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Hickory vs Oak


Smoke Blower
Joined Dec 15, 2018
With a few smokes under my belt now I'm coming up with more questions. My first few smokes went really well using oak. I smoked some pork spare ribs a couple days ago and used hickory and noticed a tremendous difference in my experience.

I feel like I was able to maintain more consistent temperatures with oak and that I didn't have to add a split as often. Does hickory tend to burn hotter and faster than oak? With hickory I was having problems keeping the temperature down in the range I was wanting.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Oak is a very dense, even burning wood. Which is why it is used as a heat source for most all of east Texas. Flavor woods can be added onto the oak coals.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Sep 16, 2007
I burn OAK as my primary wood and then throw on a HICKORY Log or 2 during the cook.
how does that work out for you? can you taste the hickory? reason I ask we don't have hickory here, so I too use oak, but could buy some small bags of hickory for a store I suppose


Smoke Blower
Joined Mar 5, 2019
Hickory burns quite hot. Simple solution is to use shorter splits, run a smaller fire.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Dec 23, 2016
If both seasoned I agree that the hickory burns a little hotter per same size. Regardless of species all my smoking wood get cut and one main splitting on the wood splitter then stacked. As I smoke I split it again and vary in size from wrist size up to maybe 3 times that and use as needed pending weather etc.

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