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Wood Smoking Flavor Chart


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#1 BamsBBQ

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:21 PM

not really a chart but you get the idea..

Acacia


these trees are in the same family as mesquite. When
burned in a smoker, acacia has a flavor similar to mesquite
but not quite as heavy.
Good with most meats, especially beef and most vegetables.

Alder


A sweet, musky smoke that is the traditional wood of the
Northwest.


Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.
Traditionally used in the pacific Northwest to smoke
Salmon.

Almond
A nutty and sweet smoke flavor, light ash.
Good with all meats.

Apple


The flavor is milder and sweeter than Hickory. Serve
chutney made from the same fruit to accentuate the flavor
even more.
Good with most meats.

Ash
Fast burner, light but distinctive flavor.
Good with fish and red meats.



Avacado
Unknown
Supposed to be good for all meats.

Bay
medium floral smoke with hints of spice & cinnamon
Good with most meats and veggies.

Beech
A mild much used wood like oak.
Great for whatever you care use it with.
Good with meat and seafood.

Birch
Medium hard wood with a flavor similar to maple.
Good with pork and poultry.

Blackberry
Much like the woods provided from fruit trees, the small
diameter trunks of the Blackberry bush provides a slightly
sweet and delicate flavor.
Good for grilling poultry and other meats, such as small
game birds like grouse, pheasant, partridge, and quail.

Butternut
Strong smoke, like walnut, bitter when used alone
Good on red meats like Beef, Pork, Venison and other game
meats. Can easily overpower poultry.

Carrotwood
Unknown
Supposed to be good for all meats.

Cherry
Slightly sweet fruity smoke that's great with poultry
(turns skin dark brown). This smoke is a mild, sweet and
fruity smoke which gives a rosy tint to light-colored meats.
Good with all meats.



Chestnut
Slightly sweet nutty smoke flavor
Good with most meats.

Corncob
Although not considered to be a true wood.The heart of
the cob that holds the kernels is the fuel section of this
alternative for wood. It is ground into small granular bits
that can be added to a smoking box or it can be combined
with other woods such as woods from fruit trees, to impart
several flavors. The Corncob provides a sweet flavor that
may overpower the food if too much is used to season the
food as it cooks. Begin by trying small amounts until the
desired flavor is achieved.
It is often used as a smoking chip when grilling foods such
as poultry, fish and small game birds.

COTTONWOOD
It is a softer wood than alder and very subtle in flavor. Use
it for fuel but use some chunks of other woods (hickory,
oak, pecan) for more flavor Don't use green cottonwood for
smoking.
Use it for fuel but use some chunks of other woods
(hickory, oak, pecan) for more flavor.
Good for all smoking,especially pork and ribs.

CRABAPPLE
Similar to apple. Provides a lot of smoke. Rich and fruity.
Good with poultry, red meats, game and lamb.

Fig
Mild & fruity like mulberry- Boston butt & ribs
Good with all meats.

Fruitwood
Medium fruity sweet smoke- all BBQ meats
Good with all meats.

Grapefruit
Produces a nice mild smoky flavor.
Excellent with beef, pork, fish and poultry.

Grapevines
Tart. Aromatic, similar to fruit wood. The flavor is milder
and sweeter than hickory.
Great on most white or pink meats, including chicken,
turkey, pork and fish.

Guava
Flowery fruity taste similar to apple.
Good for all meats,

Hickory
Sweet to strong, heavy bacon flavor. This great flavor
works well with pork, ribs, hams, poultry, and beef. These
chips should be soaked for 1-2 hours to prevent a bitter
taste.
The most common wood used.
Good for all smoking,especially pork and ribs.

Jack Daniel's
Made from the mellowing charcoal used to make Jack
Daniel's that smooth sipping whiskey. This is a STRONG,
sweet smoke flavor with an aromatic tang.
It's good for cooking Beef, Pork, Poultry and Game meats.

Kiawe
Hawaiian Mesquite of sorts although somewhat milder.
Good on pork, beef and fish.

LEMON


A tangy, citrus smoke. Medium smoke flavor with a hint of
fruitiness. Medium smoke flavor with a hint of fruitiness.
Excellent with beef, pork and poultry.

Lilac
Very light, subtle with a hint of floral. Good with seafood and lamb.
Lime Medium smoke flavor with a hint of fruitiness.
Excellent with beef, pork and poultry.

Maple
Mildly smoky, somewhat sweet flavor. Maple chips add a
sweet, subtle flavor that enhances the flavor of poultry
and game birds. Smoke a pork roast with them for a
sensational taste experience.
Mates well with poultry, ham, cheese, small game birds, and
vegetables. Wonderful for smoked turkey!

Mesquite
Strong earthy flavor. One of the most popular woods in the
country, mesquite is a scrubby tree that grows wild in the
Southwest. Sweeter and more delicate than hickory, it's a
perfect complement to richly flavored meats such as steak,
duck or lamb.
Good with most meats, especially beef and most vegetables.

Mulberry
A mild smoke with a sweet, tangy, blackberry-like flavor
Good with Beef, poultry, game birds, pork (particularly
ham).

