I am no expert but below is a quick bit of wisdom that comes from Oliver boss of my business associates Pro Smoke BBQ who has a lot more knowledge of cooking than me as I just sell the drugs!
Blue Smoke And Smoke Flavour Explained
Your top priority when smoking food is ”clean smoke” , this means the wood is burning at the correct temperature to release all those tasty vapours locked in that wood chunk, that’s what you want to flavour your food, and the way we determine if this is happening, is a thin slightly blue smoke coming from your BBQ vent. If this is happening you know your wood chunk is dry (properly seasoned), air flow through your cooker is good, and your food will come out with that subtle hint of smoke flavour.
Good smoking temperatures range from 250F to 320F. If you’re seeing puffy thick white smoke you won’t get the proper flavour on your food, this smoke tastes harsh and bitter, if this happens check the following: – Is your smoker getting enough airflow and you’re not running very low temperatures – Did you soak your wood in water beforehand (we don’t recommend this) – Is the chunk size too big for your cooker
How To Use Wood Chunks
The best way to use chunks is sparing, these fist-size chunks should be split in half, then layered into the charcoal on a Weber kettle, or offset smoker, but ceramic BBQs like kamados normally like quarter size chunks, due to their slower airflow.
We also recommend 1 sweet 1 savoury chunk, like a hickory or pecan chunk with a maple chunk, this increases the smoke profile and adds an extra layer of flavour.
Even when you’re grilling food, why not throw a large chunk in the corner, this will smoke away for hours and gently flavour your food.
During long smokes, on bullet smokers, we recommend upto 4 half chunks scattered through the fuel, or refuelling every few hours.
This wood creates a sweet, yet strong flavour, the smoke can be pungent, but it adds a nice, strong flavour to just about all meat cuts, but it’s especially popular with pork and beef.
This wood is stronger than most fruit woods, but milder than hickory and mesquite. Pecan is ideal when smoking poultry and fish as it adds a bit more kick than cherry and apple, but won’t over smoke.
The perfect complement to any other of the chunks listed, a light sweet smoke very similar to apple or cherry, works well with chicken and Pork.
We’ve managed to get a limited supply of this wood from our US wood chunk supplier, it’s the original brisket wood! made famous by the likes Aaron Franklin and Texas BBQ, if American style brisket is your aim, this is the wood for you.
Much the same as Maple this is a nice addition to any of the stronger woods, it will also provide a red colour to all food smoked with it. We’ve had excellent results with all poultry especially duck.
Tell me, Paul what you need – your business (or your money) has my interest !