Smoking on a Braai is usually left to the ‘Braai experts’ which is a shame because it is incredible easy to do. All you need is to understand a little about wood flavors and the difference between chips, shavings, wood chunks, smoke bombs and smoke chunks….
Smoking can be for hours and hours in your Hot Smoker or Ceramic BBQ or in your BBQ just to do some sausages – the fun is the experimenting. No one can tell you what wine you like and it’s the same with wood flavors, it is simply a question of trying them out and seeing what wood you like with what food and how intense you like the wood flavor.
Never smoke with wood unless you know what wood it is, where it has come from and are 100% sure it hasn’t been treated with anything. Lots of people have wood hanging around in the garden but not all woods can be smoked with and you certainly don’t want anything that may have been treated. If you are not sure – don’t use it.
It may sound obvious but the best smoking wood is dry wood: chips, shavings, chunks and BBQ Planks have been air dried and that allows the wood to soak in your clean water.
Smoking Shavings are a quick and convenient way to produce delicious smoked foods using a Stovetop Home Smoker or gas or charcoal BBQ. Due to their size, they smoulder for a shorter time to produce a delicious smoky flavor.
What Smoking Woods Should You Use?
Wood flavors are a personal choice of taste but here is a brief description of my favorites:
- Oak gives a heavier smoke flavor and is great for red meat and game; this is probably the best wood for the best steak. A fantastic wood for smoking too as it gives a lovely colour and a deep smoky flavour.
- Cedar is the traditional wood for fish it is also fantastic for fruit and seafood. In the US cedar is used a lot to cook other food such as chicken, this is a matter of taste as cedar imparts a sweet, spicy flavour so not for all! Smoking in cedar is amazing. but again, very spicy. You either love it or hate it!
- Cherry has a subtle mild, fruity flavour and is excellent for poultry, fish, vegetables and fruit. Smoking in cherry gives a fantastic colour and a subtler, sweeter smoky flavour. This wood should be used when you want to compliment the flavour of your food and not overpower it.