A fork holding barbecued meat on black background
How To Pick The Right Type Of Wood For Smoking Meat
By Dainius Vaitiekunas
The lingering smell of smoked meat from the barbecue takes us back to the very beginning of cooking with fire. Wood choice is the key to the hard-to-resist flavor of smoked meats, so if you really want to up your barbecue skills, it's essential to learn about different types of wood used for smoking.
If you're new to smoking, the best idea would be to start with all-around woods like oak, hickory, beech, or pecan and build up from there. They work well for pretty much any type of meat, from light poultry and fish to denser meats like beef or venison — just be sure to always start with less so the smoke doesn't overpower the meat.
All-around woods can be combined with more pronounced aromatics; for poultry or pork, you can add fruit and nut woods such as cherries, apples, or maple tol produce a sweet smoke that really complements the lighter meats. If you want something more intense, strong woods like mahogany, mesquite, or walnut are a tasty addition to beef and game.