What wood to smoke on so as not to spoil your favorite foods

Smoked dishes have a special, exquisite taste and will decorate any festive table. But in order for the dishes to really work out, it is important to know some of the nuances of choosing wood. Different types of wood with different moisture levels are suitable for each type of product.

A fish

A product that is very easy to spoil with the wrong choice of material for smoking. Coniferous chips are categorically not suitable, as the resin adds bitterness to the aroma and taste of the fish. Trees such as linden, peach, oak, pear, alder, plum and apple are ideal choices.

In this case, the properties of the selected product should be taken into account. Fatty fish is best cooked on alder, oak and apple. Pear wood will soften the smell and taste of lean fish.

An additional bonus of using this or that wood will be the smell and appearance of fish:

  1. Linden - Used for light fish, it gives it a richer golden color.
  2. Peach is a very original species of wood, suitable for true connoisseurs of taste shades of dishes, optimal for seafood, will give them a rich orange hue and a fruit flavor with a light almond aroma.
  3. Oak is well suited for dark types of fish, it will give a bright brownish-yellow hue and a special tart taste.
  4. Alder is neutral - gives the product a classic smoked flavor; has an antibacterial effect.
  5. Apple tree - good for cooking oily fish, leaves a bright aftertaste and a pronounced smell of fruit.
  6. Pear - gives a delicate, unobtrusive aroma, golden color and does not produce harmful resin when heated, like most fruit trees.

The moisture content of the wood chips also contributes to the quality of the finished meal. Dry burns up faster and gives the necessary heat, but does not produce smoke. Therefore, for high-quality smoking, you should use chips soaked in water for 1-2 hours. The best option would be the alternating wet and dry wood chips in the preparation of fish for adjusting the smoke density and maintain a high temperature.

Pork and beef

Ideal firewood for cooking meat are: maple, sweet cherry, cherry, oak, plum, beech.

Both whole firewood and chopped wood chips are used. For fatty parts of pork and beef, it is better to use a cold method of smoking, for lean ones - hot.

Different types of wood have their own advantages when cooking:

  1. Beech and maple - will provide a golden color to the crust, they will not affect the taste.
  2. Cherry - practically does not emit tar when burning, gives good, persistent smoke and saturates the meat with a pleasant fruity aroma, coupled with a golden hue. Suitable for smoking bacon.
  3. Cherries and plums - emit a minimum of resin and give the meat its subtle aroma. In cherries, it is slightly bitter and is combined with a beautiful dark golden hue of the finished dish.

Do not use barked wood. It imparts bitterness and, when burned, releases harmful substances.

More chips crude (about 60-70%) give the finished meat saturated taste, smell and bright color. Dry wood gives a golden crust and makes the meat more tender. However, do not get too carried away with smoking on dry wood: there is a high risk of overdrying the dish. It is best to spray the wood with water before starting the cooking process.


Hard deciduous trees are most effective for smoking cheeses. Mostly they use firewood or chips of cherry, beech and apricot:

  1. Cherry - gives an unobtrusive fruity smell, pleasant aftertaste, evenly smokes the cheese, making its appearance more attractive.
  2. Beech - does not have a smell, so when smoked manages to retain a classic cheese taste and preserves the beautiful golden color of the product.
  3. Apricot - gives the product a rich, bright orange color, but has a less vivid taste and smell. Therefore, such chips are often harvested for smoking cheeses.

The chips should not be overdried. But too damp wood is not good: it can leave traces of soot on the cheese. Therefore, it is best to use moderately raw material.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are smoked less frequently than meat dishes. In fact, this is a very tasty dish that can be cooked both in a smokehouse, and on a grill or grill. Smoked vegetables can be eaten on their own, and fruits (pears, plums, or apples) can be eaten as an addition to meat dishes. For this method of preparation of the product, wood with a neutral taste with a pleasant fruity aroma is suitable:

  1. Cherry - shavings of this tree are often used when smoking vegetables.
  2. Peach - suitable for smoking vegetables, giving them a non-standard yellow color and saturating them with fruity notes and a light taste of almonds, suitable for grilling.

Best for smoked vegetables and fruits to use moderate humidity chips, which will burn longer and saturate the products smoke.


Smoking poultry is the most popular option. Poultry meat - tender, diet, and when smoked taste it becomes more saturated, and the shelf life is increased. The classic choice here is oak or alder wood. But fruit tree species are also great, adding additional nuances to the aroma and flavor of the dish:

  1. Apple tree - gives a pronounced specific smoke, which gives sophistication to poultry dishes. Such chips are especially good for fatty meat, for example, goose.
  2. Apricot - will turn any bird into a true gourmet dish, thanks to its almond flavor and delicate fruit aroma.
  3. Oak and alder retain the above properties even when poultry is smoked: they contribute to better preservation of the product, give a beautiful, noble color and slightly change the taste.
  4. Cherry - especially successfully combined with chicken meat, gives it an exquisite taste and aroma.

