BBQ and Smoking Woods

BBQ and Smoking Woods

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...
Peach Wood

Peach Wood

Peach wood creates a sweet smoke, similar to pear. This wood mixes well with oak wood. Type of foods that go well with peach wood: Pork – roasts and ribs Poultry Non-meat items and vegetarian entrees Seafood 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. All Q’d Up BBQ Blog Writers Dedicated to the art of grilling, smoking, and...
Oak Wood

Oak Wood

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. Oak is commonly mixed with other woods for nuanced flavors, such as mixing oak with different fruit woods like apple or cherry. Oak wood is long-burning making it a preferred ‘base’ wood, too. Type of foods that go well with oak: Beef – in whole roasts or steaks Fish and seafood Game meats (lamb does well with oak) Poultry Any foods with a spicy sauce or flavorful rubs – oak for ribs is classic Oak Classifications and Types Oak can be classified into two basic types: red or white. White Oak White oak is harder than red oak in general, giving it a longer burn than red, making the coals long-burning. It is also milder than red oak. Because it doesn’t give off as much smoke as red oak, it is great for longer BBQ cooking or smoking times. Popular varieties of white oak include the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana), Post Oak (Quercus stellate), and Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa). Red Oak Red oak gives off a sweeter smoke than white oak. Although still a hardwood, red oak isn’t as hard as white oak in general, giving it a shorter burn time. Red oak makes a fine grilling wood, and the smoke is especially suited to ribs and beef. Popular varieties of red oak include the Coast Live Oak or California Red Oak (Quercus agrifolia), Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica), Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata),...

Santa Maria Style Barbecue

Santa Maria-style barbecue is about as California as barbecue can get, making it a uniquely California regional BBQ style. Its pure barbecue taste shines through with the relatively short list of things needed, all having some tie to the Santa Maria Valley: tri tip, red oak wood, and pinquito beans. The history of Santa Maria-style barbecue dates back to the 1800s when ranchers would feed their vaqueros at the end of a long cattle drive every spring. To prevent bastardization of the ‘true’ Santa Maria BBQ, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce copyrighted the basic recipe and menu concept, which is an important community tourist draw to the area. Menu and California Indigenous Ingredients A Santa Maria Style BBQ isn’t the same without these key elements: the basic rub (salt, pepper, and garlic salt), sirloin beef (tri tip for home bbq), Santa Maria Valley red oak wood, and  of course, pinquito beans. Three of the elements are indigenous to California, specifically the Santa Maria Valley region. The history of the tri tip goes like this: a butcher in the Santa Maria Valley decided to cook up a cut of meat previously used for ground beef, and gave it the name ‘tri tip’ due to its triangular shape. It is lean, but cooks up tender on the grill. While it took awhile for word to spread, tri tip now has a IMPS/NAMP classification. The red oak wood that is used in this style of barbecue is actually the Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia, native to the Western California region which ranges from Southern Oregon all the way to the Northern portion of Baja, California (the California Floristic Province). It is classified as a red...
Cherry Wood

Cherry Wood

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. This wood mixes well with oak, hickory, and other fruit woods. Type of foods that go well with cherry wood: Beef Pork – especially good with ham and bacon Poultry Game meats – lamb Article by Renee Shelton. Her 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. All Q’d Up BBQ Blog Writers Dedicated to the art of grilling, smoking, and...