Create smoky barbecue flavour with wood chips

Give your meat a smoky taste by adding wood chips to the grill. 

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Create smoky bbq flavour with wood chips
Add a smoky touch while grilling large cuts, particularly pork or chicken. It’s as simple as adding soaked wood chips to the grill. The best choices for wood chips are the commercially packaged mesquite, cherry, maple, hickory, oak or apple. Avoid resinous woods, such as pine, because they give foods an unpleasant flavour.

How to safely add wood chips to your grill
1. Soak 7 cups (1.75 L) wood chips in water for 30 minutes; drain and place 4 cups (1L) in shallow foil pan. Cover remaining chips to keep wet; set aside.

2. Place foil pan with wood chips over 1 burner of 2-burner barbecue or over 1 outside burner of 3-burner barbecue. Place foil drip pan over opposite burner of 2-burner barbecue or centre burner of 3-burner barbecue. Add enough water to come 1 inch (2.5 cm) up side.

3. Heat barbecue on high until chips are smoking vigorously, about 20 minutes.

How to cook your meat over wood chips
1. Turn off burner under drip pan; reduce heat of lit burner to medium. Place meat on greased grill over drip pan on unlit burner. Close lid and smoke/roast until meat thermometer inserted in centre of food registers desired temperature, adjusting heat if necessary to maintain temperature.

2. Check the original chips after about 45 minutes. If they are no longer smoking, add reserved soaked chips, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, to keep them smoking. If you have soaked chips left over, let them dry out to resoak for another time.

3. Resist the urge to open the barbecue lid unless absolutely necessary. All the wonderful smoke, not to mention the heat, will disappear.

Smoky barbecue recipes by The Canadian LIving Test Kitchen:
Smoke Grilled Lamb Shoulder
Fairly fatty lamb shoulder calls for slow grilling. Highly spiced and lightly smoked, this shoulder cooks undisturbed on the grill for about two hours to produce succulent meat.

Smoked Spiced Pork Loin
This roast is delicious sliced and served with potato salad or on a bun with your choice of mayonnaise and mustard, sauerkraut, coleslaw or corn relish.

Hot Smoked Arctic Char

This recipe is for a small smoker that fits over the stove top (in a well-ventilated kitchen), barbecue or campfire. You can use your barbecue, too; see the variation that follows. Serve with lemon caper mayonnaise by mixing 1/2 cup (125 mL) light mayonnaise, 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped capers and 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind.

This story was originally titled "Smoke Cooking" in the Summer 2007 special issue, Get Grilling. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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