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Real Wood Smoke Flavor from a gas grill

August 18, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

I am one of the guys who loves my gas grill, and I really do not care what others say.

I like the ease of use, predicable performance, easy of cleaning, and all of that.  But, it took me awhile to learn how to get “real wood smoke flavor” from my gasser.

 When using my smoker, I have learned to love certain smoke flavors with certain types of meat. For example, I like fruit woods such as Cherry, Apple, and Peach on poultry and pork. For beef (primarily Brisket Burgers on the gasser), I like a touch of Mesquite.

I have also played with specialty chips such as the Jack Daniels barrel chips and such with mixed results. To get the smoke flavor, I use a “Smoke Bomb” loaded with chips or pellets of the desired flavor.

A Smoke Bomb is basically a closed container with only a couple of air holes to allow smoke to escape.

A Smoke Bomb can be made that lasts a long time, even to an hour or more if needed. It works so well because it restricts the oxygen to the chips or pellets, producing a longer and smoldering burn that reduces flare ups and quick burning.

 I started with the most simple of Smoke Bombs, just heavy duty aluminum foil. I made a double layer big enough to resemble a small grapefruit with chips or pellets inside. Sealed it up good and poked one or two tiny holes in the top with a tooth pick or my trusty Thermopen. Place it on a burner and when smoke starts emitting from the holes, it is time to cook.

 The next step up for me was one of those stamped and bent sheet metal boxes sold by Home Depot with “smoking chips” in them Viagra 100mg. They Viagra Online are about 5-6 inches long, 3 inches wide, and an inch deep. The first thing is to throw away the “smoking chips” unless you really know what they are. If you try to use these open boxes with chips, you will need to soak them first or they will just ignite and last a minute or two. Not even long enough to do a smoked hot dog. So, I wrapped the box with good ole HD aluminum foil and poked a couple of small holes in the top to restrict combustion air. Worked like a charm. Biggest benefit was that the box gave some form to the Smoke Bomb when compared to HD foil only. Worked well.

My final evolutionary step was a cast iron skillet to hold the chips and pellets. I found an old 7 Inch skillet at a garage sale for $2. I cover it with HD foil with a couple of teeny -tiny holes again. One quarter to one half a cup of pellets or chips produces plenty of smoke for a good steak cook. Because of it’s mass, I put the skillet on my side burner to get the heat up and start the smoke. Then, the skillet fits perfectly on the two left hand burners on my five burner gas grill.

I defy anyone to tell that my steak cooked with a Mesquite Smoke Bomb came off a gasser! Outstanding wood smoke flavor, and that is what BBQ is all about.

Chips a pellets are available at many places, including WalMart if you watch the BBQ area closely. Small quantities of pellets are available on-line in many flavors. I tequires so few pellets or chips per cook that they are really cost effective when used only for flavor.

Happy Cooking.

TIM

Woods for Smoking

July 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Decisions on smoking woods used are usually based on regional availability and preference. In fact, there are more woods used then what I have listed. As I come across more I will add them.

Well Known Smoking Woods

Hickory – Said to be the King of Smoking woods. I would have to agree. Hickory produces a strong sweet hearty taste. Hickory, in my opinion was made for pork. However, it works well with chicken and beef also.

Pecan– Being in the same family as hickory, pecan has a similar flavor but not quite as strong as hickory. It is great on all meats.

Apple – While Apple is an excellent Wood for smoking red meat; it does an exceptional job on poultry. I like to use Apple on chicken and turkey with a little bit of cherry.

Cherry – Can be a difficult wood to come by, Cherry produces a delicately sweet flavor. Great for poultry, beef, fish and pork.

Mesquite – Great tasting but strong. This uniquely flavored wood is as potent as it is tasty. Mesquite is actually used more for direct cooking than smoking. Be careful, too much or too long can produce a bitter flavor.

Oak – Most versatile of the hardwoods blending well with most meat. Oak is a milder smoke than hickory, works well with pork, chicken, or beef.

Maple – Produces a light sweet taste recommended for poultry and ham.

Alder – Native to the Pacific Northwest, alder is a mild sweet wood. Great for almost all meats, used mostly for smoking fish (salmon in particular).

Not So Well Known Smoking Woods (and other things)

Peach – Another sweet wood, good to use with other woods such as – Another sweet wood, good to use with other woods such as Buy Cialis oak Buy Cialis or hickory. Works well mixed with Alder when cooking salmon.

Plum – Similar to Peach, but make sure to use only the fruit bearing varieties.

Pear – Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor. Good with pork and chicken.

Walnut – A very heavy smoke, best when used with milder woods. Good with beef.

Almond – A nutty and sweet flavor, and fairly mild. Good with most meat.

Acacia – From the same family as mesquite, but a bit milder. Good with most meat.

Ash – Fast burner, light but distinctive flavor. Good with fish and red meats.

Grapevines – Becoming increasingly popular in California, does well on fish and poultry.

Citrus – Becoming increasingly popular especially in Florida, is the use of the wood from Orange trees, Grapefruit trees, and Lemon trees. Citrus wood imparts a mild fruity smoke, which works pretty well on almost all meats.

Australian Pine – The folks in South Florida are starting to use a wood called the Australian Pine. This tree is not from the Pine family but gets its name more so from its needle like leaves. I believe this tree is taking over South Florida and they are finding whatever use they can for it. However, its been reported to me to be a decent smoking wood. Could this be the next mesquite? I don’t know, but I will wait to hear more before trying myself.

Onion Skins and Garlic Skins – I have never tried this myself, but I was told to wrap in foil and let smolder rather than direct contact with the flame.

Herbs – Makes sense to use aromatics such as Rosemary, Thyme, and Basil. Make sure to soak them first.

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