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There’s nothing better than the smell of pecan smoke mixed with the delicious aroma of roasting chicken.
Wood smoke gives your grilled meat a rich and unique flavor.
Pecan wood, with its sweet and nutty flavor, goes particularly well with poultry.
Let’s look at how using pecan wood for smoking chicken will make your next backyard barbeque a delightful success.
What makes pecan wood great for chicken?
According to MasterClass, experts in teaching grilling, pecan wood has a rich flavor similar to hickory wood, another favorite wood for grilling poultry.
Depending on whether you are slow-cooking or using quicker smoking techniques, pecan wood comes in chips or chunks.
Chips are used for faster cooking smaller pieces of meat, chunks are for smoking larger pieces or a whole chicken for more than an hour.
There are some rumors that using pecan wood leads to a pervasive odor, but that has been debunked by pit-masters.
The truth about smoking with pecan wood according to Wisconsin Firewood is that pecan wood is one of the best woods for smoking poultry.
Pecan wood infuses poultry with a strong and uniquely pleasant flavor.
It is a slightly stronger flavor than oak or apple with a slightly less bitter hickory flavor.
It also forms great coals for a softer wood and burns just as well as the hardwoods.
There is a myth that wood that comes from a crop-bearing tree will infuse the cooking elements with the flavor of that crop. Wood does not transmit the flavor elements of its crop.
It’s also very unlikely that a person with a nut allergy will have a reaction to meat smoked with the wood from a tree that produces an allergen.
The only wood that has a reputation of overpowering the flavor of poultry would be mesquite, and that wood is in a class of its own.
Benefits of smoking with pecan wood
While there are many choices of wood to use for smoking chicken, Pecan is popular because, being a member of the hickory family, it burns slowly and provides your barbeque chicken with a delicate flavor.
Becoming a pecan wood-smoked chicken pit-master will require you to know how to burn it effectively and control factors like a flare-up.
To get the most flavor and the best quality Pecan wood flavor, good quality chicken, a savory blend of spices that will complement the wood smoke, and the right temperature needs to be achieved.
If you have these factors in place, your chicken will be savory, fall-off-the-bone delicious, and decadently juicy.
Pecan is considered a medium mood. Medium woods are the most highly recommended for smoking poultry.
If used correctly, it will provide the perfect color, the crispiest bark or crust, and infuse the chicken with the perfect amount of delicate flavor.
Let’s take a look at the best methods for using Pecan wood to smoke chicken.
How to cook chicken with pecan wood
Royal Pecan Farms offers tips on smoking with Pecan chips. Using chips provides a burst of mild smoke flavor to your chicken.
You can use chips in electric, gas, smoke boxes, or with charcoal grills.
They recommend soaking the chips in water for 30 minutes before the smoking process.
This will add moisture and heat to the process and prolong the burning time.
Here is a great step-by-step recipe for chicken from Cookpad that is a slow-roast method using Pecan wood.
Pecanwood Smoked Chicken
You will need these ingredients for the baste.
Combine the following ingredients:
1 stick of butter
¼ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Rub you will need:
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
Since this recipe requires a longer smoking time, you will want to use Pecan wood chunks.
Be sure to soak the chunks for 30 minutes in water before placing them over the hot coals. Here is how to set up your cooking device.
For charcoal grills, fist heat the coals with a charcoal starter. When the coals have fully ignited, place them in your grill.
Add the soaked wood chunks directly on top of the hot coals.
Gas or Electric Grill
First place the chunks in a foil packet or a smokebox. Place them directly over the heat source.
When the wood begins to smoke, transfer them to the coolest side of the grill, then add your food.
Smoker Grills (barrel, horizontal, or pipe)
These types of smokers offer the most control over your smoking process. They are made for lower temperatures and gentle cooking.
Start by lighting the coals in a starter.
Then open the baffles and add the coals into the firebox.
Place the soaked wood chunks onto the coals.
Now you are ready to cook your chicken.
1. Cook the chicken whole or cut it into halves, cutting off any extra fat.
2. Inject the baste into the chicken in as many spots as possible. Slowly inject the base until you feel resistance.
3. Prepare your rub by combining the ingredients. Apply to the chicken after the basting.
4. Prepare your wood smoker using Pecan to a temperature of 230 to 250 degrees F.
5. Smoke the chicken for 3 hours and until the temperature of the chicken reaches 165. Be sure to re-baste and flip once an hour. Add more rub if needed.
6. At the two-hour mark, cover the chicken with foil to avoid over-smoking.
Let the chicken rest for at least 20 minutes before eating.
7. You can add the chicken to a hot grill for a few minutes after cooking depending on how crispy your cooker made the chicken.
Using pecan wood for smoking chicken will add a delicious and delightfully delicate flavor to your barbeque.
Pecan wood is highly recommended by pit-masters for poultry because of its flavor-enhancing qualities and because of the slow and steady burn.
Try any of your favorite chicken smoking recipes using Pecan wood.
Discover the incredible flavor it adds to your smoked chicken.
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