Nectarine
The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory.
Good on most meats, great on most white or pink meats,
including chicken, turkey, pork and fish.

Oak
(White and Black Jack)
Most versatile of the hardwoods blending well with most
meats. A mild smoke with no aftertaste. Oak gives food a
beautiful smoked color.
Good with red meat, pork, fish and big game. RED OAK is
good on ribs. Especially good with beef brisket.

Olive
The smoke favor is similar to mesquite, but distinctly
lighter.
Delicious with poultry.

Orange
A tangy, citrus smoke. Medium smoke flavor with a hint of
fruitiness. Orange gives food a golden color. Produces a
nice mild smoky flavor.
Excellent with beef, pork and poultry.

Peach
Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor, milder and sweeter than
hickory.
Good on all meats, great on most white or pink meats,
including chicken, turkey, pork and fish.

Pear
A nice subtle smoke flavor much like apple. Slightly sweet,
woodsy flavor.
Good on Poultry, game birds and pork.



Pecan
Sweet and mild with a flavor similar to hickory but not as
strong. Tasty with a subtle character an all-around superior
smoking wood.


Try smoking with the shells as well. Good for most things
including poultry, beef, pork and cheese. Pecan is the best
for that beautiful golden-brown turkey.

Persimmon
Medium smoke- great for boston butt & ribs
Excellent with beef, pork and poultry.

Pimento
Also referred to as Allspice, Jamaican Pepper, Myrtle
Pepper, or Newspice. This wood adds a natural and
somewhat peppery flavor that may also include flavors of
several spices combined, such as cinnamon, cloves and
nutmeg, similar to the flavors provided when allspice is
used as a seasoning to enhance the flavor of various foods.
It is a common wood often used in grilling Jamaican foods
such as jerk chicken. Often used for grilling poultry and
fish.

Pistachio Nut
Shells
If you like the taste of pistachio nuts why not? Allegedly not so hot with fish.

Plum/Prune
The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory.
Good with most meats, great on most white or pink meats,
including chicken, turkey, pork and fish.

Sassafras
A mild, musky, sweet smoke with a root beer aftertaste.
Especially good on beef, pork and poultry.

Seaweed
The seaweed is washed to remove the salt and air or sundried
before use. It provides a somewhat spicy and natural
flavor to the foods being smoked or grilled.
Commonly used for smoking shellfish such as clams, crab,
lobster, mussles, and shrimp.

Walnut (Black)
While pecan is hickory's milder cousin, black walnut is the
strong one. Often mixed with lighter woods like almond,
pear or apple, can be bitter if used alone. An intense smoke
that is slightly bitter like walnuts. Can easily overpower
poultry.
Good on red meats like Beef, Pork, Venison and other game
meats. Can easily overpower poultry.

Walnut
(English)



Very heavy smoke flavor, usually mixed with lighter woods
like almond, apple, pear or pecan.
Can be bitter if used alone. Good on red meats like beef,
pork, venison and other game meats.

Whiskey Barrels
Made from whiskey soaked oak barrels. Nice.



Italian Herbs
A strong smoke flavor that is completely unique! This blend
of oregano, rosemary, thyme with oak wood gives zesty and
robust flavors like these herbs.
Especially good for lamb, pork and poultry. Good for pizza
too, when you cook it on the grill.

Oriental Herbs
A strong smoke flavor with oak that's truly amazing ! A
blend of Sesame seeds and Ginger Root with oak wood or
Mesquite gives a nice oriental BBQ flavor.
Especially good for beef, pork and poultry.

Dried Herbs
Throw a spoonful of your favorite dried herbs into your
water pot - as it moistens your meat it also adds aroma and
flavor!
Good with any meats

Other Woods



Avocado, Bay, Carrotwood, Kiawe, Madrone, Manzanita, Guava, Olive, Beech, Butternut, Fig, Gum, Chestnut, Hackberry, Pimiento, Persimmon,
and willow. The ornamental varieties of fruit trees (i.e. pear, cherry, apple, etc.) are also suitable for smoking.

The ornamental varieties of fruit trees (i.e. pear, cherry, apple, etc.) are also suitable for smoking.

Wood that is poisonous when used for grilling.



DO NOT USE any wood from conifer trees, such as PINE, FIR, SPRUCE, REDWOOD, CEDAR, CYPRESS, or SWEET GUM TREES they will
make you sick!

Also ELM and EUCALYPTUS wood is unsuitable for smoking, as is the wood from SYCAMORE and LIQUID AMBER trees.

More woods that you should not to use for smoking:


Never use lumber scraps, either new or used. First, you cannot know for sure what kind of wood it is; second, the wood may have been
chemically treated; third, you have no idea where the wood may have been or how it was used.



Never use any wood that has been painted or stained. Do not use wood scraps from a furniture manufacturer as this wood is often
chemically treated.



Never use wood from old pallets. Many pallets are treated with chemicals that can be hazardous to your health and the pallet may have
been used to carry chemicals or poison.

Avoid old wood that is covered with mold and fungus that can impart a bad taste to your meat.
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#2 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:22 PM

Thanks! Stuck the thread.
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#3 Hot Canuck

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:31 PM

Thanks! Stuck the thread.


