Best wood for smoking turkey
Turkey can be prepared in many ways. Sure thing, smoked wild game has a very special taste and flavor. The taste of smoked turkey depends mainly on the type of wood used in the preparation of food. Therefore, it is essential to choose a suitable wood material and create all the conditions for its storage. What is the best way to use firewood for smoking, and how to prepare it yourself?
A few words about smoke
Many people mistakenly believe that there should be a lot of smoke when smoking, but in this case, they confuse the concepts of smoking and fumigation. When smoking, there should not be a lot of visible smoke. What we perceive as white clubs is unburned fuel containing heavy fractions.
Only good wood chips for smoking can give clear smoke. The elements resulting from the high-temperature decomposition of wood transform the taste and smell of the product. But in addition to organic compounds that are safe for health, the smoke contains pyrolysis gases and substances with an acid base. Correctly selected chips burn so that the listed substances in the core burn out and do not get on the product.
The theoretical basis of the smoking process is quite complex. In an artisanal smokehouse, there is no compliance with sanitary standards. The smoked product gets heavy elements, toxins, and carcinogens, although we will not hide the fact that they actively transform smoked meats into the proper state.
In a real smoker, regularly maintained by a professional craftsman, the heavy fractions are cut off, and compliance with safety requirements is checked after each laying.
With self-smoking, it is desirable to achieve the isolation of the light fractions. With a particular investment of time, it will be possible to give the desired aromatic bouquet and a characteristic tart taste. The results are in no way inferior to factory production.
The only negative feature of such smoke is the length of the process. The most efficient production of smoke with light fractions is associated with the combustion of charcoal. However, it cannot act as a fuel for smoking since it does not have the desired aroma.
But coal can be used for pyrolysis. Chips, sawdust, or shavings are poured on top of the hot coals. The smoke resulting from their smoldering is split into heavy and light fractions. The lungs rise up, soaking the product, while the heavy ones are absorbed by the charcoal and neutralized.
Wood species suitable for smoking turkey
Hardwoods are considered the best wood for smoking. Such firewood is used moderately dry and slightly damp. The first option is used most often. Such wood contributes to the formation of a golden crust and gives food a delicate taste. Slightly damp firewood is used to provide smoked meats a tart aroma and bright saturated color.
Experienced smokers prefer to process products on deciduous trees. This wood is considered the best solution for smoking turkey. Most often, I use firewood of such trees:
Wood selection criteria
The correct selection of wood allows you to prepare delicious aromatic smoked meats. When harvesting trees, you should take into account the following factors affecting the quality of the products:
- Humidity. The ambient air always contains a certain amount of water vapor. When it comes to moisture, this refers to the density of this vapor. However, relative humidity is expressed as a percentage, which means that it does not show so much the density as its ratio to the density of saturated steam. The optimal moisture content of firewood for smoking is considered to be 60 – 70 percent.
- Chip size. All pieces of firewood and shredded wood must be the same size. It also applies to sawdust and shavings.
- The quality of the wood. Smoked trees must be free of mold or mildew.
- Wood processing. Trees without bark are used for smoking.
Do not use coniferous trees for smoking. Such rocks contain a large number of resins, which are intensely released when heated.
Also, birch is not suitable for processing smoke products. Tar, which is part of the tree, significantly impairs the taste of products.
Wood species for meat
Its taste characteristics distinguish the meat of domestic and wild animals and poultry. Therefore, different tree species are used to smoke some of its species.
Correctly selected trees for smoking meat give the product a unique taste and smoke smell.To give smoked meat original taste to the primary type of wood, branches of such shrubs are added:
Other options for smoking turkey
Smoking turkey has its characteristics. For the preparation of such a product, the following trees are mainly used:
When smoking a fatty turkey, acacia branches are often used. They are added to the smokehouse immediately after cutting. Acacia gives the bird a slight spiciness and a unique special taste.
Some woody parts of juniper and wormwood are sometimes added to wood chips from fruit trees. A tart bird taste can be created using willow branches.A golden crust can be achieved by tossing cherry, plum, or apple leaves into the sawdust. If the color of fresh poultry is dark, oak or alder is used for smoking, and in the presence of light yellow shades, linden and maple are used.For a classic flavor, smoked poultry should be cooked with alder.To create a unique aroma of bright golden color, finely ground particles of the following elements are added to the main tree species:
- deciduous part of wild cherry;
- walnut shell;
- young branches of juniper.
To get delicious aromatic smoked meats, you should choose the right wood and prepare it with high quality.The clever use of various wood species for smoking food allows you to prepare a delicious smoke-soaked dish. Poultry and meat can be given a unique aroma and taste with the help of various herbal additives. When choosing wood for smoking, one should consider the type of trees and the quality of the wood chips.
You have to remember that the most critical stage in the organization of smoking turkey cooking is selecting and preparing the material that will act as a source of the smoke.