When summer comes, nothing feels better than making a good outdoor barbecue with friends and family. However, it is necessary to choose well the type of barbecue that will be used. For example, wood barbecues are a great option for those who like to cook meat.
Why a wood barbecue?
Having options such as coal or gas barbecues may not call you much the idea that they use firewood. But do you know the advantages of this type of barbecue for you? They can be a much more interesting option than you imagine:
- Many models: Some types of barbecues have a limited catalog. In contrast, firewood barbecues have dozens of options, adjusting to the type of cuisine of each person. What do you like to take with you? Portable models are sold. Move it from one place to another to make the most of the sun? Models with wheels to move them easily. Of course there are also fixed models, made of brick or stone.
- A suitable price: Many people throw back the idea of buying a wood barbecue, which will mean spending on firewood. However, the models are so economical that it is a safe long-term investment.
- Better flavor for food: Firewood enhances the flavor of food much more than a gas barbecue. In addition, you can cook any type of product, be it meat, fish or vegetables.
- Different types of firewood: As with coal, in the market you can find different types of firewood to use in your barbecue. Each one is perfect for a type of food, and will give a different flavor to your dishes.
- It can be mixed: What if you buy a mixed barbecue? Many models allow cooking with charcoal and firewood. In this way you can experiment and decide which of the two you like to cook more.
- Lasting: The important thing when buying a barbecue, is that it is going to last a long time. The wood barbecues can be iron or barbecues of work. These are painted with thermal paint, which helps the calorific power of the wood to stand.
What kind of firewood can you use in a barbecue?
It is true that in Spain there are many types of firewood, so it is not difficult to find one that you can use for barbecue. However, first we must distinguish between the different types. They are usually grouped into two categories:
Hard: The hard wood are those that come from the trees with great hardness and resistance. They offer the best coals for barbecue, and a fantastic calorific yield . Hard wood is considered wood from above, oak, olive or oak .
Soft: Unlike the previous ones, these last less time lit and fewer embers are obtained . It is not as powerful as hard wood. So it is intended for the preparation of fast dishes. Soft fruit is considered as softwood , except for the orange tree, which is considered hardwood.
In some areas of Spain, another type of firewood is used, such as branches or vines. These are used for the preparation of paellas or roasts . They require great fire control, so only expert chefs are able to use them.
What is the heat capacity of each type of firewood?
At first a rookie may find it difficult to get used to a barbeque, since controlling the calorific value of this is important. In addition, you have to think that there is firewood, oak, olive, orange, almond … more than a dozen types that can be found in any store.
For what type of dishes will interest one that has more heat capacity than another . For example, if the meat is very thick, it will be better to use a more powerful one, instead if it is for a meat like hamburger, the one with less power is the most interesting option.
Ordered from highest to lowest, this is the heat capacity of each type of firewood:
- Above: 4900
- Chestnut: 4800
- Olmo: 4790
- Oak: 4690
- Olive tree : 4678
- Beech: 4630
- Pine: 4557
The firing of harder wood trees are those that have a higher calorific value. Just as to light a bonfire, or a fireplace, you have to take into account the heat capacity to achieve the most delicious dish.
In some stores you may be sold what is known as “green firewood”. A firewood much cheaper, but that has less calorific power and that gives off a rather unpleasant white smoke. It is not the best option when it comes to cooking.
How should you light a wood barbecue?
Remember, it is always better to use wood from a hard tree, and, of course, that it is always dry. It is often said that the best firewood for barbecue has had to be 6 months out in the open, under the sun . This helps you lose all the water it contains. It should not have branches , nor leaves or green twigs. If they have them, this will cause a thick smoke, plus it will cost much more to light the barbecue.
Once you have the firewood in your barbecue, light the firewood and with the help of some shovels or iron tongs, stir until the coals are formed. It may take more or less the same time to ignite than coal, but you must watch it well to avoid burning the fire .
Where should you locate this type of barbecue?
Since this type of barbecue generates a lot of smoke, its location should be ideal. In the event that you are going to build a construction site, if you buy it with a hood you will not have to worry much about the smoke and you will have more freedom to choose your location.
On the other hand, if you buy an iron barbecue, you’ll have to go a little more carefully. Put it away from doors and windows , in an outdoor area where you do not have the wind against it, or the generated smoke will bother you when cooking. Although many barbecue models have a lid, some dishes are tastier if you cook without it