WOOD PAIRING TIPSIt’s important to pair the right wood with the food you are smoking. Here are a few suggestions.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
It’s important to pair the right wood with the food you are smoking. Here are a few suggestions:
• Alder: Very delicate with a hint of sweetness and is great with fish, pork, poultry and light-meat game birds. Traditionally, it is used in the pacific northwest to smoke salmon.
• Apple: Slightly sweet with a denser, fruity smoke that is particularly good with ham but also works well with beef, poultry or game birds.
• Cherry: Good with all meats and imparts a fruity, slightly sweet smoke flavor.
• Cedar planks: Terrific for those that want to use traditional Pacific Northwest Indian smoking techniques for their salmon.
• Grape vines: Quite similar to fruit wood, aromatic and great with most meats.
• Hickory: All time favorite with its pungent, smoky, bacon like flavor is the most common wood used for smoking pork and ribs.
• Maple: Good with pork, poultry, cheese, vegetables and small game birds with its mildly smoky, somewhat sweet flavor.
• Mesquite: Has that strong earthy flavor that all smokers recognize and is especially good with beef and most vegetables.
• Mulberry: Reminds most people of the sweet smell of apple and is great with ham but also with beef, poultry and game birds.
• Oak: Great with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game and with its heavy smoke flavor, one of the most popular of the woods to smoke with.
• Peach: Good with most meats with its slightly woodsy, sweet flavor.
• Pecan: Similar to hickory but not quite as strong. You also can smoke with the pecan shells also. Pecan is good for almost any smoking needs
• Pear: Great for pork, poultry and game birds with its sweet, woodsy flavor.
• Plum: Milder and sweeter than hickory and is a good choice for almost any meats.
• Walnut: Produces a very heavy smoke flavor and is best used in combination with lighter woods like apple or pecan. Used alone it can give the foods a bitter taste. Try this with game and red meats.