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brainsausage
09-11-2012, 11:19 AM
Hi y'all. I'm about to pull some butts out to tack that I brined in coffee(with some rum, pecans, sugar, vanilla, cumin, foenugreek, citrus, probably something else I'm forgetting). It's greeting slathered with a tamarind based BBQ sauce. Any suggestions on a wood for smoking? I have maple, hickory, apple, cherry, and olive on hand...

AFKitchenknivesguy
09-11-2012, 11:23 AM
I am partial to hickory and apple for pork.

Carl
09-11-2012, 11:41 AM
Yo've already gotten some pecans in there, so a nut wood would make the most sense, and pecan wood is exceptional. I'm not accustomed to putting so much into my brines, and I suppose you have salt in it though it's unlisted or it wouldn't be a brine, yes? You can also smoke with coffee grounds as an alternative, again to go with flavors you are already developing. I'm not familiar with the flavor of olive smoke, but maple and/or apple would be my picks from what you listed.

mhlee
09-11-2012, 11:44 AM
Hi y'all. I'm about to pull some butts out to tack that I brined in coffee(with some rum, pecans, sugar, vanilla, cumin, foenugreek, citrus, probably something else I'm forgetting). It's greeting slathered with a tamarind based BBQ sauce. Any suggestions on a wood for smoking? I have maple, hickory, apple, cherry, and olive on hand...

Of those woods, I personally have not used maple or hickory. But I recall having smelled maple and it smelled like what I expected it to smell like - slightly sweet and syrupy.

I certainly have my personal favorites when it comes to certain products (I prefer peach wood and a little hickory for pork), but, with all the different and unique flavors in your brine, you may want to consider what kind of flavor you want to highlight. Because you brined the pork, the flavor should be deeper than using a rub.

The maple should lend a sweet flavor that would complement the rum, pecan, sugar and vanilla. The hickory will probably bring out a little more of the cumin and coffee because it lends a nuttiness to food. (I'm trying to remember what fenugreek smells like; I read that it's a cross between celery and maple. If so, the maple may mellow the celery flavor of the fenugreek.) Both apple and cherry would bring a fruity quality to the meat and may go well with your sauce, depending on what's in the sauce.

And, if you can't decide, just smell the wood and smell the brine/pork. Go with the wood that smells good to you. :thumbsup:

Namaxy
09-11-2012, 11:44 AM
I would agree apple would be the choice from what you listed. Pecan if you can find it would be great. Both would go well with the sweetness of your brine. Hickory is a good all purpose wood, but a little more pungent. I'd stay away from the olive...it has a heavier smoke.

Chifunda
09-11-2012, 11:45 AM
I am partial to hickory and apple for pork.

:plus1: I use 2 oz. of each in my Cookshack smoker. I like the mix.

brainsausage
09-11-2012, 11:54 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Yes there is both salt and instacure in the brine... I'm trying to accentuate the nutty, earthy qualities of the coffee, and the slather will be on the sweeter side to help balance that. Think I'll go with apple and maple. Wish I had some pecan now though... I've heard of people smoking with peanut shells before- what about nuts themselves? Or would the excess oil give off a bitter smoke?

Zwiefel
09-11-2012, 12:33 PM
Actually, pecan hulls are great for smoking as well...they are used for that quite a lot in Louisiana in particular.

brainsausage
09-11-2012, 12:59 PM
Actually, pecan hulls are great for smoking as well...they are used for that quite a lot in Louisiana in particular.

Any idea about the actual nuts themselves? It obviously wouldn't be cost effective to use just pecans, but I was thinking in conjunction with the apple and maple...

Zwiefel
09-11-2012, 01:25 PM
I've never heard of anyone just using the nutmeat itself, but sometimes people put the whole nut on the fire--I'm told you should crack them first as they will pop and might throw a coal/ember someplace unfortunate.

Carl
09-11-2012, 10:51 PM
I don't know if burnt nut oil smoke is good on food. I wouldn't think so. Wood or shells yes, soaked if possible.

brainsausage
09-12-2012, 12:15 AM
I find soaked wood to be far inferior in my experience. The complexity of flavor is far more varied, unsoaked. All woods contain a certain amount of oil. And the smoke point of various oils differs highly, as does the compounds they give off at various temps. I'm just not as experienced yet in matching smokes to flavor profiles as I'd like to be, which was truly the 'meat' of my question. Got a little side tracked with the nut smoking thing, but it made me wonder.
I think I might do an experiment with some frozen butters. It's a fairly cheap form of fat, and fat is a big smoke sponge after all...

Zwiefel
09-12-2012, 12:39 AM
I find soaked wood to be far inferior in my experience.

+1

lowercasebill
09-12-2012, 10:49 AM
given your brine i would go with apple ., we use pecan in competitions and it is good on the order of hickory but not as strong. i think the baconness of hickory would not compliment your brine..
as far a soaking ... i am an soaker.. first is basic physics .. the wood will not really begin to burn [smoke] until the water evapororates and also the soluble compounds will be dissolved instead of bruning and the flavor seams different to me

Zwiefel
09-12-2012, 10:58 AM
given your brine i would go with apple ., we use pecan in competitions and it is good on the order of hickory but not as strong. i think the baconness of hickory would not compliment your brine..
as far a soaking ... i am an soaker.. first is basic physics .. the wood will not really begin to burn [smoke] until the water evapororates and also the soluble compounds will be dissolved instead of bruning and the flavor seams different to me

I find I'm able to control the "burn" adequately by controlling the O2 levels via the vents, I can make a 1X1X6 stick of hickory last 30-40 minutes with smoke coming out of every seam. You may be right about the flavor...I would imagine that's quite a subtle difference though (i.e. I'll buy into it after a double-blind tasting :biggrin:).

brainsausage
09-12-2012, 10:59 AM
Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I'm going to roll with the apple, and toss a some maple in every couple hours. I'll let you guys know how it comes out:D

jayhay
09-12-2012, 12:31 PM
Def apple or cherry. I strongly prefer fruit woods. Not a fan of hickory for long smokes, too smoke-flavor forward. Pecan wood and pecan shells are great for smoking as well, but I would not use the meat. It will burn quickly and smell and taste bitter/bad. I like your brine btw and I'd love to know how it turns out! What is your liquid/sugar/salt ratio btw? Just curious.

brainsausage
09-12-2012, 05:07 PM
I combine the weight of the liquid and protein, and set my ratios based off of that figure. 2% salt and 1-2% sugar depending on the flavor profile of the brine. This method works great for me, I've yet to have anything come out too salty, or under seasoned. I typically brine about 40-50 pounds of belly for bacon a week, and switch up the brine with the season. Along with the occasional pastrami, duck breast/confit, pork butt, and ham. Like I said above, I still don't have a have a fully developed palate in terms of different woods and how they play off of various ingredients, though.

brainsausage
09-12-2012, 05:52 PM
Oh- and for the liquid amount I usually do about a gallon of liquid to every 5 pounds of protein.

Mike9
09-13-2012, 10:22 AM
Considering your brine and sauce I'm thinking apple or white oak if you can get it. Acorn fed pork (and venison) have amazing flavor. Red oak has too much tannin in it for what you are doing IMO.