Wood barbecues

henrylapps July 5, 2020

When summer comes, nothing feels better than having a good barbecue outdoors with friends and family. However, you have to choose well the type of barbecue to be used. For example, wood barbecues are a great option for those who like to cook meat.

Why a wood-burning barbecue?

Having options such as charcoal or gas barbecues, you may not like the idea of those that use firewood. But, do you know the advantages that this type of barbecue has for you? They can be a much more interesting option than you imagine:

  • Many models: Some types of barbecues have a limited catalog. On the other hand, wood-burning 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 side to the other to make the most of the sun? Models with wheels to make moving them easy. Of course there are also fixed models, made of brick or stone.
  • An adequate price: Many people back off the idea of ​​buying a wood-burning barbecue, which will mean spending on firewood. However, the models are so inexpensive that it is a safe long-term investment.
  • Better taste for food: Firewood enhances the taste 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 charcoal, you can find different types of firewood on the market to use on 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 bought a mixed barbecue? Many models allow cooking with charcoal and firewood. This way you can experiment and decide which of the two you like to cook the most with.
  • Durable: The important thing when buying a barbecue is that it will last a long time. Wood-burning barbecues can be iron or brick barbecue. These are painted with thermal paint, which helps the heat value of the wood to be endured.

What kind of firewood can you use on 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, it is first necessary to distinguish between the different types. They are usually grouped into two categories:

Hard: Hard firewoods are those that come from trees with great hardness and resistance. They offer the best barbecue coals, and a fantastic calorific performance. As firewood, the firewood above, holm oak, olive or oak is considered.

Soft: Contrary to the previous ones, these last less time lit and less embers are obtained. It is not as powerful as hardwood. So it is intended for the preparation of quick dishes. Fruit trees are considered as soft firewood, except for the orange tree, which is considered hard firewood.

In some areas of Spain another type of firewood is used, such as branches or vine branches. These are used for the preparation of paellas or roasts. They require great fire control, so only expert cooks are capable of using them.

What is the heat capacity of each type of firewood?

At first it may take a little bit of a novice to get used to a wood barbecue, because controlling the calorific value of it is important. In addition, you have to think that there is firewood on top, oak, olive, orange, almond … more than a dozen types that can be found in any store.

According to what type of dishes one that has more heat capacity than another will be interested. For example, if the meat is very thick it will be better to use one with a higher power, on the other hand if it is for a meat such as 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
  • Elm: 4790
  • Oak: 4690
  • Olive: 4678
  • Beech: 4630
  • Pine: 4557

The hardest wood firewoods are the ones with the highest calorific value. Like 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 they may sell you what is known as “green firewood”. Much cheaper firewood, but it has less calorific value and gives off a rather unpleasant white smoke. It is not the best option when cooking.

How should you light a wood barbecue?

Remember, it is always better to use firewood from a hard tree, and of course it should always be dry. It is often said that the best firewood for barbecue has had to be 6 months outdoors, in the sun. This helps you lose all the water in it. It must not have branches, nor green leaves or twigs. If they do, this will cause thick smoke, plus it will cost a lot more to light the barbecue.

Once you have the firewood in your barbecue, light the firewood and with the help of shovels or iron tongs, stir until the coals are formed. It can take more or less the same time to ignite than the coal, but you must watch it well to avoid burning the fire.

Where should you locate this type of barbecue?

Since these types of barbecues generate a lot of smoke, their location must 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 its location.

On the other hand, if the one you buy is an iron barbecue, you will have to go with a little more care. Put it away from doors and windows, in an outdoor area where you don’t have the wind against you, or the generated smoke will bother you when cooking. Although many barbecue models have a lid, some dishes are tastier if cooked without it.

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