Hello. Being from Texas I'd eat cardboard smoked with mesquite. When I lived in Texas ( 3 years ) I used ONLY mesquite for heat and smoke. I am very conscience that some folks think it is too strong ( luckily my English wife loves it ). If doing a party I will stay away from mesquite or use very little in a wood mix. I think oak and hickory can also be strong but I have no problem with either. My "go to" mix is pecan, cherry and either a bit of mesquite or oak. Use it on most things. NOW, I think this is also a very personal thing. I agree with the above statement that nut wood for beef and pork and fruit wood for fish and fowl; USUALLY. Some folks REALLY love the smoked taste. I am of the opinion that some foods can have too much smoke. I also don't want everything on my plate to be smoked. In my opinion if it's all smoke the only difference is maybe texture. I didn't know about elm, great tip. I think a lot comes down to trial and error and your tastes. If smoking a 12 lb. butt some folks may add smoke for the whole cooking time and others may be happy with just 1-2 hours of smoke. That time may also change depending on the wood used. Never tried honeysuckle but have heard about using cuttings from rose bushes. What I usually do if trying a new wood: FIRST do as much research as you can to make sure it isn't toxic. Second is just try a small a small burger patty, small breakfast sausage patty or maybe a chicken wing and see what you think. In my sights is trying citrus wood on chicken Anyone with experience??
This is also a great place to ask a question: I have read in some places so looking for experience. I have read using nut wood can be harmful to folks with nut allergies. Never gave it a thought until I stumbled across something on the net. I assume it has something to do with the oil in the nuts and sounds logical that that oil may also be transferred in the smoke?? Any knowledge out there that can confirm or debunk this statement?
Hello David my friend. Prickly Pear cactus is an acquired taste but works in a breakfast taco but that stuff doesn't work worth a darn to add smoke to meat. We do have live oak and pecan trees depending on what part of Texas you are living in. Keep Smokin!