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Using Mesquite wood on baby back ribs??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have usually used Hickory smoke on baby backs, and they are awesome. But I don't like the taste of hickory on chicken.

So this weekend I am doing a smoke of some baby backs and we also want to do chicken with them. So I am considering using Mesquite wood instead of Hickory, since Mesquite is better on chicken.

Will the Mesquite flavor taste good on the ribs??

post #2 of 15
A word of caution.....mesquite can be very, VERY strong, so use sparingly.

Maybe use a mixture of woods......like, say.....a lesser amount of hickory with some cherry.....or a small amount of mesquite with some apple....the fruit woods seem to help "soften" the bite of hickory and mesquite and IMHO, apple and cherry go well with most anything because they add a touch of sweet smoke. It's hard to overpower the flavor with a fruit wood.

Hope this helps,
post #3 of 15
I used mesquite on baby backs for the 4th of July. I posted pictures that night if you want to check it out. I used about 4 chunks, and was pretty careful to maintain thin smoke coming off of them. The ribs were great, and the smoke flavor was not overpowering.

I have heard of some people having a bitter or creosote taste, but my impression is that this is developed with either too much (i.e. billowing) smoke, or too much time exposed to the smoke, which shouldn't be a problem with baby backs. Good luck, and please let us know how they turn out.
post #4 of 15
To be on the safe side, try mixing mesquite and hickory. You'll get a more earthy flavor than by just using hickory alone. This blend is milder than straight mesquite, but stronger than hickory.
post #5 of 15
i use mesquite on everything. It doesnt overpower the meat. In south texas we use it alot. I never knew about hickory till i moved to houston. i use charcoal with mesquite shavings and then use wood for the smoke. I used it to make 10 slabs for a block party on the 4th of july and there were alot of houstonians that were used to eating hickory ribs but they loved my mesquite ribs. They even convinced me to open a rib shack.
post #6 of 15
Smoked two 8.5 lbs butts last night for a few hours. This was a last minute thing for me because of my busy work schedule. I used mesquite chunks and 1 foil pack of Hickory chips... I finished the butts foiled in the oven at 300 for about 5 hours until the temp of the butts were @ 210 degrees... I think the mesquite worked really well using this method. If I were to use the mesquite for the full 10-12 hours in the smoker it would've been overkill. 3 hours in the smoker with mesquite gave the meat AWESOME flavor... I think it's my best semi-smoke yet... I'm still getting used to the ECB and I haven't had the time to do a full, all-out smoke.

The best part, I got a good smoke ring too!!! I didn't get any bark because I pulled them off the smoker at only 130 internal temp.
post #7 of 15
I've yet to try mesquite on anything, but my pick some up next week... would really like to do a hickory vs mesquite comparison on ribs.

Sounds like you're having fun and that's a big part of all of this... semi-smokes make some good grub too. wink.gif
post #8 of 15
All I know is mesquite.
I grew up in San Antonio Texas and there was plenty of mesquite all around there then, and that is the wood my dad always used, so it is what I grew up on and all I've used.

Yes you can get to much mesquite smoke, but it has been many years since I have had meat with to much mesquite smoke.

Pork ribs on mesquite you bet ya!!! Love it!!

Bought some Hickory chips the other week, and want to try them for something new and different, since many of you people use them.

New food experiences are always interesting to try, and frequently rewarding.
post #9 of 15
People will tell you it's perfectly okay to drink white wine with a big steak. But you'll never catch me doing it!! Same goes with mesquite and pork. Yes, you can do it but why? Call me a traditionalist but Texas is beef and beef is mesquite! I will say that mesquite and buffalo are really good too.

Happy smokin'
post #10 of 15
I use mesquite on any meat...just a light smoke on pork and chicken. If you can get pecan mix the two with more pecan than mesquite. Everyone has diffirent taste so experiment. Good luck.
post #11 of 15
Well, if ya grow up with it, I suppose you are alot more acclimated to mesquite. A large percentage, me included view it as a strong smoke. I actually don't care for it, but I would recommend everyone try it at least. But most of us would say "be careful- it's strong".

But as far as woods go, especially poultry it's fruitwoods and maybe a touch of hickory for me. If I could get pecan, I'd consider that as well.
post #12 of 15
I like mesquite for direct heat grilling, because its strong it will impart smoke flavor in a short period of time.
That being said , ive had the opportunity here in south florida to eat a bit of brazilian and argentine grill foods that are served with and at time marinated in chimmichurri even pork ribs(bbs) grilled directly over the heat are fabulous, of course a bit chewier than slow and low theyre not oo chewy to enjoy. Mesquite works great for this preperation. Any other wood is too mild to make a difference in this application.
post #13 of 15
Wil, I live in SA, don't worry bro there is still plenty of Mesquite even though SA choppin em down so the city grows out!PDT_Armataz_01_29.gif
post #14 of 15

Why would you want to?

I'm in agreement with BigBear. Unless it's the only thing you have.

The only thing I might use a combination with mesquite in it would be for beef. Noticed how I said combination. It's a very strong smoke. Too much and it's acrid. It's very easy to go overboard on it. Pork likes sweet. If you want winning pork use equal parts hickory, oak and cherry.

post #15 of 15
Last Sunday I did a mix of cherry and Mesquite on Ribs and I thought it was too strong. But I think I had too much smoke.
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