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Different types of firewood for grilling and smoking food

Wondering which type of firewood to use for grilling and smoking food?

Not all types of woods are decorous for grilling and smoking food because they can be somewhat unsafe to use. That being said, you should know your woods to be able to consider the best type to use for grilling and smoking food.

Some woods are frequently chosen for grilling and smoking by their irresistible smoke that they put out. There are also numerous woods that are safe and can be trusted to give you that rich mouthwatering grilled meat!

Some woods worth considering for grilling and smoking food are fruit woods like Apple, Peach, Pear, Cherry, Alder, Maple, Oak, Hickory, Cedar, Pecan, Mulberry and also Mesquite. The tasty fragrance of fruit firewood will most definitely be soaked up by your foods.

Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pear and Mulberry woods provide a subtle, sweet, fruity flavor to food and can mostly be used to grill and smoke ham such as beef, pork, lamb, mutton, chicken, small game birds as well as sausage.

Whilst Cedar and Alder woods are very good for smoking salmon and other species of fish, small game birds and poultry; Hickory and Oak woods are known to be popular for smoking all types of meat as well as cuts of pork, wild game birds, chicken and ribs. It is said that Pecan wood is not as strong as hickory and oak but you can use it for most cuts of meats.

For grilling of vegetables, you may consider to use Maple wood and also for grilling cuts of beef and other meats. Mesquite wood can also be used for grilling vegetables but on a low heat. You can use Maple due to its mild, smoky and somewhat sweet flavor to foods. For Mesquite because of its intense heat properties and strong flavor to foods, you can use it also to grill and smoke cuts of beef, other meats and cuts of pork etc. It is important to know that smoking is not just about adding flavor but also about adding an appealing ‘touch’ to the meal (like the rich, dark, mahogany color that Hickory and Oak impart to meats)

And for those of us who love to experiment, we can try to use different woods of various strengths. For example a combination of Hickory and Apple or Cherry woods wouldn’t be bad at all to try for a limited amounts of timeto get that deep golden-brown finish to our meats. And remember to use an eco-firelighters to light your firewood.

Sources:, May 2018, May 2018

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