Quick Recipes and Easy

How to Choose the Right Smoke for the Right BBQ Dish

BBQ smoke is one of the simplest ways to add a nice touch of flavor to a grilled dish. You’ll be amazed at how many different flavors there are! Knowing which smoke is the best match for different BBQ flavors can be a challenge though. Here’s a handy guide to help.

There are dozens of different types of wood to use over a BBQ. Each has their own
flavor, and some are milder while others are pretty strong. Just like wine, there are
some guidelines about which type to use with different meats.


Mesquite is one of the most commonly used wood for BBQ smoking. It has a strong
flavor and can be used with all types of meats. One word of warning – make sure to
use mesquite that has been well cured. Green mesquite burns sap which tastes


Hickory is another of the classic BBQ flavors and many sauces are advertised with
this included. Hickory is a strong flavor and works well with all types of meat,
although it does tend to taste better on red meat.

Black Walnut:

This is a less common BBQ flavor. Most fruit and nut woods are mild, but this one
also has a strong flavor. It tastes best with grilled beef or pork recipes.


Apple is the other fruitwood that has a very strong flavor. It’s fantastic when used on
the BBQ with anything except seafood.

Pecan and Oak:

These nut trees both produce wood that has a nice mild flavor when used on the
BBQ. Their flavor complements all types of recipes, including seafood.

Cherry And Sassafras:

These are both milder flavors. If you plot to BBQ any beef, chicken, or pork, you
might consider either one of these flavors. Sassafras tends to be more hard to
find, but is a nice unusual flavor.

Orange and Mulberry:

These two fruitwoods are also mild, but both of these work very well with seafood
on the BBQ. You can also use them for chicken or pork, but they are not strong
enough to flavor beef.

Sugar Maple:

This wood has a sweet smoke, of course, and a mild flavor. It’s a favorite among
those who delight in pork or chicken on the BBQ.

Alder or Cedar:

These two woods have mild flavors and are perfect for seafood. Native Americans
from the Pacific Northwest have been using them for centuries to cook their catch,
and it’s simple to taste why.

Using smoke to flavor a BBQ dish is really simple, but knowing which to use can be a
challenge. If you really want to experiment, buy a variety pack and see which you
like best.

For more information on how to grill with specialty wood, visit:


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