Barbecue Wood and Delicious Smoke Flavor

The type of Barbecue Wood or "bbq smoker wood" you use should depend on the type of meat you are cooking. Certain wood works better with certain barbecued meats.

The tendancy is for the barbecue cook to use the type of wood that is easiest to find. It is usually the one or two types of wood available in the local supermarket. That is understandable considering other types of barbecue wood might not be as readily available in that particular area.

But if you will learn to keep your eye out for different barbecue wood types, you will be surprised at the many opportunities to pick some little or no cost. And the difference it will make to the taste of your barbeque will be that much better.

Just about any type of wood can be used for barbecue except pine and cedar. Fruit tree wood is my favorite to give certain meats a very different but delicious "sweet" flavor.

The table below is a wood chart that will guide you in pairing up different barbecue wood types with different meats. My thanks to Sam's Smokers @ for this wood chart.

Sam's Smoker Pro - Wood Chart

Wood type Characteristics Use with


Very delicate with a hint of sweetness Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds. Traditionally used in the pacific Northwest to smoke Salmon.


Slightly sweet but denser, fruity smoke flavor.

Beef, poultry, game birds, pork (particularly ham).


Slightly sweet, fruity smoke flavor

Good with all meats.

Grape vines

Aromatic, similar to fruit wood.

Good with most meats.


Pungent, smoky, bacon-like flavor. The most common wood used.

Good for all smoking, especially pork and ribs.


Mildly smoky, somewhat sweet flavor.

Good with pork, poultry, cheese, vegetables and small game birds.


Strong earthy flavor.

Good with most meats, especially beef and most vegetables.


The smell is sweet and reminds one of apple

Beef, poultry, game birds, pork (particularly ham).


One of the most popular wood's, Heavy smoke flavor.

Good with red meat, pork, fish and heavy game.


Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor.

Good with most meats.


Slightly sweet, woodsy flavor.

Poultry, game birds and pork.


Similar to hickory, but not as strong. Try smoking with the shells as well.

Good for most needs


The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory

Good with most meats.


Very heavy smoke flavor, usually mixed with lighter woods like pecan or apple. Can be bitter if used alone.

Good with red meats and game.

These different types of barbecue wood can be ordered online from many companies specializing in barbecue wood and bbq pellets.

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