Contributing Editor Troy Black of the Big Book of BBQ shares his tips for using wood chips to flavor your meats.
Let's talk a little bit about using wood for flavor. You know, there's a lot of different ways to impart flavor on a piece of meat, and wood is one of them. Now, what kind of wood do we use? Well, that depends on the meat and it depends on the technique. If we're doing a low and slow cook with a big piece of meat, we want to use some milder woods such as the fruit woods. Your cherry, your apple, your pecan. We don't want to use hickory or mesquite. Those will give your meat a bitter flavor, and it'll tend to what I call, over smoke the meat. You want to use your hickory, and mesquites, and your stronger woods, when you're doing something quick, hot and fast, such as fish. Mesquite gives a great flavor to fish when it's grilled hot and fast. So, remember this, milder woods for your low and slow, and your stronger woods for your hot and fast.