Buying wood? Where/what/how much to buy?

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoke Blower
Original poster
Update: I found wood cheaper on Cabelas and BassPro Shops websites and was wondering if anyone had any experience with them. See the last post for more details.

Original Post: I ordered a GOSM Big Block last week, and it is on it's way to my house as we speak! I already got my dual probe smoker thermometer (Maverick ET-73), and my Big Block cover will arrive in a few days. Now, I am searching for WOOD CHUNKS (I hear they are better than chips for the GOSM). I checked out my local hardware store, as well as Home Depot, and they only have Mesquite & Hickory chunks & chips. I traveled further to a Jetmore store, and they carry other woods (Apple, Cherry, Oak, Alder, etc.), but not in chunks. Again, they only carry the Mesquite & Hickory chunks.

I know there are online suppliers such as and, as well as for wood. Is online my best bet? Is any site better than the rest for quality, as well as price?

Also, if I make an online order, I would like to stock up with a decent quantity, as well as variety (Oak, Mesquite, Pecan, Alder, Hickory, Apple, Cherry & Maple), of woods. As I have yet to smoke and don't really know how much I will be using. Which woods should I get in large quantity, and which should I get in smaller quantity?

Thank you in advance for your help!!!
Does the smoking-meat forum profit from sales made through this site? It would be great, especially because I purchased my GOSM last week through this site. But my smoker is coming directly from with free shipping. The woods are coming from LB Barbecue Accessories & Distribution and shipping is almost as much as the wood costs. Me thinks the link is only that - a link to, but what do I know?

I also checked three other sites (including the two mentioned above), and shipping is always a big part of the cost. I found wood chunks on eBay, but I'm afraid because one listing stated the wood was "fresh cut" and "green." The shipping wasn't much cheaper on eBay, and only the few that were closer to where I live.

Are there any other options, other than cutting down trees myself? What about lumber yards? If they had damaged oak boards, for example, can they be cut into chunks and used?
Hello SmokeEater
My understanding on your purchase through SMF is that the owner of SMF, Jeff Phillips, through an association with gets a percentage of the each sale. So to help the man who provides for this forum is a good thing and he surely is deserving;)

Cutting your own wood is to some comercial tree trimers or orchard owners you may score big-time! Just make sure what you are burning is about 6 months old or more and has no mold, chemicals, bugs or other sickies on it.

I certainly would not recommend anything from a lumber-yard! No telling what chemicals are on there
I would to start with, buy one of the bags of hickory from Home Depot. Then go from there.

In my opinion, mesquite is strong, and hickory gives an overall good flavor. I second the motion to find an orchard close by for some apple wood. I love to smoke with apple especially or poultry. An alternative, is to just use some apples. I will sometimes take some (4-6) give or take, and cut them into quarters and just toss them on the fire. Usually one apple at a time. You will love the aroma, and it gives the meat a nice sweet flavor and a dark color.

Then just keep your eyes open, and drop a few inquiries abt wood. You might be surprised on how fast you will find some.

If you were closer, I could hook you up with a load of hickory just for the hauling. I know where there is just over 7 acres of trees that we are clearing, so I get first choice on what I want.... :p:p:p:p


Cabelas has 10lb bags of chunks (Alder, Apple, Maple, Hickory & Mesquite) for $8.99 plus shipping. The shipping is NOT based on weight, but instead on the order amount. 50lbs can be shipped for $7.75 for standard express 3-6 day delivery time.

Bass Pro Shops has 10lb bags of Mesquite & Hickory chunks for $3.99 plus shipping. Their shipping rates are similar to Cabelas, but with the cheaper prices, 100lbs can be shipped for $7.95 for their standard shipping 7-10 business days.

QUESTION: Does anyone have any experience ordering wood from either Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops?

In addition, thanks to the advice of everyone on here, as well as people on a fishing site that I frequent where I posted the same question, I am going to check out local tree cutters, cabinet makers, apple orchards, etc. to try and get wood cheap, and possibly even for free.

I started out with hickory and mesquite chips from the local hardware store. No shipping involved, just tax. It's the quickest and easiest way to get some smoke roll'n.
My last purchase was from this place online.

I bought the variety pack in order to try out some different woods. Price and service was good. Another thing I liked was that they accept PayPal for payment.

After reading your post about Bass Pro, I took a look and liked what I saw there. I have been wanting to try apple wood and larger chunks of hickory, so I placed an order. Ordering was a snap and got an email confirmation.

Good luck and hope your smoker arrives as scheduled.
I just received 2-10lb bags of Apple from Cabela's today looks to be the good "fist" sized chunks. For $17.98 delivered, I have not seen a price that compares to that anywhere online. Only downfall was that it was backordered for a week, but not a huge deal.
I would recommend buying a variety pack to find out what kind you like and then get more of your favorite.

I started with Mesquite and hickory but an moving to Apple.

There are some farmers that are trimming their trees right now and I will stop by and ask them for some. Hey the price is right
Hi Smokeys Dad from a former Okie. I am no expert but most wood is dried anyway that we use so I don't think time limit is a concern. It is only harder to cut when dried and hardened. Let us know your experience.
Last week I was in Walmart and they had hickory & mesquite chunks, and cherry & apple chips. Bought 4 bags each ( around $3 for a 2 lb bag) of the chips and used the apple on a yard bird. Came out beautiful! Wife does'nt like smoked meats except salmon, but she loved the chicken. Sweeter than chicken smoked with hickory. Cant wait to try the cherry on a tri-tip roast!

orchards are a good place to watch for fruit woods. We have alot of apple and pear orchards up here and pruning should start in a month or so. I've already asked if they'd let me know and I'll help them hawl in the prunings if they let me have some. Sounds fair.
keywesmoke posted this in Roll Call yesterday:I just ordered 2-20# bags of cherry. Total cost per pound $.87 includes shipping. That's cheaper than Cabelas.

The shipping charges are based on weight - but know this: It is cheaper per pound to have only ONE ORDER OF 2-20# BAGS shipped. If you order more, the cost per pound GOES UP!!!

20lbs Total - one wood type
$14.95 for 1-20lb bag Cherry
$10.20 Shipping
$25.15 Total Cost
$1.26 per pound

40lbs Total - one wood type
$24.50 for 2-20lb bags Cherry
$10.20 Shipping
$34.70 Total Cost
$.87 per pound

40lbs Total - two wood types
$14.95 for 1-20lb bag Cherry
$14.95 for 1-20lb bag Apple
$10.20 Shipping
$40.10 Total Cost
$1.00 per pound

80lbs Total - two wood types
$24.50 for 2-20lb bags Cherry
$24.50 for 2-20lb bags Apple
$24.83 Shipping
$73.83 Total Cost
$.92 per pound

NOTE: BassPro SHops is the cheapest for Hickory & Mesquite Chunks by far!

If you want to order different wood types, and don't mind buying 40lbs for each type, the best thing to do would be to make seperate orders for each type of wood. Seems crazy! But it is what it is...
RE: Nature's own. Two big-fist sized chunks of apple in my water smoker over very low heat on a 75 degree, sunny, mild breeze, palm-swaying day (HA!) gave quite a bit of nice blue smoke for exactly 3 hours.
Once the tree dies Apple tends to decay fairly at the ground line. Best to get them down, and as you cut them up just discard really rotten pieces. Some of the punky stuff is good to use for smoke, but don't use a lot.
I have wood I've kept covered(overhead, leave the sides open for air circulation) for 10 years. Turn it every so often. We don't have big trees anymore. All dwarves, or semi dwarf stock. Even pruning those we can get some wood 3-4" in dia.
Hope this helps. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads