Adding A Smoky Flavour To Your BBQ
The flavour that a charcoal BBQ gives to your food, is fabulous. Food tastes amazing, it really enhances the flavours and you can now add that lovely smoky flavour when you cook on a regular gas BBQ.
The first thing you need to do is decide what meat you want to cook. If you are cooking meats like burgers or steaks, that cook quickly, using wood chips is fine. When the chips have caught fire, you’ll have 10 or 15 minutes of burn time, which is long enough to cook your regular size hamburger or steak.
If you are cooking a meat such as a pork loin chop you will need that smoke to last a little bit longer you’ll need to buy wood chunks instead. Wood chunks are larger pieces of wood that can smoke for up to an hour.
It seems that a lot of people – when they buy wood chips or chunks, are under the impression that you need to soak the chips in water first. This isn’t really necessary. While soaking in water will give you a little more smoking time, and helps prolong the life of your chips or chunks, it isn’t something you have to do.
If for example you are barbecuing a LOT of burgers, then by soaking your chips or chunks you would get enough smoking time to cook 2 maybe 3 batches of burgers. This would be one time that it would be beneficial to soak the wood, if you don’t need the extra time, then don’t do it.
If you want to add to the flavours you can try soaking your chips or chunks in a liquid other than water. If you want to add some fruity flavour to a meat – apple juice is perfect when cooking pork. You can also use wine, brandy or whiskey or any other alcohol you like/prefer – any of them go great with chicken, beef or pork.
So, how do you use wood chips or chunks?
It’s easy! Remember you don’t have to soak the chips, so all you do is throw a handful of chips or a few pieces of larger chunks on top of your charcoal after it has turned grey. As soon as you start to smell that delicious wood smoke, you are ready to start cooking.
When using a meat that often cooks quickly, you BBQ with the lid open, but, when grilling with smoke you need to close the lid to trap the flavours inside, just keep the air vents open to maintain a steady cooking temperature.
Using wood chips with gas
You might be thinking you can’t use a gas BBQ with wood, especially as you know if using a charcoal BBQ you put the wood directly onto the fire. The good news is you CAN use wood chips and wood chunks with a gas BBQ. When cooking on a gas BBQ it’s best to use wood chunks. All you do is arrange a few of the pieces of wood around the edges of your cooking surface and close the lid to lock in the heat and get the wood smoking. Just as with a charcoal BBQ, as soon as you smell the wood smoke you are ready to start cooking.
You can use wood chips if you prefer, but you need to buy a separate smoker box. You simply place the wood chips inside and then place the smoker box directly onto the grill (or even directly onto the cooking element). Smoker boxes come in different sizes, but it’s suggested to get a smokier flavour – you chose a larger or the largest size available.
Wood chips are also available to buy already flavour enhanced, which saves you the time and effort in soaking chips in alcohol. This allows you the chance to try a range of flavours that you may find hard to make yourself.
Different woods also give different flavours some available flavours include – Hickory, beefwood, mesquite, sheoak, apple, jam, pecan, peach, alder, Tasmanian oak, cheery, oak and Mallee to name a few.
Adding a smoky flavour to your BBQ is so easy, why not give it a go this weekend.