Pairing wood chips with meat is little like pairing a wine with a meal. The right wood with the right meat makes the meal that much better. Before talking about which wood works best, let’s get some wood chip smoking myths out of the way. Here are a few myths you can ignore:
1) Mesquite – adds a hint of sweetness with a strong earthy smoky flavor to it. It is very popular and often used in restaurants. Sweeter and more delicate than hickory, it's a perfect complement to richly flavored meats such as steak, duck or lamb.
2) Hickory – the classic BBQ flavor and is more pungent and smoky producing a bacon-like flavor. The most common wood used. Good for all smoking, especially ham, pork and ribs.
3) Apple – has a more delicate flavor than either Mesquite or Hickory. Apple works wonderfully with poultry, game birds, seafood and pork. Serve with a chutney made with apples to accentuate the flavor even more. Slightly sweet with a fruity smoke aroma.
4) Grape (Cabernet) – is traditionally used in Italy and France, and offers a more delicate flavor than hardwoods. Grape wood is recommended for use with fish and poultry. Aromatic, similar to other fruit woods.
5) Pecan – is the best for a beautiful golden-brown turkey. Try it with other poultry products, game birds, seafood and even pork for that delicate pecan flavor. Similar to hickory, but not as strong.
6) Cherry – is also a lighter smoke than mesquite and hickory. It has lighter, sweeter smoke and is excellent with poultry, game birds, seafood and pork. Serve with a chutney made with cherries to accentuate the flavor even more.
7) Maple – is lighter than mesquite and hickory but stronger than apple, alder or cherry. The smoke is slightly sweet and is excellent with poultry, game birds and pork.
8) Oak – is a heavier smoke, similar to mesquite and hickory. Oak is excellent with beef, pork and game meat.
9) Alder – another lighter wood. It’s the perfect choice for salmon and turkey.
See the link below for store locations and hours to purchase wood chips and smoker boxes:
Like every industry marketing departments for grill manufacturers like to find ways to differentiate their product from the competitors. This can become very confusing. Do you really need an infrared burner? Is a back burner important? Is a stainless burner better than a brass burner or is it the other way around?
Let’s take a look at a few of the most important components in a BBQ grill, which include:
2. Flavor grids or briquettes
3. Sear Burner
4. Rotisserie Back Burner
Other than avoiding cast iron burners, the two most important things about any burner is how much heat will it produce and what is the warranty. The manufacturers are getting better at producing heat, but all burners will fail over time. How long is the warranty and how good is the company behind the warranty? A lifetime warranty from an unknown manufacturer doesn’t help very much when they go out of business. So in the end brass is no better than stainless or vice versa it’s all about the warranty and the company.
Flavor Grids or Briquettes
The middle layer in any gas grill is primarily there to produce smoke, aroma and flavor. The material doesn’t matter so much, it’s the heat that does all the work. Here are four important questions you want answered about the flavor grids or briquettes:
· Does grease easily pass through to eliminate flare ups?
· How easy are they to clean?
· What is the warranty, like burners they will fail over time?
· Will they help produce even heat to the grilling surface?
Infrared Sear Burner
Most manufacturers offer and want you to buy an infrared sear burner. For some people it makes a lot of sense and not so much for others. Some grills produce so much heat that a sear burner is not necessary. Other grills are too small and when you lose 33% or 50% of your BBQ to searing, you don’t have enough space left over for grilling.
Rotisserie Back Burner
If you like to rotisserie, a back burner is a really nice feature. It does two important things. With the heat in the back you no longer have to worry about grease dripping from the meat and catching fire from the burners under the cooking grates. Moving the heat source to the back, your meat is safe. Secondly it allows you to place a collection pan under the meat to collect drippings for gravy.
In every grill this is the weakest component with normally a shorter warranty than other components. There are 3 types of grill igniters:
· Battery - The most likely to fail but can usually be replaced easily.
· Piezo – A mechanical igniter that produces an electrical charge when a “hammer” strikes a quartz crystal. Usually more reliable than battery igniters.
· Electrical Glow Plug – It uses electricity to produce high heat on a metal probe next to the burner, hot enough to ignite the gas. The most reliable igniter system used in BBQ grills.
You’ll enjoying see the various components and options in our stores. Our staff will take as much time as you want to explain the various options. We have the best grills at the best prices on display in our stores. The following link shows store locations and hours. http://www.bbqgrillsandislands.com/locations.html