Where there's smoke, there's flavor. Bucket loads. That's why it's essential to match the right variety of woods when grilling or smoking brisket, pork ribs, salt, salmon and turkey. Think of smoke from woods like pecan, mesquite and alder the same as ginger, basil or tumeric. Each imparts a distinct flavor that either works with or against a dish. Hickory: The wood of choice for Southern barbecue.
It imparts strong, hearty flavors to meats and is used mostly to smoke pork shoulders and ribs. Cooks have been smoking meats since cavemen times, but today smoked foods are enjoying a renaissance. From wood-fired pizza to old-fashioned Southern barbecue, smoked foods satisfy a dual craving for flavor and comfort.