Finding The Best Wood For Smoking Your Specific Meat Cuts

Woods for smoking
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Finding The Best Wood For Smoking Your Specific Meat Cuts

In our previous post, we list the most tasty meat, fish and seafood you can get the most of food smoker. So here in this one, we’ll tell you how to choose the best wood for smoking you meat.

Most common wood you can get to smoke your meat

When you arc testing out a new wood flavor, make sure you begin with a small amount. See how you like the flavor, then increase the amount you use when smoking.

Alder wood gives off a light flavor that works well with fish and poultry. It makes a PERFECT pairing with salmon.

Apple wood gives a very sweet, mild flavor to your food. It pairs well with poultry and pork. Apple wood will turn chicken skin dark brown. With this wood, it does take a longer cooking time to infuse the smoke flavor. Be careful not to over smoke your food, which will result in a bitter taste.

Cheery wood has a mild, sweet flavor and pairs well with most foods. This wood is great for poultry and fish.

Hickory wood will add a strong smoke flavor; be careful not to overuse. This wood pairs best with pork, beef and lamb. It is available in most areas.

Mesquite wood is great for smoking and can also be used when grilling. It burns hot and fast, so be prepared to use more wood. Mesquite is a great alternative to hickory and has a milder flavor. It pairs well with most any meat and is especially good for brisket and hamburgers.

Oak wood gives a strong smoke flavor, without easily overpowering your food. It pairs well with beef or lamb. Pecan burns cooler than other woods and provides a mild flavor. It pairs well with pork and is a great substitute for hickory. We recommend you to check out Jack Daniel’s Oak wood smoking chips, one of best on the market today.

These woods are also used for smoking, but are less common: Almond, Apricot, Ash, Birch, Black Walnut, Citrus (lemon, orange), Crabapple, Grapefruit, Lilac, Maple, Mulberry, Peach, Plum, Walnut.

Note: Avoid these woods, as they contain sap and will not give off a complementary taste or smell: Cedar, Cypress, Elm, Eucalyptus, Fir, Pine, Redwood, Sassafras, Spruce, Sycamore.

Chips, Chunks, Logs, Or Pellets?

The cut of wood you choose depends on the type of equipment you use for smoking. For most large barrel-type smokers or charcoal smokers, you’ll want to use wood chunks. 

Wood chips are most commonly used for propane and electric smokers. Some grills arc equipped with an accessory smoker box for adding wood.

Wood pellets are reserved for specialty-type grills or smokers. There is a difference between the types of pellets that are used for a heat source versus the pellets that are used for cooking, so make sure you purchase the correct type.

Championship BBQ competitors use very large smokers designed for larger wood logs or chunks.

Final words

Whether you arc smoking on a small electric smoker on your back porch or a trailer-sized smokehouse, we hope you find this post useful.

For more info, you can read other articles on this site, either about how to choose the right smoker or how to use smoker the right way. 

So, we wish you happy smoking and until next time …


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