Orangewood is an underrated fruity grill wood that will take your chicken, turkey or smoked salmon to the next level. Find out how to use these beautiful citrus smoker wood chips today.
When most people think of fruitwoods to use for grilling, they think of the more common ones like peach, apple, and cherry. Orange wood isn’t mentioned that often, perhaps because orange trees only grow in parts of the United States.
However, that doesn’t mean that orange wood isn’t a good choice when lighting your smoker. Here’s your guide to incorporating this delicious but lesser-known fuel option into your grilling plans.
What is orange wood?
Orange is the wood that comes from the orange tree, a type of citrus tree. In the United States, orange trees grow primarily in warmer states like California, Texas, and Florida, where it’s more common to use orange wood for smoking meat.
Orange wood is popular when grilling in Florida, but grill masters in the southern United States like to rely on this sweet, extra-smooth wood.
Properties of Orange Wood
One of the most distinctive aspects of orangewood is its flavor. Like other fruitwoods, orange gives off a mild, slightly sweet flavor when burned in the smoker. However, it also imparts a slightly tart citrus flavor that you don’t get from other fruitwoods. To enhance this flavor, prepare your meat with a citrus marinade.
In addition to the citrus note in the meat taste, the orange tree also gives off a slightly lemony aroma when burned. Your garden will smell like citrus!
Another distinguishing feature of orange barbecue wood is the colour. When burned, the orange tree gives the food a golden hue due to the light color of the wood.
Like most fruitwoods, orange burns steadily, but does not last as long as oak and other hardwoods. Not a good choice for cuts of meat that take a long time to cook, such as B. Brisket.
How to use orange wood
The most common forms of orangewood are chips and chunks. These work well with electric and propane smokers. You can find orange wood pellets if you have a pellet smoker at home. Orange wood planks are another great smoking option as they allow you to smoke more delicate foods like fish.
You can use orange wood alone for wood smoking or mix it with other types of wood. Its sweet flavor can help balance out pungent wood species like hickory.
If you don’t live in an area where orange trees are plentiful, blending oranges with other types of wood can help you get the flavor of orange wood without spending a lot of money, which is expensive to source outside of the South or California.
The best meat to smoke with orange wood
Orangewood Pass best with white meat that has a delicate taste.
You can use orange wood to smoke poultry, whether you’re smoking a whole chicken or just a turkey breast. Use a citrus-based marinade or rub it into meat to maximize flavor.
Orangewood also pairs well with softer pork cuts like pork chops. Anything you would cook up on the stovetop with a citrus marinade goes well with orangewood.
You can even use orange wood for the fish. Salmon fillets go so well with the subtle citrus flavor of fiery orange.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where you can get light orangewood sticks for your smoker, using them is a great way to add some sweetness to your next meal.