Not everyone will be completely satisfied by simply throwing charcoal on the grill and setting it on fire. Indeed, it may have a distinct flavor, however in addition to heat and time, an integral part of cooking on the grill is the flavor of your food. Some charcoal has a quality flavor and some are significantly less appealing. You can improve the flavor of your foods by grilling with wood to add to the particular flavor of your food.
In Europe it’s common to simply add wood chips to your charcoal, but for many the flavor produced is too subtle to be noticed. In the United States it is actually more common to allow the flavor of the wood to absorb into the meat while it is actually being cooked as a flavor enhancer. The type of wood you utilize is also a part of the process and there are certain woods which should never, ever be utilized for wood chip seasoning.
You can find three varieties of wood you can use on the charcoal barbecue grill: chips, chunks and logs. Although, logs are not really useful on a good number of grills because of their size. Give consideration to chips and chunks, especially on the charcoal grill, though they can also be used on a grill to get the same end. Wood chips and chunks created for grilling aren’t kiln dried but they will naturally lose their moisture during packing and the time they spend sitting on the store shelf.
The wood seasoning gets into the wood by its smoke throughout the cooking process and in an effort to make that happen you will need to rehydrate the wood. The lumber has to be soaked in water for at least one hour before being used. When soaked, drain the extra water from the lumber and set them in a pouch made out of heavy duty aluminum foil approximately 6-inches by 12-inches (tinier if you have a smaller grill).
You might want to poke some holes in the aluminum foil to allow the vapor to escape and then place the pouch on the coals. Add the meat once you start to see smoke coming from the pouch. They will not burst into flames and the timber will smolder with the taste in the smoke soaking into the meat.
Oak and mesquite are the most popular flavors for most meats however, many appreciate the fruitier tastes of apple and cherry. Hickory and maple may also be used for a more powerful wood flavor, especially for beef and pork. You should always go with a hardwood for smoking meat on the grill and never use pine.