How to Select the Right Wood for Smoking your Protein

By: Nicole Dossantos

 

The Best Woods for Smoking on the BBQ 

From making mouthwatering steaks to delicious burgers, great Pitmasters know that there are many different types of wood that are great for smoking on the Barbeque.  

For those of you who are new to cooking with wood, you’re in for a treat. Simply adding some wood chips can enhance the taste of your meat and overall cooking on the grill. 

It provides you with the opportunity to add delicious flavors that can’t be delivered to the same extent in the kitchen. 

Seasoned dry woods such as oak, alder, maple, hickory, mesquite and fruitwoods are best to use.  

Below are a few of the best woods to use for maximum flavor.  

 

 

  1. Mesquite: Mesquite is one of the strongest smoke woods. It is a popular fire fuel for BBQ and is famously known to add “authentic smokehouse” flavor to meat. Tip: Mesquite is very strong so make sure that you don’t use too much for too long. 
  2. Apple and Cherry: Also known as Mild Woods, Apple and Cherry wood provide a hint of sweetness and fruitiness.  Apple has a mild flavor and is commonly used with pork and poultry, while Cherry is frequently used for fish and ham.  
  3. Maple: Commonly used for smoking poultry, fish and ham, Maple wood is mild and provides a subtle yet sweet flavor. It is best used for cooking pork and poultry.  
  4. Hickory: Quite possibly the most popular smoking wood, Hickory is great with beef and lamb. It adds a very strong and bold flavor to meats.  
  5. Pecan: Subtle, sweet and mild, with a medium smoky flavor, Pecan wood is great for cooking beef, pork and poultry. Fun Fact: Pecan Cooking Wood is a popular grilling and smoking wood used in competitions.  
  6. Royal Oak Lump: Made from chunks of real hardwood, Royal Oak Lump charcoal is 100 percent natural and contains no additives or fillers. It is most commonly used for quick and easy cooking as it gets up to your desired cooking temperature fast. It also is best known for its ability to lock in natural juices. It is best paired with beef and pork. 

Woods to AVOID would include: cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, pine, fir, redwood, spruce, and sycamore.

Grilling Method shown here is the Snake Method.

 


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