With spring just around the corner, it's time to start looking forward to our favorite outdoor activities, and nothing says springtime like the aroma of succulent foods cooking on a barbecue. The majority of American households sport an outdoor grill, but few people seem to realize how much more flavorful their barbecued foods could be if they just added one often overlooked grilling accessory: natural aromatic wood for an authentic smoke taste.

Before the barbecue, wood smoke was what was used to cook meats and vegetables over an open fire. The wood smoke enhanced the taste of grilled foods much more than either gas or charcoal. Using wood is easy and rewarding, in many cases replacing the need for seasonings or spices by imparting subtle, natural flavors derived from the wood itself. Whether purchased from a specialty store along with other barbecue accessories, harvested from your own back yard, or picked up from an orchard that might be tree trimming, many types of wood can be used to pump up the flavor of grilled foods. Another bonus is that wood smoke works equally well whether you are cooking right on the grill or using a rotisserie.

Wood for grilling comes in a few different forms. Many seasoned grilling masters prefer chunks of wood that are fist-sized or larger. Wood chunks burn slowly, so they can usually be added to the fire just before placing the food on the grill without the need for replenishment during cooking. Wood chips and pellets are much smaller than chunks and will burn up too quickly if placed directly on the heat source. Therefore, pellets and chips need to be protected from the direct fire, and still allow the smoke to be released during the cooking process. There are barbecue accessories that work well for this purpose, such as baskets that can easily be refilled, or you can purchase self contained pre-filled units with your choice of wood chip flavors. Since chips and pellets burn up much faster than chunks, they should be checked regularly so more can be added if needed.

Many varieties of trees produce wood that greatly enhances flavors for grilling. In fact, each type of tree will impart a unique taste. Hickory is perhaps the most common type of wood used for barbecue, but others are gaining popularity for their accents with different types of meat. Oak produces a more subtle smoky flavor than hickory or mesquite, so it works well with most types of meat. The sweet flavor of cherry wood is commonly used for grilling fish, and apple is a favorite with pork ribs.

With so many culinary possibilities, using wood to smoke food on the barbecue is an experience that everyone can enjoy this spring.

Looking for great wood chip BBQ accessories? Try the easy to use FlavorDome Grill Smoker. Its dome top reduces flare-ups, increases smoke density and smoking time, plus traps and reduces bitter wood tars to give a cleaner wood flavor. Pair it with the award-winning Rib-O-Lator, a 4-tray rotisserie attachment, for a special discount! Powered by SEO 2.0 Services [http://seo-search-engine-optimization.netbiz.com/]