Smoking Wood

10 Best Types of Wood for Smoking Meat

You probably had plans for a simple barbeque party with your family and friends. The only problem is that you are still in the middle of deciding the best woods you can use for that occasion. Fret, no more. You will learn about ten different kinds of wood for barbeque and pick the one available in your area. 

Sometimes, wood choices depend on the meat you are going to cook. For example, if you want to grill red meat while adding seasoning to add flavor, you might want to go for the Mesquite wood. On the other hand, fruit and nut woods go well with milder meats. 

As you read on, you will find interesting facts about these woods to make delicious and hearty barbeque meals to serve on everyone’s plate. 

Maple Wood

Maple trees are common in Asian countries, but you can also find them in Europe, Northern Africa, and North America. If you are living in one of these continents, you might discover maple woods easier than other woods. Maple has a subtle and versatile flavor that is perfect for poultry, pork, and game fowl. 

What’s more, maple wood has a slightly strong sweet flavor to add livelier taste to your taste bud. Despite having this uniqueness to your meat, it doesn’t overpower its original taste. It is usually one of the best woods used for different types of meat. 

We highly recommend the Traeger Grills PEL308 Maple 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets (link to check price on Amazon)


Do you want to add a mild and fruity taste to your meat? Cherry is the ideal wood for your barbeque party. More than that, it creates a unique red color to your poultry, turkey, or ham. These three are the best meat to cook with cherrywood (link to check price on Amazon)

If you want to add a touch of different smoke flavor that would complement well with Cherry, you mix other hardwood such as Hickory. 


Applewood came from an apple tree that is one of the best grilling wood giving a versatile smokey flavor. It comes with a pleasant aroma for a more delightful taste. This wood is perfect for chicken, wildfowl, and pork. 

Compared to other woods, it gives a milder smokey taste. So, if you want to enhance your meats’ flavor, you can use Hickory or other hardwoods for the perfect combination. Moreover, this type of wood is easy to find in any season. 

We have used Traeger Grills PEL318 Apple 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets (link to check the price on Amazon) on many BBQ occasions and they have always gone down well.

Pecan Wood

Pecan wood releases a sweet and nutty flavor to your meats. Since the taste is stronger than other woods, you might want to balance it out by using harder woods. Furthermore, it brings delicate flavors to your meat since it burns slowly. 

However, if you want to cook rapidly, this one might not be the option for you. But for a nice and long barbeque, this gives a perfect and delicious result for your meat.

The best meats to smoke with pecan (link to see the current price on Amazon) are ribs, roasts, and briskets. 


If you are only starting with smoking with woods, the easiest tool for you is this oakwood. It is one of the go-to smoking woods for both starters and experts. It gives smokey and rich flavor to the meats. The meats suitable for oakwood are lamb, beef, brisket, and sausages. Others could be red meat, fish, or other game meats. 

It gives medium flavor, but it is not overpowering compared to other woods. So, if you want to go for mild but versatile woods, this could be the best choice for your barbeque meals. 

Alder wood. 

When you want a slight and sweet flavor of smoked or BBQ meats, alder woods could give you just that. Other woods overpower the taste of meats, unlike Alder woods, which only provide a mild flavor that compliments your meals’ original taste. 

Alder (link to check the current price on Amazon) is a relative of a birch tree. Its color changes if exposed to air. Nonetheless, it could be a perfect wood to keep at your home for barbeque parties or other occasions. It is one kind of hardwood that you can mix with different woods to give subtle flavor to your meats. 

Hickory wood

Hickory is one kind of hardwood that you can use for any meat. However, keep in mind that too much hickory wood on your griller could cause a bitter taste to your meals. It gives a sweet and hearty flavor to your barbequed meals. 

If you get the right way of grilling meats using Hickory wood, it could also give a slight bacon flavor. This wood is perfect for red meat, poultry, ribs, and pork shoulders. 

Mesquite Wood 

For a more robust and intense meat flavor, this mesquite wood is the best choice for grilling your favorite meats. The best meat for that is red meat. You can add more flavoring to your meat while cooking with Mesquite wood. 

It produces earthy flavor since it burns fast, giving more smoke than other woods. Moreover, it quickly cooks meat like red meat steaks and other similar meats. You can also create coals out of this wood. 

Mesquite wood on Amazon

Peach & Pear Woods

For medium smokey and fruity flavors, these two types of fruitwoods could be the ideal option for you. It is perfect for meats like pork or poultry. These words are rare to find, but once you get hold of it, you will never regret it.

The flavor it gives is unique and subtle. You’ll find it different from other kinds of woods available. 

Try the Peach Western Premium BBQ Smoking Chips that you can find on Amazon. we love them.

Walnut Woods 

Walnut woods give a nutty and robust flavor to your meats. It tends to give a bitter taste, so make sure you don’t overdo the grilling. Red and game are the perfect meets for this type of woods. 

If you are not that into a strong smokey taste of meat, you can mix other types of woods to balance out the flavors.


Finally, you find these top 10 kinds of wood you can use for your barbeque party with your friends and family. Truth be told, the type of woods depends on your taste bud’s preference. 

If you like a stronger taste, you can go with walnut, Hickory, mesquite, and pecan. On the other, if you prefer medium tastes, apple, cherry, oak, and fruitwoods are a perfect choice. Lastly, woods giving mild flavor are alder and maple.

If you still can’t decide which wood you want for smoking why not get a variety pack?

Or as a special treat, you could try Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips.

So, what are you waiting for? Grill it ’till you make it! 


James is the editor at Best Barbecue Wood, he loves BBQ wood and spends his free time cooking outside on his grill. He's always trying the different types of wood to perfect the perfect ribs.

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