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Need Help with wood choices!!


Joined Oct 1, 2012
I'm about to smoke 30 lb of elk sausage this weekend......and of course my local Cabela's that WAS fully stocked with Bradley bisquettes is now almost cleaned out!!  I was planning on using mesquite and hickory, but they didn't have any of those.  The ones they have left are apple, cherry, maple, pecan, and oak.  At home, I already have a few boxes - whiskey oak, Cabela's southwest blend (chili pepper and cumin), and Cabela's wild game blend (pepper, rosemary and thyme). 

Here are the flavors of sausage I am smoking:

1.  Jalapeno/Cheddar Bratwurst

2.  Weiners

3.  Andouille

4.  Summer Sausage

5.  Salami

Please give me some ideas.  I saw a recipe on here that used pecan for Andouille, is that a good choice?  I'm really at a loss because I've never used any of the woods they have for red meat, I've just used apple and cherry for pork and poultry and don't know how any of their flavors will turn out with elk.  (Elk is essentially the same as beef, so if it's worked for you for beef sausage please let me know)

Thanks for any input!!


Meat Mopper
Joined Jun 16, 2013
Pecan is traditional for andouille and it is the wood I use (some also add sugar cane) .  I also like apple and use it for any meat.  I prefer the fruit woods for all meats, I think mesquite is a bit overpowering when used for smoking.  But hey that is just me... use what you like.


Thread starter
Joined Oct 1, 2012
Thanks for the feedback.  After a little more digging on this site I think I will use pecan as my primary wood, and add in some cherry here and there. 


RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 4, 2013
Oh yeah, pecan , cherry, and apple. Hickory and mesquite are very hard smokes and take an experienced hand to not over smoke the meat. Seriously when is the last time you heard someone say, I mess it up, I can't eat it the smoke is too mild? More likely you've heard oh my, the meat was bitter tasted like railroad ties.

Pecan is my more favorite smoke, course I live in south Louisiana and have trees on the property. Its so mild and sweet, and ever has a beautiful color to it. My Buddy Case likes his chickens with pecan and Cherry, tried them together tonight and it is mighty tastee.

To me all the brats I have had are from the German influence of around El Campo and Fredericksburg Tx. So I might try some mesquite or oak there. Remember be light handed though.

Once you try pecan, you'll be wanting to try it on everything.

Good luck.

so ms smoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Dec 20, 2010
  I love a mix of pecan and apple on most everything!


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