Alder is suitable for hot smoking, in other cases it is advisable to choose material from fruit trees. Chips should be thoroughly soaked and slightly dried: too damp wood can make the meat bitter, and dry wood will not give the required amount of smoke and will completely dry out an already low-fat product.

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Vine smoking

A very tasty way to use firewood is to prepare wood chips for hot and cold smoking.

The choice of firewood for smoking is a very responsible process, for those who made a smokehouse with their own hands, because the taste of the future product depends on the chips, in addition, not all firewood is used for smoking.

Juniper and alder chips are most suitable for smoking. You can also use the hazel, maple, apple, pear, oak, ash and birch. It is recommended to use branches obtained as a result of spring pruning. Each type of wood gives its products its own aroma, therefore, to make the smell rich, you can prepare smoking mixtures in which different types of trees will be collected.

Before splitting wood, it is better to remove the bark from it, especially if you plan to use birch wood. This is necessary because the bark contains the largest amount of resin. Then the timber is crushed to cubes or schepochek whose size is not more than two to three centimeters. Chips are scattered over the bottom in an even layer. A good handful of wood chips (0.2 - 0.3 liters) are enough for a bucket.

In general, preference is given to maple, beech, alder and What kind of firewood, chips, sawdust to choose for smoking? oak. For smoking, you can also use the wood of chestnut, ash, willow, poplar, fruit trees. But pine does not give good coals. It either smokes, almost not burning, or burns to ashes, while the resinous smoke gives the smoked meats a bitter aftertaste. It is worth knowing that the bitter taste of the product will get from any softwood coniferous therefore not used in the smoking process. However, in Savoy (France) sausages are smoked in spruce smoke, just as mussels are smoked only in the smoke of pine needles in Charente. Previously, products were smoked with fir cones in the Russian Empire on the White Sea, and with pine sawdust - on the Volga. The product in the course of smoking on softwood sawdust was not bitter, it was wrapped with a double layer of cheesecloth ..

The color of the finished product depends on the choice of wood. For example, mahogany gives an attractive golden color to products when smoked. Alder and oak make smoked meats brown or dark yellow. Maple, beech, lime, and other deciduous trees endow the meat or fish is golden-yellow. An interesting result of smoking, about the color and flavor will be meats that are cooked on-chip hornbeam.

Traditionally, only dry wood chips are used for smoking. Not dried firewood smoke increase the humidity, slow burning, soot sticks to the surface of the products. However, there are recipes that require wetting the wood chips. Sometimes firewood is even specially soaked, so the field for experiments is too wide in this regard.

Periodically, it is advised to throw twigs of juniper, rosemary, almond shells, and various aromatic herbs into the fire. It must be remembered: an overdose of juniper will endow the smoked meats with an unpleasant, pungent aftertaste. But the branches of grapes give the smoked fish a special spicy smell.

In any case, non-fungal, non-rotting firewood should be used for cooking food. Moldy sawdust is also not allowed.

Note: it is good to serve vegetable salads or fresh herbs with meat delicacies and smoked meats. There is no need to do a lot of salads. A salad made from fresh cucumber, tomatoes and onions, seasoned with vegetable oil, is quite suitable.
Do not use Lighter fluid to ignite wood chips.
A safer, more convenient and cheaper way to ignite a fire is "Briquettes for ignition", which, like the liquid, are sold in supermarkets and shops in the sections with products for recreation and picnic.
It is categorically impossible to use gasoline or kerosene to ignite wood chips - the long-awaited dish will be hopelessly spoiled by a chemical smell.

For smoking delicious dishes in the country:
1. Put on a plot of grapes and vine while remaining after trimming will serve you the best wood for wood chips.
2. Do not miss the opportunity to prepare wood for chips from sawn branches of fruit trees.
3. Use birch, oak and alder firewood for the chips.
4. If you want to smoke quickly and conveniently, it is better to buy ready-made wood chips in a supermarket.
5. In the forest, collect birch, oak or alder wood for smoking.
Bon Appetit. Good luck.



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Tuesday, May 07, 2013 19:20 + in the quote pad


Recommendations, recipes and tips for smoking fish and meat in the country (field conditions) from fishing forums:

(in the same place - following the links to the forums - you can familiarize yourself with the schemes for making a portable summer cottage smokehouse, if you have no desire to purchase it in the store)

* From time to time I smoke fish in a regular "stainless steel box" smokehouse.

According to the unanimous opinion of all eaters, the fish turns out to be tastier if you use apple branches instead of purchased alder chips. Threads cut into about 10 cm and a diameter of about 1 cm in length. In such a small smokehouse need pieces 15-20. Only they should not be dry.

