Choosing the flavor of woodchip you use to infuse your foods with a delicious smoky flavor is much like selecting a fine wine to accompany your meal. Different flavors compliment different meats, poultry and seafood. Although there is no wrong pairing of woodchip flavor and food, the barbecue masters of the universe have selected certain woodchip flavors that pair best with certain foods. Below are their expert suggestions:
Alder Woodchips: These mild woodchips are highly recommended to pair with seafood and vegetables and is famous for smoking an exceptionally delicious salmon. Alder adds a more delicate smoky flavor that perfectly complements the lightness in many fish.
Apple Woodchips: Often mixed with other flavors, apple woodchips add a subtle, yet sweet and fruity flavor. Most popularly paired with fish, poultry and pork, these woodchips are often mixed with alder or oak woodchips to give it a stronger taste.
Bourbon Soaked Oak Woodchips: Nothing goes better with brisket then some bourbon soaked oak woodchips. The smooth bourbon flavor is also popular with other red meats and particularly tasty with venison and ribs.
Cherry Woodchips: Rich in flavor and little tart, smoking your meats with cherry woodchips will give it a smooth smoky flavor that’s also a little fruity. Cherry woodchips are most popular with duck and chicken, but can also be mixed with other flavors to add a wonderful crispness to meats like beef steak and lamb .
Hickory Woodchips: Hickory woodchips are a staple for serious smokers because it tastes delicious with just about anything smothered in bar-b-que sauce. Use hickory woodchips to add a bold yet crisp smoky flavor to your foods.
Maple Woodchips: Somewhat sweet but very tasty, maple woodchips add a subtle flavor that is perfect for more delicate foods like cheese, nuts and vegetables. Maple woodchips are also the number one choice for smoking bacon.
Mesquite Woodchips: These bold woodchips have one of the strongest flavors and burns extremely hot. Mesquite woodchips are perfect for red meats that can handle the intense flavor without being overpowered. Mix it with apple or cherry woodchips to tame the strong southwest tang and use it to cook chicken for fajitas or even chile rellenos.
Oak Woodchips: If you’re new to smoking and unsure of where to begin, oak woodchips are the perfect place to start because they taste fantastic with everything. Oak is the most commercially used smoking flavor and taste incredible with meats, poultry, seafood and veggies. Oak is also great for mixing and smokes a particularly delicious sausage when paired with apple woodchips.
Peach Woodchips: Similar to other fruity flavors, peach woodchips bring a somewhat sweet savor to your foods but with a unique tang. Peach woodchips are most commonly used for smoking pork or poultry but is also favored by many for mixing with other woodchips to add a sweeter flavor to small game birds to like quail.
Pecan Woodchips: Pecan woodchips are favored for poultry like turkey, duck and chicken. It had a milder flavor but a very distinctive taste that when mixed with other flavors can blend beautifully to create delicious smoked pork and lamb.