty flavor to your meal.
Apple is one of the mildest smoking woods, and is ideal for long, slow, cold smoking which gives its delicate flavor chance to enter the meat. Apple wood is also great for smoking lighter foods such as fish or zucchini.
Producing a sweet, bacon-like flavor, hickory wood is a good all-round choice for when you want to add a definite smoky hit to substantial food such as ribs. The sweet yet tangy flavor notes hickory smoking chips add help make it one of the most popular woods of these five.
If you want to create an intense smokiness, then mesquite is the natural choice. However, use it carefully, as it can easily overpower all other flavors if you burn too much for too long.
We also stock ready-made wood chunk blends which easily create a well-rounded flavor profile for different kinds of food. And if you want to ring the changes, we also stock wood chips and chunks with added whiskey, sugar, and other flavorings for impressively authentic BBQ results.
Smoking Wood Sizes
Depending on which smoking or cooking method you want to use, there's a range of wood sizes to choose from.
Offering a good combination of high heat and long burning times, wood chunks are the ideal choice for hot smoking, but can also be used mixed in with charcoal on the grill.
As they burn quickly and strongly, wood chips are better for adding a quick burst of smoky flavor toward the end of cooking. They're also good for fast-smoking foods like fish or thin steaks.
Wood smoking pellets are an economical and convenient way of adding quick smoke to your grill. Made from compressed sawdust, they produce plenty of flavorsome smoke as they smolder.
As the name suggests, cooking logs are most suited to longer cooking rather than straight smoking, but they still add smoky notes as they burn.
Careful use of smoke adds a new dimension to your food, whether you're cooking it on a BBQ or preserving it in a hot or cold smoker. Take some time to browse our range of smoking chips and chunks to explore the flavor possibilities. If you prefer a more personalized assistance in choosing wood chunks or chips, give your local Ace store a call or drop by where our expert staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have.