Learn to Cook with Wood! 17/05/16
Cooking and creating delicious, high quality meals using wood on a barbecue or in a wood fired oven is not as hard as you may think. After reading our comprehensive guide you’ll be able to not just impress your friends, but also yourself!
It is crucial to understand how fire and wood interact to bring back the distinguishable wood BBQ flavour that everybody loves. Put simply, wood adds flavour to your meat or fish in 2 ways. Firstly with the smoke created by wood chunks or chips and secondly, from sap when using grilling planks.
How to Use Wood Chips and Chunks
If you are using a charcoal grill, get the charcoals nice and hot and when they have turned grey place several handfuls of chunks or chips on the charcoal a few minutes before cooking. This adds the strong but not overpowering, delicious taste that people desire.
Chips should only be used if the cooking time is going to be less than 10 minutes. Chunks are typically used for longer cooking. Soaking the chips/chunks extends their life slightly and doesn’t add or detract from the smoke flavour that you want. However, you can be incredibly creative by soaking your chips/chunks in things like apple juice, wine, brandy or any other liquids that take your fancy to add a subtle touch of flavour to your dish.
Using wood chunks:
Wooden chunks can be placed around the perimeter of the cooking surface about 10 minutes before cooking. Make sure that the chunks are placed on the cooking surface and not the heat source, especially if you are using a gas BBQ.
By placing the wood chunks on the cooking surface, they will heat up quickly and produce smoke. Make sure you then close the cover of your grill while cooking so that your meat or fish absorb the flavour of the smoke.
Using wood chips:
Wood chips should normally be used with a specially designed “smoker box” that can be placed on the cooking surface or set directly on the burning element for faster results. You will then be ready to start cooking as soon as you see and smell the wood smoke.
If you choose to use a traditional smoker, the process is identical but you will need to be constantly feeding the smoker with chips or chunks until the procedure is complete. The trick to a successful smoked dish is to experiment with ways of carrying out the techniques and recipes until you have found the right one for you and your favourite recipes. Take a look at our Bradley Smokers range for a more automated smoker.
How to Use Wood Planks for Cooking
Cooking with wooden planks allows all of the juices and sap of the wood to flavour your meat and fish giving it a distinct, delicious taste. Although the taste experience is very different, the process with using wooden planks is just as easy. It is essential you soak the planks in water prior to use, because you do not want them to burn!
Think of wood planks as a dehydrated vegetable – by adding water, you return the wood to its fresh, just cut, flavour. The longer the planks are soaked for the better, however anything over 2 hours is good enough. It is also very important to protect the planks from flames but not heat. Therefore, if using would to cook or your charcoal has not settled down then you could place foil underneath the planks.
So in conclusion, the 3 main points what you need to consider when it comes to cooking with wood planks are that the planks need to be soaked, the planks need to be protected from flames and the heat needs to be contained in a small area.th Wo
Have some fun experimenting and keep following for more tips and recipes.