Ever wonder what type of wood you should use when grilling meat? Yes, it matters. And yes, there are pairings you should follow. For advice from the master, we turned to Oren Molovinsky, the owner at Farmboy Market—Meats, Sandwiches, located in south Chandler. The restaurant specializes in smoked/grilled meats and sandwiches that are made using Arizona ingredients, and Molovinksy recommends purchasing your wood from Phoenix’s Berry Bros. Firewood Co. Here, his take on the right fuel for your meal.
Tri-Tip/Whole Chicken (split)
AZ pecan or oak chunks
Cook in a smoker for 2.5-3 hours. Cook tri-tip to 135 degrees; chicken to 165 degrees. Charcoal type: Hardwood lump.
Beef Brisket or Chuck Roast/Pork Shoulder for pulled pork
AZ Pecan or Oak chunks (get some large pieces)
Cook in a smoker for 14-18 hours. Cook to 200 degrees.
Flank Steak/Skirt Steak/Flatiron Steak/Ribeye/ NY Strip/Filet
AZ Mesquite chunks
Grill 7-8 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Smoking steaks to 130 degrees prior to grilling will help with tenderness. Charcoal type: Hardwood and/or Mesquite lump.
Salmon/Chili Peppers/Pork Belly
Apple or Cherry wood chunks
Smoker time varies based on recipe. Most likely it is 2-3 hours.