Pin It

Smoking Tips: Choosing The Best Wood for Smoking Meat

A legendary BBQ pitmaster helps you pick the best wood for smoking and grilling meat! Great pointers and tips to pick the perfect type of wood for whatever you want to cook at any given moment…

Smoking Tips: Choosing The Best Wood for Smoking Meat

[Aaron Franklin] So let’s talk about Firewood. There are a lot of different types of wood to use-¬†generally with barbeque you typically use whatever’s around. Here in central Texas we’ve got a lot of Post Oak and that’s what I like to use.

Oh well, look here, a nice piece of Post Oak. I can tell by picking up this piece that it is still pretty green, that means it has not cured very long and has a lot of moisture in there. What that tells me is that it’s going to be really smoky, it’s gonna give me a very slow heat, it’s not going to get up to temperature very quick- it’s very heavy.

If it looks like it’s going to be heavier than it is, you probably know there’s not a lot of moisture in it, maybe the wood is dead, and you’re not going to get much heat or smoke out of it. This one, on the other hand, feels very heavy for what it looks like. I know it’s got a lot of moisture, it’s going to have a lot of smoke, it’s gonna burn slow. This is what oak looks like, it’s my preferred wood.

Even though my preferred wood is oak, there are many other types of woods.You can really use anything that is available in whatever region you live in.

Oak Wood

  • Burns Clean
  • Even heat
  • Not overpowering flavor
  • Good for smoking

Hickory Wood

  • Burns clean
  • Mild flavor
  • Good for smoking

Pecan Wood

  • Sweet flavor
  • Smoky
  • Good for short cooks

Mesquite Wood

  • Burns hot & fast
  • Strong flavor
  • Lots of smoke
  • Good for coals, grilling

Fruit Woods (cherry, peach, etc)

  • Very smoky
  • Mild flavor
  • Popular for competitions

One last thing you should consider about your firewood is seasoning (or aging). The fresher your wood, the more moisture it contains, the more smoke it will produce. As you start seasoning the wood it becomes cured, the moisture dries up, and it burns cleaner.

If you buy wood at the store, it will probably be kiln- or air-dried. It won’t be very smoky, will ignite easily and burn really fast. If you cut wood down yourself, buy it off craigslist or it falls into your backyard, you will want to age it for 6 moths to a year, depending on the weather. Stack it up outside and let the air circulate.

Take the time to experiment and get a feel for what wood will produce the result you want, what the best wood for smoking is, and also how to control the fire properly.

Have fun!

Related Content

5 Basic Tips For Smoking Meat

How To Season A Smoker And Grill

Backyard Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs Recipe (Spare Ribs)

Exclusive Pitmaster Deals

Meat Smoking Mastery – Part I
best wood for smoking

Pit Barrel Cooker Package (FREE Shipping)
best wood for smoking

Max Heat Resistant Silicone Gloves for BBQ, Smoker, Grill & Oven
best wood for smoking

I Love Grilling Meat

I Love Grilling Meat

We are a Secret community of grilling, meat smoking, barbecuing pitmasters from all across the nation. Join us!
I Love Grilling Meat

Add Your Comments Below

comments

Leave a reply

About Us

We are a blog for grilling, smoking, BBQ enthusiasts with a passion for rubbing their meat, pulling their pork, and having a great time doing it. If you share the same love for your meat, then we share the same love for you, welcome to I Love Grilling Meat my friend!

At I Love Grilling Meat our mission is to be the best blog providing knowledge, techniques, and skills in the grilling, smoking, and barbecuing meat fields to any and all who wish to become better pitmasters and providers of those sweet n' savory meats we've all grown to love so dearly.

Our goal is to be the ultimate one stop destination for anyone that has an interest in or questions regarding grilling, smoking meat, and barbecuing. We strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased library of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews, and barbecuing tips, as well as curated articles from other top grilling, smoking, and barbecuing websites.

Connect With Us

We want you to show us your meat!