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View Poll Results: Does smoking with different wood impart a different flavor in food?
Yes 72 94.74%
No 4 5.26%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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Default Different types of wood smoke

Do the members of the Brethren believe that using different types of wood for smoking impart a different flavor in the food?

I believe it does, but there are others that don't. What does everyone else think?
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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Of course...but many folks don't pay close enough attention or try things smoked with various woods back to back.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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100% imho. Some meats are take on the flavor of the wood better than others.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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The type of wood makes a huge difference. Smoke a chicken breast with oak and another with apple then give them a taste test.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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Big difference between woods. But for the typical person who isn't an avid bbq'er, smoked meat probably just tastes like smoked meat and they couldn't tell much of a difference. Like a person who knows nothing about wine, but just knows they prefer red wine. Give them any red wine and they will recognize it and enjoy it, but couldn't tell you how it's different from anything else they've had. Until they train their palate and do some head to head comparisons, red wine is red wine regardless of the grape used, just as smoked meat is just smoked meat regardless of the wood used.

For people like us who live and breathe smoke, the difference is obvious after much experience. But give most people a piece of meat smoked with hickory today and then a piece smoked with oak tomorrow and they aren't going to detect much difference. It's not that there isn't a difference, it's just that most people haven't had enough experience to understand what it is they are tasting, nor do they probably care as long as it tastes good.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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Even I can tell the difference

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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^^^^^^Yep. It is different. Just not everybody notices
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:52 PM   #8
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I think overall, it's really mesquite, and everything else.

To further explain this - yes, if you smoke a chicken with apple, it may taste milder and more pleasing than one smoked with the same amount of oak, but is the flavor different or more smokey? Some woods make a more intense smoke flavor, but it's smoke flavor. As an experienced Qer, I would use 1/3 the amount of oak as I would apple, and I would bet that then you couldn't tell the 2 apart. I cook with what's readily at hand, and don't really worry about a flavor difference because I really haven't ever found one within the realm of acceptable hard woods (meaning I don't use walnut, ash, locust, etc) Some woods take less to get the job done, but in the end, smoke is smoke. Maybe my palette isn't that sophisticated.

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:20 AM   #9
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I find that people's expectations are higher when I smoke with hickory versus oak or fruitwood... I don't know what it is about hickory but it gets their mouths watering. :)
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:24 AM   #10
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by krek View Post
I find that people's expectations are higher when I smoke with hickory versus oak or fruitwood... I don't know what it is about hickory but it gets their mouths watering. :)
i agree
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:04 AM   #12
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Fire management plays a big role in how "smokey" food tastes as well.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #13
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Theres definately a difference in smoke flavours. What i see a lot though is oversmoking or bad fire management and this leads to an overwhelming taste that kills all the fine flavours.

I say use smoke just like you would use a rub or sauce, as a part of the whole thing.
Then you will be able to taste a difference.

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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Absolutely. Some woods are more distinctive than others. Mesquite is one and cherry is another. Cherry has the property that whatever gives cherry fruit its flavor is in the wood as well. It survives the heat of the fire and can be tasted in the food! That plays particularly well with Salmon IMO.

I wanted to answer this question for myself in a more detailed manner. I wanted to know what flavor various woods would impart to different foods. To perform the experiment I built my mini-WSM so I would not have to fire up my 18 WSM for testing. I cooked two pieces each of:
- pork steaks
- beef patties
- salmon fillets
- tilapia fillets
- chicken legs
- potato slices
using different smoking woods. Immediately following each cook I tasted one of each of the samples and made notes on my first impressions. The second sample got sealed up and frozen for a later date when I pulled them out and tasted them side by side.

This was fun and instructive and is well worth the time and effort I put into it.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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Very little, I bbq a lot of meat, using woodcoals, after it burn down very little difference, unless you using some kind of soft wood. Using a few chips of wood don't give you much flavor one way or the other.
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