View Full Version : Woods for Smokers
06-30-2011, 09:54 AM
With the salmon returning and my luck improving I figured it was time to drag out the smoker I've been packing around for 14 years and never used.
Question is, with all the different types of wood chips available, what's the difference between them other than species of tree? For instance does one have stronger qualities? Is one a sweeter smoke? Does one work better for candied salmon than the others? Burn times? ETC.
Any feed-back about your personal experiences is appreciated.
06-30-2011, 10:05 AM
I have been using maple because a friend turns wood bowls and I get it for free.
When I do lox ( cold smoked for 7 days) I like to start with maple then change to cherry and lastly apple. It turns out amazing.
06-30-2011, 10:30 AM
I've tried many different woods for smoking , my favorite is alder.
there's something about the flavor it gives the salmon that's better
than the rest.
06-30-2011, 10:41 AM
Alder is nice, when i make indian candy i like to finish with some apple wood.
for white & other lrg. springs sometimes i use hickory kinda reminds me of ham...sammy
06-30-2011, 12:49 PM
I usually purchase Little Chief Smokehouse chips in three flavours. Alder, apple and cherry and mix them together in a bucket. I find the aromatics of the alder and apple offset the sweeter more intense flavours of the cherry. It works well for me and friends and family seem to agree.;) eman
06-30-2011, 02:13 PM
Pungent, smoky, bacon-like flavor.
Good with Pork, chicken, beef, wild game, cheeses.
Rich and more subtle than hickory, but similar in taste. Burns cool, so ideal for very low heat smoking.
Pork, chicken, lamb, fish, cheeses.
Sweeter, more delicate flavor than hickory. Tends to burn hot, so use carefully.
Most meats, especially beef. Most vegetables.
Delicate flavor that enhances lighter meats.
Salmon, swordfish, sturgeon, other fish. Also good with chicken and pork.
Forthright but pleasant flavor. Blends well with a variety of textures and flavors.
Beef (particularly brisket), poultry, pork.
Mildly smoky, somewhat sweet flavor. Try mixing maple with corncobs for ham or bacon.
Poultry, vegetables, ham.
Slightly sweet, fruity smoke flavor.
Poultry, game birds, pork.
Slightly sweet but denser, fruity smoke flavor.
Beef, poultry, game birds, pork particularly
Peach or Pear
Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor.
Poultry, game birds, pork.
Aromatic, similar to fruit woods.
Turkey, chicken, beef.
old Wine/whiskey Barrels
Wine and whiskey and oak flavors. A flavorful novelty that smells wonderful.
Beef, turkey, chicken, cheeses.
06-30-2011, 02:19 PM
Nice post gidyup.;) eman
First congrats on catching some salmon. I use maple/alder for salmon. I don't know what kind of smoker you have but in my experience it's a must to leave the top vent wide open for salmon.... I've learned the hard way.... the flavor is not as powerful when you leave the vent open. You want the nice "sweet" smoke to waff over the fish then exit the smoker....Hmmmm s%$t I'm going to the freezer for some candy! Good Luck!
06-30-2011, 02:38 PM
I had it kicken around for a while now and refer to it from time to time,
was written by my buddy Q over on the bradley smoker site
06-30-2011, 11:29 PM
Actually the smoker I have is an original Coleman portable propane unit, the grand-daddy to the Bradley and Little Chief units. Like I said, It's never been used. Looks kind of like a giant WWII ammo box with a sliding door on the side. LOL. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of experimenting to get things down, and there'll probably be some disasters, but hey, that's what pinks are for!
Thanks for all the posts guys that helps a lot. Gidyup that's one comprehensive list of wood. Thanks!
Two things I forgot to ask were if anyone makes their own chips and if so Bark left on or off? And Temperature?
07-01-2011, 01:18 PM
No Bark to much pitch and oils, just use nice clean wood,
temp wise about smoke for about 3 hours 150ish degrees or untill done to your likeness
This is a real decent dry cure method I've used a few times and always turns out great
•2 pounds of corse salt
•1 pound of brown sugar
•2 tablespoons Morton tenderquick (cure)
•2 tablespoons Garlic powder
•2 tablespoons of Onion powder
•2 tablespoons crushed Bay leaves
1.Mix all ingredients in a container and add a little bit at a time to a blender and blend into a fine powder.
2.Use one tablespoon of cure per pound of fish. Sprinkle all over fish and roll around to coat all fish sufaces and leave overnight in the fridge in a covered container.
3.Next day, rinse all fish off and dry with a clean towel.
4.Leave on counter till peticle forms. Now your ready to smoke!
5.Smoke the fish for 3 hours using hickory at 150 degrees.
08-06-2011, 08:32 PM
Nice recipe gidyup ill have to try that one, Ive only ever used a brine for my fish. I prefer alder chips for sockeye, and mesquite chips for coho and chinook as this type of wood has a strong, smoky flavour. Remember to insert the driptray in the little cheif smokers as it acts as a sheild, and without it your fish will burn slightly (I found that out the hard way!).
08-17-2011, 11:20 AM
I always switch between cherry and hickory pellets. I tried pecan but there's not much flavor when grilling food. Alder and apple are pretty classic for salmon though.
08-17-2011, 12:58 PM
Hey BB my rule of thumb is fruitwood for fish and maple for bacon/sausage and oak for the chicken & ribs. Try and stay away from the bark as it gives off a strong taste. If you can be so lucky to find a whisky or wine barrel plse let me know.
08-17-2011, 01:24 PM
I might know where a barrel is. Once they're done rolling it around with beer projects.
09-05-2011, 10:50 AM
As I posted once before, I have been using green alder for smoking. Smokes fish beautifully. It's free and available everywhere. Just cut a few branches an inch or more thick and chop them up into smallish pieces. I find that using this my fish is smoked with a lovely flavour and no bitterness which you often get when using commercial smoke chips.
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