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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


WOODS, FUELS & FIRES FOR OUTDOOR COOKING was a free book when this post was written.

 Do you love the smell of wood-smoked food? A rack of crackly smoked ribs straight out of the barbecue oven? Or lamb chops and a chunk of tenderloin seared and then grilled over an open wood fire in the wilds?
Want to know which woods go best with which foods? Which are poisonous, and to be avoided? How the different flavours of different woods can lift a great smoked meal to an outstanding one?
"Woods, Fuels & Fires for Outdoor Cooking" answers all of these questions – and more. The book helps you to choose the best wood for any particular application, and to match exactly the right wood to the food you're grilling or smoking. Introducing you to a range of different woods, it shows you how to use them and how to find them.
In addition to raw woods, it discusses the merits and demerits of wood-based derivatives like chips and sawdust, pellets and charcoal – and makes suggestions as to when and where they work best.
A whole section of the book is devoted to showing you how you can make your own, premium quality charcoal – safely, at home, and regardless of how much or little yard space you have available. It explains why home-made charcoal is a better substitute for briquettes than its commercial equivalent, and why it burns hotter and longer. Construction details and plans are provided for making, simply and economically, a scalable charcoal furnace-and-retort assembly out of readily obtainable bits and pieces.
The book explains how, in the same way that differing soil quality and climate are major determinants in the flavour of wines from the same vine stock, so too is their impact on the flavour of hardwoods from the same tree species growing in different soil conditions and different areas of the country.
It also suggests, when wood is not available, how to use substitutes like coconut husk, corn cobs, and dried seaweed, and the special precautions that need to be taken. It characterises wood according to the density of smoke generated, the strength and flavour of the smoke, and the heat and quality of the coals produced.
A whole section of the book is jam-packed full of tips for constructing, starting and maintaining fires both at home and in the wilds.
Armed with the information in the book, anyone can make a good wood fire, and even if you're a pro, there'll be tips and suggestions here to help you up your game.


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