Smoking Woods Reference Table

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Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby Steve » 29 Oct 2009, 09:30

On various sites around the web you'll find tables that describe the characteristics of different smoking woods. To save you all the time in Google I thought I could add one here :)

The extra bonus here is that we can add to it, so if you're looking at the table and you spot a wood we're missing, post a reply and we can add the wood to the table.


WoodCharacteristicsWorks With
AcaciaFrom the same family as Mesquite. Similar Flavour but lighter
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Game
MapleSmokey, mellow and slightly sweet, similar to birch.
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Light Game
AlderDelicate flavour with a sweet musky smoke. Often associated with Fish smoking
  • Fish
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Light Meats
  • Game
  • Particularly good with Salmon
AlmondNutty, sweet flavour, produces lots of ash.
  • All meats
AppleMild sweet flavour with a subtle fruitiness. Will turn chicken skin dark
  • Poultry
  • Pork
AshFast burning wood with a light but distinctive flavour
  • Fish
  • Red meats
BeechVery mild and light flavour. In parts of Germany, Beech is a popular wood for grilling Bratwursts. over
  • Pork
  • Fish
BirchSmokey, mellow and slightly sweet, similar to maple.
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Light Game
CherryMild, sweet and fruity flavour. Will turn chicken skin dark
  • All Meats
GrapeTart flavour, produces lots of smoke
  • Red Meats
  • Game
  • Lamb
HickorySweet to strong, bacon-like flavour
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Ham
MapleSmokey, mellow and slightly sweet, similar to birch.
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Light Game
MesquiteSweet and quite light
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Ham
MulberrySmokey, mellow and slightly sweet, similar to birch.
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Light Game
OakRich and heavy smoke flavour, the queen of smoking woods.
  • Red Meat
  • Pork
  • Heavy Game
  • Fish
Orange / Lemon / GrapefruitNice mild smokey flavour
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Fish
PearNice subtle fruity flavour, similar to apple.
  • Poultry
  • Pork
PecanSweet and mild with a flavor similar to hickory. Tasty with a subtle character.
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Beef
Sweet Fruit Woods - Peach, Apricot, Plum etcMild and sweet smoke flavour.
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Fish
WalnutVery heavy smoke, can be bitter if not used with other woods such as apple or cherry.
  • Red Meat
  • Heavy Game
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby British Bulldog BBQ » 29 Oct 2009, 17:55

Great idea Steve it will be a useful tool.
Thanks
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby Spice » 03 Nov 2009, 20:01

PEACH --- Has the same charictoristics as Cherry

PECAN --- Light, nutty flavor better with red meats

OAK ---- Helpfull in mellowing out Hickory and other strong flavor hard woods

MISQUITE --- Very strong flavor. Best with red meats. Easy to over smoke with
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby Steve » 05 Feb 2010, 21:34

Just updated the table. It's complete as far as I can see.

However I'm sure people will spot some missing woods, please shout out if you do.
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby joker smoker » 24 May 2010, 11:37

somebody just offered me a bay tree. Does anybody know if it's usable or not?
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby ozza » 05 Aug 2010, 19:51

cheers Steve good piece of work, I echo the question re bay trees?
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby MadCow » 07 Aug 2010, 14:13

Rule of Thumb usually is Hardwood, fruit wood or nut wood .... I have a feeling that bay might not fall into that category ... probably falls into the eucalyptus category for flavour ... and believe me, I know from experience that that is not good !!! :lol:
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby joker smoker » 25 Aug 2010, 11:44

Thanks Jackie, just been given a pile of damson...will let y'all know how it burns
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby SmokeShack » 19 Sep 2010, 18:23

This is great, thanks for posting it.

Does anybody know a good source for the more unusual woods, like hickory?
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Re: Smoking Woods Reference Table

Postby Steve » 19 Sep 2010, 21:59

My wood guy sometimes has some hickory. Obviously he doesn't grow it it but he has come up with some for me this year that he acquired from somewhere.
http://www.smokingwoodsupplies.co.uk

Email Paul and ask him if he's got any.

Otherwise, you can buy Weber branded chunks of hickory and mesquite from garden centres.

Another option is to buy some hickory pellets from American BBQ. They're primarily for pellet cookers but they will burn happily in a foil parcel on your coals.
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