When thinking of Texas BBQ, the mesquite tree stands out in the world of Barbeque and grilling. It also covers half the state and is widely available. The Mesquite tree is a shrub or a small tree indigenous to America's Southwest.
This type wood burns hot, and smokes heavy, excellent for larger cuts of beef. Its flavor is distinct, sweet, and smoky. My Favorite by the way, can be expensive if you live far away but is worth buying some for thoose special cooks.
There is no lack of flavor with Mesquite, however it can be overbearing to some. I have heard it been referenced as a noxious weed, but you just have to be one that enjoys smoked foods. Some folk just dont! I know its hard to imagine. Mesquite compliments brisket, ribeye, and whole chickens as far as barbecueing. It is also commonly used in grilling steaks and hamburgers, the only wood I know of that can put enough smoke out to taste it in the short time of cooking a steak or hamburger.
For my personal cooks, I am perfectly happy smoking with mesquite for the whole cook. When preparing food for other people a tactic to think about is mixing the wood up a little with other flavors. The product will not have such a heavy mesquite flavor, which is handy if you are unsure of your audience. I have also been known to do this when I am ready for a different taste as well. When you mix woods, you would think the flavor would merge, but you can actually taste the two different woods in the food at the same time. This adds a neat complex taste you cannot find with cooking with a single wood.
In closing, give mesquite a try and you will not be disappointed. Be very careful using this wood on smaller pourous meats like fish, ribs, or cut up chicken. But for a large hunk of beef, or even a Pork Butt you chose the right wood. It may not be for everyone, but for that taste as big as Texas, grab a cold one and fire up some mesquite under your meat!
Thank you for reading, if interested in further specializing your skill for competetion cooking please see this detailed guide