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What woods do you recommend for smoking?

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Post Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:32 pm
tejun raw
raw

Posts: 1
Curious what woods folks prefer when smoking brisket and/or baby back ribs?
Where are the best locations to purchase these woods?
Do you soak them in water prior to using?

Thanx
tejun= 1/2 Texan + 1/2 Cajun
100% BBQ freak

Post Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:50 pm
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

I guess most people would advise starting to smoke with either hickory of oak wood. Some in the Southeast say hickory is king and oak is queen of smoking woods. Those in the West are partial to Mesquite. Where every you are, fruit wood and wood from nut trees are popular. Hickory and oak do well with brisket, and apple wood works nice with pork.

To find a local source of wood for yourself, I would flip through a local newspaper looking for advertisements for firewood. Make a visit to a local orchard to see if they have any trees to dispose of.

Under no circumstances should one every use a soft wood like pine to smoke.
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Post Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:53 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Tejun...Welcome to the board. There has been a lot of discussion about types of wood and which type of food to cook with it. I looked through the search function at the top of the page and typed in "woods". You might try reading the thread titled: "Smoking Wood". The last post was on 3/3/04 for that topic...if that helps you locate it. Also, Steven's books are a great resource. His book "How To Grill" give step by step with pictures included to help you. In the back of the books, he lists sources for wood. If you're looking for chips, many local stores sell them by the bag. Good luck. :)

Pete

Post Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:53 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I agree with Roff except to add I really like mesquite. I've even played around with mixing mesquite and hickory with great results.

I believe there is no wrong, kind of like what toppings you put on a burger, there is no wrong way.
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Post Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:47 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
tejun, welcome to the board!

Here is some of the woods you can try:

Alder
Very delicate with a hint of sweetness
Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds. Traditionally used in the pacific Northwest to smoke Salmon.

Almond
A nutty and sweet smoke flavour, light ash.
Good with all meats.

Apple
Slightly sweet but denser, fruity smoke flavour.
Beef, poultry, game birds, pork (particularly ham).

Apricot
The flavour is milder and sweeter than Hickory
Good with most meats.

Ash
Fast burner, light but distinctive flavour.
Good with fish and red meats.

Birch
Medium hard wood with a flavour similar to maple.
Good with pork and poultry.

Cherry
Slightly sweet, fruity smoke flavour
Good with all meats.

Chestnut
Slightly sweet nutty smoke flavour
Good with most meats.

Grape vines
Aromatic, similar to fruit wood.
Good with most meats.

Hickory
Pungent, smoky, bacon-like flavour. The most common wood used.
Good for all smoking, especially pork and ribs.

Lemon
Medium smoke flavour with a hint of fruitiness.
Excellent with beef, pork and poultry.

Lilac
Very light, subtle with a hint of floral.
Good with seafood and lamb.

Maple
Mildly smoky, somewhat sweet flavour.
Good with pork, poultry, cheese, vegetables and small game birds.

Mesquite
Strong earthy flavour.
Good with most meats, especially beef and most vegetables.

Mulberry
The smell is sweet and reminds one of apple
Beef, poultry,game birds, pork (particularly ham).

Nectarine
The flavour is milder and sweeter than hickory
Good on most meats.

Oak
One of the most popular wood's, Heavy smoke flavour.
Good with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game.

Olive
The smoke favour is similar to mesquite, but distinctly lighter.
Delicious with poultry.

Orange
Medium smoke flavour with a hint of fruitiness.
Excellent with beef, pork and poultry.

Peach
Slightly sweet, woodsy flavour.
Good with most meats.

Pear
Slightly sweet, woodsy flavour.
Poultry, game birds and pork.

Pecan
Similar to hickory, but not as strong. Try smoking with the shells as well.
Good for most needs

Plum
The flavour is milder and sweeter than hickory
Good with most meats.

Walnut
Very heavy smoke flavour, usually mixed with lighter woods like pecan or apple. Can be bitter if used alone.
Good with red meats and game.

You can also use herbs and spices in a foil pouch for additional smoke flavors.

My favorites so far are hickory, pecan, and on occasion mesquite.

Hope this helps
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Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
tejun wrote:
Curious what woods folks prefer when smoking brisket and/or baby back ribs?
Where are the best locations to purchase these woods?
Do you soak them in water prior to using?

Thanx


Hi Tejun, welcome. I like Mesquite and/or oak on brisket and for the baby backs: hickory, apple, peach or cherry.

Post Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:24 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Thats quite a list Bob. Wow.
I've never even thought of some of them.
Have you tried all of them?
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Post Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:07 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Haven't tried most of the as yet. Last year I did a lot of looking around on the Internet and came up with this.

So far I've tried apple, plum, hickory, mesquite, oak & pecan
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Post Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:25 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Thanks for that list, Bob. I'm printing it for future reference. So far I've used hickory, and have some mesquite on hand that I hope to be trying. Your list of woods sure makes me want to get some of the other types.

Pete

Post Tue Mar 30, 2004 12:40 am
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

Bob,

Thanks for the list. That got copied and saved real quick.
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Post Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:03 pm
treeman

i am an arborist and i run a tree service, wood is a by product of my business and i have much more than i can use. so i generally give away as much as i can.here in ohio we have plenty of hickory oak apple peach pecan pear all which i am happy to give away to anyone who wants it. you might want to look into your local tree services and if yuor willing to go pick it up they'll probably be happy to give you all you can use.give a try

Post Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:52 pm
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 253

For me there are 3: hickory, oak, and apple. The first is associated with the the South and Midwest; the second, with Texas and California; and the third with the Midwest. Hickory has the heaviest smoke flavor (which goes great with pork); oak has a clean smoke flavor well suited to beef and brisket); apple does great with pork and poultry. (By the way, apple was the preferred wood of Apple City--the most Memphis in May winning BBQ team in history.)
What's your favorite wood and why? Tell us about it.
SR

Post Thu Apr 08, 2004 7:16 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
treeman wrote:
i am an arborist and i run a tree service, wood is a by product of my business and i have much more than i can use. so i generally give away as much as i can.here in ohio we have plenty of hickory oak apple peach pecan pear all which i am happy to give away to anyone who wants it. you might want to look into your local tree services and if yuor willing to go pick it up they'll probably be happy to give you all you can use.give a try


Welcome to the board Treeman. That's some great information, that may be useful to many of us here. Hope you enjoy it here. Good luck.

Pete

Post Thu Apr 08, 2004 7:49 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
I used to use hickory wood all the time until I discovered Mesquite wood. I love to use Mesquite with everything now. Thanks to Bob, now I know why.
Bob wrote:
“Olive
The smoke flavor is similar to mesquite, but distinctly lighter.”
My Dad used to use olive wood in all the BBQ we had.

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