The art of using a smoker may seem confusing for a beginner. With so many types of wood chips to choose from we decided it would be a good idea to give you a list of the various types of wood chips available and the best uses for each one. Some woodchips can be very overpowering for certain dishes. You will want to know when and how to use each one.
Mild woodchips are made from fruit wood such as pear, cherry, and apple. They tend to give off a fruity flavor and pair perfectly with chicken, turkey and fish.
Then there are the woodchips that come from hickory, oak, pecan, and maple. These woods are the most well known when you think of smoked meat. They go great with beef, and pork. They also add a great flavor to most game meats.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up! Try elk meat with half apple or cherrywood paired with hickory. If you are looking to add that deep rich color/ smoked look to your meats, hickory and oak woodchips can get the job done nicely. One last note on hickory – too much can turn the meat bitter.
Next on the list is the infamous mesquite wood. This is one of the strongest of all the woods used for smoking meats. Mesquite adds a great flavor but be careful not to over do it.
It does take some experimenting to see what flavors you enjoy. If the flavor is too strong for your liking add in some fruit woods, too mild – try adding some oak or hickory woodchips.
If you want to go for an authentic barbecue flavor then most people will turn to oak and mesquite.
One last thing. Remember not to over smoke your foods. Even though using a smoker to cook your meats can add a great flavor to your food, you can also over do it by smoking them to long. A good rule of thumb is to smoke for only half the cooking time. Good luck and don’t forget to experiment. You may end up with some great flavors.