The Difference Between Barbecue Wood Chips

Foods & DrinksFood

  • Author Jaden Santon
  • Published May 21, 2009
  • Word count 517

Smoke is an integral part of the barbecue process. It has been recognized since the ancient times as the best way to preserve meat for long periods of time, and now it is the most recognized way of adding flavor to your barbecue or to anything you can cook. Yes, people nowadays use smoke to enhance the flavor of meats, and one way of making great smoke is to use barbecue wood chips.

Barbecue wood chips are considered as one of the most effective sources of fuel for grilling and barbecuing. Many barbecue enthusiasts these days prefer the wood chips than the chunks, logs, and the charcoal for a number of good reasons. One of those is the fact that barbecue wood chips are generally inexpensive. They are marketed throughout the world and are easy to use and prepare. They even come in different types of wood, so the flavors vary accordingly.

Speaking of flavor, the barbecue wood chips are prepared from different kinds of wood which in turn provide a different flavor to what you cook. There are heavy woods and there are fruit woods. But, according to some, the difference between these types is very subtle. Well, below are few of the most well-known kinds of barbecue wood chips. So consider the following:

  • Alder - The Alder barbecue wood chips are generally identified for their light flavor that is said to work best with poultry and fish. This is actually the traditional wood for smoking Salmon.

  • Fruit - A number of flavors are associated with this kind of barbecue wood chips. There include cherry, apple, and apricot; all of them are recognized for their mild and sweet flavor that is great for smoking ham and poultry.

  • Hickory - One of the most marketed types of barbecue wood chips is Hickory. This is known for its strong flavor that makes it perfect for grilling meat. However, because of its strong effect, it is important to make sure that you do not use hickory barbecue wood chips excessively as an excessive use of it will turn your meat bitter.

  • Oak - This is but another strong wood for smoking. Just like Hickory barbecue wood chips, the oak is ideal for beef and lamb, and although it is strong, it is not overpowering. This is perhaps the reason that the oak barbecue wood chips are now considered as the most versatile type of hard woods.

  • Pecan - This wood burns cool. It is also provides a delicate flavor to your barbecue. And, according to some, this is so far the subtler version of hickory barbecue wood chips.

There are other types of woods perfect for smoking or barbecuing, such as almond, black walnut, citrus, grapevines, mesquite, maple, ash, beech, cottonwood, guava, fig, and lot more. They are used by directly adding them to the coals, or by soaking the barbecue wood chips in water which will burn up pretty fast and create smoke when added to the fire. They are also packaged nowadays, but it is still very important to choose which best suits your personal grilling style.

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