Ok, so I took the entire winter off from BBQ (I know, can you believe it!) and I am finally out of my Vitamin D deficient seasonal depression. Why you ask? BBQ Season is back here in the Northeast! BOOYA!
To get us smokin’ again, I wanted to take on a subject dear to my heart. Wood!
For BBQ specifically (ahem, not what some of you thought, eh?) Anywho, BBQ is all about heat control and flavor pushed to the max. Different wood combinations and usages are great ways to pump up the flavor volume without the need for sauces. Sauces can always be added earlier or later (there are no wrong answers here) but wood gives something magical to BBQ.
I love the smoke flavor imparted by wood in all my BBQ’d foods. My favorite for chicken is using lump hickory dry with wet apple chips during the later parts of cooking. I soak the apple chips in water with ~ cup of bourbon added for a little extra sweetness.
Is the bourbon really necessary? No – you could use apple juice or just plain water. I just like the way it smells when cooking and the extra moistness in my BBQ’d meat. Maybe I even take a sip or two during the smoking’ process…maybe.
Prep Note – Cover your wet smoking wood completely with liquid and let set 15-20 minutes to ensure moisture penetration. Use only small amounts of wet wood at a time so you don’t kill your fire and temperature. My rule is when the temp is getting too high – use the wet chips to cool it down rather than the dampers – more flavor and more fun!
As we go thru the summer, I’ll continue to post recipes, tirades and general observations about different wood combinations…like the big question if wet wood is even necessary for good smoked BBQ…does Mesquite count as a wood flavoring and much, much more.
The Don has a bunch of great tips and tricks on this topic so stay tuned.
Remember that whatever you do is going to be great! Try different combinations and have fun. It’s BBQ for goodness sake.
Now get out there and smoke em’!