Get to know your wood
Heartwood can vary from a light reddish or greyish brown to a deeper red/brown. The grain of Apple is sometimes seen with streaks of darker and lighter bands of colour. Its appearance and texture closely resemble Cherry, another fruit tree. Yet Apple is significantly heavier and harder than Cherry. Applewood is slow-burning and releases a steady volume of smoke.
The flavour of Apple is milder and sweeter than hickory, leading to a mellow fruity flavour that brings out the naturally sweet and warm notes in foods.
Best used for:
The subtle, but dense, smoke of applewood is best paired with mild white meats such as poultry, pork (especially ham), game birds, lamb and some seafood. Apple smoke also enhances the taste of sweet or tangy sauces, marinades or brines.
*Apple smoke flavour take a while to permeate, so anticipate several hours of smoking.
Best paired with:
The smoke of applewood is best paired with naturally sweet elements such as honey, molasses, maple or cinnamon. These greatly complement the complex fruity flavour imparted into these grilled or smoked meats.
Tips for getting the best smoke from your Applewood:
Make sure that your meat is cold. Why? Smoke penetrates cold meat better. Try not to let your meat come to room temperature before you start smoking.
Use moist meat when smoking to prevent it from drying out during the smoking process. You can spritz your meat using a spray bottle to achieve this. Alternatively, you can moisten your meat with apple juice to add that flavour.
Use your desired spice rub on the meat. This process has a lot to do with flavouring your meat. But more than anything else, smoke tends to stick much better onto the layer of spice or herbs on your meat.
Use a smoker with a water pan. Water is known to slow down evaporation thereby keeping your meat moist.
Place your wood into the smoker early on, but only when the fire is hot. This is because meat generally tends to soak up more wood flavour at the start of the cooking process—and when it’s cold.
How long the smoking process takes will depend on the meat you’re cooking and the cuts. For example, you need between 60 and 90 minutes to smoke a large cut of pork. This is provided you’re maintaining a temperature of between 195 and 205 degrees, while chicken in comparison will only take an hour.
How much Applewood should you use when smoking?
- The volume of your smoker’s cooking chamber. The larger the capacity, the more wood you’ll need.
- Amount of airflow into and out of the smoker. The greater the airflow through your cooker is the higher the heat will become and the lower the amount of smoke.
- Whether the food is marinated or has any form of basting. You’ll need more fuel if you’re smoking basted meat since it’s more difficult for smoke to penetrate such surfaces.
- Humidity and overall weather conditions. Smoking foods during a warm sunny day doesn’t require your smoker to burn up much fuel. This is because of the high environmental weather conditions. If you smoke food at night, you will use up more fuel.
- Type of meat you’re smoking. Dense cuts of meat will require more wood. Thin cuts won’t need as much wood.
What size Applewood do I need?
There is a wide variety of sizes when it comes to smoking with applewood. If you’re trying to decide which size wood to cook with, then you basically need to consider the size of your smoker.
If you’re cooking inside a small to medium-sized smoker then apple chunks are what we would recommend. It doesn’t matter what you’re using for your primary source of heat, just add a few applewood chunks just before you start cooking, and in that way, you’ll maximize the amount of apple smoke flavour going into your food.
if you’re cooking over an open fire or inside a large smoker, then nothing beats apple cooking wood logs. These large pieces of wood can provide ample flavour when you’re looking to give your food that great applewood smoked flavour.
Why should you smoke your food with Applewood?
For starters, applewood contains very little resin, which is important for smoking because many softwoods, including pine and fir, are filled with resin. When the resin is burned it produces harsh soot that leaches onto the food turning it bitter. Luckily applewood doesn’t suffer from this problem.
Be sure to let us know how it goes and maybe share you’re recipe.
I’ve you’ve never tried applewood smoked food before, you’ll be surprised just how delicious it is. Applewood contains a high concentration of sugar molecules that essentially caramelize the outside of meats and vegetables.
Now that you know more about applewood be sure to pick up a bag and try it for your next BBQ.