Mesquite firewood is often prized by many people because it ability to create a hot fire with long lasting coals.
The dense hardwood burns clean and creates minimal sparks, making it a popular choice for heating your home, campfires and cooking.
The wood comes from the mesquite tree which grows primarily in the southwestern United States and parts of northern Mexico.
Growing in dry climates, the tree is extremely tolerate to drought.
To obtain water, the tree produces a long taproot which can grow down over 100 feet. They also grow a shallow root system that can reach out over great distances in search of water.
Due to it's vigorous ability to survive, many ranchers consider the tree a pest and are concerned about its ability to compete with native grasses for water.
Because the tree only grows in certain regions, not everyone has the opportunity to heat with mesquite firewood. For those who are lucky enough to obtain the wood.....I'm jealous!
Cutting up a mesquite tree for firewood will take a little more time and effort than the average oak or maple tree. The mesquite is a fairly small tree with several gnarly branches that require a lot limbing and small cuts.
The twisted and irregular branches can be cumbersome to work with and the wood is very hard which can prematurely dull your chainsaw blade.
Overall, I would say the extra effort needed to harvest mesquite is worth it.
Mesquite is probably best known for it's cooking and smoking qualities. The wood fills your food with a sweet smoky flavor that's hard to resist.
The flavor is so popular many markets and online stores cary mesquite chips or grilling planks for cooking and smoking.
If you want another option, liquid flavoring can also be purchased to mimic the taste of actual mesquite.
For most users, purchasing small bags of mesquite is the easiest way to enjoy the flavors and create a grilling masterpiece.
What kind of food can you cook, smoke or grill with mesquite? Almost anything. Steak, hamburgers, fish and pork all taste great with mesquite. Just remember, mesquite can add a heavy flavor, so for a smaller portion or a lighter meal, use a small amount.
Depending on who you ask, some will describe the mesquite tree as a gem while other will call it an invasive weed.
No matter what, the burning and cooking qualities of mesquite are hard to beat......it even makes a catchy little rhyme!