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Mesquite vs Hickory

Smokin' ToddSmokin' Todd Posts: 1,099
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
In the pre-e2k brewing time, i low and slowed a car-tipping rack of pork ribs along with 6 chicken thighs.
I have devoloped a trust with mesquite for the utmost smokiest flavor and mostly used mesquite for low and slow. The only time i have ever used hickory is with a comination of mesquite(low on mesquite therefore filled the rest of the pan with hickory, or other woods availble).
This time i used 100% hickory...and oh boy were the results excellent. The ribs were seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, and extra cyanne, while the thighs were kosher salt, black pepper, and montreal chicken seasoning. Both meats came right off the bone and i almost drown in the juices that poured out.
Up to this point in my 3 yrs of smokin' experience, i have found that mesquite adds the smokier flavor, while hickory brings out the best flavor in the meat, along with a smoky flavor.
Any other opinions on this?
ST

Comments

  • Smokin' Todd, I also use mesquite exclusively. I have been planning to get another type,, but I have a ton of the stuff. Sometimes I don't use wood at all, but misquite works pretty well on chicken and pork so far. I also use hickory-nuts. My bro-inlaw has a large tree and he pickes them up for me. It's amazing how good they smell when burning. Gure has used several types of woods for smoke, but thus far I have not. My mesquite is in small enough chunks, I can just drop them through the grate when I want to kick the smoke up a bit.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,298
    Smokin' Todd,
    I am still learning about woods. Mesquite is s very smoky smoke, and IMO is best with beef. Hickory is a bit more versatile, but goes best with pork. Also great with beef. I love the smell of burning hickory...it has a very sweet smell, which obviously enhances its affect on the flavor. Burning mesquite smells kind of like driving through Appalachia, when locals are burning leaves and branches! I love the stuff, but mainly on beef.[p]Poultry, IMO, deserves a milder smoke, like pecan or other fruit woods. But all tastes are different. Try several other woods, including oak and maple, and some of the fruit woods. [p]But, ooooooh boy, does that hickory work good.[p]Heavy smoking to ya.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,298
    King-O-Coals,
    Haven't tried mesquite on pork yet. How does it compare to hickory on pork?? How do hickory nuts compare to the wood??[p]Still learning.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Nature Boy, pecan,,, ummmmmm,, I forgot all about pecan. I love it but have forgot to pick up some. We have pecan orchards all over the place down here. Pecan limbs are constantly breaking off. Gotta get some..

  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Smokin' Todd,[p]If you think that was good, try mixing apple/hickory or just apple with pork. You are just getting started and are on the road to some excellent experimentation with different woods and smoke flavors. The possibilities are endless.

  • Smokin' ToddSmokin' Todd Posts: 1,099
    Nature Boy,
    Mesquite adds a smokier flavor to the pork, while hickory adds less of a smoky flavor, but seems to bring out the best flavor of the meat...that's my finding thus far.

  • Nature Boy, the hickrynuts smell just like the wood. Even the green husk that coveres the nut smell like it. They don't pop and explode like I thought. I'll bet dry walnut shells smell good too. I honestly don't know how different woods affect the taste of meats,, but I do know that when I was younger, a bar-b-q processor near where I lived used hickory and pecan. I like to keep a good heat flow going when I start the heavy smoke going to prevent getting a hint of bitter on the surface of the meat. It seems like the beginning of a heavy smoke, adaquate oxygen is needed to help keep the wood producing a free and cleaner smoke. I have thrown in a handfull of chips into a bed of very hot coals before and closed the upper vent to capture all the thick smoke. It seems to leave a slightly bitter residue on the outside of the meat. I mainly use wood smoke to drive the neighbors crazy when I'm cooking.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Smokin' Todd,[p]I consider smoke as a spice that is added in a different fashion that normal spices. Hickory is mellower than mesquite. Try them all and don't be afraid to combine for a different flavoring.[p]Check out the smoking wood descriptions from the link on the BGE home page.[p]Spin

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Bob,
    The last time i was in Atlanta, Larry at BGE talked me into buying some alder wood chips,it is very mild and gives pork a good flavor.
    YB

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,298
    YB,
    Great info! I thought alder was just for seafood.[p]That is what is so great about Q. So many possibilities for experimentation.
    Thanks.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Nature Boy,
    My wife does not like a heavy smoke flavor so alder is a good compromise.
    YB

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,298
    YB ,
    Same here.

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Tonight it is mustard marinated chicken breasts with a little pecan for smoke flavoring.
  • Smokin' Todd,
    It sounds like you're just using oak or other lump with the mesquite chunks for smoke? I have mesquite lump that burns real hot but it also flavors everything a little too much. Even I begin to feel that the mesquite lump creates a tar flavor when I cook only with it. But a little mez lump with 75% regular BGE is good with beef, and probably duplicates what you are doing with smoke chunks added.

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