What Wood Flavors To Use When Smoking Meats
What Wood Flavors To Use When Smoking Meats
Learn what flavors of wood to use when smoking meats with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.
What Is The Most Popular Wood?
Hickory is the most popular option, closely followed by Mesquite. Walton’s uses hickory and mesquite for smoking most meats in our smokehouses, pellet grills, and charcoal grills.
When To Use Apple Wood?
Apple has a mild and subtle flavor that is slightly fruity and sweet. It goes great with poultry, fish, pork, and vegetables. Also great for larger meats like ham, pork shoulder, and turkey.
When To Use Cherry Wood?
A very similar wood to Apple with a slightly fruity and sweet flavor and aroma. Great for larger meats like ham, pork shoulder, fish, salmon, and poultry. Also a great compliment when burning wood in chimineas.
When To Use Hickory Wood?
When in doubt, Walton’s uses Hickory wood. The most popular option for smoking most meats. Hickory has a stronger flavor than most other wood types and is an excellent choice for any smoked meats. Also a fairly popular option for use in chimineas.
When To Use Mesquite Wood?
An excellent all-around flavor and the 2nd most popular wood for smoking meats. Mesquite burns very hot and is perfect to complement beef, chicken, fish, and especially wild game. Recommended for grilling “flame kissed”.
When To Use Mulberry Wood?
Mulberry is a sweet fruitwood that is not as commonly used as other options, but still acceptable for all types of meats or vegetables. It is similar in density and heating values of oak.
When To Use Oak Wood?
Oak is a pleasant and versatile wood that is not overpowering. A good choice when smoking and cooking potatoes. Also great with large pieces of meat like large briskets, chops, or steaks. Also a popular choice for burning in chimineas.
When To Use Pear Wood?
Pear wood provides a very subtle smoke flavor which is particularly good with chicken, but also pork and vegetables.
When To Use Pecan Wood?
Pecan wood is fairly similar to hickory wood, but it is lighter and not as powerful of a smoke flavor. A bit more subtle, sweet, and mild. Great for all types of meats and vegetables.
When To Use Pinyon (Pinon) Pine Wood?
Pinyon pine is not meant to be used for smoking meats, but, it is one of the most popular choices of wood for burning in chimineas.
I’ll be mixing 25 lbs of venison/pork fat at about a 75/25 ratio tomorrow.
I’ll mix 12.5 lbs. at a time in my 20 lb mixer. I have pre-measured the seasonings and cure into one bag for each 12.5 lbs. I also have the carrot fiber binder measured for each 12.5 lbs of meat.
Question 1: Would it work to mix the seasoning, cure, and carrot binder with the ice cold water, then pour into mixer for more even dispersion of ingredients?
Question 2: On the subject of even dispersion of ingredients…how can only 60 seconds or less of mixing get the encapsulated citric acid evenly dispersed?
@kking It wouldn’t necessarily hurt anything, the only real danger you would run into is getting some case hardening. That is where the outside cooks too quickly and will not pass heat into the center. So you get an overcooked outside and an undercooked inside. If you stick to your previous smoke schedule and get good protein extraction when mixing (should be sticky and stretch if you grab a handful) then you should be good!
If you get protein extraction my recommendation is low and slow!
@jonathon will it hurt anything to cook them at a higher temp to get them done quicker or should I stay low and slow?
@jonathon Sounds great. Thank you!
@kking Gotcha! Okay, that changes things a little, if you added sure cure then the only other difference is the grinding and mixing. All of that is contained in the article I posted in my previous one, so if you ground and mixed as I did in that video that . I’m glad people are starting to try adding cure to traditionally fresh products, it’s a great way to experience new flavors!
Since there was nothing bad growing in your meat (since you used sure cure) then I think the most likely thing would be either be some fat rendering out and essentially basting the casing in fat(which would have happened if you did not get enough protein extraction), or it might just have been a less than perfect batch of casings. They are natural casings and even though they are processed there is going to be some variability. You certainly can use natural hog casings to smoke sausage, people do it often, I just prefer collagen because I find it so much easier to work with and I like the snap of it better.
The major downside to collagen is that it will not accept a twist as natural casings will.
@jonathon thanks for the help. However I did add sure cure to it when I mixed it and stuffed it. Is the issue I’m using the wrong casing? Do the natural casing not hold up to that slow cooking process. I guess I called them brats because I used brat seasoning.