Best Wood for Grilling Steak

When it comes to grilling steak, choosing the right types of wood is crucial for achieving a desirable flavor. However, selecting the best wood for grilling steak can be daunting, with several options available in the market, especially if you have no prior experience. Additionally, some wood works better than others. Remember that not all types of wood are suitable for grilling a steak. But you do not need to worry about this issue anymore, for we are here to help you.

This article presents some of the best wood that you can use for grilling steaks. If you want to impress your guests with your delicious steak, then continue reading this write-up and choose the one that satisfies your needs.

Best Wood for Grilling Steak

But what is a steak? If you are new to the field of BBQ, then you might be asking this question. Generally, it is a slice of meat cut from the muscle fibers of a beef carcass. It may or may not contain a bone. When it comes to the cooking process and fuel type, the options are ten-fold. However, steaks are best when grilled. You can either use charcoal or wood, depending on the desired flavor. 

Best Wood for Grilling Steak

Using the best wood for grilling your steak is as fundamental as choosing the perfect slice of meat. The reason is that wood influences the flavor of your steak. The following are some of the best woods for grilling steak:

Apple Wood

One of the best woods that you can use for grilling steak is applewood, which is quite similar to cherry wood. It has a sweet and fruity flavor, which makes it suitable not only for steak but also for other food types. So if you are looking for a mild fruity taste in your steak, then this wood will be an ideal pick. Additionally, you can use apple wood for grilling pork, chicken, and seafood.

However, the drawback of applewood is that it takes time to attain full flavor. It means you will be grilling your steak for an extended period. So if you want to grill faster, then you should avoid this wood.

Hickory Wood

Another best wood for grilling steak is hickory wood, which works well with all types of food. It has a more robust smoky flavor compared to other fruitwoods, such as apple and cherry wood. One good thing about this wood is that it works not only with steaks. You can also use it for grilling all red meat and poultry. So if you prefer a more robust smoky flavor, then you should consider this wood. 

However, hickory wood generates a considerable amount of smoke, which means it will take less time to enhance the flavor. As such, you should use it in moderation. Remember, grilling your steak with hickory wood for a more extended period will give a bitter taste. 

Mesquite Wood

Another best wood that you should consider for grilling your steak is mesquite wood. It is also a hardwood and has a strong and intense flavor like the hickory wood. So if you plan to grill your steak for a more extended period, we recommend using it in smaller quantities. Additionally, mesquite wood is suitable for grilling all types of red meat.

However, one of the downsides of mesquite wood is that it is not the best choice for beginners. So if you are new to grilling food, then consider other wood on our list. 

Oak Wood

If you are looking for a medium level of smoky flavor, this wood will be the right choice. If you have noticed, oak wood falls between hickory wood and applewood when it comes to the flavor scale. However, it is worth noting that oak wood does not provide sweetness in the flavor. Hence, it would be best if you blend it with other woods for flavor enhancement. 

Another essential aspect of oak wood is that it is a versatile wood, which means you can use it for grilling other food items. Besides, it is one of the best woods for beginners. 

Cherry Wood

This wood offers a gentle and sweet-fruity flavor, which perfectly works well with several types of meat. But it mainly works well for grilling steaks, for it has the right intensity of smoke flavoring. Although apple and cherry woods share some similarities, each of them’s taste profile is unique and different. Hence, we recommend trying both of them.

However, cherry wood’s disadvantage is that it takes a relatively long time to infuse flavor into your steak. As such, it is more suitable when you prefer to cook longer at a lower temperature. But if you want to speed up the smoking process, we recommend opting for a stronger wood flavor.

Pecan Wood

The pecan is another best wood for grilling your steak, especially if you want mild flavor in your steak. However, it provides a more assertive flavor compared to fruitwoods, such as cherry and apple. But, it is less than hickory wood. 

Whether you are grilling steaks or smoking ribs, pecan wood will perfectly work with all types of food items with its rich and nutty flavor. You can also blend pecan wood with other woods. If you want a more earthy taste, then you should consider combining it with hardwoods. But for a layer of nuanced flavor, you should consider mixing it with either apple or cherry wood. The bottom line is it all depends on your preferences. 

Maple Wood

Another best wood for grilling your steak is maple wood. It has a very subtle and lightly sweet flavor, making it an excellent choice for grilling chicken, vegetables, and even cheese. However, if you are looking for a more pronounced flavor, this wood might not be ideal.

One of the main cons of maple wood is that it is less common to find in stores than other wood types. 


To sum up, choosing the best wood for grilling steak can sometimes be challenging, given that there are several options available. But we are optimistic that this write-up has helped you narrowed down your choices. Of course, selecting the best wood for grilling steak is a matter of personal preference. Nevertheless, we recommend blending these woods for a more enhanced flavor.

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