You’ve purchased your smoker, and it’s almost ready to go. But, there’s just one last thing you need to get…the right wood.
But, the choice is seemingly endless; from Hickory to Oak to Apple to Peach, and many more besides. So, how do you decide on which wood pairs best with your food?
Let’s take Almond wood for example. What can it go well with?
Well, first things first, you need to know just how strong (or subtle) a taste that Almond wood will add to your BBQ. You also need to know if it’s safe to put in your smoker — and whether it’s dry enough to use.
So, in this post, you’ll learn which types of wood can give your BBQ meat the strongest smokiest taste. You’ll also learn what kind of meat Almond wood pairs well with.
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Which Wood Has The Strongest Smoky Flavor?
Well, Hickory wood is very popular because of its strong taste, which is ideal for bringing out a unique savoriness in red meats like beef.
Another good option, if you’re interested in smoky flavor, is Oak wood. Although, it doesn’t quite compare to Hickory in regards to intensity.
Nevertheless, this milder smoking wood is still strong enough to complement other cuts of meat, such as brisket and pork.
And What Sort Of Taste Does Smoking Almond Wood Give?
This wood is comparable to Oak wood, in that it’s more subtle than Hickory. Regardless, it’s still strong enough for heavy red meat.
And one advantage to using Almond over Hickory, is it’s mildness. Especially as Hickory adds such a strong — and sometimes almost overwhelming flavor — to food.
So, if you’d prefer to infuse a milder smokiness to your BBQ, then Almond is ideal.
Related Post: Is Plum Wood Good For Smoking Meat?
Can You Safely Use Almond Wood In A Smoker?
This wood doesn’t contain a great deal of pitch or sap, it’s fine to smoke meat with.
You see, you should avoid consuming meat that has been smoked using wood containing high amounts of pitch/sap. That’s because, through the smoking process, sap/pitch can become imbued into the meat, making it taste awful.
In fact, this is the reason why Cedar and Pine wood are poor choice smoking woods. The high sap/pitch content in those two softwoods is precisely why they’re not suitable for your smoker.
What Is The Difference Between Tree Sap And Tree Pitch? Trees secrete sap as a defense mechanism against bugs and insects. Whilst tree pitch, a thicker and stickier resin than sap, is secreted to heal over damaged parts of the tree.
What About Smoking Poultry? Can you Use Almond Wood For Smoking Chicken?
Almond wood may be fairly mild compared to Hickory, but it is still a touch too strong for smoking poultry, such as chicken. Almond is better suited for heavy red meat.
So, if you want to smoke chicken, turkey, and other similar meats, use milder woods like Apple, Plum, and Peach. The timber from these fruit-bearing trees pairs well with all kinds of poultry, duck, and even seafood.
Can You Mix Almond Wood With Other Woods Too?
Almond wood can be easily mixed with other mild smoking woods. And you can adjust the ratios to your personal preference.
For example, 2/3rds Apple wood and 1/3rd Almond wood can go well with pork ribs.
However, keep in mind that Almond wood is still relatively mild. So, mixing it with strong woods – such as Mesquite — will lead to the more intense woods overwhelming Almond altogether.
And What Can You Do To Make Almond Wood Burn Cleanly?
The main thing you need to do is to give Almond wood the time it needs to dry out. This whole process is referred to as ‘seasoning’.
Now, to season wood, you must let freshly cut Almond wood dry out for around 6-12 months. And, sometimes up to 18 months in more humid climates.
You see, freshly cut wood has a lot of water in it. This water in wood is referred to as it’s moisture content. And it is the reason why you need to dry-out newly felled trees before you burn them.
But, more importantly when it comes to smoked meats, seasoned wood won’t bellow out a lot of thick black smoke. Which is great, because too-thick smoke can make meat taste very bitter — and not at all tasty.
So, one way to check if Almond wood is ready, is to take a tiny piece from that pile.
You can then burn that small portion to see whether the wood is suitable for use. If a little piece produces a good deal of smoke, then you’ll need to let it dry some more.
To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Almond wood can add a mild smoky taste to heavy meat, and pork.
- 2). You can mix and match Almond wood with other mild smoking woods, such as Plum and Apple wood.
- 3). Season and dry almond wood well, before using it to smoke meat.
Smoking (cooking) | Wikipedia.org