One of the best parts of owning a wood fired grill is being able to flavour your food by selecting different types of wood to grill or smoke with. In theory, it is as simple as that, but in the same way that herbs and spices need to be learned about, the same can be said for wood. Each variety has a unique characteristic and when used to best effect can complement and elevate tastes to stratospheric new levels! But beware; some smoke flavours can either completely overpower or clash with whatever is being cooked causing a culinary disaster. With so many varieties and choice being available, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Oak is very popular as a smoking wood and is a great all-rounder. Oak is also an ideal choice to mix with other wood flavours. Try these Texas Style Beef Ribs from Nathan at KungFuBBQ.
Apple imparts a mild and fruity taste that is both popular and versatile. It can be used for a variety of recipes, including pork, chicken and fish. Try this recipe for Hot Smoked Salmon.
Birch is very common in the UK and is great with pork and poultry. Try this Rotisserie Chicken from Nathan at KungFu BBQ.
Cherry has a sweet, mild flavour that goes really well with many foods. Try this Cherry Smoked Duck recipe from Marcus Bawdon at CountryWoodSmoke.
Hickory (and Mesquite) add a strong flavour to meats, so be careful not to use too excessively – especially on delicately flavoured foods. Try this Smoked Pork Shank Osso Bucco – again from Nathan at KungFuBBQ
Beyond this, there are a whole host of other woods to experiment with and a more comprehensive list can be found here. Try them all and transform your culinary repertoire through the unique flavours that can only be achieved with real wood smoke.