Nowadays, it seems like more and more people are becoming interested in the art of grilling and bbq.
As an active member in different barbecue forums and groups, I can honestly say that the number of people experimenting with different types of woods is increasing.
If you visit any forum, you’ll find many good wood suggestions for smoking food.
One fruit wood that I’ve come across recently is the Plum wood.
This smoking wood is not as common as hickory or mesquite but it is gaining popularity.
So, is plum wood good for smoking meat?
Yes, plum wood is excellent for smoking foods! It’s a hardwood that burns slowly and evenly, providing a consistent source of heat and smoke for your meats. Plus, plum wood imparts a sweet, fruity flavor to meats that pairs perfectly with pork, poultry, and even beef.
In this post, we will discuss more about smoking with plum wood and the potential advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
With that said, let’s begin!
What is A Plum Tree?
Plum wood is a type of hardwood that’s prized by many pitmasters and grill enthusiasts for its sweet, fruity flavor and slow-burning properties.
I have used plum wood on many occasions and from my experience, it is not too dense, making it easy to work with and ignite.
It also burns consistently, producing a lovely smoke that infuses your meat with a delicious flavor.
In my opinion, plum wood is quite similar to apple wood in that both give off a subtle sweetness and fruitiness that pairs well with a variety of dishes.
I’ve used it with pork ribs, spatchcock chicken and fish, and it added a delicate sweetness to the meat that was absolutely delicious.
But what exactly is plum wood?
Plum wood comes from the plum tree, a deciduous tree that’s native to parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
The wood is typically harvested from the tree after it has stopped producing fruit or has been damaged by storms or disease.
It’s important to note that not all plum wood is suitable for smoking – you’ll want to make sure that the wood has been properly seasoned and is free of any chemicals or pesticides.
One thing I love most about plum wood is its density.
It’s a hardwood, which means that it burns slowly and evenly, providing a consistent source of heat and smoke for your meats.
This makes it a reliable choice for longer smoking sessions.
In terms of appearance, plum wood can vary from light yellow to dark brown, with a straight or slightly wavy grain.
It’s a beautiful wood that can add a touch of elegance to any backyard barbecue.
Is Plum Wood Good Smoking Wood?
I have found that using the right wood can make all the difference in the world.
Plum wood is one of those woods that not many people think about, but it is definitely worth considering.
One of the great things about plum wood is that it has a unique flavor that is not overpowering.
It provides a subtle sweetness that enhances the natural flavors of the meat.
Plum wood is also a versatile wood that can be used with different types of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and even fish.
For example, if you are smoking chicken, the sweetness of plum wood will complement the natural flavors of the chicken.
On the other hand, if you are smoking beef, the sweetness of the plum wood will help balance out the strong flavors of the beef.
Smoking Food with Plum Wood
Using plum wood can add a unique and delicious flavor to your dishes.
But what types of meat work best with this particular wood? Let’s take a look:
|Type of Meat||Description|
|Beef||Plum wood works well with brisket, ribs, and steaks, giving them a slightly sweet and fruity flavor.|
|Pork||Pork shoulder, ribs, and chops all pair nicely with the smokiness of plum wood.|
|Poultry||Chicken and turkey can benefit from the subtle sweetness that plum wood provides.|
|Fish||Plum wood can add a delicate touch to smoked salmon, trout, and other types of fish.|
Of course, these are just suggestions, and you should feel free to experiment with different types of meat and preparations to find the perfect combination for your taste buds.
But with its mild yet distinctive flavor, plum wood is definitely worth trying in your next smoking session.
Plum Wood for Smoking Brisket
My family loves brisket and I found that smoking it with plum wood adds some fruity and sweet notes to the meat.
Brisket is known for its tough texture, but when it is slow-smoked to perfection, it becomes tender and flavorful.
Plum wood adds a unique taste to the brisket, and it pairs well with the meat’s natural juices.
When smoking brisket with plum wood, it’s essential to make sure that the wood is seasoned correctly.
As we discussed earlier, seasoned wood produces better smoke and burns more efficiently, which ensures that the brisket is cooked evenly.
To smoke brisket with plum wood, start by preparing your smoker and your brisket.
Apply a dry rub or marinade to the brisket, and let it sit for a few hours to absorb the flavors.
When you’re ready to smoke, add the plum wood to the smoker, and let it heat up.
Place the brisket on the smoker’s grate, and close the lid.
The ideal smoking temperature for brisket is between 225°F and 250°F, and it should smoke for around 12 to 14 hours.
During the smoking process, make sure to monitor the wood and the temperature of the smoker.
