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what kind of wood to use


Joined Sep 19, 2008
I have always used hickory wood for all of my smoking .
But with all the different wood that is mentioned here,
I would like to know what wood to use for different types of meat.

"Smoke always follows beauty "


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 19, 2008
hickory is good fer everthin, pork butt an brisket.
apple is good fer ribs an used in conjuntion with hickory er mesquite.
cherry is good fer pork.
The larger cuts a meat in my opinion require a stronger smokin wood such as hickory er mesquite.
The other woods are nice on smaller cuts a meat.
I use lilac on fish.
apple er cherry er good fer poultry to.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 21, 2007
It really depends on what taste good to you. A lot of folks combine woods such as mesquite and apple, apple and cherry, some folks prefer alder for salmon. It's all good.


Master of the Pit
Joined Feb 17, 2008
this might help

  1. Wood for smoking
    8.1 Types of wood suitable for smoking
    • Pat Lehnherr--
      • ALDER - Very delicate with a hint of sweetness. Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.
      • ALMOND - A nutty and sweet smoke flavor, light ash, very much like pecan. Good with all meats.
      • APPLE - Very mild with a subtle fruity flavor, slightly sweet. Good with poultry (turns skin dark brown) and pork.
      • ASH - Fast burner, light but distinctive flavor. Good with fish and red meats.
      • BLACK WALNUT - Very heavy smoke flavor, usually mixed with lighter wood like hickory or mesquite. Can be bitter if used alone. Good with red meats and game.
      • CHERRY - Mild, fruity, but slightly bitter if it comes from chokecherry trees. Good with poultry, pork and beef (turns skin brown).
      • GRAPEVINES - Tart. Provides a lot of smoke. Rich and fruity. Good with poultry, red meats, game and lamb.
      • HICKORY - Most commonly used wood for smoking. Sweet to strong, heavy bacon flavor. Good with pork, ham and beef.
      • LILAC - Very light, subtle with a hint of floral. Good with seafood and lamb.
      • MAPLE - Smoky, mellow and slightly sweet. Good with pork, poultry, cheese, and small game birds.
      • MESQUITE - Strong earthy flavor. Good with beef, fish, chicken, and game. One of the hottest burning.
      • OAK - Heavy smoke flavor. Red oak is good on ribs, white oak makes the best coals for longer burning. Good with red meat, fish and heavy game.
      • ORANGE and LEMON - Light and citrusy. Good with pork and game birds.
      • PEAR - A nice subtle flavor. Much like apple. Excellent with chicken and pork.
      • PECAN - A cool burner. Nutty and sweet. Tasty with a subtle character. Good with steaks, ribs, and cheese.
      • SWEET FRUIT WOODS - Apricot, Plum, Peach Great on most white or pink meats, including chicken, turkey, pork, fish. The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Nice list Coyote.... that should get turned into a  Wiki.


Fire Starter
Joined Dec 21, 2010
Thats a good list, and every bag of chips Ive looked at says what they 'recommend' they are used for. But thats not cast in stone at all.  That said, Ive been using apple for everything so far.  Did two batches of salmon past two days with apple, its awesome!!  Did a whole chicken with apple, made a fattie with apple.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 28, 2010
Hello from a newbie who has been called a dinosaur for years.

Just a little question - I have some birch, can it be used for smoking?

Birch is not very dense and tends to burn up quickly, not many over here use birch for fire wood much less cooking. Birch is usually made into match sticks or toothpicks.

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