What is the Best Wood for Smoking Meat? Part 2

best wood for smoking meat feature

Now, don’t go throwing just any type of wood into your outdoor smoker. Some wood may replace your smoked meaty flavor with a bitter charcoal taste.

You can’t smoke tender, flavorful meat with just any wood. The best wood for smoking meat should give your barbecue a nice crust and a juicy, smoky flavor. Generally, mild woods are perfect for poultry and fish. While medium woods are suitable for pork and tougher poultry (such as turkey and duck). Finally, strong hardwoods pair well for dark red meat. So, without further ado, and as a continuation of our previous wood smoking blog, we’re rounding up more wood-meat combinations to try.


Check out the 9 best wood for smoking meat below.

1. Acacia

Acacia trees are in the same family as mesquite. Therefore, when you burn acacia wood, it has the same flavor as mesquite wood. Since it burns very hot, use it sparingly.

Best meat to smoke

Beef, Lamb, Pork, Goat, Veal, and other Red Meat. It’s also commonly used to smoke vegetables.

2. Ash

Ash wood burns fast to produce a light to medium smoke with a delicate wood aroma.

Best meat to smoke

Poultry, Fish, and Beef

3. Blackberry

Blackberry wood gives your meat a mild smoky taste. And, because the wood burns fast, you may want to add it at the end of the cooking session to give your meat a hint of smoke.

Best meat to smoke

Beef, Poultry, and Pork

4. Sugar Apple

When burned, sugar apple wood has a distinctly sweet, fruity flavor. Even though it’s a softwood and breaks easily, it burns really slow, just like most hardwoods.

Best meat to smoke

Beef, poultry, pork (especially ham), lamb, and some seafood.

5. Peach and Pear

While peach and pair fruitwoods are difficult to source, their subtle, fruity flavors are worth the search.

Best meat to smoke

Pork and Poultry

6. Walnut

Walnut wood has a very heavy smoke flavor. Hence, you should use it mildly to prevent the meat from becoming too bitter. Alternatively, you can mix it with lighter wood, like apple and pecan, to neutralize the heavy smoky flavor.

Best meat to smoke

Beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat, and other red game meat.

7. Pimento

Yet another difficult (but worthy) wood to source, pimento wood comes from the allspice tree. When burned, this wood produces a mild scent reminiscent of clove, cinnamon, juniper, and a dash of black pepper.

Best meat to smoke

Poultry, pork, lamb, and other soft meat

8. Apricot

Apricot wood is heavier and harder than cherry wood, and it’s commonly used for carvings. When burned, apricot produces a similar flavor to hickory wood, but sweeter and milder.

Best meat to smoke

Poultry and pork

9. Citrus Wood

Citrus woods from orange, lime, and lemon give out a moderate smoke with a light fruity and citric flavor that’s milder than cherry and apple.

Best meat to smoke

Pork, poultry, and beef

Woods to Avoid Smoking

Now, don’t just go throwing any type of wood into your outdoor smoker. Keep in mind, some wood may replace the smoked meaty flavor with a bitter charcoal taste. Therefore, some woods to avoid include cypress, cedar, eucalyptus, elm, fir, pine, spruce, redwood, and sycamore. Additionally, avoid using painted or treated pieces of wood to smoke your meat, as they may release toxins into your food.

Get Your BBQ Fix at Chad’s BBQ

Now that you know the best wood for smoking meat, head to Chad’s BBQ for some mouth-watering BBQ to satisfy your taste buds. Our perfectly smoked BBQ is served with delicious house-made sauces and sides to match. Contact us at (410) 956-7774 to place an order. We’re located at 158 W Central Ave. Edgewater, MD.