* You can also use currant and cherry branches. The fish can be wrapped in cheesecloth, who does not like heavily smoked leather. Then the soot remains on the gauze.

* For smoking, I use all fruit trees, often adding a twig of juniper or wormwood. On Akhtuba I smoked fish on willow, which is also not bad, with an original slightly bitter taste. I prefer to smoke fish, regardless of size, not gutted. Although I recently tried to smoke gutted fish, I also really liked stuffing my belly with spicy grass.

* If the fish is not golden enough, you can add fresh leaves.

* Yesterday I watched a program about fishing * TROPHIES OF AVALON *, and so an interesting thought sounded there. They recommend smoking fish on pine branches, especially emphasizing the presence of resin in the pine. I personally hear this for the first time, I will try it in the near future.

* I prefer to use twigs (wood chips, leaves) exclusively of fruit trees for smoking. Experiments with resinous rocks, I consider unhealthy. My opinion!

* Yesterday I watched a repetition of this program, this is advised by the guys from Penza. At the weekend I smoked a pork rib, I decided not to add pine, I did it with a branch of juniper. It worked out pretty well.

There is a lot of tar in birch wood, but we drown it. I use spruce and pine firewood for the bath, there is no strong smell, also in the bath I use essential oils of pine, cedar, spruce, eucalyptus, fir. In the annotations to oils, it is written that this is all very beneficial for the body.

information from the forum of fishermen:

* Hot smoking is usually not a problem. Alder, the best wood for smoking in my opinion, we have enough both along the banks and in stores. I use a mixture of salt and crushed garlic to grate the fish. Excerpt for half an hour, then I load it into a smokehouse and fire.

* I use the cheapest store stopper, the main thing is to add a pallet to it, then the bottom will not burn out and it is convenient to clean it. I have been using one for many years. Sawdust is also from the store, alder. For bronze I add my own cherry.

* Before tightly closing the lid, lightly sprinkle the sawdust with water.

* This is not grass, but juniper twigs. To give a golden color and a specific aftertaste, but the main thing is not to overdo it with juniper, otherwise there will be a bitter taste. You can also add mint.

* from myself I can add that before laying the fish it is better to wipe the outside of the brine, so that after smoking it becomes golden, with a crust and the fumes from sawdust do not stick to it.

* Sawdust should smolder and not burn, (you can add soaked sawdust, but not rotten, otherwise you will get everything yourself), otherwise we will get hot smoking, which, in principle, is also nothing ...

* Consider the process as the sawdust can ignite on its own and you will get fried-smoked fish. Cherry sawdust is desirable (the smell is stunned).

* Smoked everything. even toads.By the way, the toads are very tasty! You only need to smoke for a long time ...

* Suitable for smoking fish coriander and basil, thyme, rosemary. Thyme, dill, paprika, cumin and Indian curry are good for oily fish. For lean fish, sage and nutmeg. Parsley and fennel are added to taste; not everyone likes them in smoked fish.

* Such fish as pike, grayling, whitefish, trout, eel, have a strong taste and aroma, which are better preserved when smoked. Other fish, especially carp, do not have these qualities, therefore, before smoking, spices are added to the brine, after having poured boiling water over them. If you add greens to the ripped abdomen and under the gills, then the fish acquires an additional aroma. Pike perch and pike will be tastier if you put several bunches of mountain celery, shoots of onions or garlic in the carcasses.

* I make chicken legs as follows: In a 10-liter saucepan I bring 5 liters of salted water to a boil, turn off the gas and put 2 kg of chicken legs into it. After the water has cooled down, I take out the legs (water in the dog's food) and dry them in a smokehouse for 30 minutes.

* And I can't stand it in brine (brine). I just smear the fish inside and outside with salt (quite abundantly - the fish loves salt! It will still come with beer!) The effect is twofold - firstly, they smolder more slowly, more smoke (which is gut) and better aroma (beer gives its own aroma). I use alder and red oak sawdust.

* Most of all I like to smoke perch and roach. Now I use the following recipe: gut the fish (we leave the scales, respectively), wash it, salt it on the outside and inside (you can just use salt, you can use a mixture of salt and your favorite spices), leave it to lie down for 1-2 hours. Then, under a small stream of water, we very quickly wash off the remnants of salt from each carcass, make spacers from matches for tummies and leave the fish to dry for 30-60 minutes. Then we put it on the wire rack (so that the carcasses do not touch each other), I put them with their tummies down so that excess moisture drains onto the pallet, and the fish comes out more dry (it tastes better for me and my friends), and the fish gets smudged from the inside, the scales melt evenly golden on both sides of the carcass, and much more fish is placed in the smokehouse. At the bottom of the smokehouse, fruit sawdust (cherry + peach + grapes), cover the tray with foil (so as not to clean it afterwards) and on coals. It makes sense to send someone for a beer. After 10-15 minutes I remove from the coals and open the lid in order to bleed off excess moisture and not steam out the fish. Then again on coals - until cooked (10-15 min.)

