QUESTION: Which is the Best Wood to use when Smoking Pork?
ANSWER: Apple. Next question.
OK. Just kidding… I realize asking that is a lot like asking the question “What is the best color?”
Most expert pit-masters and grill-masters that have smoked cuts of pork have a favorite wood for smoking it, and if pressed they will tell you to “try it yourself” and “pick your favorite”… but they wont always tell you the “magic pit boy secrets” to making the best pork ribs they have ever made? Yeah, that’s not a real helpful answer. So instead of repeating others, I will (humbly) give you my take on the subject.
Full Disclosure: I have a little bit of bias when it comes to pork…(I LOVE PORK!!!) in fact one of the most quotes that is attributed to me is:
“I’ve never met a dead pig i didn’t like.” – Admiral BigGun
So here we go… these are my favorite Top Five (5) Woods to use when Smoking Pork:
Apple wood is very mild with a subtle fruity flavor and slightly sweet. Actually you can’t really go wrong with apple no matter what cut of pork you are using. Great with pork loin and I absolutely love it with pork ribs!
Pecan wood is a great with most types of dead piggy. I love the mild, subtle flavor and often pair it with a citrus wood to enhance a ham or pork ribs…. and don’t even get me started on pork chops. YUM! It is also fantastic way to add a hint of smoke to bacon (or anything wrapped with bacon). Pecan is the perfect response when preparing for someone who doesn’t like strong woods like Hickory.
3) SUGAR MAPLE
This is one great wood to use for pork. A little bit harder to find but it has a great sweet subtle flavor that compliments pork like no other wood does. I find it great for baby back ribs or pork butt!
I’ve never met a dead pig that didn’t love being paired with orange wood. It has a great and mild smoky flavor with just the right amount of citrus. Great with ham, loin or roast.
Peach wood has different citrus hint to it. A little more floral and less acidic than other fruity woods like apple, cherry or orange. My favorite cut of pig to mix with peach would have to be ham.
Honorable mention: PEAR
Nice and subtle flavor of smoke very similar to apple. Woodsy and slightly sweet. Next time you do pork chops on the grill… add in some pear wood… trust me.
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