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Everything You Need To Know About Wood, Food Smoke, And Combustion


Food smoking is more popular than ever. Why? Because smoked foods have a wonderful taste and aroma that you can’t get with any other cooking method.

Today, many food smokers use a combination of technology and wood. This makes the process of controlling the important variables of temperature, time, and smoke easier without having to constantly tend to the smoker. Best of all this consistency ensures your smoked meat turns out tender and juicy every time.

The fun of food smoking comes from experimenting with different hardwoods to create different flavors. But it is not easy to control the flavor and heat when cooking with wood pellets especially if you’re new. What’s the solution?

You can enhance both the flavor and aroma by using wood in the form of our bisquettes designed to give you the perfect smoke. When heated, they create the right amount of smoke over the entire cook time so you get the delicious flavor you are looking for.

It’s important to know that not all smoke is created equal. Smokers that use different fuel sources such as electricity, gas, pellets, wood logs, and charcoal each fuel produce different flavors. This happens because of having a unique combination of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons––known as combustion by-products.

What is Combustion?

In combustion (the scientific word is burning), a fuel reacts with oxygen, usually atmospheric oxygen. The chemical reaction happens at high temperatures, releases the heat and light energy to the surroundings.

The combustion reaction formula is hydrocarbon + oxygen = Heat energy.

What Is The Best Wood For Smoking?

To begin with, hardwood is best for smoking. Generally, hardwood trees grow more slowly, so they are denser.

Dense hardwoods work better for smoking because when they are dried out, they burn at a slower rate, and the smoke you get from these woods is clean which makes your food taste great!

Here some of the best Hardwoods for smoking meat and other foods.

Choose the Right Wood––Flavor, Flavor, Flavor

Just as choosing what to smoke, choosing the right Bradley Bisquettes is equally important. Lighter woods such as apple, cherry, peach, and pear impart a sweet and subtle flavor lighter foods like poultry, fish, and sometimes pork. Next, woods like hickory, maple, pecan, and oak are great for pork, beef, and game meats. Finally, the strongest wood of all is in a category of its own. Mesquite adds a distinct and amazing flavor, but it should be used in moderation. Similar to a spicy seasoning, it should be used sparingly in combination with other flavors.

Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Bisquette Flavor Profiles that we carefully curated for your next cookout adventures!

Bradley Tips and Tricks

1.  Always Smoke Raw Food

No matter what you are smoking; chicken wings, bacon, pulled pork, ribs, or even smoked fruits, vegetables, and nuts, do not pre-cook before you smoke. The flavor compounds in smoke are water-soluble, which means raw foods absorb smoky flavors best.

2.  Go low and slow

For the food smoking process, you’ll need to be patient. To get amazing delicious smoked food every time you need to take your time. Low temperatures will maintain the meat moisture and make it more succulent to eat. You can also add sweet wood aromas in different Bradley Bisquette flavors when cooking steaks and even vegetables.

3.  Use a brine

Brine is great for tougher cuts of meat that naturally have little moisture. This will make sure it doesn’t dry out during the smoking process. When planning your smoke, ideally you want to brine your meat 10-12 hours before you start smoking.

4. Don’t over smoke your food

Yes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. If you smoke your food too long, it will dry out and be tough to eat. You never have to worry about this with the Bradley Smoker because the automatic control feature allows you to set the smoke timer and the temperature so your meat turns out tender and delicious every time.

5. Don’t let the wood burn to ash

When the wood in your smoker turns to ash, it releases chemicals that causes a bitter taste in your smoked food. However, with the Bradley Bisquettes so you don’t have to worry about this because they automatically extinguish before they turn to ash so you get perfect smoke flavor every time.

Choosing the right food smoker

When you are looking for a smoker make sure you choose a high-quality smoker that is going to give delicious smoked food every time with the right features. Here are the features we offer with the Bradley smoker.

  • Multi-function heat elements
  • Automatic thermostat
  • Automatic turn-off
  • Insulated body with magnetic doors
  • Automatic feed system

Final Thoughts

Many people avoided food smoking in the past because of the difficulty of maintaining consistent heat and smoke throughout the process. With the Bradley Smoker and Bradley Bisquettes, you get the right amount of heat and smoke through the entire smoking process. Our no babysitting, no-hassle system will give you delicious results for shorter eight hour smokes to longer smokes that can last days.  Enjoy smoked foods that you will be proud to share with your family, friends, and everybody close to your heart. Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog for more food smoking tips & tricks!

The post Everything You Need To Know About Wood, Food Smoke, And Combustion appeared first on Bradley Smokers North America.



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