Wood chips VS wood chunks
Smoking anykind of meat, fish and food is gaining in popularity. So here you are, you want to start smoking. That’s great!
If you have end up on this page, you are probably trying to buy your first wood for smoking. But, the sad thruth is hitting you. Where to start? What’s the difference between the kind of wood? Why there is so many sizes of wood cut? What do I really need?
If you want to try the smoking pleasure of smoking, you don’t need to buy the big offset cooker. Barbecuing is like swimming, most people prefer to tip their toes in the water before jumping. You can do the same here.
Let’s start small
Wood chips are ideal for gas BBQs or propane smokers designed for this purpose. In coal, they burn too fast. It is therefore better to use chunks for better results.
In a gas BBQ, you can use a chips box that you place on top of a heat deflector. You light up the burner under the heat deflector until a smoke escapes. Then, lower the temperature to keep smoking the chips (so they do not burn). Add your piece of meat for indirect cooking so the smoke can enter. Then, enjoy your flavored meat with the smoke you have selected.
For better results and to help you skip à few unsuccessful tests. Be sure to pack your chips tightly. If there is too much air between each chip, they might burst into flame.
You are hook now? Let’s try bigger!
Wood chunks are ideal for charcoal BBQ. Place them on the edge of the coal to produce a lasting smoke. The chunks smoke up to 2 hours in the coal while the chips smoke for only 15 minutes.
Like some of us, you might like the strong flavor of smoke. Lear from our mistake. DO NOT more than 2-3 chunks of wood at à time in the coal. Those chunks will smoke first but eventually they will burn. With too much chunks you will have problems keeping your temperature steady. When smoking, smoke is great, but steady temperature is the key for great results.
Wet, or not to wet?
Never wet chips or wood pieces. If you wet the hardwood you only add moisture to the fire and it decreases it’s efficiency and oxygen levels. By depleting the effectiveness of your fire, it will produces a white laden smoke with creosote while by not wetting them a bluish smoke will emerge to better penetrate the meat.
The ideal smoke is translucent with blue highlights. You must get this smoke every time when using smoke wood to get results that will make your guests jealous of your BBQ talent.
All woods provide different flavors and intensities of smoke specific to them.
- Mesquite, hickory and oak give smoked flavors more intense and drier to your meat.
- Maple, apple and cherry give smoother, less intense flavors to your food.
Smoke flavors can be added to anything and can be seen as the other kind of spices. The pleasure of cooking and barbecuing is trying new things. Make your special blend of wood chips and chunks to make your own smoking flavor. Try smoking your side dishes or even your deserts. A good apple crumbles smokes in maple wood is to die for!
Have a good smoking BBQ!