Nothing says “summer” quite like standing over your grill, cooking up seasonal eats for your family and friends. After a long, hot summer day, you simply can’t beat an evening outside, watching the sun go down as you flip burgers, grill up kebabs, or try out an intriguing new recipe you found online. For longtime grilling enthusiasts, the experience can end up being nothing short of rejuvenating. It’s a chance to recover from a taxing day at work, the stress of chasing the kids around while school is out, or just a long winter that has kept you indoors–and you get to enjoy great food at the end!
If you’re a truly committed grilling guru, you never settle for less than the best, so you’re always looking for ways to improve your grilling game. This summer, one tip you might want to try is switching to firewood chunks for fuel. Read on for more information about this option and how you can use it to enhance your grilling experience this summer.
Choosing Firewood Chunks to Fuel Your Backyard Grill
Most longtime grillers rely on one of two fuels: charcoal or gas. Some say that food cooked over charcoal tastes better than food grilled over gas, but the truth is, neither one of these fuels really does much for the flavor of your meal, no matter what you’re grilling up. If you’re really interested in improving the flavor of your summertime cuisine–as any good griller should be–choosing firewood chunks over traditional fuels is a no-brainer. The smoke from the firewood chunks imparts a unique flavor to whatever you’re cooking, so you’ll be sure to serve up more tasty dishes than you would with either of the traditional fuels. Plus, the grilling experience will be more enjoyable for you, since you’ll spend the whole time taking in the unforgettable aroma of high-quality cooking firewood as it burns.
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and use firewood chunks in your grill, the next question you face is which type of firewood for cooking to use. The truth is, you can’t really go wrong with any of the choices, but it can be helpful to know how they differ when you’re considering your choices.
- Hickory chunks. If you’re looking for a strong flavor, hickory chunks are your best option. Hickory is widely recognized as the best-smelling firewood, and whatever you’re grilling–whether it’s meat, vegetables, or even flatbread–will take on a flavor that mirrors its characteristically sweet aroma.
- Pecan chunks. For a more nutty flavor, consider pecan chunks. Pecan is actually in the hickory family, so you can count on an excellent aroma and strong flavor when you fuel your grill with these chunks.
- Cherry chunks. Looking for something a little sweeter? Choose cherry chunks, the ideal fruit wood for summer grilling. The sweet notes of this wood will go a long way to add a unique nuance to whatever you’re cooking. Some consider cherry wood to be a substitute for apple wood (so it’s a great replacement if you’re following a recipe that calls for apple wood), but the truth is, it can stand on its own as a one of the top fruit woods for summer grilling.
- Oak chunks. Oak chunks are your standard, go-to option for grilling any type of food. Not only do oak chunks give you great results for both meat and vegetarian cooking, but they can also be easily mixed with any of the other types of cooking firewood. Oak imparts a milder flavor, so it won’t drown out the flavor from the hickory, pecan, or cherry cherry chunks you mix them together.
Setting Up Your Grilling Schedule: The Importance of Timing
Every experienced grilling enthusiast knows about the importance of timing. After all, grilling can be a fun and relaxing experience, but only if you’re productive enough to get all of your cooking done before your friends and family get too hungry. Therefore, it’s important to time your grilling schedule appropriately. Therefore, it can be helpful to have general idea of how long you can expect your wood chunks to last before they burnout, lest you find yourself in a situation where your firewood chunks are smoldering and you still have a pile of raw burgers left to grill for an impatient crowd.
As a general rule, cooking wood chunks burn for about an hour. Still, it’s important to note that grilling times vary by firewood type–for instance, pecan wood tends to last for a little longer than other woods. In most cases, that will be more than enough time for you to grill up the goodies for your friends and family, but if you’re planning for an exceptionally large party or undertaking a particularly complex culinary project, you may want to make sure you have extra chunks on hand to throw in your grill as the others begin to burn out.
If you’re ready to take your grilling game to the next level this summer by switching to firewood chunks for fuel, you can order everything you need from Cutting Edge Firewood. And don’t forget to tag us on Instagram to show us your grilling masterpieces and how much fun you’re having at all your backyard cookouts!