Woods that perform well in the MES. Does Mesquite scare you guys?

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viper

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 6, 2010
122
10
Guess I am looking for some input from experienced smokers.  Seems there is still a lot of debate if an electric smoker can impart the same flavors as charcoal.  I also have a few other questions regarding preferences. 

1.  does anyone smoke with 100% mesquite?  I understand non-seasoned wood can give a bitter flavor at times.  I like the very aggressive odor from it but wondering if it could get over powering in certain meats and especially poultry and fish....

2.  What is the preferred wood for cold smoking cheese?  I want to say hickory or mosquite for that and something about the sweeter woods giving on off flavor??

3.  Has anyone tweaked their MES to heat the wood better and roll the smoke better?  Seems a little lacking and would not mind adding a little more wood or maybe I am just asking for an overpowered smoke flavor? 

4.  How do you guys run your vent choke?  I hear differing opinions on this because with electric, you gotta have the element red to get smoke for the most part so retaining all the heat might deprive the smoke roll.  In testing tonight, I think the smoke will stay in regardless and probably just waste smoke/power with the vent open more. 

5.  what woods do you guys like for aggressive smoke flavor in beef and pork?  I know there is a ton of woods out there.  my brother really likes oak but I am more aggressive so I want more than a hint of flavor there. 

6.  For you guys that brine, what meats do you brine and how long?  what is the procedure? 
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 5, 2009
4,652
138
Portland, OR
I cant answer any of the electric smoker questions, but here is my take on the other stuff:
 
Guess I am looking for some input from experienced smokers.  Seems there is still a lot of debate if an electric smoker can impart the same flavors as charcoal.  I also have a few other questions regarding preferences. 

1.  does anyone smoke with 100% mesquite?  I understand non-seasoned wood can give a bitter flavor at times.  I like the very aggressive odor from it but wondering if it could get over powering in certain meats and especially poultry and fish....

I have used just mesquite wood for flavor, while still using charcoal for heat. A fire of just mesquite wood would be way overpowering. But using mesquite chunks or chips is a great way to get as much or as little as you want.

2.  What is the preferred wood for cold smoking cheese?  I want to say hickory or mosquite for that and something about the sweeter woods giving on off flavor?? A lot of folks like to use a fruit wood for cheese, apple, pear, peach, ect. But you could use hickory as well. Mesquite would be to much in my opinion.

3.  Has anyone tweaked their MES to heat the wood better and roll the smoke better?  Seems a little lacking and would not mind adding a little more wood or maybe I am just asking for an overpowered smoke flavor? 

4.  How do you guys run your vent choke?  I hear differing opinions on this because with electric, you gotta have the element red to get smoke for the most part so retaining all the heat might deprive the smoke roll.  In testing tonight, I think the smoke will stay in regardless and probably just waste smoke/power with the vent open more. 

5.  what woods do you guys like for aggressive smoke flavor in beef and pork?  I know there is a ton of woods out there.  my brother really likes oak but I am more aggressive so I want more than a hint of flavor there. 

I like a mix of mesquite and hickory for pork, and just mesquite for beef. Even poultry tastes great with just mesquite, just adjust the amount of flavor wood you add for the amount of smoke flavor you want.

6.  For you guys that brine, what meats do you brine and how long?  what is the procedure?

There is a great brine in the Wiki section called Tip's Slaughterhouse Brine. The basic idea is to mix water, salt, and sugar to set up and osmosis process that will move the brining liquid into the meat. But the real secret is to also add some flavors to that brine as well. You can add all kinds of seasonings to a brine to get all kinds of differant flavors. I would start with Tip's Slaughterhouse and then adjust as you like - but Tip's is really good just as it is as well.
 

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