|Wood Type & Characteristics||Meat||Poultry||Pork||Ham||Fish||Salmon||Lamb||Game|
In the mesquite family but with a lighter flavor.
Works well with most meats and vegetables.
|Alder is the traditional wood of the Northwest. Alder produces a very delicate, musky smoke with a hint of sweetness.||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Almond produces a nutty and sweet smoke that works well with most meats (produces a light ash).|
produces a mild, slightly sweet, and fruity smoke flavor. Serve apple chutney to accentuate the smoke flavor. Good with poultry (can turn the skin brown), turkey, salmon, cheese, and most meats.
|Apricot produces a milder and sweeter flavor than Hickory. Serve apricot chutney to accentuate the flavor.
Works with most meats.
|Ash is a fast burning wood that produces a light and distinctive flavor that works well with fish and red meats.||X||X|
|Bay Wood produces a medium floral smoke with hints of spice & cinnamon that works well with most meats and vegetables.||S||d>|
|Beech is a versatile wood that produces a mild flavor similar to oak. Works well with most meats and vegetables.||X||X|
|Birch is a medium hard wood with a flavor similar to maple. Good with pork and poultry.|
|Blackberry produces a slightly sweet and delicate flavor similar to a fruit woods. Good for grilling poultry and game birds such as grouse, pheasant, partridge, and quail.|
|Butternut produces a strong smoke, similar to walnut, that can taste bitter when used alone. Can easily overpower poultry. Good with beef, venison, and game meats.|
|Cherry produces a mild, fruity, slightly sweet flavor that works well with poultry (turns skin dark brown), and smoked cheeses. It light-colored meats a rosy tint. Excellent wood for smoking most meats and cheeses.||X||X||X||X||X|
|Chestnut smoke is slightly sweet nutty flavor that works with most meats.|
|Corncobs can be ground into small pieces and added to a smoker box or combined with fruit woods for some added sweet flavor. Corncobs can overpower the food if you use too much so add it in small amounts until you get the the desired flavor. Good on poultry, fish, and small game birds.||X||X||X|
|Cottonwood is softer than alder and has a very subtle flavor. You can use it for fuel and use woods such as hickory, oak, or pecan for more flavor. Do NOT use green cottonwood for smoking. Good with most smoking but especially good with pork and ribs.|
|Crabapple produces a lot of rich and fruity smoke similar to apple wood. Good with poultry, red meats, game, and lamb.||X||X||X||X|
|Fig produces a mild and fruity smoke similar to mulberry. Good with ribs, Boston butt, and most meats.|
|Fruitwood produces a medium fruity, sweet smoke that works well with most BBQ meats.|
|Grapefruit produces a pleasant, mild, smoky flavor that works well with beef, pork, fish, and poultry.||X||X||X||X|
|Grapevines produce a lot of rich, tart, aromatic smoke similar to fruit wood. The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory. Works well with most white or pink meats, poultry, pork, game, lamb, and fish.||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Guava produces a flowery, fruity smoke similar to apple. Good for most meats.|
|Herbs (Italian) produce a strong and unique smoke flavor. Blend oregano, rosemary, and thyme with oak wood to create a zesty and robust herbal smoke flavor. Works well with lamb, pork, poultry, and pizze with cooked on a grill||X||X||X|
|Herbs (Oriental) produce a strong and amazing smoke flavor. Blend sesame seeds and ginger root with oak.||X||X||X|
|Herbs (Dried) add moisture, aroma, and flavor to your food. Add a spoonful of your favorite dried herbs into the water pay of your smoker.|
|Hickory is the most commonly used wood for smoking. It can produce a heavy bacon flavor that can vary from sweet to strong. Hickory chips should be soaked for 1-2 hours to prevent a bitter taste. Works well with most foods especially pork, ham, beef, ribs, and turkey.||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Jack Daniel’s wood is made from the mellowing charcoal used to make Jack Daniel’s smooth sipping whiskey. Produces a strong, sweet smoke flavor with an aromatic tang.||X||X||X||X|
is a Hawaiian wood similar to mesquite but with a somewhat milder flavor.
