· Food For Thought
Smoking 101

C’mon, light it up. All the cool kids are doing it. Smoking is the best! See, peer pressure totally works.

 

No, we’re not talking about cigarettes, cigars, or ganja (is that what the kids are calling it these days?). We’re talking about smoking on the grill, or, if you’ve got one, a smoker; though that one sounds like a no-brainer.

 BBQ Smoking Ribs on Barbecue

 

 

 

Hell, people have been smoking meat since the good old days (read: prehistory), so we’re thinking it’s a practice that’s gonna stick around. Even the French do it (side note: we’re told that the French do not smoke meat while wearing striped shirts and berets, but we’d like to think they do).

 

 

If you don’t have a smoker, and are instead using a gas or propane grill, don’t worry about it. There are little smoker boxes (like this one) that you can put on the grill, and you can fill them up with whatever kind of wood chips your little heart desires.

 

If you’re not sure what kind of wood to use with your food, ask the all-knowing folks at one of our stores to help. They’re a pretty handy bunch.

 

Wood Chip Smoking Tip 

Most folks add water to their wood chips when they're getting ready to put their smoker boxes on the grill.  That's a good idea as it means that your wood chips will smoke and not burn. 

However our friend Gerry who knows a thing or two about barbecue and admittedly, "...didn't get this big eating carrots", suggests putting a handful of dry wood chips on top of your moist chips.  That way you'll quickly get some of the wood chips to ignite and help get the moist ones hot enough to smoke.  Good tip. 

 Brander Stainless Steel Smoker Box filled with wood chips

Folks are getting creative with wood chips these days. Instead of using just one type of wood chip to add flavour when grilling, they're combining a variety of chips to create unique smoke tastes.

Some of the companies that package wood chips are getting in on the act and creating 'blends' for particular types of meals such as seafood, chicken or beef. In general, stronger woods such as oak and mesquite work well with red meats, fruit woods work well with pork and mild woods such as alder and birch are a good match with fish. But those are just guidelines; there are some great blends that work well with some surprising meats. 

It's cheap and easy to try your own blends. Just pick up a variety of wood chips and start mixing. Hey, it works for wine - why not wood?

Here are some recipes using wood chips for smoking!

Roasted Stuffed Pears

Cherry Smoked Tenderloin