Ribs are juicy, smoky, and mouthwatering! You have endless choices on how to cook ribs, but one of the best would be through smoking. It is a slow process that relies on low heat. The result is a great flavor and aroma that can easily make anyone drool.
Not everyone who smokes ribs, however, will achieve the perfect results. Aside from mastery of the technique, you also need to pick the best wood for smoking ribs. If you have no idea of what to choose, read on and learn from the insights we’ll be sharing.
What is the Best Wood for Smoking Ribs?
The wood that you will use in smoking ribs will have a huge impact on the overall flavor. To help you decide, here are some of the top choices worth considering.
When it comes to the list of the best woods for smoking, expect that hickory is one that will always be a part of the list. It is a popular choice of wood for those who would like a bacon-like taste in their smoked ribs. This is a heavy wood that can produce a lot of smoke. Ribs do not have a thick meat, so be careful so that you won’t overdo it.
If hickory is the king of smoking woods, then many would agree that oak is the queen. It is more mellow and less smoky compared to hickory, making it a great alternative for those who are looking for a subtler choice. Despite having a smoky flavor, it is easy to control. Even if you are a beginner, you won’t have a hard time when using oak for smoking ribs.
Earthy and intense – these are the things that you can expect from the use of mesquite when smoking ribs. It has a natural oil content, which makes it prone to burning. It is one of the smokiest woods that you can use, so expect a bold flavor. Because it is too strong for some, a common practice is to blend it with lighter woods.
If you want your smoked ribs to have a hint of sweetness, then you can never go wrong with apple. It has a subtler flavor compared to mesquite yet there is a pronounce smokiness in the meat. The taste is more balanced, making it a great option if you do not like intense flavors. Because it is not as intense, it may take quite some time before the flavor can seep through the meat.
Like apple, pecan is another wood with a sweet flavor. This is a great choice for people who do not like intense flavors. Despite being sweet, it is known for being richer compared to apple. This will also make a great wood if you are looking for something to mix with hickory. It can create a balance of sweet and earthy flavors.
How to Smoke Ribs Like a Pro?
Choosing the right wood is important, but this isn’t the only thing that will make your ribs delicious. Below are some tips to keep in mind.
- Pick the right ribs. Freshness of the meat is the key. Pay attention to the color. The fat content is also a crucial consideration, making sure that there is enough fat for marbling. This will help to ensure that there will be moisture, and in turn, the smoked ribs will be juicy.
- Before you put the ribs in the smoker, prepare the meat. One of the first things to do is to remove the membrane. This is the part that looks like a thin plastic covering the meat. To prepare the meat, you should also add seasonings. Do not overdo the seasonings to preserve the natural flavor of the meat and to let the wood do its magic.
- The right temperature is crucial when you are smoking ribs. Anyone who has been smoking ribs for a while would know that the secret is to smoke low and slow. Patience is a virtue, so make sure that you have the time to spare. Ideally, the temperature of the smoker should be around 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You also need to pay attention to the amount of the wood that you will use. Using too little can result in a weak flavor. On the other hand, using too much can overpower the meat and might make it taste bitter.
With the best wood for smoking ribs, you can achieve results like a gourmet chef. Consider the woods mentioned above to have smoked ribs that are oozing with flavor. Whether you want the flavor to be light or strong, the right choice of wood is an important consideration.