Yeah Bams. Thanks for a great reference. I think I'll try the cherry wood next.

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#4 BamsBBQ

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:44 PM

Yeah Bams. Thanks for a great reference. I think I'll try the cherry wood next.


my wood of choice... gives a very nice flavor, makes the meat take on a dark cherry wood color and gives a beautiful smoke ring. when in comps i would throw in cherry wood because of the nice smoke ring...
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#5 LGHT

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:18 PM

Great chart. Has anyone ever used oak barrels that used to hold wine, or whiskey? The place I usually get my wood from had a few, but it was almost double the cost of red oak so I passed. Not sure if it was a bad choice, but it had a wine ring in the wood from seepage almost like a smoke ring!

#6 BamsBBQ

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:29 PM

Great chart. Has anyone ever used oak barrels that used to hold wine, or whiskey? The place I usually get my wood from had a few, but it was almost double the cost of red oak so I passed. Not sure if it was a bad choice, but it had a wine ring in the wood from seepage almost like a smoke ring!


yes..very strong tasting... jack daniels chips
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#7 Nakana

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:57 PM

yes..very strong tasting... jack daniels chips


I'm also a big fan of the Jack Daniels chips. They give great flavor and are also really good mixed with Apple wood. Cherry is another one of my staple smoke woods.

#8 LGHT

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:25 PM

These where not JD chips. These where used wine barrels and the guy would cut them into chuncks, chips, etc as needed. I think JD is only aged a few years where these had once held wine for up to 20 years so the seepage was a LOT more apparent over the JD chips that I have used in the past.

#9 POTAWIE

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:46 PM

I see Traeger pellet smokers have some onion pellets and garlic too. I wonder how that would smoke?
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#10 moyboy

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for the list Bams......

It's a real bugger cause you just can't get that range of woods here in Australia. But I will drool over the list anyway.....;)
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#11 BamsBBQ

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:50 PM

These where not JD chips. These where used wine barrels and the guy would cut them into chuncks, chips, etc as needed. I think JD is only aged a few years where these had once held wine for up to 20 years so the seepage was a LOT more apparent over the JD chips that I have used in the past.


it might be your source of jack chips, because the ones i get in michigan are so overpowering when you open the bag, and they are almost damp still. oak or any wood can only soak up so much moisture no matter how long it soaks. i seen a show on jack daniels one time and they keep there barrels until they are no longer usuable for brewing/aging
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#12 Sauceman51

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:26 AM

Thanks for the smoke chart

#13 chilliman

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:41 AM

WICKED LIST ! GREAT OVERVIEW thanx BAM BAM!
Be sure to be useing this info for the new UDS!
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#14 LGHT

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:54 AM

it might be your source of jack chips, because the ones i get in michigan are so overpowering when you open the bag, and they are almost damp still. oak or any wood can only soak up so much moisture no matter how long it soaks. i seen a show on jack daniels one time and they keep there barrels until they are no longer usuable for brewing/aging


Well not sure if I got a bad batch, but you couldn't tell the jack chip from a regular chip and it didn't even have a different smell. Maybe I got the so-cal version :(

#15 BamsBBQ

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:54 PM

Well not sure if I got a bad batch, but you couldn't tell the jack chip from a regular chip and it didn't even have a different smell. Maybe I got the so-cal version :think:


the last two bags i got at kroegers(which owns Ralph's around you i believe) were really strong. as soon as you opened the bag, you got the strong smell of jack....could just have been a bad batch.
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#16 chilliman

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 09:18 PM

I used Gauva on some pork sang and chicken ! YUMMY , not too strong nice sweet smell !
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#17 POTAWIE

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:54 PM

I borrowed a chipper last night and was able to chip enough apple to last me a few years, and now I've also found a source for free(or cheap) hickory, oak, and cherry. The days of buying small bags of woodchips is now officially over for me:)
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#18 LGHT

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:04 PM

I borrowed a chipper last night and was able to chip enough apple to last me a few years, and now I've also found a source for free(or cheap) hickory, oak, and cherry. The days of buying small bags of woodchips is now officially over for me:)


Wow what luck. Not only are apple chips VERY hard to find they are also about $25 for a small 10lb bag here and that's after an hour drive. The local BBQ Galore has them all the time, but sell them for $7.00 a LB! :shocked:

#19 Pepper Belly

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:18 PM

We bought 120 Kg of beech, that's what I smoke with cant find anything else here in Germany except in small ungodly expensive bags mesquite and hickory. Paid 65 dollars for the beech (120 Kg/240 Lbs.), 8 dollars apiece for the tiny bags of the other two.

Edited by Pepper Belly, 08 May 2009 - 12:22 PM.


#20 POTAWIE

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 01:07 PM

I was happy when I recently got a free truckload of mixed oak and cherry chips/chunks but I'm thinking the cherry is likely black cherry, which I think may be toxic (cyanide content):( I guess I'll stick with the apple chips/chunks/logs for now

Edited by POTAWIE, 08 May 2009 - 01:10 PM.

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