BBQ Wood Chips For Grilling
There are lots of little tips to barbecuing that can make all the difference in the cooking results. One of these tips is not really new. In fact, it’s like the T-Rex of all barbecuing tips: wood chips. Back in the days of Neanderthal barbecues, wood chips were not just a way of making a tough side of dinosaur taste better, it was the only way to insure that it was cooked through. Maybe in those days, the kids rounded up whatever bits and pieces of wood they could find, took them down to the nearest riverbed and wet them down. When Mom got the fire going, they were added to lengthen cooking time. Now, BBQ wood chips for grilling have been rediscovered of a fashion. BBQ experts knew all about this handy tip but they also realized fairly quickly that certain types of wood chips would enhance the flavor of grilled meats, vegetables, fruits and breads. This is where the label “fire roasting” originated.
Mequite Wood Chips For BBQ
The most popular BBQ wood chips for grilling are mesquite. Mesquite wood doesn’t originate from a tree but a plant that grows in the southwestern USA and Mexico. It’s a rather pretty plant with dark green, almost fern-like foliage and slim, tubular shafts of wood for limbs and trunks that can grow to larger proportions under the right growing conditions. It’s the wood, however, that is used for wood stoves and lumber for furniture as well as BBQ wood chips. The aromatic scent of mesquite is unmistakable. Unlike some woods that emit an acrid odor, the scent of mesquite is not quite piney and yet not quite as pungent as some fruitwoods. Using mesquite wood chips for cooking over open fire is a relatively old tradition. Because they are so highly prized for barbecues, they tend to be slightly more expensive than other types of BBQ wood chips.
Other Types of Wood Chips For BBQ
Among the other types of BBQ wood chips are those from fruit trees like apple, pear, cherry and peach. These wood chips burn long and add a wonderful scent to BBQ foods. The same is true of many types of wood chips from nut trees like almond, walnut, chestnut and pecan. There are also hickory wood chips that envelop BBQ foods in a scented cloud. For cooking seafood, try alderwood. It can make barbecued trout sing with flavor. Oak is one of the very hardest of hardwoods and it is another of the types of wood chips for BBQ. It’s the mainstay of barbecues in southern USA much like the chips of the birch tree. These are often the choices for BBQ ribs and beef. It’s important to coordinate the scent of these woods with the type of foods to be grilled.
To Dampen Or Not To Dampen Wood Chips For BBQ
The constant bone of contention among avid barbecue experts is whether or not wood chips for BBQ should be wet or dry. In a matter of practicability, this is an argument that depends on the kinds of meats or other foods that are to be placed on the barbecue. There is a rule of thumb where this is concerned. Dry wood will burn faster than wood that has been moistened in water. Although, dry wood will also not give off as much smoke. Ideally, wood chips for BBQ need to have balance in order that the scent of the burning wood will permeate the foods grilled as well as provide less flame. This is the main reason wood chips are used in processing smoked meats. In that process, the wood chips are periodically moistened so that the smoke rises on a continuing basis. So when it comes to wet or dry wood chips it depends on how much of a smoky flavor you expect in the final result.