If you have kids you know what a strong sweet tooth they have. As a parent, you want to give them the healthiest food possible, but sometimes that can be a challenge.
Over time, parents have come up with some really interesting and effective ways to get their kids to eat healthier or simply more “adult” foods. One popular technique is using cheese to get kids to eat their veggies.
Another technique that you might not have tried is using a different type of wood chip to smoke your meat.
Applewood, for example, is a great option to get kids to eat healthier entree options. And because it tastes so great, you’ll be pleased with your food, too.
What Is Applewood and How Is It Used in Smoking?
Applewood is exactly what it sounds like – wood from an apple tree. It can be used just like any other wood chips for smoking. You can cure some bacon with maple syrup and smoke with these chips and you’ll have your very own homemade applewood smoked bacon.
The cool thing about this type of wood is that, for many people, the wood is readily available. That means you can find it cheaper than some of the other smoker wood chips. Plus, if you live in apple country, you can make your own wood chips.
How can you do this?
It’s easy. First, hit up an apple farmer for some of their branches. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you request the branches during pruning season, the farmers will be happy to give them to you. That means they have one less thing to do – take the time to get rid of the branches.
Next, let the branches dry out for a few days. Afterward, remove the leaves. Using a wood chipper, set it to the size chips you want. If you’re not sure what size you want, simply experiment. You’ll soon find the best sized wood chips for your smoker or grill.
Once you gather all your chips together, check for bugs. You can use chips that have insects when smoking, but this turns the stomach of a lot of people. If you’re one of them, get rid of this batch of wood and start over with a new one.
You can store your chips in a freezer bag with a tight seal. Storing the chips in the freezer will keep them fresh for the next use – and you can avoid having to soak them first.
2 Delectable Recipes That Will Leave Your Family Wanting More
When most people hear “applewood smoked” they automatically think of bacon. While bacon is delicious and can be used to enhance just about anything, there are plenty of other ways to utilize this type of wood chip. Here are just a couple of them.
This recipe from the Food Network packs a flavorful punch. Ingredients include:
- Garlic salt
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- Thyme and oregano
- Brown sugar.
As you can imagine, this recipe has a rich, savory flavor with a hint of sweetness and quite a bit of spice. If you like some heat with your food, this is the recipe for you.
Total prep and cooking time is about two and a half hours. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be slaving over a hot stove that whole time. An hour of that time is for the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator. Another hour and 20 minutes goes to smoking on a grill over the applewood chips. In other words – this recipe is not only delicious, it’s super easy.
This recipe can be made on an outdoor grill or inside the kitchen oven. You’ll need to heat up some apple cider until it’s syrupy. Then, put the salmon in a perforated pan in the oven or on the grill while it’s still cold. On the stovetop, heat the wood chips in a pan until they start to smoke.
After about six minutes, add the pan with the wood chips to the oven or grill. Smoke the salmon for approximately six minutes. Once it’s done smoking, place the salmon in a heated pan and cook evenly.
In another pan, sauté the Granny Smith apples until they’re soft. Serve the salmon with the apples and drizzle with the apple cider reduction.
Applewood Smoked Bacon – Not Just for Breakfast
One of the most popular uses of applewood is to smoke bacon. And when do most people eat bacon? At breakfast, of course.
But why would you limit yourself? This to-die-for bacon can (and should) be enjoyed any time of day. Chop it up into small pieces and add it to a baked potato for a great side dish at dinner time. Or, crumble it up over a salad.
Smoked bacon can turn any average side dish into a mouth-watering favorite.