Monday, September 3, 2012

Turn your Grill into a Smoker with these Tips

Happy Labor Day! If you crave the rich, earthy flavor of wood-smoked meats and poultry but don't have a smoker, the folks at Weber offer the following tips for getting that mouthwatering smoky flavor using your barbecue grill:

1. Choose the right wood for the right food. Milder-flavored woods like alder and maple are best for poultry and fish, while stronger-flavored woods like hickory and mesquite are best for red meats like beef, pork and venison. Oak is always an excellent choice for any kind of smoked food because it's not too strong and its flavor is very straightforward so it pairs well with seasonings and sauces. You can even use wood chips from oak whiskey barrels for smooth, mellow vanilla and caramel notes. Fruit woods like apple and cherry add a hint of bright fruit flavor that goes nicely with lamb and pork as well as chicken.

2. Chips vs. Chunks:  As you can probably guess, wood chips are smaller than wood chunks, which means that chips will start smoking and burn up faster than chunks. As a result, chips are a better choice for foods with shorter cooking times, while chunks are better for thicker, larger cuts that need to cook longer.

Jack Daniel's 1749 Wood Smoking Chips
Jack Daniels Wood Chips
3. To soak, or not to soak?  Many folks prefer to soak their wood chips or chunks in water for about 30 minutes before using. The reasoning is that this will make them burn more slowly, releasing more smoke. At least one BBQ master disagrees, however, taking the position that the need to soak wood chips or chunks is a myth. My take: Try it both ways and see what tastes better to you.

4. If you have a charcoal grill:  When the coals are ready for grilling scatter a couple of handfuls of chips or chunks directly on the coals. When the wood starts smoking, place your food on the grill, cover with the lid and cook until you no longer see smoke coming from the grill vents. Check the food for doneness, and if desired, you can add more wood to the coals and keep grilling/smoking. Just remember: A little smoke can add a LOT of flavor, so don't overdo it.

smoker box
5. If you have a gas grill:  Place the wood chips or chunks in a small foil pan with a little water. Better yet, use a gas grill smoker box to hold the wood. Place this pan in a corner directly on the grill's heat source and turn the grill on to High to preheat. When the grill is ready, reduce heat to Medium (or the desired cooking temperature) and place your food on the grill. Cover the grill and cook to desired doneness.

Political Party Steak Branding Irons
Political Steak Branding Irons
Here at the Carolina Sauce Company, we offer a wide selection of wood chips, chunks and planks for your grill or smoker. We also have a variety of essential BBQ & grill accessories, along with some nice-to-have and fun items that make great gifts, like our Political Party Steak Branding Irons for your favorite Democrat or Republican.

And don't forget to check out our barbecue sauces and dry rubs, ranging from all-American classics and regional favorites to exotic and gourmet sauces.

Zestfully yours,

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