Smoker And Barbecue Wood Chips Flavor Guide

Use my smoker and barbecue wood chips flavor guide to understand the depths of flavor delivered by different woods and which woods best suit which meats.

Hardwood chips are now readily available in most stores where barbecues are sold and some of the popular varieties include hickory, mesquite, oak apple or cherry. You can of course produce your own, all citrus woods are good as are most hard woods; the ones to avoid are softwoods and un-barked birch.

Other options for adding flavour include

  • Dry twigs from fruit trees or vine cuttings
  • Woody stalks from herbs such as rosemary, thyme or bay
  • Leftover almond, walnut or hazelnut shells that have been soaked for 30 minutes in water
  • Seaweed (when cooking fish or seafood)

Buy Wood Chips Online

The principle behind smoking is that wood burns when it is heated and by reducing the amount of oxygen available to the wood, it smokes rather than burns and by adding the pieces of wood to your barbecue smoker, a range of fantastic flavors is produced.

If you’re just grilling, try wrapping some barbecue wood chips in foil and then perforate the foil with a skewer. Throw the foil pack onto the coals and you’ll get a pretty similar effect. Green wood burns at a higher temperature burns for longer and provides more smoke than aged wood.

At Que Fresco we are looking to create our own brand of wood chips so watch this space. In the meantime the next best thing is to use our Amazon store which will provide you with quality wood chips and excellent prices. 

Note:- Some smokers such as Bradley and Traeger use what are called either bisquettes or pellets rather than loose barbecue wood chips. If you have one of these smokers:-

Click here to view the range of bisquettes

Click here to view the range of pellets

Here's The Full Smoker and Barbecue Wood Chips Flavor Guide

Acacia
Part of the mesquite family provides strong smoke although lighter than Mesquite, suitable for most meats and vegetable. I specially recommend it for beef, fish, chicken and game.

Alder
Delicate aroma with a hint of sweetness to try with fish (especially salmon), pork, poultry and game.

Almond
Nutty and sweet smoke flavor that’s good for all meat. It does however produce a lot of ash.

Apple
Delicately sweet with a dense fruity smoke flavour that works well with beef, poultry, game, pork and ham. Note how it gives a dark colour to chicken skin.

Apricot
Similar to hickory but milder and sweeter, generally fine for most meats

Ash
Be warned this one is fast burning with a light but distinctive flavor that complements fish and red meat.

Beech
Common in Germany for smoking Bratwurst. It's mild in flavour and quite sweet, I like to use it blended with oak where it just takes the edge off the strong oak.

Birch
A medium hardwood with a flavour similar to maple. Try it with pork or poultry but do make sure that there's no bark in there because this will deposit a bitter tar on your food.

Cherry
Sweet fruity smoke flavour suitable for all meats. Another wood that gives a dark colour to chicken skin.

Cottonwood
A very subtle flavour again for most meats

Grape Vine
Aromatic but quite tart. Burns with a heavy smoke. Works well with red meat

Grapefruit
Medium smoke with a hint of fruit that is delicious with beef, pork and poultry

Hickory
Pungent smoky bacon flavor perfect for pork and ribs

Lemon
Medium smoke with a light fruit aroma that’s great on beef, pork and poultry

Lilac
Light and subtle with a floral hint, fantastic on seafood and lamb

Maple
Strong and earthy that’s good for pork, vegetables, poultry and small game

Mesquite
Another that’s strong and earthy but this time try beef and vegetables

Mulberry
Beautifully sweet apple flavor delightful with beef, poultry, game, pork and ham

Nectarine
Similar to hickory but sweeter and quite mild but good for most meat

Oak
Really heavy smoke that works with red meat, pork game & fish

Orange
Medium smoke with a light fruit hint that’s good for beef, pork and poultry

Peach
Slight sweet flavor suitable for most meat

Pear
Another one with a slightly sweet flavor and this time good for poultry, game and pork

Pecan
Similar to oak but not as strong so good for most meats

Plum
Similar to hickory but milder and sweeter, another one suitable for most meat.

Walnut
Very heavy smoke and can be bitter so best blended with a fruit wood. Good with strong flavored red meat and game.

See Also:-

More BBQ Accessories and Gift Ideas
Barbeque Smoker Information
Information About BBQ Grills
Grill Islands
Patio Furniture
Review Your Own Barbecue, Equipment And Accessories

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