Why Does the Type of wood you cook with matter?
It is essential to match the right variety of woods when grilling or smoking brisket, pork ribs, salt, salmon, chicken, turkey the list goes on and on. Think of the different types of wood like you would different seasonings like chili, cumin, peppers, basil, lemon, and thyme. For example if cooking fish I would be hesitant to use rosemary as it tends to be too strong a flavour for delicate fish flavour. As in the example one type of wood may pair better with a particular type of meat than another. Also combining different woods together can also create different flavours as well. Below find a list of types of wood and what they pair well with it can be used as a guide for your own grilling! You can mix and match the different varieties and find what works best for you.
Top wood meat combinations
• Pecan: This all-purpose wood works well with red meats and poultry. Providing a mild flavor. It is popular in the Southern United States as this is where these trees tend to grow in abundance.
• Alder: Adds gentle smoke flavor to pork and seafood.
• Hickory: It imparts strong, hearty flavors to meats and is used mostly to smoke pork shoulders, ribs, and beef. The wood of choice for Southern barbecue.
• Maple: Provides a mild smoke that imparts a sweet flavor. It is a traditional choice for smoking ham, poultry, pork, and seafood.
• Mesquite: The boldest flavor. It is excellent for ribs and other strong-flavored meats like brisket.
• Oak: Popular in Europe, it’s strong, but not overpowering. A good choice for beef and lamb.