Smoking meat is no joking matter, especially when it comes to the type of wood used to smoke the meat.
The flavor instilled in the meat is derived from the type of wood used, this flavor can be strong or mild, and with so many options when it comes to flavoring, mesquite has been named one of the best woods used for smoking.
What is mesquite, what does mesquite smoke taste like, and which is better, mesquite or hickory? These are questions we will be answering in this article. We also have some additional information to share about using mesquite for smoking meat.
Is Mesquite a Strong Smoke Flavor?
Yes, mesquite is a strong flavor. According to flavors, Woods are divided into three categories. The first is the very light flavor, the second is the mild flavor, and the third is the strong flavor.
Under the light category, you can find cherry wood; under the old category, you can find hickory, and under the strong flavor, you will find mesquite.
Which Is Sweeter Hickory or Mesquite
Hickory comes from the genus Carya, and it exists in about 18 different species, most of which can be found in the United States. Other species can be found in China, India, Indochina, and Mexico.
Hickory lies on the generous side when it comes to flavor. It gives off a sweeter and more fragrant flavor that tastes very much like bacon.
If you have been using fruitwood to smoke and are considering using hickory, use the wood in moderation as it may be too strong for people unfamiliar with it.
You can mix hickory with some fruitwood for your first time using this strong wood. Hickory is best paired with cherry and applewood; it can also be paired with some wood with an equally moderate flavor like oak and pecan. After using these pairs for some time, you can go ahead and smoke with just hickory, but you still must be careful of the way you use it.
Hickory can be used to grill, and smoke poultry, beef, fish, steak, ribs, and other types of meat as its flavor is milder and will be more welcoming to guests.
Mesquite comes from a small spiky tree from the genus Prosopis, are over 40 different mesquite species, and are mostly found in southern American regions like Texas. Mesquite has a strong flavor that anyone from the southern part of America will easily recognize.
Because of how strong mesquite is, even expert chefs and smokers are cautious about the amount they use. Like spices, mesquite should be mixed with other mild-flavored wood like pecan and oak as it can easily overshadow fruitwood.
Amateurs may need to use only a few pieces of mesquite paired with lots of other mild wood. Mesquite is not ideal for long cooks as it burns fast and will leave a bitter taste.
On that note, hickory has a sweeter flavor that people can easily get accustomed to, while mesquite has a strong and bitter flavor.
How Would You Describe a Mesquite Flavor?
Mesquite has an intense flavor that can be tamed by pairing pieces of it with milder flavored wood. Mesquite flavor liquid can be used instead of mesquite wood as it gives the same flavor but in a milder proportion.
Mesquite flavor is intense and strong, making it suitable for only a few meat types.
What Does Mesquite Smoke Taste Like?
Despite its intense flavor, mesquite has an earthy flavor. Lignin is a component of wood that burns to give smoke.
Mesquite contains a high amount of lignin; that’s why it is very Smokey; mesquite emits sparks while burning do; you need to be careful while using it.
Residents of Texas are familiar with this intense taste, but it may not be suitable for people new the strong flavor of mesquite.
What Is Mesquite Flavor Good For?
Mesquite is best for dark meat like wild game, beef brisket, lamb, and duck that can tolerate the intense flavor. Using mesquite to prepare steak gives the steak a bold flavor. Poultry, pork, or fish may not handle the strong flavor mesquite has to offer.
To add mesquite flavor to more sensitive meat like poultry and pork, you can consider using mesquite liquid or mesquite pellets.
Is Mesquite Harder Than Oak
Oak has a moderate smoky flavor that is stronger than fruit woods but lighter than hickory and Mesquite. Oak does an excellent job smoking on its own, but it can also be paired with Applewood, hickory, and mesquite. Unlike the others, oak is great for any meat.
Mahogany, Mesquite, and Teak are the highest-ranked hardwood in the world. They can tolerate moisture and massive weight, and they are also long-lasting. Mesquites are harder than Oak.
Is Mesquite Good For BBQ?
While mesquite isn’t the best wood for a barbecue, it can be used. But unlike apple, hickory, cherry, and oak that can be used to smoke any meat, mesquite can only be used to smoke dark meat.
Mesquite can be used for a BBQ, but an experienced hand should handle the grill when mesquite wood is used. Your food should not have too much of that strong mesquite flavor.
Are Mesquite Pellets Good for Pork?
Pellets are small cylindrical items made from compressed sawdust or finely ground hardwood. Mesquite pellets are made from finely ground mesquite wood, and it burns slower than the regulate mesquite wood.
Mesquites usually are too strong to smoke pork, but Mesquite pellets, on the other hand, produce a mild smoke flavor that can help you control the amount of mesquite flavor getting into your meat. Mesquite pellets can be used to smoke pork, but supervision is still needed.
Conclusion: What Does Mesquite Smoke Taste Like
We have discussed all you need to know about mesquite wood and how to utilize it. It has the strongest flavor and should be used with care; unlike hickory and other fruitwood, mesquite cannot be used for long cooking as it may instil a bitter taste into your meat.
Grilling and smoking experts have confirmed that mesquite cannot be used to smoke all types of meat; it can only be used on meat that can tolerate its strong flavor and still turn out good.
We recommend mesquite pellets if you are insistent on using mesquite wood; they have the same mesquite flavor but at a milder concentration.
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We trust this article helped you determine What Mesquite Smoke Taste Like. You may also want to know if Kiln Dried Wood is Safe to Burn?
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