Choosing wood for smoking is no fun. Above all, it should not be wet. This is because such wood contains moisture, which will cause the ‘tar’ to settle on the sausages and the smoke itself will not penetrate the sausages. The products then turn black and sour, and there is no alternative but to dispose of them. This rule applies to smoked sausages, smoked cheeses, smoked fish and everything else that is subject to the smoking process.
How do you know when the wood is dry?
As mentioned above, wood should properly be dry. But what exactly does “dry” mean? It means that after the wood has been split into logs, it has been stored in an environment with minimal moisture for at least one year. It is not at all true that wood that is too dry burns too quickly when smoked. The skill of the smoker plays an important role here. Practices such as soaking the wood in water just before smoking are unfair and should be severely penalised.
How about the bark?
The bark of trees can be compared to human skin – it protects against external factors. It is a kind of filter that prevents harmful substances from entering the tree. And since we naturally care about our health and want our smoking to be as healthy as possible, we should avoid the use of bark. The bark contains everything that threatened the tree during its lifetime (air chemistry, bird droppings, etc.), and we certainly don’t want to eat that.
What kind of trees to choose?
Hard hardwoods are the most suitable for smoking, but they are also the most valuable woods that grow and strengthen for a long time in nature. Alder, beech, apple, plum, pear and other fruit trees are the most popular species that give the best flavour and colour results. Don’t be afraid to even mix wood from more than one type of tree, the results will be surprisingly good, as combining them will produce different effects. But be sure to avoid using coniferous wood! This wood releases a lot of tarry substances that stick to the smoked meat and reduce its quality many times over. Such products are simply unhealthy.