Grill Tips Home


Chef info

Chefs' Tips

Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison
(more info)

Wood Flavoring Chart

The following text and recipes are from Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Read Way to Barbecue, on Your Charcoal Grill, Water Smoker, or Wood-Burning Pit by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, reprinted with permission from The Harvard Common Press, 535 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118.

Alder: The traditional wood for smoking salmon in the Pacific Northwest, alder also works well with other fish. It has a light delicate flavor.

Apple and Cherry: Both woods produce slightly sweet, fruity smoke that's mild enough for chicken or turkey, but capable of flavoring a ham.

Hickory: Hickory is the king of the woods in the Southern barbecue belt, as basic to the region's cooking as cornbread. The strong, hearty taste is perfect for pork shoulder or ribs, but it also enhances any red meat or poultry.

Maple: Mildly smoky and sweet, maple mates well with poultry, ham, and vegetables.

Mesquite: The mystique wood of the past decade, mesquite is also America's most misunderstood wood. It's great for grilling because it burns very hot, but below average for barbecuing for the same reason. Also, the smoke taste turns from tangy to bitter over an extended cooking time. Few serious pitmasters use mesquite, despite a lot of stories about its prevalence in the Southwest.

Oak: If hickory is the king of barbecue woods, oak is the queen. Assertive but always pleasant, it's the most versatile of hardwoods, blending well with a wide range of flavors. What is does to beef brisket is probably against the law in some states.

Pecan: The choice of many professional chefs, pecan burns cool and offers a subtle richness of character. Some people call it a mellow version of hickory.

Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison are the country's preeminent experts on smoke-cooked barbecue and regional Southwestern cooking. The authors of ten cookbooks and travel guides, they write with wit and passion about American home cooking, the food and culture of the Southwest, and tropical travel. The Jamisons have twice received the culinary world's most prestigious honor, the James Beard Book Award, for Smoke & Spice and for The Border Cookbook, which was also nominated for the Julia Child Cookbook Award. The Jamison's books are acknowledged to be definitive guides to their respective subjects - authentic smoke-cooked barbecue, genuine Southwest-border home cooking, or succulent, "open-air, open-flame" grilling. The New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and Gourmet are only a few of the major publications that have praised the Jamisons for their encyclopedic knowledge and engaging writing style.

The Jamisons are also national spokespeople for The National Pork Producers Council and are frequent guest- instructors at many prestigious cooking schools around the country, including the Santa Fe School of Cooking where Cheryl teaches traditional and contemporary Southwestern and Mexican cooking. In addition to their cookbooks and travel guides, the Jamisons also write articles for magazines and newspapers, including Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and the New York Times. Bill and Cheryl Jamison make their home in Santa Fe, where they develop their recipes and do most of their writing.

Main Menu | Recipe Search | Newsgroups | Rumbles & Murmurs | Culinary Careers
QuickMeals | Secret Ingredients | Help Wanteds | Archives | Feedback
Copyright © 1998 StarChefs All rights reserved.