|Lemon produces a tangy, medium citrus smoke with a hint of fruitiness.||X||X||X|
|Lilac produces a very light, subtle smoke with a hint of floral tones.||X||X|
|Lime produces a medium smoke flavor with a hint of fruitiness.||X||X||X|
|Maple produces a mellow and slightly sweet smoke that enhances the flavor of poultry, game birds, and cheese. Use maple with a pork roast, turkey, or vegetables for a wonderful and tasty experience.||X||X||X|
|Mesquite is a very hot burning wood that produces a strong earthy flavor that is wweeter and more delicate than hickory. Works well with richly flavored meats such as steak, duck, or lamb. Use with care because mesquite can easily overpower food.||X||X||X||X||X|
|Mulberry produces a mild smoke with a sweet, tangy, blackberry or apple-like flavor.||X||X||X||X||X|
|Nectarine produces a milder and sweeter flavor than hickory. Works well on most white or pink meats including chicken, turkey, pork, and fish||X||X||X|
|Oak is an extremely versatile hardwood that produces a mild smoke, no aftertaste, and imparts a beautiful smoked color. Red oak work well with ribs. White oak makes excellent, long-burning coals. Especially good with beef brisket and shrimp.||X||X||X||X|
|Olive produces a flavor similar to mesquite but lighter. Especially good with poultry.||X|
|Orange produces a medium citrus smoke that is mild and tangy with a hint of fruitiness. Orange gives food a golden color.||X||X||X||X|
|Peach produces a slightly sweet and woodsy flavor that is milder and sweeter than hickory.||X||X||X||X|
|Pear produces a subtle, slightly sweet, and woodsy flavor similar to apple.||X||X||X|
|Pecan is an all-around superior wood with subtle and sweet flavor similar to hickory but more mild. Good for most foods including poultry, beef, pork, shrimp, and cheese. Pecan gives turkey a beautiful golden color.||X||X||X||X|
|Persimmon produces a medium smoke that works well with Boston butt & ribs.||X|
|Pimento adds a natural and somewhat peppery flavor. It may also have overtones of other spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Other names include Allspice, Jamaican Pepper, Myrtle Pepper, or Newspice. It is commonly used when grilling Jamaican foods such as jerk chicken.||X|
|Plum produces a more mild and sweeter flavor than hickory.||X||X||X||X|
|Sassafras produces a mild, musky, sweet smoke with hints of a root beer aftertaste.||X||X||X|
|Seaweed is washed to remove the salt and dehydrated. Produces a somewhat spicy and natural flavor to the foods being smoked or grilled. Works well with shellfish, mussles, lobster, shrimp, and crab||X|
|Walnut (Black) is similar flavor to hickory but stronger. Walnut is often mixed with lighter woods such as almond, pear, or apple. It can produce a bitter flavor when used alone and can easily overpower milder foods such as poultry. Good with red meats and game.||X||X||X|
|Walnut (English) produces a very heavy smoke flavor and can taste bitter when used alone. It is normally mixed with lighter woods like almond, apple, pear or pecan. Good with red meats and game.||X||X||X|
Other Smoking Notes
- Never use lumber scraps or pallet wood. These woods may have been treated with chemicals or pallets could have been used to transport hazardous chemicals or materials. Such chemicals could be hazardous to your health.
- Avoid any wood with mold or fungus. These can impart a bad taste (at best) or be hazardous (at worst).
- Never use wood that was painted or stained. Do not use wood scraps from a furniture manufacturer as this wood is often chemically treated. Old paint may contain lead which is hazardous to your health.
- DO NOT USE any wood from conifer trees such as pine, fir, spruce, redwood, cedar, cypress, or sweet gum trees. These can make you ill. Also avoid wood from elm, eucalyptus, sycamore, and liquid amber trees.