Chips are small pieces of wood that you can use to get short and quick bursts of smoke. Wood chips burn up very fast, create smokes and then disappear. If you don’t plan to smoke for a very long time or you’re just looking for the smoke flavor, wood chips are the way to go. Wood chips are known for providing you with authentic smoke flavor. So, if you use an electric, charcoal, or gas smoker, you can simply add wood to get the original barbecue flavor. You can use it to achieve this flavor for your veggies and meet even if you don’t have an offset smoker attached to your grill side.
While you can purchase wood chips, there is also the option for actually making them yourself. You can use a dead tree in your yard or purchase firewood from the local convenience store. Making wood chips for smoking will save you money and gives you the choice of chipping it to the size you most prefer. This article will explore the correct type of wood to chip for smoking and how to make wood chips for smoking. Now that you’re aware of what to expect, let’s dive right in.
The Right Type Of Wood To Chip
Some types of wood shouldn’t be used for smoking, like lumber or manufactured woods. An example of such woods is plywood. This type of wood contains a chemical that’s harmful to eat or breathe in. When turned into wood chips and heated, the chemicals in the woods get released. Also, avoid pine, spruce, or fir. This is because they contain a thick resin and might pop unpredictably when it burns. This type of wood also creates black smoke and can leave a bitter taste on your food. The only kind of cedar you should use is Western Red Cedar; avoid Eastern cedars or its type.
If you’re looking for woods that offer mild flavors, then using fruit-tree woods like apple, peach, cherry, or pear might be the best choice for you. You can also make use of alder; it is sweet but doesn’t have a fruity flavor like the fruit tree woods. They’re a popular choice for seafood and pork. If you want medium flavor, then you should go with hickory. It is a popular smoking wood because it offers a strong, bacon-like flavor. You can also make use of maple wood or oak; they are milder choices than hickory and a good choice for poultry, vegetables, and pork as well.
Pecan is also a great choice because it has a spicy, rich, and intense flavor and is an excellent choice for pork and beef. The smoking wood with strong flavor is mesquite, so it is a popular choice in Texas.
How To Make Wood Chips For Smoking
If you have a wood chipper, it is much easier to make as many wood chips as you want. Below are the steps to make wood chips for smoking; let’s take a look.
- Step One: Before you begin to create your wood chips, you must peel off the bark first. The bark isn’t good for smoking because it adds a bitter taste to smoke when burned. If your aim is a clean smoky flavor, then this is vital.
- Step Two: Place a piece of wood on a hard surface; you can use a tree stump, concrete garage floor, or asphalt driveway.
- Step Three: If you plan to use a chipper, ensure that it is strong enough. While a consumer-grade chipper can handle dense wood efficiently, you need a commercial-grade chipper to take care of denser woods like mesquite.
- Step Four: If you plan to use an ax, you have to be careful. Ax blades are pretty sharp, so pay close attention to where the blade is falling. Hold the ax in one hand and hold the wood upright in the other hand. Carefully lift the ax and begin to cut chips from your wood; you need to start from the point farther from your hand. Continue chipping away till the wood becomes too small. Once you get to this stage, lay the remaining wood on its side and chop it into small chips.
- Step Five: You can store your wood for up to six months after you cut it so it can draw it. This helps to season the wood to burn more and produce flavorful smoke than other freshly cut wood.
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