The taste of smoked meat, fish or chicken depends largely on the type of wood that is consumed in the preparation of products. Therefore, it is important to choose the right wood material and create all conditions for its storage. What is the best way to use firewood for smoking and how to prepare it yourself?
- Suitable for smoking tree species
- 2 Wood selection criteria
- 3 Wood for meat
- 4Wood breeds for smoking fish
- 5Getting your own chips
Suitable for smoking tree species
The type of wood used for smoking can improve not only the taste of the products, but also give them a special aroma and shade. Also on the type of wood depends on the duration of storage of smoke-treated birds, fish and meat.
The best wood for smoking are hardwoods. Such firewood is used moderately dry and slightly damp. The first option is used most often. Such wood contributes to the formation of a golden crust and gives the products a delicate flavor. Slightly dampish firewood is used when it is required to give smoked meats a tart flavor and bright rich color.
Experienced smokers prefer to work on products on hardwood trees. Such wood is considered the best solution for smoking fish and meat.
Most often I use firewood of such trees:
The delicate aroma gives fish and meat aspen. The formation of a golden crust can be achieved with the help of beech, but this wood does not affect the taste.
A great option for smoking is a pear, cherry or plum. Such fruit trees do not emit the minimum amount of resin in the process of heat treatment, and also give the products a special unique taste and aroma. For smoking use not only firewood, but also chips.
Each separate type of wood is used to prepare a separate product category.
Such wood particles are applied at the very end of smoking along with berries. Some admirers of a particular taste add juniper branches. It fills meat products with a special aroma.
Occasionally, experienced smoke smokers place rosemary and eucalyptus leaves in chips. Smoking with the help of such vegetable components should be carried out correctly. Therefore, for beginners, it is better not to use eucalyptus and rosemary for smoking large portions of meat. Experience comes with time during experiments.
Laurel and prune leaves add a spicy flavor to the meat of the bird. This combination permeates the products with smoke with a special smell.
For pork, the perfect combination of red and black pepper with lovage. Such components greatly enrich the taste of meat products.
Overdoing with various additives is not worth it, since not everyone may like the acquired flavor.
Wood for smoked fish
Smoking fish has its own characteristics. For the preparation of such a product is mainly used such trees:
- Apple tree;
When smoked by fatty marine fish, acacia branches are often used. In the smokehouse they are added immediately after cutting. Acacia slightly gives the fish a sharpness and a unique special taste.
Few woody pieces of juniper and wormwood are sometimes added to fruit chips. Tart fish taste can be created with the help of willow branches.
Golden crust can be achieved by throwing cherry, plum or apple leaves to sawdust. If the color of fresh fish is dark, it is smoked using oak or alder, and in the presence of light yellow shades, linden and maple.
To give a classic taste to smoked fish, you should cook it with alder.
To create a unique aroma of bright golden color, finely crushed particles of such elements are added to the main tree species:
- leafy part of wild cherry;
- walnut shells;
- young branches of juniper.
In order to get delicious aromatic smoked meats it is necessary not only to choose the right wood, but also to prepare it qualitatively.
Making wood chips with your own hands
On sale you can find various types of finished chips. But many experienced smokers prefer to prepare high-quality wood material with their own hands.
For wood chips, you can use whole trees or branches of fruit trees. Harvesting is best carried out in the spring. This time just coincides with the planned pruning of trees on the site.
When selecting wood, it should be borne in mind that old sick trees are not suitable for smokehouse. Also, do not use wood waste construction. On such material may be varnish, various impregnation or paint. The presence of such elements contributes to harmful emissions during the combustion of wood.
The process of wood chips for the smokehouse is quite simple:
- The bark is removed from the tree. It is especially important to remove the protective cover from tree species that contain a large amount of resin.
- Purified wood is crushed. If wood chips are made and logs, then an ax is used. With it, the wood split into longitudinal small strips, which are then cut into pieces. You can also use chips after cutting a tree on a machine or shears to divide branches into small fragments. The optimal size of chips is the size of 2 * 2 centimeters.
- After dividing the wood, it is necessary to soak well in clean water until it reaches one hundred percent moisture. The time for soaking the chips should be five hours.
- After soaking in water, the wood material should be dried. To do this, use a room with good ventilation and lack of moisture. To dry wood chips should be up to an optimal rate of humidity – 60 percent.
You can store chopped wood in containers or in bags with ventilation holes. In large volumes, the material is stored in the open air on an asphalted base in bulk. At the same time be sure to provide a covering over it.
If the chips are dried, then it is sprayed with water to create the required level of humidity. When storing material should comply with safety regulations, which include the absence of open fire near the wood.
Proper use of various woods for smoking products allows you to prepare a very tasty dish soaked in smoke. Special flavor and taste can be given to fish and meat with the help of various herbal supplements. When selecting wood for smoking, it is necessary to take into account not only the type of trees, but also the quality of wood chips.