The walnut tree comes from the Juglandaceae family, the same as the hickory, and is very slow-growing. The two major species are Black Walnut and English Walnut. The smoke flavor profiles for these two woods are very similar.
Walnut trees are deciduous and produce juglone, a chemical that works like a natural herbicide. It will kill certain species of plants if they are planted within 50 feet of the walnut’s natural drip line.
Walnut Types and Foods That Go Well With Them
Black Walnut – Juglans nigra
This wood creates a very strong and bitter smoke if used alone. Black walnut is almost always used with another milder wood, such as almond or apple. The bitterness of the smoke is best suited for strong game meats, such as venison, and red meats.
English Walnut – Juglans regia
While the English Walnut is milder than the Black Walnut, it is not by much. The English Walnut smoke is very strong and is also commonly mixed with other milder woods. Pear and almond are good mixer choices for English Walnut. Use this wood for game and red meats only.