Tender, smoky barbecue ribs are mouth-watering! Who does not like them? The trick lies in the meat and wood combination used in preparing the ribs. There are various types of wood available for smoking ribs. You need to select the best wood for smoking ribs, which give it the perfect tenderness and smoky flavor. Barbecue lovers are aware that pecan, cherry, and mesquite are some of the most common types of woods that are used for smoking BBQ ribs.
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The Role of Wood in Adding Flavor to The Meat
As the ribs are smoked, the meat is exposed to a flavorful smoke that comes from the wood. Charcoal does not produce a lot of smoke as it is made totally from carbon. Thus, it is necessary to add the right wood to the smoker or the grill. Burning wood releases smoke which slowly rises and flavors the ribs.
There are different types of wood for smoking. There are more than 60,000 species of trees and each tree has its unique wood. You get different types of wood for smoking from each tree. Each produces a distinct flavor when used in smoking ribs. Some woods give a bitter flavor which is not quite popular. Such variety is certainly not the best wood for smoking pork ribs.
Certain other varieties of wood like pine offer a sweet and savory flavor. This smoky flavor naturally complements the natural flavor of ribs. Thus, when you use the right type of wood for smoking, you are certainly going to create ribs that taste better.
Let us explore some of the best woods for smoking pork ribs
Hickory Smoked Ribs
Hickory is one variety of wood with which you can never go wrong. You might wish to use smoking chips, or cooking with wood logs or just smoking chunks, hickory will never let you down. It offers a strong, rich smoky flavor which provides the ribs a distinct taste.
Hickory smoked ribs inherit a distinct flavor that is just out of the world. As with different types of hardwood, hickory is quite dense and does not retain much moisture. Thus, it is one of the many reasons why hickory wood is available throughout the year. Hickory smoked ribs are tasty and flavorful and will leave you wanting for more. You are never going to have enough of them!
Applewood Smoked Ribs
Applewood smoked ribs have a sweet and mild, mellow flavor. Apple does take a little time to slowly permeate into the meat. If you desire to have or serve Applewood-smoked ribs, you have to wait patiently for a few hours even after cooking is completed. This waiting time is necessary so that the applewood flavor gets deep inside the meat. These make some best wood chips for smoking ribs as well.
Oak Wood Chips for Smoking
Oak is the favorite of many who love smoking meat. Oakwood chips for smoking are the easiest option for those who are just starting to smoke meat. Oakwood chips provide a medium flavor that can never be overwhelming. If done lightly, oak gives an earthy tone and a beautiful smoke flavor to the meat. All those who like that light smoky flavor, choose oak wood chips for smoking, as they do not have that overpowering flavor. You can search for some best wood oak chips for smoking ribs as well.
Mesquite Wood for Smoking
This is also quite a common wood for smoking used in parties and get-togethers. This wood offers a strong smoky flavor. Many people describe it as earthy and sweet as well. Those who do not like the strong and overpowering flavor can use mesquite wood along with another wood. You can select ¾ hickory and ¼ mesquite wood which will give it a distinct flavor.
Best Wood for Smoking Baby Back Ribs
Baby back ribs are from that portion of the ribs which are connected to the backbone. Known as babies as they are a bit shorter than spareribs. If cooked well, they are juicy, delicious and flavorful.
Fruit woods like cherry, peach, and apple are quite good for smoking baby back ribs. These types of wood provide a mild sweet flavor that does not overpower the natural flavors of the ribs.
Using Wood for Smoking Pork Ribs
When you are ready to smoke pork ribs, there are a few things that you must keep in mind:
- Greenwood does not create good smoke flavor. Thus, try to stay away from such types of wood.
- If you are using wood chunks, remove any bark present. Bark tends to create an acrid flavor which tends to get a bit nasty when burning.
- Keep a good stock of wood if you are planning a party or an event at home. Thus, you will never run out of wood or compromise on the smoky flavor.
- Store the woods for smoking ribs in a dry place. They should not be in a place that is damp or has a lot of moisture.
Those who are still confused or struggling to select the best wood for smoking ribs can select multiple types of wood.
For instance, one can combine white oak with hickory wood. It will give the meat a mild yet delicious smoky flavor. You can use pecan wood for smoking pork ribs but tends to get a bit overbearing for many. Thus, use pecan wood along with oak wood to give a mild flavor to the smoked ribs.
No matter what type of wood for smoking you choose, remember to keep adding more wood continuously. Thus, the smoker or your grill will have enough smoke. The charcoal might remain hot might the wood can reduce to ash. Thus, if enough wood is not present, ribs will not get that flavorful taste.
Thus, users are recommended to check every 30 minutes if the wood is smoking enough. If it is not smoking enough, adding wood chips or logs, or chunks of wood to the grill will help in achieving the desired flavor.