You may need to add more wood or adjust the temperature to maintain an even heat.
When the brisket is done, take it off the smoker and let it rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.
The result will be a delicious and tender brisket with a unique flavor that can only come from smoking with plum wood.
How Can You Tell if Plum Wood is Seasoned Enough?
Determining whether your plum wood is seasoned enough for smoking is essential to ensure that you get the best flavor out of your meat.
If your plum wood is not seasoned correctly, you may end up with meat that tastes bitter and unpleasant.
To determine whether your plum wood is seasoned enough, there are a few things you can look for.
First, seasoned plum wood is usually darker in color than fresh plum wood.
If you have freshly cut plum wood, it will have a lighter color and will feel moist to the touch.
On the other hand, seasoned plum wood will have a darker color, and it will feel dry.
Another way to check if your plum wood is seasoned enough is to look for cracks on the surface.
When wood dries, it tends to crack, so if you see cracks on the surface of your plum wood, it’s a good indication that it’s seasoned.
Additionally, you can try smelling the wood. Freshly cut plum wood has a strong, sweet smell, while seasoned plum wood has a milder smell.
If you’re still not sure whether your plum wood is seasoned enough, you can also try burning a small piece of it.
Seasoned plum wood will burn hotter and cleaner than fresh plum wood, which will create a lot of smoke and ash.
When seasoned plum wood burns, it produces a clean, blue flame and only a small amount of ash.
By using these methods, you can ensure that your plum wood is seasoned enough for smoking, which will result in a better flavor for your meat.
Is it Safe to Use Plum Wood? What Kind of Wood Should You Not Use in a Smoker?
When it comes to smoking meat, safety is a top concern for any grilling enthusiast.
It’s important to know what type of wood you can use and what you should avoid to ensure a safe and delicious smoking experience.
Firstly, it’s essential to never use any type of softwood, such as pine or cedar, in a smoker.
These woods contain high levels of resin and sap, which can create toxic smoke and an unpleasant taste in your meat.
Additionally, you should avoid using any wood that has been treated with chemicals, as this can also create hazardous smoke.
Fortunately, plum wood is a safe option for smoking meat as it is a hardwood that burns clean and produces a sweet and subtle flavor.
It’s important to ensure that the plum wood is properly seasoned and free from any mold or decay before using it in your smoker.
Always use a reputable source for your wood and avoid any questionable or unverified suppliers.
What is the Mildest Wood for Smoking Food With?
When it comes to grilling, the mildest wood is often preferred as it imparts a subtle smoky flavor without overpowering the natural taste of the meat.
In terms of plum wood, it falls somewhere in between mild and strong on the flavor scale.
It has a distinct fruity aroma that can add a touch of sweetness to the meat, but it also has a slightly smoky flavor that can be more pronounced than other fruitwoods like apple or cherry.
If you’re looking for the mildest wood for smoking meat, applewood and cherrywood are excellent options.
They both have a subtle, sweet flavor that pairs well with a variety of meats, and they’re versatile enough to be used in both cold and hot smoking.
However, if you’re a fan of the unique flavor of plum wood, it can still be a great choice for smoking, especially if you want to add a twist to your usual smoking routine.
Plum Wood Vs Other Fruit Woods
When it comes to smoking meat, the choice of wood can have a significant impact on the final flavor of the dish.
While there are many different types of wood available for smoking, fruit woods are a popular choice due to their sweet and mild flavor profiles.
Plum wood is a particularly great choice for smoking because it has a unique aroma and a mild taste that enhances the natural flavors of meats and vegetables.
It’s especially well-suited for smoking pork, poultry, and vegetables.
In comparison, apple wood is another popular choice for smoking. It has a sweet and fruity flavor with a subtle smokiness, making it a great option for pork, poultry, and fish.
Cherry wood, on the other hand, has a sweet and fruity flavor with a hint of tartness, which makes it a great choice for pork, beef, and game meats.
Peach wood has a sweet and aromatic flavor with a subtle smokiness, which makes it ideal for pork and poultry.
Lastly, pear wood has a sweet and subtle flavor with a delicate aroma, which makes it a great choice for pork, poultry, and seafood.
|Wood Type||Flavor Profile||Ideal for Smoking|
|Plum||Sweet and mild with a subtle fruity aroma||Pork, poultry, and vegetables|
|Apple||Sweet and fruity with a subtle smokiness||Pork, poultry, and fish|
|Cherry||Sweet and fruity with a hint of tartness||Pork, beef, and game meats|
|Peach||Sweet and aromatic with a subtle smokiness||Pork and poultry|
|Pear||Sweet and subtle with a delicate flavor||Pork, poultry, and seafood|
Keep in mind that personal preference plays a big role in choosing the ideal wood for smoking.
