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What is Your Choice of the Smoking Wood: Wood Dust or Wood Chips?

Posted by Viktor 17/03/2017 1 Comment(s)



Your choice of smoking wood would be an important decision if you found your smokehouse yourself, or you are responsible for the production outcome of someone else's Smokehouse. This is simply because the future success of depends on the taste of your final product.


Some of the world's most suitable smoking wood species include juniper, alder, hazel, maple, apple, pear, oak, ash and birch, either in the form of Wood Dust or Wood Chips. Each type of wood gives transfers a unique taste and flavour to the product it is being used to smoke. However, it has been noted by most owners and operators successful smokehouses that adding or mixing specific tree species to get the best tastes and flavours from the smoking process.


The best wood chips and wood dust are those that are processed from barkless wood logs. Smoking with wood that contains bark can result in an unwanted taste, as the bark itself can contain mould and other unpleasant contents. Once the cortex is separated from the bark, the timber is crushed into specific sizes ranging from 2-3cm. After that, some are chip processors dry them through specific processes and others are packaged or left that way.


In general, Smoking wood preference is given to maple, beech, alder and oak. However, there are several other wood sources that can be used for smoking. Most of such "other woods" include; chestnut, ash, willow, and poplar fruit trees. Pine is not usually for smoking food at all as it gives a very unpleasant bitter taste to the food when it is used for food smoking. It is also worth knowing that any coniferous softwood is likely to give your food/product a bitter taste of the product will get from, therefore it is advised that one should not use them for commercial smoking processes. In order to avoid the bitter taste of coniferous soft woods, it is better to double-wrap the food you intend to smoke with cheesecloth.


If your choice of timber depends on a desired appetizing product colour on the shelf, then the following specifications would be useful:


  • For an attractive golden product colour, then your choice of wood should be mahogany;
  • Alder and oak smoke would give a brown or dark yellow to your product colour;
  • Maple, beech, lime, and other deciduous trees will give your meat or fish golden-yellow colour.

Traditionally, only dry wood chips are used for smoking. Chips with the right moisture content give the amount of smoke that adheres to the surface of whatever food product you decide to smoke. However, there are recipes that require moistening chips desired results. Sometimes, even wood is especially soaked, in order to achieve specific results.


Some smoke experimenters periodically add juniper, rosemary, almond, to fire springs; so as to achieve specific and sometimes various aromatic herbs. You must also remember Juniper overdose will endow your food with an unpleasant, sharp flavour. Vine branches are also said to give fish special spicy flavour when added to smoke.


Whatever you do, before smoking, make sure that your smoking woods are fungi free and barkless if possible.


Happy Smoking to Everyone!!!

1 Comment(s)

Dean Phillips:
30/08/2021, 04:32:15 AM

Just last Wednesday in the afternoon, my brother called me up and told me about how he has been looking for smoking wood chips. He wants to get into smoking meats and this led me to my own research on his behalf. Fortunately, I stumbled on your great post which has provided me with some valuable information. I think its interesting how you elaborated on how in order to avoid the bitter taste of coniferous soft woods, it is better to double-wrap the food you intend to smoke with cheesecloth. I'm sure anyone looking to smoke meat like my brother will be glad to be mindful of this point you made here. Thank you! I'll pass this on to him soon! https://www.macleansoutdoor.com/

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