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Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TIP OF THE DAY: Grilling With Wood Chips

If you grill with wood chips, how do you decide which chips to use?

You may have your own system, or simply like mesquite with everything. But McCormick has added a bit of culinary science to the process. Here the company provides recommendations for specific wood chips to pair the right intensity wood with particular proteins:

  • Alder Wood Chips contribute a musky, sweet, mild intensity of flavor, and are delicious with grilled seafood. For seasoning, McCormick suggests its Grill Mates Backyard Brick Oven Seasoning and Lawry’s Herb & Garlic Marinade.
  • Apple Wood Chips impart a sweet, nutty, mild intensity. You can use them with all meats and seafood. McCormick pairs them with Grill Mates Fiery Five Pepper Seasoning and Lawry’s Mediterranean Herb & Wine Marinade.
  • Cherry Wood Chips provide a subtle, fruity, mild intensity. McCormick recommends them with chicken, along with Grill Mates Slow & Low Tennessee Smokehouse BBQ Rub and Lawry’s Teriyaki Marinade.

    Hickory chips in a smoke box. Photo courtesy McCormick.


    Apple wood chips. Photo courtesy

  • Hickory Wood Chips bestow an assertive, smoky, high intensity flavor and can be paired with all meats. McCormick suggests Grill Mates Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub and Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade.
  • Maple Wood Chips lend a sweet, subtle, mild intensity to chicken, pork and vegetables. You can use Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning and or Lawry’s Original Seasoned Salt Spice Blend.
  • Mesquite Wood Chips is known for delivering hearty, savory, high intensity flavors. McCormick pairs the chips with Slow & Low Smokin’ Texas BBQ Rub and Lawry’s Mesquite Marinade.
  • Oak Wood Chips provide versatility and modern intensity to all meats. Try them with Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning and Lawry’s Steak & Chop Marinade.
  • Pecan Wood Chips come with a sweet, nutty, mild intensity to all meats and seafood. Consider Grill Mates Fiery Five Pepper Seasoning and Lawry’s Mediterranean Herb & Wine Marinade.


    1. SOAK wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

    2. PLACE one cup of wood chips in a smoke box or a makeshift foil pouch punctured with a fork.

    3. PLACE smoker box or pouch under the grate and over one of the burners, away from the center of the grill.

    4. HEAT the grill on high until the wood chips start smoking. Then reduce heat to the desired temperature.

    5. PLACE the food on the center of the grill, away from the smoker box or pouch.

    6. COVER and grill as you normally would, refilling the smoker box or replacing the pouch as needed.


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