BBQ and Smoking Woods

BBQ and Smoking Woods

bbq-wood

Almond

  • Almond wood produces a mild, sweet smoke. The smoke as well as the ash is very light.

Apple

  • Apple wood is a popular wood for smoking with the sweet and subtle flavor it gives food. While it is mild, it is the strongest of all the fruit woods making it stand up to red meats.

Avocado

  • Avocado wood produces a mild to medium smoke, depending on the tree (not variety of avocado). The flavor is suited for red meats, but poultry also works with this wood.

Cherry

  • Cherry wood is a sweet, fruity wood. The smoke is light to medium with smoky notes. The smoke will turn light colored meats (especially poultry) darker, or even a tinge of red.

Grapefruit

  • Grapefruit wood produces a medium smoke with a citrusy-smoky flavor. Any citrus is interchangeable: orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, key limes, grapefruit, Minneola.

Hickory

  • Hickory is the most commonly used hardwood for BBQ and smoking. It is often called the ‘King’ of BBQ wood. Hickory is closely related to Oklahoma, Eastern North Carolina, and Texas BBQ.

Lemon

  • Lemon wood produces a medium smoke with a citrusy-smoky flavor. Any citrus is interchangeable: orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, key limes, grapefruit, Minneola.

Lime

  • Lime wood produces a medium smoke with a citrusy-smoky flavor. Any citrus is interchangeable: orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, key limes, grapefruit, Minneola.

Mesquite

  • Mesquite wood burns hot and produces a strongly flavored smoke that is often paired with another wood.

 

Oak

  • Oak is a hardwood, and is the second most popular type of wood for smoking. Oak has a medium to heavy smoke flavor. Since the smoke isn’t overpowering, and depending on the type of oak, it makes an excellent choice for long-smoked meats, such as brisket.

Olive

  • Olive wood has a unique flavor, somewhat reminiscent to mesquite only milder. Appropriate for both grilling and smoking.

 

Orange

  • Orange wood produces a medium smoke with a citrusy-smoky flavor. Any citrus is interchangeable: orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, key limes, grapefruit, Minneola.

Peach

  • Peach wood creates a sweet smoke, similar to pear. This wood mixes well with oak wood.

Pecan

  • Pecan wood produces a sweet, flavorful smoke. Since the smoke is so sweet, it is good mixed with oak or mesquite.

Walnut

  • The two major species are Black Walnut and English Walnut. The smoke flavor profiles for these two woods are very similar

Woods to Avoid

  • Use hardwood, not softwood. Just because it is wood doesn’t mean you can use it – here is a list of woods to avoid.
Renee Shelton’s love for tri tip almost surpasses her love for cake. When she’s not tasting BBQ, she can be found at Pastry Sampler.
Photo by Executive Chef John Shelton. You can find him sharing his fishing adventures at Dana Point Fish Company.
Dedicated to the art of grilling, smoking, and barbecuing.