Hello Dr. BBQ:
I use hickory, pecan,and wild cherry wood that is aged at least 1 year. Some people burn their wood and add only the hot embers claiming than impurities in the bark and wood harms the taste. What are your thoughts on this?
I find that burning the wood down to embers burns all the flavor out of the wood. In my opinion, cooking like that creates very little smoke flavor. If you let the wood burn freely without smoldering you should have a clean fire with a clean smoke flavor to the meat. It is still possible to oversmoke the food though so I always prefer to use a combination of lump charcoal and wood.
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