Latest

What Woods to Use For Smoking?

Smoking using the grill is a pastime that many who grill enjoy. Different woods and smoke can add different and wonderful flavor profiles to everything you do. The question comes down to what kind of wood you should use when smoking, most of that is personal preference but there are some basic ideas to keep in mind when you are smoking.

Woods that are good for smoking:

  • acacia
  • alder
  • almond
  • apple
  • apricot
  • ash
  • bay
  • beech
  • birch
  • butternut
  • cherry
  • chestnut
  • cottonwood
  • crabapple
  • fig
  • grapefruit
  • grapevine
  • guava
  • hackberry
  • hickory
  • kiawe
  • lemon
  • lilac
  • madrone
  • manzanita
  • maple
  • mesquite
  • mulberry
  • nectarine
  • oak
  • olive
  • orange
  • peach
  • pear
  • pecan
  • persimmon
  • pimento
  • plum
  • sassafras
  • walnut
  • willow

In general when you use smoking woods you want to only use Generally speaking, you want to use only hardwoods from fruit-bearing or nut-bearing trees. Fruit woods tend to offer a lighter flavor while nut or standard hardwoods will offer a heavier taste in general. Standardly most pit masters will start in using what is closest to them in their region. Smoke is very much a regional enjoyment but there is no reason you can’t branch out.

What wood goes best with what meat?

When you are smoking it is very important to choose what will work best. Every wood will give you a unique flavor profile to a different kind of meat. While you can use any kind of wood you wish there are certain woods that go best with certain meats. The table below is a general example of what will go best with each meat. This is just using some of the most common smoke woods.

Beef

Pork

Chicken

Fish

Alder

X

X

-

X

Apple

X

X

X

X

Cherry

X

X

X

X

Hickory

X

X

X

X

Maple

X

X

X

-

Oak

X

X

X

X

Pecan

X

X

X

-

Smoke woods you should avoid

If you are new to smoking you may not understand that not every wood is suitable for smoking. Fact is that woods such as, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, liquid amber, pine, redwood, fir, spruce, and sycamore are not suitable for smoking. Generally speaking soft woods with sap producing trees are a bad idea to use in smoking because of moisture content among other things. If you are in doubt about using a specific wood, ask around either online or in your local area. If you can’t find a reliable source that says the wood is good to use, don’t use it. (get all the info on smoking here)

You can Mix Smoke Woods

While many will use a single smoke wood you can actually blend different types to get a different effect. Once you have become confident in your use of wood have some fun with the different flavors. Just some of the combinations that are commonly used by top pit masters include:

  • Apple + Cherry
  • Apple + Hickory
  • Apple + Oak
  • Cherry + Maple
  • Cherry + Oak
  • Oak + Hickory
  • Oak + Hickory + Apple
  • Oak + Pecan

There is a science with wood smoke and like any science you can experiment and find what works best for your family and yourself in flavors. Try different cuts of meat and different types and enjoy your adventure.

Interested in learning a little more about smoking and grilling? Becky’s BBQ is full of it, so take some time to read through all of my articles!

Weber Grill Guide: What you’ve gotta know!

Weber is one of the most well known names when it comes to grilling. If you don’t have a Weber chances are you want one or are considering changing. The tough part can be selecting the right Weber grill. They have several lines of grills from portable to full size and a wide variety of prices as well. Today we will take a look at the top four Weber Grills that you may want to put on your wish list.

Weber Genesis – One Wicked Grill!

The Weber Genesis E-330 if you want a grill that is the best you can possibly buy with your money the Genesis line by Weber is the best you can get. The list price of this grill will run you about $949 US you can find some sales if you shop around and usually get it for around $800 USD. What you get with this grill you will get a three burner grill with a 12,000 BTU side burner and a 10,000 BTU internal sear burner. Other models in this series come without the side burner or the sear burner. You decide which configuration works for you and buy the one you need.

Version 2.0

Weber Genesis S-330: This is another in the Genesis line like we have mentioned they come in several ways, but this one is worth listing on its own. More expensive than the E-330 the list on this one runs around $1,099 USD and can be found usually for about $950 US. So what do you get with this model? A 12,000 BTU side burner, and a 10,000 BTU internally mounted sear burner. Like the E-330. You also have the choice to choose infrared and you get more table space to work with on the sides.

Weber Summit – What a BEAST.

The Weber summit grill line is an anther fantastic line that has a number of great grills to choose from. It is, however the E-420 that comes as the stand out grill in this line as a 4 burner 12,000 BTU side burner unit really speaks to the grill master at heart. It boasts individual burner igniters, heavy stainless steel rod cooking grates, a handle mounted light, and backlight control panel. This grill is larger than the top of the line Genesis Model and comes in $500 US more in price you can find it listed at $1,599USD. You really do get something worth grilling with however, and the heavy cooking grates provide excellent heat transfer for great grill marks to make your food look fantastic as well.

Weber Spirit – Grilling Excellence

The Weber Spirit SP-230 is a quality grill that comes in at around $699USD it boasts a stainless steel hood and door. But what really stands out with this model is stainless steel rod cooking grates. They are solidly built and while they are new and work well, some might not see them as a super improvement over all on the line. This is a solid grill, however and is on the lower end of price for Weber, it offers a basic 3-burner grill with the standard Weber features including a propane gauge and side burner.

Camping Grills

Campin’ Grill

Camping is something that many families enjoy together and one essential piece of camping equipment is a camping grill. While cooking over the campfire is great it is not for everyone and if it is raining you can have problems finding dry wood. Also, some summers there are burning bans in some states to keep from forest fires. When it comes to choosing a camping grill the market can be a little overwhelming. It is important to know what you’re looking for, what you need it to do and most of all what you feel comfortable with.