* Cherries are mainly thrown for color. The slightest overkill and the taste is lost. Stir it in with the apple tree or jump off the cherry altogether (if taste is more important than appearance).

* But I try not to wash the fish after gutting - I just dry it by wiping it with a rag. Fried, and smoked, it turns out tastier.

* so that the fish does not taste bitter, rip off the black film, if any, under the intestines.

And we clean it correctly, so that the gallbladder doesn’t kotskut, washing the bile may not wash it off.

* The skin bursts when the smoking temperature is too high. Although the size of the fish affects. I always cut the big one and lay it down with the gutted belly up, so that the juice and fat flow out less.

* For all hot smoked fish lovers - try smoking on dry raspberry twigs. The taste is amazing!

* The traditional recipe is salt and spices. Even if the salting is wet (when rossol is being prepared), even if it is dry when the fish is sprinkled with a mixture of salt and spices. The best firewood is alder after it, all the rest, in particular, fruit, oak and acacia, I do not advise using because of the presence of tannins, conifers are contraindicated.

* do not take sawdust from a plum or apricot - in these cases, you can get grass. Plum and apricot firewood have hydrocyanic acid so that they are not poisonous, but they are not good. The rationale is simple - just like with ordinary smoking, and just burning, this wood releases cyanides. It is also dangerous to fry a kebab on it, although it all depends on the quantity. It is best to take cherries and oak.

* I don’t know I constantly smoke on plum sawdust, I also get it with a chainsaw, I add a little grapevine and it always turns out superb, and if you also put a piece of sweet and sour apple and one prune inside the prepared fish (perch), then the taste is simply divine.

In chapter Other culinary to the question, tell me whether to add a little grapevine when hot smoking fish together with alder chips, thanks to the author Neurosis the best answer is Sure. This is the most superrrrrrrrrr. But it burns. wet it or make sawdust. It's cooler than alder.

Ready-made solutions on the market

Today on sale you can find a huge selection of smokehouses that can be used for cold smoking. You can buy a design, both from a well-known manufacturer, and from that company that is just beginning to pave its way to the market. Of course, it is better to give preference to proven brands that offer high-quality cold-smoked smokehouses. The cost of such devices will be slightly higher.

It is worth noting that on sale you can find different types of smokehouses that are suitable for cold smoking. In this situation, it is worth considering what kind of products will be prepared in the future and in what quantity. Already based on this, select devices with the most suitable characteristics and optimal cost.

Smoke generators


What is the best sawdust for hot smoking?

In terms of assessing the quality of smoked products, wood is one of the main components. The size of the wood material is important. It is not recommended to take too small sawdust. As a result of using them, you will get too intense combustion, which will be accompanied by a high concentration of carbon dioxide in the smoke. The smoked product will taste like burning.

Humidity, which ranges from 50 to 70%, is the best option for sawdust and chips. Material that is too dry burns faster. The required amount of smoke is not generated. Smoked products also become dry as all the fat they contain is burned out. For fatty products, it is possible to lower the smoking temperature.

Do I need to soak sawdust for hot smoking?

The moisture content of the wood chips is a key factor during smoking. The sawdust that is commercially available has an extremely low moisture content. With natural moisture, chips can become moldy, as a result of which they lose their useful properties and presentation. Manufacturers in all cases, without exception, dry the chips.

They go on sale in small bags. Such a chip is in a dry state and burns out quickly enough. It also does not provide an optimal amount of smoke. In addition, the temperature in the smoker rises quite quickly during the combustion of the wood chips.

The product is of poor quality. This was mentioned earlier. For this reason, it is better to pre-moisten wood chips purchased from a store. It is moistened in water. After that, the raw material is slightly dried, spreading it in a thin layer on the fabric. And once this process is done, you can lay the chips for the smokehouse. It is desirable that the humidity level varies between 50 and 65%. If the chips are too damp, their moisture content will exceed 80%, they will not be able to burn, or they will go out as soon as they light up. At best, it will burn unevenly.

Preparing firewood for smoking

For smoking, it is recommended to use branches from spring pruning of trees. Large logs are not suitable, they are crushed into chips, shavings, sawdust. The main thing is that the wood elements are of the same size. Violation of this condition leads to ignition of too thin branches when opening the lid of the smoking vessel. As a result, the smoked meats burn and become covered with a layer of soot.

Prepared wood should produce a lot of smoke. A light flame is allowed in damp, cloudy weather.

Well-made smoked meats should be fragrant, have a shiny and dry surface of a yellow-brown hue.

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