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How To Choose The Best Wood For Smoking Meat?

The taste of the food you smoke will depend on the type of wood you choose. You should not underestimate the variety of flavors it can add to your smoked meat. Here is the guide to mild, medium and heavy woods.

To get a delicate smoky flavor use mild woods like cherry, apple or alder. They will add fruity taste and some sweetness which is perfect for chicken or fish.

Oak, maple and hickory wood will add medium smoke flavour. They work great with pork, beef and poultry. Mix medium woods with milder ones  to balance the taste.

The heaviest of all smoking woods is mesquite. Perfect for brisket, mixed with other woods you can use it for pork, beef, chicken or fish.

Let’s take a look at each type separately.

Apple
As a fruit wood it adds some nice sweetness and tenderness to your meat
Meat to smoke: chicken, pork.

Alder
Gives light smoke flavour with a hint of sweetness.
Meat to smoke: fish, poultry.

Cherry
Cherry has mild fruity flavor, good to mix with hardwoods
Meat to smoke: chicken, turkey, ham.

Oak
Oak is quite strong, but not overpowering.
Meat to smoke: lamb, beef, brisket.

Hickory
Hickory adds intense flavor to meat, so try not to use too much of this wood, or mix it with mild ones.
Meat to smoke: larger cuts of ribs and pork shoulders, red meat, poultry.

Maple
Gives a nice sweet flavor to your smoked food.
Meat to smoke: poultry, pork.

Mesquite
Mesquite is very strong and intense, it is good for grilling, but also you should be careful with this wood so as not to overwhelm the meat.
Meat to smoke: red meat or to add more intense flavor when grilling.

All of these types of wood work well. Choose the best one yourself. Try mixing mild and strong woods and get some new fantastic flavors for your smoked meat!

Find your best wood flavor for smoking in our wood chips variety:

Wood chips variety