Which Wood Will Work?
When it comes to smoking food on your grill, you enter a whole new realm of seasonings-the flavor of wood. You can buy wood chips for grilling at grocery, hardware or gourmet stores. They are also often available through grill manufacturers or mail order companies.
To use wood on a charcoal grill, soak the chips or chunks in a bowl of cold water to cover for 1 hour. Drain the chips and sprinkle 1 to 2 cups or 2 to 4 chunks onto the preheated coals just before you put on the food.
For gas grills, again presoak the wood chips or chunks. Place the drained wood in either the smoker box that came with the grill or in a small loaf pan or metal pie tin. Place the box directly over one of the burners and preheat the grill on high until the wood starts to smoke. Then, lower the heat of the grill to the desired cooking temperature.
Use the following condensed excerpt from Cook'n & Grillin' (or Steve Raichlen's The Barbecue Bible) to know how to pair 'which wood with which food'. (Can you say that 10 times fast?) Your tongue will really start tingling when you bite into your very own wood seasoned dish!
And, don't forget the herbs either. Soak sprigs of fresh herbs in water, drain, and throw over coals or place on the grate next to cooking food for gourmet flavor.
Alder: Salmon, Turkey, Chicken
Apple: Chicken, Pork, Game
Cherry: Duck and other Poultry
Grapevine: Steaks, other meats, Seafood, Escargots
Hickory: Pork, Traditional American Barbecue
Maple: Poultry, Seafood, Pork
Mesquite: Texas-style Beef BBQ
Oak: Poultry, Seafood, Meat
Pecan: Southern American BBQ
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *