Smoking chips have become an increasingly popular cooking method, due to their ability to naturally infuse foods with unique smoky flavours. From a variety of meats, vegetables, and even cheeses, smoking chips can be used to create both delicate and strong distinctive flavours.
Here at Eden Products, we supply an extensive range of hard and soft woods, that can provide an array of smoking experiences. Each wood that we stock has its own unique flavour profile, that complements different dishes. Depending on the type of wood you choose and your cooking style, the rate at which the smoke permeates the food can differ. So to help you use our selection of smoking chips to their fullest potential, we have created this blog post with tips on how to use and store them. Find below some tips on how to take your smoking to the next level.
Storing smoking chips for freshness and quality
The first step in ensuring the best results from your smoking chips is proper storage. To maintain the quality of the wood, smoking chips should be stored in an airtight container to prevent moisture and other contaminants from affecting the flavour. As smoking chips are manufactured out of hard and soft wood, they absorb moisture very easily, which can cause them to lose their flavouring.
We also recommend storing the chips in a cool, dry place which is hidden away from direct sunlight. This will help to prevent the natural oils within the wood from deteriorating. By following these recommendations, you will be able to maintain the freshness and shelf life of the smoking chips. If you have any questions about storage, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Choosing the right smoking chip flavour
When it comes to using smoking chips, choosing the right type is key. Different types of smoking chips, such as mesquite, hickory, apple, and cherry, have distinct flavours that can complement different types of food. For example, mesquite smoking chips have a strong, earthy flavour that pairs well with beef and game meats, while hickory has a sweet, smoky flavour that works well with pork and poultry.
To get the most out of your smoking chips, it is important to understand what flavours the wood produces and which foods they complement. On our website, we have listed all the different wood flavour profiles and provided recommendations on what foods to use them with. You can experiment with different smoking chips to achieve a depth of flavours. For example, you could use our mesquite chips for the first hour of smoking and then use hickory chips for the remainder of the time. How long you smoke your foods will also impact the flavour, so that is important to consider as well. If you want a strong smoky flavour, you will want to infuse the food for a lot longer.
Smoking tips and techniques
In addition to choosing the right type of wood and controlling the smoking time, there are a number of other tips and techniques that can influence your outcome. A common question that we get asked is, should smoking chips be soaked? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as smoking chips can be used both wet and dry. Soaking your chips can lead to a longer smoulder, however, the flavour might not be as strong. Instead, we recommend using liquor or juice to enhance the taste even further. Some ideas include:
Whiskey – whiskey is one of the most popular soaks amongst BBQ enthusiasts, as it adds deep, rich, warm flavours to food. It matches well with oak and hickory chips.
Brandy – this is an excellent soak for more delicate foods such as cheese.
Apple juice – apple juice is a great way to add an extra flavour dimension, to meats that pair well with fruity aromas, such as pork.
Another technique is to wrap your smoking chips in aluminium foil, creating a smoker packet. This allows the smoke to circulate the food while also keeping the smoking chips together, preventing them from spreading out and burning too quickly.
It is also vital to monitor the temperature of your grill or smoking kiln, as you do not want your chips to burn too fast. By ensuring the temperature is consistent, your food will be cooked evenly and there will be enough time for the smoke to permeate through.
If you follow the tips and techniques outlined in this blog, you’ll be well on your way to producing delicious and flavourful dishes. All of the smoking products that we supply are to be used with all commercial smoke generators and traditional kilns. We offer a variety of standard grades, from smoking dust to large smoking chips. Please feel free to contact us today with your requirements, and we will be able to provide you with our products using our bespoke contract packing service.