Buy now but get informed first: Everything you should know about the subject of smoked wood
Here at Pepperworld, the team introduces you to the different aspects of smoking wood in more detail. You will find out, for example, which wood is suitable for the individual food and in what form the wood is to be purchased. Also, whatever wood you should never use for smoking, will be explained.
Why is smoked with wood at all?
For many centuries, smoking has been an often used means of preserving food, for example for long voyages. In addition to the durability but there are other benefits that arise from the smoking. It is not without reason that the word "refinement" is often used in this context. The smoked foods not only get an appetizing color, but also a typical smoky taste. This can, of course, vary depending on the type of wood used.
Which wood is used for smoking?
This depends primarily on what food you want to smoke with it. For example, oak is suitable for beef, poultry and pork. Although oak is safe, it must be completely freed from the bark, as the bark has a high content of tannic acid. Traditionally, of course, there are regional restrictions, as people could initially only use the wood species for smoking, which grow in the surrounding area. However, most industrial wood products for smoking are currently done with beech. Especially in the US, fruit trees (apple, pear etc.) are very popular. These release some of their natural flavor to the food. Other woods, such as walnut, are also popular among smoker friends.
In what form is the wood available?
The wood for smoking, is available in several variants. For example, so-called wood chips and chunks are popular. These are logs in different sizes, the wood chips are a bit smaller than the chunks. Also, commonly used is smoking meal. The location is largely responsible for which variant is the right one for you. In a small table-smoking oven, for example, you have to use the smoking meal. This is logical for reasons of space alone. You get the wood in these variants:
- Wood Chips
- Wood Flour
Does the wood have to be moistened for smoking?
The is an important part of this topic. With the small pieces of wood, the wood chips, however, it is advantageous if the pieces are previously placed in water for about 30 minutes, as otherwise they would burn too quickly. However, when the logs are too moist, they smolder. In the larger pieces, the so-called chunks, this is not necessarily required because the water would not soak the logs anyway. But if you want to produce a bit more smoke, a little water will help with the chunks as well.
What else do you need to consider?
Of course, you may only perform the smoking process outside, as the danger of suffocation can occur in closed rooms. The only exception is the so-called table smoke oven. However, even with these ovens, you must make sure that they stand on a fireproof surface. The best is because a stone slab or a suitable large tile. When you smoke in a grill or smoker, the course must have a lid and this must be completely closed except for the ventilation hatch. Even with these types of smoking a fireproof substrate is essential. As an alternative to a (smoker) grill, you can of course use a special smoker for smoking. The cabinet-like ovens give you more space, so you can refine larger amounts of food with the smoke.
Which wood is unsuitable for smoking?
Of course, you should not use wood treated with paints or anything like that for smoking. Even types of wood that are particularly resinous, are not good for smoking. The sticky juice of the tree releases bitter substances when burned, which not only do not taste good, but also endanger your health. For this reason, conifers such as pine or spruce should not be used. Another disadvantage of these woods is that the wood is too soft for smoking. The unpleasant consequence can be too much soot development. An exception to the conifers is the fir. Their wood is used with as a long tradition for the smoking of ham. If the wood is too fresh, that is also a disadvantage. It burns badly and makes too much smoke. Therefore, wood should be dried for at least two years. As a result, the trapped cell fluids evaporate completely. Not suitable for smoking is, of course, rotten wood. Even very oily woods, such as eucalyptus or cedar, are not suitable for smoking. Burning the essential oils can cause symptoms such as nausea, headache, and dizziness. Which wood you should not use under no circumstances for the smoking, is again listed in the following summary:
- You should not burn with wood or similar processed wood!
- Softwoods are too soft and too resinous! (The exception is the fir; their wood is used for ham smoking.)
- Do not use too fresh wood, it would make too much smoke!
- Please do not burn rotten or rotten wood!
- Woods with essential oils, such as eucalyptus, can be hazardous to health!
Which wood is most suitable for smoking depends mainly on which food you use. Traditionally, however, people use the wood for smoking, which grows in the environment. Beechwood is often used in industrial production. Other woods such as walnut or even fruit trees are very popular for smoking, especially in the USA. However, there are also woods, which you should under no circumstances use for smoking. These include most softwoods, these are not only too resinous, but also too soft. The modern smoked wood is offered in several different ways. The best known is the wood in thin logs, also called wood chips. Larger logs are called chunks. To create more smoke, you should put the smaller wood chips in water for 30 minutes before smoking.
It goes without saying that you should only perform the smoking process in the open air. You should always make sure that the smoker is on a fireproof surface.