Many types of wood have been used for centuries in the smoking, curing, and cooking of food. Some are better than others for certain foods in the cooking process and we will talk about the reasons why. We will talk about when to use maple wood, what foods to use it for, and how to care for the maple wood.
There are several ways to use maple wood for cooking. It can be used for smoking the meats and cheeses. Some cooks prefer using maple on certain meats and cheeses to bring out the distinctive flavor of the meat or add to the flavor. In smoking the wood is cut into chunks, soaked in water and then placed in a smoker for a long period of time to cook the meat slowly and enhance the flavor by not over cooking or cooking too fast and taking the risk of drying out the meat. Several brand names are available and are all in the same price range so it is entirely up to the cook as to what brand they like to use.
Another method of cooking on maple wood is using a slab or skewers. Slab cooking again is by cook’s preference and what they like to use for different meats and cheeses. Specifically for maple wood it is common to use it for cooking pork. Many chefs and cooks agree that the maple wood brings a sweet flavor to the pork meat and enhances the flavors of the meat itself. Many cooks use a slab of maple wood and again soak it before using it to keep it from burning. Using a slow roasting method will also keep it from burning as well. The slab is prepared, sometimes by the hand of the chef, and then soaked until needed. Some chef’s prefer to smoke it slightly before using it and soak it again before actually cooking on it. The piece of meat is then placed on the slab and put in the smoker to cook for a certain period of time. The time depends on the amount of smoking needed for flavor. They will season the meat accordingly and let the maple wood and smoker do the rest. The size of the slab depends on the size of the piece of meat or cheese to be smoked. As stated, some chef’s prepare their own slabs but others buy them pre-cut. They still need to be seasoned (smoked)before use and then soaked again.
Conclusion, Maple wood cooking uses are vast and readily available to any cook. Using the maple wood slap to cook on is a way to enhance the flavor of certain meats and cheeses as well as giving a sweet smokey flavor to the food being cooked. Having available wood is a must for the cook who uses smoke to cook with. The experienced grill master knows what wood is used when taste testing a smoked meat or cheese. Even if you are not planning on having a pitmaster taste test your food, using a maple wood slap to cook on will definitely make a difference for your taste testers.