Impregnation of wood has its equivalent in marinating food. The aim is for the cooking chemicals to penetrate and spread evenly into the wood chips. In just the same way as preparing food, the right marinade and plenty of time is needed.
The general advice is the longer the impregnation the better. The cooking chemicals are absorbed, and the raw material matures, in the same way as a delicate piece of meat that
is left in the marinade for a long time before going on the grill.
How long does impregnation take?
60-90 minutes is common for Valmet’s CompactCooking™. The temperature is approximately 100 degrees Celsius. Impregnation under these conditions is the perfect preparation and simplifies the cooking step. But of course, the time taken and the temperature are not everything. In just the same way as cooking food, the right “seasoning”, that is to say the correct combination of black liquor components and fresh cooking chemicals, is needed to bring out the best of the raw material.
Do you already have an excellent recipe or are you still looking for the perfect marinade? By marinating, you can maximize the taste experience and tenderize the grilled meat.
Marinade all too often makes us think of meat and grilling, but you can just as well marinate fish, fowl and vegetables. The marinade can be acidic, salty and contain elements of sweetness. Oils, herbs and spices contribute to the marinade’s unique character. When the raw ingredient is placed in the marinade, it takes up the taste and is prepared for cooking.
The time for marinating varies, depending on what is in the marinade and what you are marinating. A rule of thumb for meat: marinate for at least one hour, or up to one day, the larger and the thicker the piece of meat, the longer the time needed. Experiment and take inspiration from others’ recipes and tips!