When it comes to cooking and grilling, smoke can be one of your greatest assets. It adds unique, savory flavor that cannot be replicated any other way.
Whether it’s in wood stoves, grills, smokers, or fireplaces using wood is the best way to get the most flavor. Wood releases by far the most gases compared to electric, gas, or charcoal so it really gives the food the smokey taste that everyone loves.
The Burning Process
Wood combustion goes through four stages when cooking.
Stage 1: Dehydration: During this stage, the wood must be heated from an external source like a match or kindling. It dries out the rest of the way and some gases like carbon dioxide are given off, but no flame or heat is produced. It is best to have dried wood rather than freshly cut “green” wood so this stage can be done quickly.
Stage 2: Gasification and Pyrolysis: This is when the combustion begins. The compounds in the wood start to change, and some come off the wood as flammable gasses.
Stage 3: Burning Bush: This is when the flame appears and more gases are released, including Nitric Oxide which is what creates the famous smoke ring in the meat.
Stage 4: Charcoal Formation: This is the final stage where most of the organic compounds have burned off, leaving carbon, or char, which burns very little smoke.
Different Types of Cooking Woods
As stated earlier, one of the most important factors is to use kiln dried firewood rather than fresh “green” firewood. Green wood has more sap, burns irregularly, and has many different flavors from the savory smoke that you’re looking for. Kiln dried firewood is typically preferred because it tastes smokier and will give you a much cleaner burn.
Alder and different fruit woods like apple or cherry are mild woods. They release a little smoke with a hint of sweetness and fruitiness. They’re perfect for more delicate meats like chicken or fish.
Oak and hickory are ideal medium woods. Oak creates that distinct smoke flavor without being too overpowering. Hickory is a little heavier than oak with a stronger taste. Both are very good for pork or meat because they are flavors that can withstand stronger smokes.
Finally, mesquite is the strongest of all cooking woods. It’s the choice for Texas barbecue because brisket can stand up against the powerful flavor of mesquite.
Premier Firewood Can Provide You With Your Cooking Wood!
Premier Firewood Company has the best kiln dried firewood for sale for all your cooking wood needs. We want to help you create that distinct, savory flavor in all your food! Order online or call directly at 203-866-4252 today!