The Coleman fold n go grill is a favorite of many campers because it weighs about 11lbs and is easy to go with you anywhere. The grate is porcelain coated and provides a surface to grill anything at all that you can think of The water pan and grease tray is removable and make them easy to clean. The lid is dome shaped and will allow you to slow cook things as well and when you are done with it, it has a carry handle to easily take it back and forth. It is a good size and will allow you to cook around 5 hamburgers on it at once.

Weber is one of the leaders in portable camping grills and the Q 2200 offers a large grilling space (280 inches), porcelain-enamel cast iron grates and an ignition that is electric to light faster. For those who go outdoors a lot and not just to the cabin this is an ideal one because it also offers two folding work tables to help you with prep and which will fold up and make it easy to pack and store your camping grill.

The Solaire go anywhere stainless steel portable infrared propane gas grill is what some might call a beast, but a beautiful one. It offers 304 stainless steel construction with 14,000 BTU burner. The grilling grate is V shaped so that the drippings can easily be caught and it will reduce any flair ups. This grill also has a great travel bag to make it easy to take with you and keep it safe.

The Weber Q 1000 is another in the Weber line that campers love. This one is small but has a big punch to it with around 8,500 BTU’s and a cooking area that is 189 square inches. The ignition is push button and there is an infinite control burner valve as well. This grill is made of cast aluminum making it extremely light and easy to take to any location.

Last but no least in the lineup of camping grills is the TEC Cherokee FR Tabletop gas grill, this one is for the serious camper because it has a serious price tag but it is worth it. This I state of the art and a smaller version of the TEC home grill. This grill cooks with true infrared technology takes away the hot air associated with gas grilling, which reduces moisture loss in your foods. If you want juicy and serious food this is the way to go.

Portable Grills

Grilling is something that all of us love to do, in the summer in the winter any time at all. The one thing that can sometimes be a little bit illusive is being able to grill anywhere. That does not have to be the case however, because there are portable grills on the market. Some of them are good, some of them are not as good in this article we will take a look at some of the best there is to offer and then give you in my opinion your number one choice for a portable grill.

The Napoleon TravelQ TQ285

This is one of the most recent portable gas grills from Napoleon it is lightweight and only weighs about 20lbs. It can be carried with one hand and even despite this small size it offers a good amount of grilling space so you can get the job done. The heat output of this model is good and it has a twin burner design so that you can cook a more versatile range of items on it. If you like to tailgate or go to the beach and grill this model is a good little one to take along and make your meals.

Solaire Anywhere Infrared Grill

There is no doubt that infrared grills are powerful and now you can take that power on the go with you. This unit is 14,000 BTU and gives the most heat of any portable grill currently on the market. This unit is around 20lbs like many and it is all steel not just any steel either it is marine quality steel with a railing mount so you can take it on the boat with you. The unit offers 155 square inches of grilling area and you can use disposable propane bottles or convert it to using a full 20 pound tank.

Weber Q2200

This unit is what is often referred to as the cornerstone of the Weber Q line of portable grills. It is a portable grill, but weighs in heavier than many of the other units on the market at 42lbs so you will need two hands to carry it. However, it is a top of the line gas grill and will be perfect for a trunk for tailgating or you can use it on the balcony if you are an apartment dweller. You get 280 square inches of cooking space with this so you can have burgers, steaks, chicken and anything else you can think up to grill.

Here we have reached the best and versatile portable grill for you on the market the Cook-Air wood fired grill.

The biggest complaint across the line of portable grills is that many of them can’t produce a high grilling temperature that is sustainable. This wood burning model can hit and sustain a 1,000 degree F temperature for those who need a high temperature. The model has an internal fan that will create a cyclone to keep air moving over the burning wood and keep it hot. How would you like your steaks and burgers to have the taste of being cooked over a real campfire? This model does it for you and proves to be easy to move and create tasty meals.

What I know about Electric Grills

The traditional argument between those who grill is charcoal or gas however, there is a new kid on the block that has sparked a new argument gas or electric. Many die-hards will not accept the newer, smaller electric grills into the grill family, but they have their uses and are fairly easy to use. Let’s take a more comprehensive look at what an electric grill is, how you can use it and the difference between it and propane.

Electric grill: The most popular versions of these are counter or table top models that can feed anywhere from two to six people at one time. They are small, compact and easy to handle and clean. There are also larger outdoor models that can fit on your patio and will feed from twelve to fifteen people at one time. While electric grills are not as popular as they should be yes, they do offer a solid flavor. Some will say they do not offer as complex a flavor as gas, but that same argument is used between charcoal and gas, it comes down to personal preference.

When it comes to heating the electric grill will generate an intense and radiant heat and then powers off according to a timer. This helps to make it more energy efficient as it will turn on and off as needed according to the timer or if the coils get too cool. While it can be hard to sear foods you will get a good even cook using an electric grill.

The maintenance of an electric grill is fairly easy. The heating element of the electric grill can’t be submerged in water and when you are going to clean it you should unplug it. The space that this grill takes up is minimal and you can have it indoors or outdoors making it very versatile.

Gas grills are more popular than electric and they do have a larger variety because of this. Though many will say they provide a better flavor than electric this again comes down to a personal preference, most will say the best flavor is given by a charcoal grill.

Gas grills allow you to control the heat and you are able to have a continual steady temperature for a long period of time, they are difficult however to maintain low temperatures and work better for searing and other high temperature cooking.

Washing the gas grill is easier and you are able to remove everything from the heating plates, grates and grease trays to be washed in warm water and a little soap. The best place to keep a gas grill is outside, they need a great deal of space and need to be kept fully away from flammables.

In conclusion, if you are new to grilling or want something easy to use that is convenience an electric grill may be the best way for you to go. Electric grills offer convenience and an ease of use that you just won’t find with gas models.