Wood

Wood Varieties

Below is a list of wood varieties that can be used for food smoking, not all woods are suitable for smoking (some will make you very ill), so do not use a wood unless you have sufficient evidence that it is safe to do so. All the woods listed below are commonly used for smoking.

The source of your wood is also vitality important, do not use old fence posts, floor boards or any wood that you suspect may have been treated.

As always common sense is required!

Type of Wood
Characteristic
Alder
Very delicate with a hint of sweetness. Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.
Almond
A sweet smoke flavour, light ash. Good with all meats.
Apple
Very mild with a subtle fruity flavour, slightly sweet. Good with poultry (turns skin dark brown) and pork.
Ash
Fast burner, light but distinctive flavour. Good with fish and red meats.
Birch
Medium-hard wood with a flavour similar to maple. Good with pork and poultry.
Cherry
Good with poultry, pork and beef. Some say that cherry wood is the best wood for smoking.
Grape
Tart. Provides a lot of smoke, rich and fruity. Good with poultry, red meats, game and lamb.
Hickory
The King of smoking woods. Sweet to strong, heavy bacon flavour. 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 flavour. Good with beef, fish, chicken, and game. One of the hottest burning woods.
Mulberry
The smell is sweet and reminds one of apple.
Oak
The Queen of smoking wood. RED OAK is good on ribs. Good with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game.
Orange
Produces a nice mild smoky flavour. Excellent with beef, pork, fish and poultry.
Pear
A nice subtle smoke flavour. Much like apple. Excellent with chicken and pork.
Pecan
Sweet and mild with a flavour similar to hickory. Tasty with a subtle character. Good with poultry, beef, pork and cheese.
Plum
Great on most white or pink meats, including chicken, turkey, pork and fish.
Walnut
Very heavy smoke, usually mixed with lighter woods like almond, pear or apple. Can be bitter if used alone. Good with red meats and game.