Picking out a great smoking wood is tricky. And, if you want to branch out from Hickory wood, it can be confusing to know which woods pair well with meat.
And why is that? Well, because different tree species have different attributes that make them suitable (or unsuitable) for smoking BBQ.
Let’s take a look at Mango wood for example.
On the surface, this fruit-bearing tree should fall in line with most fruit-related smoking woods. And yet, Mango wood never seems to get recommended alongside Apple wood, Peach or even Plum wood.
So, in this post, you’ll learn why Mango wood never seems to get mentioned as a choice for smoking meat. You’ll also learn what type of smoking wood pairs best with red meat, chicken and even fish.
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Which Wood Gives Meat The Strongest Smoky Flavor?
Hickory will add the best smoky flavor to your BBQ. It is a good option if you want to give your food a more pronounced smoky taste. What’s more, it pairs well with many heavy red meats, such as brisket.
However, be careful about not over-smoking your food too much when using Hickory. Hickory smoke will give meat a flavor so intense, that it can become bitter if you overdo it.
Related Post: Is Almond Wood Good For Smoking Meat?
Can You Use Mango Wood In A Smoker?
Short Answer? No, you should not use Mango wood to smoke meat.
Long Answer? Well, the problem lies in the fact that Mango wood itself contains a skin-searing tree sap. This sap is corrosive if it comes into contact with human skin.
And this isn’t exclusive to just the Mango wood itself. Every part of the Mango tree, from the fruit, to the sawdust, all have a similar effect on our skin.
Now, a little bit of Mango tree sap isn’t much of a problem. However, if you use Mango, you run the risk of that harsh sap making it’s way into your food.
Related Post: Is Birch Wood Good For Smoking Meat?
What Other Types Of Wood Aren’t Suitable For Smoking Meat With?
Steer clear of utilizing wood that’s heavily saturated with natural tree sap or pitch.
These resinous types of wood, (such as Cedar and Pine wood for example), are far from ideal for smoking with. Especially when those tree resins can get right into your food.
You see, any amount of tree sap or tree pitch infused into meat, will make it taste bad. What’s more, if enough tree resins gets into your food, it can make that BBQ completely nauseating.
What Is Tree Sap/Pitch? Trees secrete sap to battle against insects and disease. While cracked or broken parts of the trunk will drip tree pitch, which is a thick, hardened resin.
And What Is The Mildest Wood For Smoking?
Fruit-bearing trees tend to produce timber that gives meat a mildly sweet smoky flavor. These milder woods produce smoke that adds a much less intense flavor than Hickory or Mesquite.
Which is why Peach and Apple wood can lend a specific sweetness that you otherwise won’t get from Hickory. These sweeter smoky woods go great with chicken, turkey, fish and even pork ribs.
Can You Mix Mild Woods With Other Stronger Smoking Woods? You can mix and match mild woods with stronger smoking woods. Mixing different woods in this way can help ease the intensity of otherwise bitter smoking woods, such as Walnut.
And How Do You Make Wood Smoke Better?
The most important thing is to make sure that the wood in your smoker is not putting out too much smoke. Wood that produces too much smoke will make it difficult for you to control the smoke levels.
And wood that’s filled with moisture, (also known as its moisture content), will put out an excessive amount of smoke. So it is vital you only smoke meat with seasoned wood.
Seasoned wood is wood that’s been allowed to dry after logging. This seasoning process usually takes 6 to 12 months to complete, although this relies on local humidity conditions.
You can discover more on how to season wood with a few tips from our article right here: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)
To Sum Up, Here Are the 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Mango wood contains tree sap that is very caustic. This makes this wood unsuitable to smoke meat with.
- 2). If you want to smoke red meat, use Hickory or Oak wood instead.
- 3). And if you want to smoke chicken, turkey, and fish, then use milder smoking woods such as Apple and Peach.
Smoking (cooking) | Wikipedia.org
Mango (Mangifera indica) | Queensland Government: Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service