Cooking Wood Info


6 pointer
May 16, 2008
marion county
i work in a distillery and have tried the staves, but what i like the most is putting as much char and bungs as i can that have been in our dump traughs soaking all day over the heat. only down fall is the char sometimes falls through the grate and after so much falls it will tend to flame up


6 pointer
Nov 7, 2003
Persimmons wood is really nice for venison loin steaks. Put some on the coals for grilling then place the lid on the grill for the last minute or two. It adds a nice smoky/pepper flavor


Mar 7, 2021
Spencer County
You will find below a listing of commonly used smoking woods and the meats they compliment.

Wood, Characteristics, Best With;

Oak A heavy smoke flavor. Any oak will do. A popular smoking wood to use with Charcol. Red meat, pork, fish, and some wild game.
Hickory Strong, smoky taste. The most common smoking wood. The bark of a Hickory Shaggy Bark is especially good. Good with any meat
Mesquite Sweet, light taste. Especially good with ribs, lamb, and vegetables.
Pecan Nice taste. Lighter than hickory. Good with almost anything.
Apple Sweet, fruity smoke taste. Beef, poultry, wild game, pork, Salmon(especially ham)
Maple Medium strength. Most meats. Most vegetables. Good with beef.
Almond A nutty, sweet flavor. Good with all meats.
Alder Very delicate. Slightly sweet. Fish, pork, poultry.
Apricot Milder and sweeter than Hickory. Good with most meats.
Ash Burns fast. Light but distinct flavor. Red meats and fish.
Birch Slightly sweet. Good with pork and poultry.
Cherry Slightly sweet fruit flavor. My personal favorite. Good with all meats and seafoods.
Grape Vines Similar to fruit woods. Good with all meats.
Dried Blackberry Vines Medium smoke flavor. Slight hint of fruit. Good with beef, poultry, and pork.
Lemon Medium smoke flavor. Slight hint of fruit. Good with beef, poultry, and pork.
Orange/Grapefruit Very light smoke flavor. Good with seafood and lamb.
Persimmon Heavy smoke flavor. Very different, strong but mildly sweet. Good with beef, pork, poultry.
Peach or Pear Slightly sweet, great for light smoking of Fish or anything with a delicate flavor.
Beech Medium flavor, the younger ones work best. Good with Ham, Sausage, Stronger Fish.

Hope this info helps make you a better smoker cook.


I use "fruitwoods" green or not seasoned. Green fruitwood has a sap that when smoldering produces a very sweet smoke.

I use "hardwoods" seasoned approx 1 yr, then soaked to help increase smoldering time. (The soaking also helps to increase humidity inside the cooker.)

As with anything cooking, different amounts of wood and different cooking times will wildly vary the flavors you get. Couple this with different spices/rubs and you will have a BIG treasure chest full of ideas and recipes. My advice is to get a notebook or some type of journal and make notes. Believe me after years of experimentation you will be glad you did.

There are some who may disagree with this analogy , but hey that's why we do competitions right ? See you there. THANKS !
Great info, thanks!

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