Before you cook, you must season your food. One of the most popular ways is with BBQ wood chips. But what are BBQ wood chips? And why are they so popular? Let me tell you all about them!
A typical bag of BBQ wood chips might have five or six different cuts of applewood, hickory, cherrywood, pecan, and mesquite. These trees produce the best flavor profiles for barbecue enthusiasts because they provide a strong smoke flavor that is perfect for enhancing meats like beef, pork, and poultry. This is why you can find a variety of low-carbohydrate meats on restaurant menus today and a myriad of high-carb options soaked in sugar.
So if you are a serious barbecue fan who wants to experience the full spectrum of barbecue flavors, then wood chips are a great item to purchase. There’s no question that they will improve both the taste and the aroma of your food. So what do you need them for? In this article, I’m going to discuss everything you need to know about barbecue wood chips so that you can cook more succulent and delectable foods.
What are BBQ wood chips?
BBQ wood chips are alternative smoking logs that can be used instead of charcoal briquettes during a barbecue. They’re great because they help prepare meat at a shallow temperature, which preserves the moisture in the meat while also greatly enhancing the flavor. Additionally, they provide a beautiful smoky flavor to the food similar to what actual smokers offer without the hassle of maintaining something like a traditional smoker on your stove or outside grill.
Place them on top of your grills, indirect heat grills, or in your smoker, and let the smoke do all of the hard work! Not only that, but your guests will enjoy this natural smell. But how do they work? Let’s find out!
How do BBQ wood chips work?
When comparing the smoking logs used in barbecue grills and smokers, the real difference between charcoal briquettes and wood chips is temperature. The chip smoker or smoker box is designed with a specially designed airflow structure that provides different temperatures depending on where the air is being pulled from. These air drafts offer a natural ventilation pattern that keeps the temperature regulated within a specific range. So essentially, these smoke tubes create a small wood fire of sorts inside your cooker.
As the wood chips burn, they produce smoke circulated throughout the grill through the ventilation system. The fat and juices from the meat then drip down onto the coals, which creates a much more flavorful barbecue experience. However, it’s important to note that you should never dispose of your charcoal briquettes when using this method because they will still be needed to create a hot enough temperature to cook ribs and other types of meat with a thick layer of marbling fat.
Okay, so now we know what they look like and how they work. But what can you do with them?
What can you do with BBQ wood chips?
The cool thing about this is that you can still cook up whatever kind of meat you want without any restrictions. You’re limited only by your imagination when packaging your meat. Typically, a bag of wood chips will give you enough smoking logs for the entire summer season, depending on the size of your grill and smoker. If you plan to use them for a lot of cooking, I’d recommend purchasing two bags at a time to save yourself some money.
The best way to use these wood chips is by purchasing a smoker box or smoker pan. These are typically small wire baskets or pans on the grill or smoker. You then put the wood chips in the pan or basket and set them on fire. This will produce a small, localized flame that will help to make a light smoky flavor for your food.
If you don’t want smoke on your barbecue, you can always use the regular briquettes that come with most grills, but remember that if you don’t want a strong flavor from the smoke, you should try to minimize it.
If you want to use a more traditional method, try using a smoker box or smoker pan with regular charcoal briquettes. This will provide you with the best of both worlds: the light smoke flavor from barbecue wood chips, combined with the higher heat necessary to cook certain meats.
Another alternative is to use regular charcoal briquettes when smoking lean meats like chicken and turkey and then switch to wood chips when cooking fatty meats like brisket and pork shoulder. This will allow your food to cook at a lower temperature while still producing full flavors that would be lost by not keeping your heat on.
So if you want to take your barbecue to the next level, it’s time to start using wood chips for smoking! Make sure that you get the right ones for what you plan to cook, and place them in a smoker pan or smoker box on your grill. Then set them on fire and let the smoke do all of the work! You’ll be in barbecue heaven before long.