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First try with hickory

TX_LJTX_LJ Posts: 10
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
So being from Texas, mesquite is about as easy to come by as tumbleweeds and trucks. I've grown up eating everything smoked primarily with mesquite, at least if it was smoked in my family. Well, today I'm branching out (no pun intended..lol) and trying hickory.

I've got some Mothers Day baby backs on the egg as we speak and I can definitely tell the smell difference. I hope it tastes as good as it smells. If this turns out well, I will be trying out more wood flavors and combinations.

I know the popular woods:
mesquite
hickory
apple
cherry
pecan


What are some good parings? I guess I need to try out several things on each wood type to see what I like best.

Is there a distinctive fruit flavor out of the apple/cherry woods?

Thanks all, and Happy Mom's day!

Comments

  • boston_stokerboston_stoker Posts: 794
    In my opinion hickory pairs best with oak. It is too strong on it own. Given your options I would pair it with a fruit wood.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,274
    I suggest: pecan is best balance between mild and strong smoke between oak, hickory and pecan; Cherry is good for red color; Apple is good for pork. Small piece mesquite is for steak.

    Funny thing is my yard is loaded with oak and I don't cook with it......

    t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
  • EggcellentEggcellent Posts: 68
    Nothing beats hickory for a Boston Butt.
  • LFGEnergyLFGEnergy Posts: 618
    Not a hickory fan. Too heavy. Gave it up years ago. Now I use either oak, or oak paired with pecan. Sometimes throw a piece of cherry in the mix.

    Funny, as long as I have been in Texas, I just started using Mesquite a few years ago. Love it on steaks, but nothing else.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,246
    I like using 2-3 chunks hickory with 1-2 chunks of cherry wood. I kind of hit on this combination through trial and error.

    In Big Bob Gibson's Barbecue Book, Chris Lilly says that hickory brings out earthy tones of rubs while cherry wood tends to bring out the sweet in rubs. I think that is why I like the combination so much, but didn't realize it until I read that.
  • Gator Bait Gator Bait Posts: 5,244
     
    I have yet to find a smoke wood I don't like. I love mesquite both as a smoke wood and a charcoal. Hickory is probably the most popular, you go into a grocery store and you see hickory smoked this and hickory smoked that, it's all for a reason . . . people love it. Oak is also very good as is maple. Jack Daniels chips are their oak barrels that are retired and are infused with whiskey, they are mild and very good. I like chunks as I think they last longer into the cook and I mix them through out my lump so no matter where I have fire in the egg I am getting good smoke. I have also found that the lighter the color of the meat the less smoke I need. Red meats can take a lot of smoke where as chicken would be over smoked with the same amount but that may just be my preference. :)

    Blair

     
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,217
    Also a south Texan, I alway used mesquite, oak or pecan in the pit. When we moved to Maryland, I learned to use apple, hickory and walnut. The move to CA opened my eyes to the fruit woods and how to pair the woods. The one thing I miss about CA was the wood was free for the taking from the orchards...
    Here is a link you might find useful:
    http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Downloads_files/SmokingFlavorChart.pdf
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • ibandaibanda Posts: 432
    Pecan and chicken, and mesquite with beef, work everytime. Pecan and pork work prety well also. Everything else I am sort of still experimenting with.
    "Bacon tastes gooood, pork chops taste gooood." - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,742
    Austin Egghead wrote:
    Also a south Texan, I alway used mesquite, oak or pecan in the pit. When we moved to Maryland, I learned to use apple, hickory and walnut. The move to CA opened my eyes to the fruit woods and how to pair the woods. The one thing I miss about CA was the wood was free for the taking from the orchards...
    Here is a link you might find useful:
    http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Downloads_files/SmokingFlavorChart.pdf
    Thanks for posting that link, that looks very useful! :)
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,301
    For the first time, on today's ribs, I'm going to try a bit of Lazzari brand mesquite lump charcoal. I've been wanting to give it a shot, to see how it works on spare ribs.
    :unsure:
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • dugdbugdugdbug Posts: 244
    I have been chasing the memory of jerk chicken I had in Jamaica a number of years ago. One thing I am missing is some pimento wood. I think if I can get some pimento wood I'll be a lot closer :whistle:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i have been preaching about even just using the bark (shagbark hickory) for a while. I have a couple local converts. stuff is (i think)the sweetest smelling smoke of all of them. really amazing.

    if you have some around, give it a try. lots of yearly deadfall keeps me fully stocked with it

    http://www.pbase.com/image/2577975
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Dust9000Dust9000 Posts: 25
    From texas as well. This is what I use.

    Smoking is with Pecan (best) or Oak, or a mix of both

    Mesquite I only use for Fajitas, and by this I mean using a HOT wood fire. Not throwing wood on a coal fire for smoke.

    However people use Mesquite down here alot since everyone has it. Burns hot and makes a nice fire in the fireplace.
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