Cooking food is mostly done over a fire. But, using wood to smoke a food particularly brisket will surely give a smoky, yet sweet flavor. The flavor produced by the smoke is so iconic, but each type of wood adds an aromatic element and unique flavor to the food.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right type of wood appropriate to the food you need to smoke such as brisket. See to it that the wood complements the meat better.
Different Types of Wood For Smoking Brisket
If you’re planning to smoke a brisket, you should consider meat-wood combinations in order to achieve the best results.
Hardwood works best for heavier meats like pork and beef. On the contrary, lighter hardwoods are recommended for delicate meats like fish and chicken.
To help you know more about smoking wood, check this out.
Oak wood is stronger than cherry or apple, yet lighter than hickory or mesquite. It is very versatile as it yields a medium smoky flavor that works well with a different type of meat making it perfect for a newbie to smoking. It is best to use oak wood when smoking beef, lamb, brisket, or sausages.
This type of wood can be used to smoke in varied ways. But, you should be careful in using too much hickory wood for smoking brisket because it can lead to a bitter flavor of your brisket. Nevertheless, using it correctly can produce a savory, sweet, and a bit bacony flavor to your smoked meat.
It is ideal for smoking pork shoulders, larger cuts of ribs, poultry, and all red meat.
Recommended 5 Best Wood Chips For Smoking
This wood has an earthy and strong flavor on your brisket. If used improperly it can lead to a bitter and harsh flavor. It burns fast and strong because mesquite is an oily wood. It’s a perfect choice for grilling dark meats.
If you’re planning to smoke poultry or game foul, the best choice of wood is the maple. It is subtle that’s why you can expect a light, sweet, and mild smokiness.
Apple wood yields a sweet and mild flavor. But, its smoke takes time to infuse into the meat. Thus, you should expect to smoke your food for several hours. It is best to use apple wood when you smoke pork, wild foul, and chicken.
Pecan wood provides a sweet, rich, and nutty flavor. You can also combine another harder wood to balance the flavor. You can use this type of wood if you will smoke ribs, roasts, and briskets.
Another fruitwood that works for all types of meat is the cherry. It offers fruity and mild flavor making it perfect for pork and beef. Combining it with hickory complements each other flavor, thus achieve amazing results. You can also use cherry wood to smoke ham, turkey, or chicken.
There are other types of wood that are not recommended to use when smoking meat such as pine, fir, Cyprus, or any wood that is considered “evergreen”. It’s because these types of wood have sap and they don’t add flavor to the meat.
Extra Tips For Smoking Brisket
Here are some tips on how to obtain the best possible results when smoking:
- Soak the wood – If you will use wood chips when smoking the meat, you should soak them in water for at least 12 to 24 hours and drain them afterward. This way, the wood chips won’t create flames when placed on hot coal. Instead, it will increase the volume of smoke and steam inside the smoker. On the contrary, if you’ll use fresh hardwood logs, it’s not necessary to soak them because it contains moisture enough to generate steam and smoke.
- Avoid excessive smoking – The smoke plays a big role in the taste of the brisket, but you should avoid excessive smoking. Otherwise, leaving the brisket inside the smoker for an extended time will create a bitter taste.
- Combine different woods – Each type of wood has its own scent and flavor. It follows that pairing different types of woods can enhance the aroma of the smoke and at the same time enhance the taste of the brisket.
- Avoid green wood – Don’t choose greenwood which is recently cut because you will not have the opportunity to season it.
If you want to make the most of smoking a brisket, you need to consider some factors such as the thickness of the meat, the rubs, smoking techniques and others. Additionally, selecting the right type of wood also impacts the success of smoking a brisket.
Choosing the right size of wood
If you will smoke a brisket, you should consider the size of the wood. It usually comes in three sizes such as:
- Chips – Wood chips are also known as wood scraps or shavings. They are available in a small size that’s why they easily burn. If you’ll smoke larger cuts of brisket, using wood chips is not recommended. You can buy chips in stores.
- Chunks – If you will smoke larger cuts of brisket, using wood chunks is perfect. It does not burn easily, but once ignited it will last for hours. This means that wood chunks work best if you need to smoke the meat for a long time.
- Logs and sticks – If you’re using an offset smoker you can consider using sticks and logs. It is difficult to keep them burning, but they produce a volume of smoke.