Smoking Wood Types & Flavors

Smoking Wood Types & Flavors

Here is a list of some of the more popular smoking woods people use. There are plenty others out there, but not all wood is good or safe to use for smoking, so do your research before using anything that is a bit exotic or you are unsure about.

Type Characteristics
Alder Very delicate with a hint of sweetness Good with fish, pork, poultry,and light-meat game birds.
Apple Slightly sweet but denser, fruity smoke, excellent with pork.
Apricot The flavor is milder and sweeter than Hickory. Good with most meats.
Cherry Slightly sweet, fruity smoke flavor. Good with most meats.
Grape Aromatic, similar to fruit woods, good with most meats.
Hickory Pungent, smoky, bacon-like flavor and most common. Good for all smoking, especially pork and ribs. **Personal Favorite for Ribs**
Maple Mildly smoky with a little bit of a sweet flavor. Good with pork, poultry, cheese and vegetables
Mesquite Very strong flavor, best with beef.
Mulberry Sweet and very similar to apple, good with pork.
Oak Very popular, heavy smoke flavor. Good with red meats, pork, fish, and heavy game.
Peach Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor, good with most meats
Pear Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor, good with game birds and pork
Pecan Similar to hickory, but not as strong, good for most meats.
Plum Mild and sweeter than hickory, good for most meats
Proud owner of (4) Big Green Eggs since 2007. (2) larges, (1) small egg and (1) Mini. Houston, TX backyard BBQer constantly trying new recipes and learning new things. @biggreenegg on Instagram and @HoustonEgger on the Egghead Forum

4 Comments

  1. Stephen Cole 2 years ago

    How do I add charcoal, and add wood chips, during cooking? Want to cook a brisket and will probably have to add both say, 4-5 hours in.
    TIA

    • Author
      Egger 2 years ago

      Stephen –
      If you are using a BGE you shouldn’t have to add any charcoal after only 4-5 hours. I’ve smoked briskets for over 18 hours and never had to add anything. If you do have to add – you’ll have to remove the meat, the grate and the plate setter and refill – then put everything back. I’ve only had to do that for smokes over 24 hours+.

      To add wood chips – I usually place chunks in the lump around the circle – so they get the heat later in the cook – and if i need to add wood chips, I can drop them in the sides of the grate without having to remove anything

      • Stephen Cole 2 years ago

        Thanks. Will try a test run, at 225F.
        Was trying to smoke home-made bacon and had trouble keeping the temp at 140F. Any hints?

        • Author
          Egger 2 years ago

          You’ll have a hard time keep it below 225F without a cold smoker setup. I have the Amazen cold smoker for cheeses and fish. But you might need something like the Smoke Daddy for maintaining 140F with constant smoke. Or the DigiQ for temperature control

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