Experimenting with different types of wood can lead to unique and delicious flavor combinations.
Plum Wood Vs Hickory Wood
Hickory wood is a classic choice for bbq and is known for its strong, bold flavor.
It has a smoky taste that can be overpowering if too much is used, but in moderation, it can add a delicious depth of flavor to meats like pork, beef, and poultry.
In comparison, plum wood has a much milder flavor profile.
It has a subtle fruity aroma and a sweet, mild taste that can enhance the natural flavors of meats and vegetables without overpowering them.
Plum wood is a great choice for those who prefer a more subtle smoky flavor or for those who want to add a hint of fruity sweetness to their dishes.
Another difference between the two woods is their density.
Hickory wood is a denser wood, which means it burns hotter and longer than plum wood.
This can be an advantage when smoking larger cuts of meat, as it ensures a steady, consistent heat source.
Plum wood, on the other hand, burns more quickly, which can be an advantage when smoking smaller cuts of meat or when you want to infuse a subtle smoky flavor quickly.
Can You Mix and Match Plum Wood for Smoking?
Mixing and matching different types of wood when smoking meat is a common practice among grilling enthusiasts.
The same goes for using plum wood.
Combining plum wood with other types of wood, such as apple or hickory, can add a unique flavor to your smoked meat.
For example, mixing plum wood with apple wood can result in a sweeter, fruitier flavor.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that some woods may overpower others, and it’s crucial to experiment with different combinations to find the perfect balance.
The key is to understand the characteristics of each wood and how they complement each other.
It’s also worth noting that using too much plum wood can result in an overpowering flavor, which can ruin the taste of the meat.
In general, a good rule of thumb is to use no more than 30% of plum wood in your smoking mix.
When mixing and matching different types of wood, it’s crucial to consider the type of meat you’re smoking.
For example, stronger-flavored woods such as hickory or mesquite may work better with beef or pork, while milder woods like apple or cherry may work better with poultry or fish.
How Do I Make Plum Wood Smoke Better?
If you’re having trouble getting enough smoke flavor from your plum wood, here are a few tips.
First, make sure your wood is dry and seasoned properly, as damp wood can produce less smoke.
You can also try soaking your wood in water for a few hours before use to produce more smoke.
Some smokers even recommend adding some fruit juice or beer to the water for added flavor.
Another method to get more smoke flavor is to use a smoke generator, which can produce more consistent smoke and ensure your meat is infused with the desired flavor.
You can also try wrapping your meat in a layer of bacon or other fatty meat, which will absorb more smoke and flavor.
Experimenting with different types of wood can also help you find the perfect combination for your smoking needs.
Mixing plum wood with other types of wood, such as hickory or apple, can create unique and delicious flavors.
Just make sure to use hardwoods that are safe for smoking and avoid any softwoods, which can produce harmful chemicals and ruin the taste of your meat.
These tips should help you when cooking bbq with plum wood.
Plum Wood Chips
Plum wood chips are an excellent choice for smoking because they offer a unique flavor that sets them apart from other fruit woods.
The wood has a sweet and mild taste with a subtle fruity aroma that enhances the natural flavors of meats and vegetables.
It’s particularly well-suited for smoking pork, poultry, and vegetables.
When using plum wood chips, it’s important to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before use to prevent them from burning too quickly.
You can also experiment with using other liquids for soaking, such as beer or fruit juices, to add even more flavor to your smoke.
Another advantage of using plum wood chips is that they can be used in both charcoal and gas grills, as well as smokers.
They’re also relatively easy to find, either at your local hardware store or online.
Overall, plum wood is an excellent choice for smoking meat due to its mild, fruity flavor and ability to burn evenly.
It can be used for a variety of meats, including poultry, pork ribs, and beef, and is particularly well-suited for smoking brisket.
When using plum wood, it’s essential to ensure that it is properly seasoned to avoid harsh, bitter flavors.
You can also experiment with combining plum wood with other types of wood to create unique flavor profiles.
Additionally, if you prefer a more convenient smoking experience, plum wood pellets are readily available on the market.
Overall, using plum wood for smoking is a great option for anyone looking to add a delicious fruity flavor to their meats.
As with any smoking method, it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper safety procedures to ensure the best possible outcome.
As always, Happy smoking!
- Husbands, A. and Cranford, S., 2019. A material perspective of wood, smoke, and BBQ. Matter, 1(5), pp.1092-1095.