Maple, cedar or oak wood chips? Dry wood chips or moist wood chips? How to place them properly in the BBQ? Terry Pomerantz gives us advice on how to use wood chips in the BBQ for perfect grilling.
Why use wood chips for BBQ cooking?
Using wood chips will give that perfect natural flavor to everything you grill on your barbecue. Smoking is a very ancient way of preserving meats and fish. Slow cooking that comes from smoking creates a crust on the outside of the meat. It slowly melts the collagen away, which makes the meat very tender and allows it to maintain its tenderness.
How to use wood chips for BBQ grilling?
It is important to choose the right wood essence for the meat you are cooking. It is also important to know how to control the heat and how long to cook your meats, depending on what you are grilling. “You must take the time to experiment if you want to master the art of smoking meats and fish with wood chips. I’m still learning!” confesses Terry Pomerantz candidly.
Moist or dry wood chips?
Terry Pomerantz personally prefers moist wood chips. “I soak them in water for a good thirty minutes. Then I wrap them in aluminum foil and punch several small holes to allow the smoke to come out. I simply toss this directly on the charcoal. The smoke comes out slowly and infuses the meats.”
Wood chips for BBQ smoking.
There are several wood essences and several brands that sell wood chips for smoking. Connoisseurs suggest using fruit tree essences like apple tree, cherry tree or pear tree, as they will give your pork or poultry a smooth and sweet taste.
Essences like hickory and oak will give stronger flavors to steaks and lamb. “There are also wood chips that are rum or whisky flavored. They are perfect for ribs”, says Terry.
How to smoke your meats and fish with a propane or electric BBQ?
“You don’t need an expensive smoker to smoke your meats and fish”, says Terry Pomerantz. “When you use a propane or electric BBQ, lower the heat. For example, for a propane BBQ, you can light one burner instead of 3 or 4. Place the wood chips in an aluminum plate like one you’d used for a frozen lasagna. Add water. With a little bit of whisky it will taste even better. Place this at the bottom of the BBQ. If you are smoking fish, don’t place it directly on top of the lit burner. Smoking your meat and your fish requires patience. Cooking with indirect heat can take several hours before the meat or fish reaches the perfect tenderness… This gives you time to take it easy and enjoy life!”
How to smoke meats and fish with a charcoal BBQ?
Smoking meats and fish with a charcoal BBQ is not much different than with a propane or electric BBQ. “You need to avoid cooking on direct heat at high temperatures. Maintain a temperature that doesn’t go higher than 275o F. To do this, fill charcoal at 1/3 capacity or less. Don’t use starters with additives. If the temperature drops, add chips and starters. Always wait until the first smokes that comes with starting the barbecue has completely cleared before closing the barbecue lid.”
“Now sit back and enjoy!” adds Terry Pomerantz.