Smoking Guide for Wood Chips

ACACIA

These trees are in the same family as mesquite. When burned in a smoker, acacia has a flavor similar to mesquite but not quite as heavy. Is a very hot burning wood.

ALDER

Very delicate with a hint of sweetness. Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.

ALMOND

A sweet smoke flavor, light ash. Good with all meats.

APPLE

Very mild with a subtle fruity flavor, slightly sweet. Good with poultry (turns skin dark brown) and pork.

ASH

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

BIRCH

Medium-hard wood with a flavor similar to maple. Good with pork and poultry.

CHERRY

Mild and fruity. Good with poultry, pork and beef. Some List members say the cherry wood is the best wood for smoking. Wood from chokecherry trees may produce a bitter flavor.

COTTONWOOD

It is a softer wood than alder and very subtle in flavor. Use it for fuel but use some chunks of other woods (hickory, oak, pecan) for more flavor. Don't use green cottonwood for smoking.

CRABAPPLE

Similar to apple wood.

GRAPEVINES

Tart. Provides a lot of smoke. Rich and fruity. Good with poultry, red meats, game and lamb.

HICKORY

Most commonly used wood for smoking--the King of smoking woods. Sweet to strong, heavy bacon flavor. Good with pork, ham and beef.

LILAC

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

MAPLE

Smoky, mellow and slightly sweet. Good with pork, poultry, cheese, and small game birds.

MESQUITE

Strong earthy flavor. Good with beef, fish, chicken, and game. One of the hottest burning woods.

MULBERRY

The smell is sweet and reminds one of apple.

OAK

Heavy smoke flavor--the Queen of smoking wood. RED OAK is good on ribs, WHITE OAK makes the best coals for longer burning. All oak varieties reported as suitable for smoking. Good with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game.

ORANGE, LEMON and GRAPEFRUIT

Produces a nice mild smoky flavor. Excellent with beef, pork, fish and poultry.

PEAR

A nice subtle smoke flavor. Much like apple. Excellent with chicken and pork.

PECAN

Sweet and mild with a flavor similar to hickory. Tasty with a subtle character. Good with poultry, beef, pork and cheese. Pecan is an all-around superior smoking wood.

SWEET FRUIT WOODS - APRICOT, PLUM, PEACH, NECTARINE

Great on most white or pink meats, including chicken, turkey, pork and fish. The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory.

WALNUT

ENGLISH and BLACK - Very heavy smoke flavor, usually mixed with lighter woods like almond, pear or apple. Can be bitter if used alone. Good with red meats and game.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Types of wood that is unsuitable or even poisonous when used for grilling. Don't use any wood from conifer trees, such as PINE, FIR, SPRUCE, REDWOOD, CEDAR, CYPRESS, etc. Also ELM, EUCALYPTUS, SASSAFRAS, SYCAMORE and LIQUID AMBER wood is unsuitable for smoking.