Anyone who has ever eaten food cooked over a wood-fuelled BBQ will be familiar with the delights of wood-smoked food. But for those of us with a gas or charcoal BBQ rather than a wood-fired version, never fear – you too can create delicious smokiness, with the help of a smoker box.
Simply fill the box with dampened wood chips, place on your grill and close the hood: cue wood smoke. While it’s not as authentic as a wood-smoker, it’s a pretty good substitute!
Wood-smoking chips are easily available: we take a quick look at flavours you might like to try.
Apple has a light, fruity and slightly sweet aroma. It’s commonly used with cuts of pork but is equally good with poultry.
Slightly sweet fruity smoke that’s great with poultry, beef and pork, this smoke gives a slightly rosy tint to light-coloured meats.
Hickory is probably the most popular smoke wood used in barbecues. It’s sweet but can also be strong, so don’t use too much if you’re new to the taste. Great for mixing, particularly with oak wood, it’s a good all-rounder.
Maple has a mild and slightly sweet flavour, reminiscent of maple syrup, as you might expect. It goes especially well with pork and poultry. A good British alternative is Silver Birch.
Oak goes with just about any barbecue meat. It has a medium smoky flavour that’s stronger than the fruit woods like apple and cherry, but lighter than hickory. It mixes well with all three woods, and is great on its own. An excellent wood for beginners to smoking.
Pear has a slightly sweet flavour that is very subtle. Particularly good with game birds, chicken and pork it can be mixed with other woods like oak. Just take care not to use woods that will overpower its delicate flavour.