Posted by JD Oliver on December 22, 2015
Depending on where you’re located, the availability of certain types of barbecue woods can vary greatly.In barbecue capitals like Oklahoma or Texas, the favorites are typically mesquite and hickory.Here in Tennessee, we like cherry, apple, and hickory. There are many other types of wood that can be used in smoking and barbecuing that can have significant impacts on the flavor of your meal.We recommend that you spend some time experimenting with each of these types of wood, as they can expand your barbecue palette.
Apple wood is best for meats that will benefit from a sweeter, fruitier taste including poultry and ham.Apple is a very good, solid, mild wood, and is the preferential choice for smoking salmon.Apple smoked bacon is a popular choice for connoisseurs.
Typically found in the Pacific Northwest, Alder wood is perfect for seafood and poultry and generates a smoky flavor that enhances the flavors of meat, fish, and vegetables.
Cherry wood is very similar to apple, though the flavor can change based on the age of the tree that it was procured from.This wood is milder, and a favorite for ham, chicken, pork, and ham.We use Cherry wood here at the Smoke House more than any other wood.
While some people have described hickory as pungent, we disagree.As one of the most well known woods for smoking, hickory is extremely useful for most red meats, including steaks, burgers, and especially ribs.Hickory can also be used (though sparingly) on fish and poultry.
Maple is amazing for pork, ham, and especially bacon.Providing a sweet, light taste, maple is becoming a popular choice for many breakfast meats.
Mesquite is one of the most popular woods for smoking, though the chef must take great care, or the smoky flavor can become somewhat overpowering.Mesquite is best for smaller cuts, shorter cook times, and in conjunction with another type of wood.
Oak is a great choice for larger cuts of meat, including brisket, pig roasts, and other cuts that require a long time in the smoker.Oak can produce an extremely strong smoky flavor, though doesn’t tend to overpower the taste of your meet.
Pecan can provide your meat with a fruity flavor.Usually best used in tandem with another wood, pecan burns cooler than most other types of wood.It’s best used for large cuts of meat, including pork roast, brisket, and large racks of rib.
Smoking meats is a hobby and an art.By experimenting, you can discover some extremely tasty combinations, and impress your friends and family during your next backyard barbeque.