When you are barbecuing, it is common to use rubs & spices of every kind. What is also very popular in the barbecue community, is woods used for smoking! You can find them almost anywhere, from wood chips to large chunks. Years ago there were only Mesquite and Hickory available but now these days you have them in even more different types!
I am going to explain to you what kind of smoke woods are available and, which you should use for different kinds of meat and also the one you want to avoid!
It is good to know before I start by explaining the best types of woods used for smoking, that you already figure out what exactly your goal is? By that, I mean: Do you want to create a lot of smoke or just a little bit of smoke? It is known that hickory and oak produces a lot of smoke which is often used for thick meat such as pork and beef. If you want a little bit of smoke then usually a light type of wood is used, such as nut-bearing trees or trees that produce fruit, for fish or chicken, that give a soft and sweet taste.
Type of smoke wood
I have made a list containing my smoke wood choices from our own experience and a good research on the internet.
- Apple: Ideal for chicken and pork because of its delicious sweet subtle fruit taste.
- Apricot: Gives a mild sweet taste and is known for giving a bacon-like taste.
- Mesquite: Deliciously spicy, only make sure you do not smoke too long because then the meat quickly becomes bitter.
- Cherries: Fruity, mild and sweet to taste. It gives a nice pink glow over your poultry meat because of the smoke and colors is beautiful dark brown.
- Olive: Looks a bit like mesquite but then a touch milder.
- Pecan: Looks like hickory, mild and sweet in taste.
- Fig: Is deliciously fruity and mild in taste.
- Blackberries: Are milder and sweeter than hickory but it looks like it.
- Almond: Tastes a bit nutty and especially sweet.
- Beech: Gives fish a nice reddish color to light brown and gives a neutral smoke flavor.
- Maple: Sweet and mild in taste.
- Wine: Barrels made out of oak wood soaked with wine. Gives a delicious wine flavor.
- Whiskey barrels: Barrels made out of oak wood soaked with whiskey. Gives a delicious whiskey flavor.
- Acacia: Gives a delicious herbaceous taste.
- Birch: Sweet and mild smoke flavor and made from medium smoke wood.
- Plum: Milder and sweeter than hickory but it looks like it.
- Peach: Milder and sweeter than hickory but it looks like it.
- Pear: Compare with apple, but gives a subtle smoky taste.
Now that I have explained to you what kind of wood there is, there is now a list with which kind of wood can best be used with different kinds of meat.
- Chicken: Maple, Birch, Apple, Mesquite, Olijf, apricot. , Pear, Peach.
- Beef: Hickory, Acacia, Mesquite, Whiskey barrels, Pecan, Cherries.
- Pig: Maple, Apricot, Olive, Whiskey barrels, Cherries, Birch, Pear, Pecan, Plum.
- Kalkoen: Birch, Apple, Maple, Mesquite, Olijf, Apple, Apricot, Pear, Peach.
- Fish: Almond, Acacia, Apricot, Mesquite, Olive, Plum,
Wood do I advise you not to smoke with!
- Pine tree
- Wild fig tree
- Amber tree
It goes without saying that you also do not use wood species that you do not know or do not know the origin of because then you can ruin the meat, etc! Also look out for wood with paint on it or other chemical agents that can all release toxins. You can use those woods for the fireplace in your home or outdoors in a chimney.