The best BBQ provides that great smokey taste, but does the wood you use impact the taste or flavor at all?

In short, the wood you use for smoking makes a massive difference to the overall taste.

In this article, we will look at the best wood species to use for smoking meat and key things to consider before buying wood.

Let’s get started:

Best Wood Species For Smoking Meat


Oak is a popular type of wood for smoking meat because it burns slowly and produces a strong, smoky flavor. Some people also find that oak leaves a nice, crispy crust on the meat. However, oak is also one of the more expensive types of wood to use for smoking meat.


Hickory wood is one of the most common choices for extended braising of red meat. It burns clean, with a slightly richer flavor and smokiness comparable to bacon, although it doesn’t smell as strongly as oak.


Mesquite burns hot and fast, generates a lot of smoke, and has an extremely savory, earthy flavor. It’s difficult to tame, but it can be tamed after a long time in the sun. It’s ideal for fast cooking methods like as steak or burning down as co


The popularity of Apple Tree Wood has risen among BBQ enthusiasts because of its distinct taste.

Smoked meat gets a pleasant taste thanks to Apple Tree Wood. This wood is not quite robust but is ideal for lighter dishes like pork and fish.


Cherry wood is a team player. It looks great with any sort of meat. Cherry is adaptable, and it may be used with all types of meats, including beef, pork, fish, and chicken.


Another popular mild wood is maple, which has a delicate smoke flavor that gives chicken, vegetables, and even smoked cheese their own dark, burnished mahogany color.

What Should You Look for When Buying Firewood?

Considering Moisture Content: Seasoned Vs. Kiln Dried

When a tree is chopped down and broken down into firewood, it still has some moisture content left in the wood that prevents it from igniting and producing smoke.

Additionally, the firewood you’re using may contain fungus or mold.

A popular method for drying wood is to let it lie in a dry place for around a year. This is known as seasoned firewood.

The simplest method to dry the wood and eliminate any fungus or insects is to use a kiln oven to dry it out.

This process of drying the wood completely eliminates dampness and makes lighting it as simple as possible.

Before you buy, ask yourself the right questions

  • What type of wood is it? It all depends on what you want to use it for. It is a fantastic choice if you’re making a pizza. Oak and Hickory are excellent alternatives if you’re cooking food.
  • What method was used for drying the wood? The best choice is kiln-dried firewood, as it removes all of the moisture and pests, ensuring that your fire will be safe, burn long, and have less smoke.
  • How has it stored? If you’ve stored the wood outside, it’s unlikely you’ll want to buy it. Wood that has been kept indoors or in a regulated environment will prevent insect and moisture accumulation after it has been dried.

Types Of Firewood To Avoid

It’s a common misunderstanding that you can burn anything for great cooking flavor, but this isn’t true. There are certain woods that you should never burn, regardless of the type of fire or cast-iron stove you’re using.

Non-Dried Wood

You’ll probably want to avoid using it if the wood hasn’t been dried. If you’re not sure whether or not it has been kiln-dried or seasoned, check with your manufacturer.

Freshly Cut wood

Freshly cut wood has a lot of sap and moisture, making it difficult to start. When it is burning, it will smoke horribly and burn inefficiently. If you’re unsure if the wood is green, check with your vendor when it was chopped.

Large wood pieces

Before using large, dense firewood, that has a diameter of more than 5 inches – you will likely need to recut the wood in order to get the best burn. It’s a waste of time to drop big logs on the fire; split your wood for higher performance.

Concluding Thoughts

Using any of these types of wood will have an impact on the overall flavor so make sure you choose the appropriate one and get the best wood for the best tasting meal possible!