Posted 29th May 2013
To celebrate National BBQ Week we've got a taste of barbecue smoking from the fantastic Weber's Complete Barbecue Smoking book! Why not give your meat, fish or vegetables a flavour boost with these exciting smoking methods...
You could power a hot air balloon around the world with all the opinions about which types of wood smoke go best with certain kinds of food.
The truth is, there is no absolute right answer. We're talking about a matter of personal taste. So if you prefer a particular type of wood with a particular kind of food, well then, that's your right answer. That's part of the sport we call barbecue.
At most stores you will find smoking wood sold either in chips or chunks. Each calls for a slightly different way of handling.
CHIPS: Little slivers of wood, roughly "chipped" for maximum surface area. They should almost always be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes, or they may catch fire and raise the temperature of the grill. Add to a bed of burning charcoal or to a gas grill's smoker box. A couple handfuls provide 10 to 20 minutes of smoke. Add unsoaked chips to charcoal for a short burst of flames and heat.
CHUNKS: These vary widely in their shape and size, some will be too big for a gas grill's smoker box, the usual size is about as big as a fist and will smoulder for a couple of hours on a bed of charcoal. Water doesn't seep into chunks any deeper than about ¼ inch. To prevent them catching fire, arrange along the outer edge of the bed of charcoal.
PLANKS: Flat and skinny, these boards come in several sizes, from squares barely as big as pork chop to rectangles long enough to hold an entire side of salmon. All planks should be submerged in water for at least an hour before being charred on a grill. Place your plank onto the cooking grate (in the roasting area), close the lid for 2 minutes or until the plank begins to smoke. Place your seasoned food onto the plank, close the lid and cook until done.
PAPERS: A relatively new entry onto the smoking stage, these thin pieces of wood should be submerged in water 1-2 hours before being wrapped around whatever you want to smoke. Tie the bundles with butcher's twine, and then roast them on all sides to produce light amounts of sweet smoke.
Now check out some delicious barbecue recipes from Weber's Complete Barbecue Smoking book here