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When smoking brisket, focus on the basics such as salt, garlic, and celery salt and onion powder. The basics are vital in enhancing the taste of your flavorful meat and essential in helping the exterior develop a robust covering. Additionally, you should also be careful about the all-natural hardwood pellets and wood as they play a critical role in attaining the desired flavor. In this article, we are going to focus on the best wood for smoking brisket and discuss notable differences between each of them.
Brisket refers to a cut of meat that goes well with the aroma and flavors you get from smoking. The chunk has a soft and tender texture which makes it perfect for absorbing smoke flavors and moisture. These features make brisket a great cut for smoking.
Due to the rise of pellet grilling in the industry, the demand for brisket has also risen, causing an increase in the price of the meat which was once inexpensive. Due to the high cost of beef, you should make sure you choose the best wood for smoking brisket.
Techniques/Tips to Improve
Smoking meat such as brisket to attain mouth-watering meals is not a simple exercise, and most people end up failing. To help you get great results, we prepared the following tips to use when smoking:
- Avoid excess smoking – Smoke plays a major role in the results of your brisket, but you should not overdo it. Leaving your brisket in the smoker for long creates a bitter taste and should be avoided at all costs. Only use optimum smoke and for a reasonable amount of time for great results.
- Soak the wood – Before you go ahead and smoke your meat, make sure you soak the wood in water for 12 hours and dry it afterward before cooking. This way, the wood chips do not create flames when placed on top of the coal. The practice instead increases the volume of the smoke and steam produced inside your smoker if you are using fresh hardwood logs.
- Combine different woods – Different types of smoking woods have different scents and flavors. Combining different types of wood can enhance the aroma of your meat.
Picking the best wood for smoking brisket
If you’re to smoke brisket, you should be careful about the meat-wood combination to get excellent results. We understand the struggle in picking the right smoking wood and have prepared the following list:
Oakwood is the best wood for smoking brisket compared to cherry and apple. This is lighter than hickory and mesquite, making it a favorable choice. This type is versatile as it yields a medium smoke flavor that works well with different meats. Oak is perfect for newbies and best for smoking brisket, lamb, and sausages.
Hickory wood is among the best choices. This offers an outstanding smoke flavor, but users should avoid using too much smoke as it can lead to bitter flavored briskets. Nonetheless, using hickory wood as a fuel source correctly produces a savory and bacony flavor to your smoked meat. Woods like hickory are ideal for red meat.
Mesquite adds a strong smoky flavor to your brisket. Avoid overdoing it, as mesquite can cause a bitter and harsh flavor. Mesquite wood burns fast and strong and is an oily wood. Apart from briskets, this wood is also ideal for grilling dark meats.
If you have plans to smoke some brisket with some poultry or game foul, make sure you buy some maple wood in advance. This type of wood is suitable and favorable, and you can expect light, sweet, and mild smokiness.
Apple wood for smoking brisket is ideal due to its mild, sweet flavor. However, the smoke takes long to infuse into the meat, so you should give it time. Once you decide to settle for applewood, be sure you will smoke for several hours. In addition to brisket, applewood is also best for wild foul, chicken, and smoked pork.
Pecan wood gives a sweet, nutty, and rich smoke flavor. To balance the flavor, we urge users to combine pecan with another hardwood. Professional grillers claim pecan wood is ideal if you are preparing roasts, ribs, and briskets.
Another fruitwood that falls among the best and works for all types of meat is cherry. Cherry offers a fruity and mild flavor making it a good choice when grilling beef and pork. Combining this wood with hickory offers users an outstanding flavor you cannot afford to say no to. Cherry wood is ideally used to smoke turkey, ham, or chicken.
Correcting Common Problems
Smoking brisket is not an easy exercise, and most people end up facing problems along the way. Some of these problems arise due to the mistakes made when smoking with wood. We are going to look at common problems and solutions to some of these problems.
Getting excessive smoke
For great results, when smoking brisket, you should avoid excessive smoking. However, despite the effort to control the amount of wood, smokers constantly experience excess smoke. The excess smoke creates a bitter taste and to avoid this, you should soak the wood. This increases the volume of smoke and steam inside the smoker.
Problems selecting the right wood
When smoking brisket, most people find trouble getting the right size of wood. It is worth noting wood comes in three sizes;
- Logs and sticks
When selecting, always bear in mind the size of your smoker and the amount of brisket you intend to smoke.
Analysis of Best Practices in the Industry
To attain mouth-watering meals without struggle, below are a few practices you should adopt when you are smoking a brisket.
- Make sure you have the right tools at hand
- Grill thicker cuts
- Do not use non-stick sprays on your smoker
- Make sure you thoroughly clean the grill after use
- Always have a meat thermometer at hand to monitor the temperature
- Make an effort to soak wood before smoking
Tools You Can Use
Apart from having the right smoker and a thick chunk when grilling, you should also make sure to have other useful tools at your disposal. There are so many tools you should have when grilling but we have listed only the essential ones:
- Fire extinguisher
- Grill mitts
- Long-handled basting brush
- Instant meat temperature read thermometer
- Chimney starter
- Long-handled tongs
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use apple wood to smoke brisket?
There are various types of wood you can use to smoke a brisket. You can choose to use applewood to smoke a brisket to get the flavor you desire.
What wood does Franklin use for brisket?
Franklin prefers to use Post Oak that has been cured for 9-12 months.
How much wood do you need to smoke a brisket?
The amount of wood you require depends on how efficient your smoker is and the type of wood you are using. For example, mesquite may not last as long as oak since it’s oily and burns fast.
Using smoke to prepare a brisket can be challenging on your first time, but if you have the right grill at hand, the process becomes simple to carry out. Having the right type of wood at your disposal, and multiple temperature probes will also help you attain great results.
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