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The Culinary Aspects of Wood-Fired Cooking

To infuse smoke vapor into foods producing wood-fired flavoring, all that is needed is a container for the smoke, a source for the smoke and a food item to smoke. That's it!

Ideally, meats, poultry, and fish are best smoked with a temperature range of 180┬░-225┬░F. Always remember to bring the internal temperature of the animal protein to the recommended internal temperature (as recommended by the USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service) in order to ensure it is safe for consumption (ground meats and meat mixtures like for sausage: 160┬░ F, fresh beef, veal & lamb: 145┬░ F, poultry: 165┬░ F, pork and ham: fresh items 145┬░ F, pre-cooked items 140┬░ F, Seafood items with fins: 145┬░ F).

Why does hardwood work so well in fire cooking? Because hardwood contains organic compounds, over a 100 of them, with 3 key compounds: cellulose (40-60% composition), hemi-celluose (20-30% composition) and lignin (20-30% composition). It is the lignin, a phenol compound, that gives wood-fired foods their distinct flavor, aroma, and color! The added benefit: it protects foods from bacteria. Smoke is the visible gas derived from the combustion of the wood. Each hardwood will react differently to the food or beverage item exposed to the smoke vapor and produce a unique flavor, aroma, and color to the foods. There really is no true descriptor for each wood flavoring. Instead, we guide you on the boldness of the flavor.

Here is our Hardwood culinary offerings in order from mildest to boldest in flavor:

  • Eastern Alder
  • Ash
  • Wild Cherry
  • Sugar Maple
  • Beech
  • Hickory
  • White Oak
  • Red Oak

TIP: A little goes a long way. Remember to start with small quantities (about 4-6 ounces depending on the equipment) and add wood as needed. Our Hickory chunks are always a great choice.



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