By Chris S
For me, it's all about the taste. There's nothing better than flavoring your favorite food with wood in a smoker or on the grill. There are many types of
wood used to smoke food- such as meats, fish, vegetables and yes, even cheese.
My favorite wood to use for smoking food is alder, cherry, apple, maple and hickory. You can purchase wood chips from most department stores.
You don't have to go out and buy a smoker to enjoy smoked food. If you have a simple barbeque grill
with top and bottom vents for air flow, you can easily flavor your own food with smoke.
But be well warned... once you do, you'll get hooked and a smoker will eventually be parked in your garage or shed.
Smoking Heat Sources
There are primarily three ways to heat/cook food.
1) Direct heat method. Food is placed directly over hot charcoals.
2) Indirect heat method. Hot charcoals are placed on each end of the grill grade and food is placed in
the middle opening between the hot coals. There
are no coals underneath the food.
3) Smoking chamber. Hot coals in a chamber are separate from the cooking area. Heat and smoke pass through the chamber over the food and out the flue.
Using the direct or indirect method, once your charcoals are hot and ready, place a handful of wood chips over a corner of the hot coals.
Quickly add your food to the grill, place the lid on and open the top vent 3/4 and the bottom vent 1/4. This will allow a slow air flow
and keep the chips from igniting.
Then stand back and watch the smoke pour out of your
grill. Cook your food as you normally do. You can
use this method for just about every type of meat and
you'll be surprised at the enhanced flavor to your food.
Once you taste your smoked food, you'll want to experiment with
different types of wood chips.
Aside from using a smoker, smoking your food using a charcoal grill is the fastet and least expensive best way to experience smoked flavored food.