Types of Wood For All Around Smoking

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by ron petersen, May 17, 2016.

  1. Looking for best type of wood for mainly heat in my RF smoker. I have been getting mixed hardwood bundles and not knowing what is what when I smoke.

    I want something consistant. No trees near my area in ND, but about 150-500 miles away I can get firewood of ash, red/white oak and maybe maple.

    I want to try to stay with one type so I know what flavors I am going to get when smoking with the chips or chunks.

    So question is what is best type for all around wood for heating, slow and neutral flavor?
  2. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    I would say ash would be the hottest burning,  then oak, then maple "could be wrong" I've never used ash yet, not sure of flavor, sure it's good though, I've used oak and maple both are good. 
  3. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I use red oak for heat and flavor on a RF stick burner. provides a natural woodsy flavor with the hint of sweet. with a thin blue smoke to an almost clear smoke makes a wonderful flavor.  It can get really hot if i put 6-7 sticks the size of your forearm on it and i heat it up really high for cleaning then let those coals burn down and then let it go with about 2 sticks at a time maybe three and let smoke for hours makes great Q!

    Here is a pick of when im getting her going...

    Here is a pic of when she has Thin Blue Smoke fro cooking...

    All with red oak....

    Hope this helps.

    phatbac (Aaron)
  4. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Ash is good for starting the fire, as well as Oak, to get a good base going. I'm using store bought Hickory from Home Depot right now for the heat/smoke until I can find a supply of Apple....
    Actually Ash isn't bad. It has a sweet smell (and I have an endless supply). Those bundles you get at the grocery, etc. are mostly Ash.
  5. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use Oak (either red or white) for cooking heat and apple, cherry or hickory chunks for flavor. I just got a good load of pecan for free, so I'll be mixing it with the oak. I probably won't use the pecan by itself. I'd be afraid of the total nutty smoke or taste.
  6. I'm seeing that some folks use lump charcoal for the heat wood during the entire smoke in their offset smokers and only use the flavor wood for the first 2 hours of the smoke.

    That way I wouldn't necessarily have to stock up on wood for the new offset smoker I'm getting.  I can stay with the lump charcoal and toss on some bagged wood chunks for flavor for the first 2 hours.

    It would be nice if I could use some of the wood from my property instead of lump charcoal.  I just need to identify what would have a neutral flavor.  I have hedge (Osage Orange) available but it burns hot and fast.  Not sure about the flavor it would add, if any.  I don't have much oak on the place.  I have some wild cherry trees and that would make for some mild flavor I would think.

    I know that fruit tree woods seem to have the mildest flavors but not neutral.  And they are, well, flavor woods.

    I have the same questions as the OP but wanted to state what I've thought about it.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  7. Lots of great suggestions. I am liking the oak more and use other types for flavor. I also have used charcoal as well as lump. Both get hot and can be spendy.

    I am looking for a supply to store for whenever I need to smoke. Wood seems easy as if it gets wet, I can dry it where lump or charcoal harder to dry.

    Will look for the best deal on oak as I have to drive a couple hundred miles or so.

    Thanks again, keep bringing the ideas.
  8. I suppose I shouldn't feel bad about paying for firewood.  Instead of driving hundreds of miles like you have to, I have about a 30 minute drive to get a truckload of oak, hickory, or cherry smoking wood.

    I can get the 17.6 pound bags of Royal Oak Made in the USA lump charcoal for less than $10 a bag at Walmart but regular wood has to be cheaper.
  9. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wood can be bought at Amazon or CL. Also, there should be firewood guys around that deliver to folks who heat with wood or just burn it in their fireplace. Most of those guys usually have oak. Use the lump for a good bed of coals and switch over to wood for the actual cook. That's my $0.02.
  10. Local tree trimming services are good place to find wood.
  11. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Myself I like using cherry. Cherry will burn a little faster than oak. But will give a nice smoke ring and flavor.
    I also use oak and hickory, I prefer the hickory to be slightly green or have a little higher moisture content.
  12. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Unless the meat is foiled, anything you burn, whether wood or charcoal, is going to flavor the cook.
    Not too sure about that 2 hr thing....
  13. johnboybaker

    johnboybaker Fire Starter

    I'm a all oak man for the heat and prices of flavor wood for the last. I even use oak stick fire coals to grill my steaks over.
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  14. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oak is the go to for me. My regular supplier didn't have any this year as he said it was to expensive. I bought a pick up load of maple from him but don't like it near as much as oak. You get a lot more ash from burning maple and when you open the firebox you will get ash floating out. At least that's my experience. Doesn't burn as hot or long as oak either.

    I finally found a source for oak a few weeks ago. It's a little more wet than I like it so I'm mixing the maple with it just to get rid of the maple.

    There's a guy down in south Mpls that has hickory but it's about 150 miles away. As much as I would like some I just can't find the time to make the drive to go get it..

    Oak has a good nuetral smoke flavor and the maple is a bit sweeter but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference although the maple turns out a darker color rib.

    I can usually get apple if I keep a eye on Craigslist.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  15. Thank you for the input, lots of great ideas. I like to be able to find a supplier for oak in or near Watford City, ND. I may have to make a 3-6 hour drive. Going to have to convince wife to make a trip to MN. as a mini vacation and pick up wood. I rather stay with one type as I would be picking up 2 or more cords and add chunks or pellets of other wood types for flavor.

    Menards has hardwood bundles that I have been using which is supoposed to be ash and oak, who knows what else. Need something consistant with me heat and smoke.

    Thanks again guys and gals, you are a great bunch.

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