Firewood for BBQ

Barbecue is heavily defined by it’s smoky flavor. Lots of fuel, like propane and charcoal, produce smoke and impart flavor in your meat but most enthusiasts are looking for particular tastes that enhance and match their food.

BBQ smoke firewood pairing chart
BBQ Smoke Firewood Chart

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What is the best firewood for BBQ?

There are multiple answers to this question and it depends on what you are cooking. Above is a basic chart of some of the most popular and easy to find types of fire wood to help you determine where to start if you are unsure which meat to pair with a specific wood for smoking.

Since there are so many types of fish, some hardwoods can overwhelm a Seabass, but Salmon can often handle a stronger flavor profile. Over time people find that not only do they get to know the smell and flavors and how to match, but even start to blend and mix the types of firewood for very specific meals.


Here are some varieties of wood chunks you can easily order on Amazon.

Hickory

Very well known and sought after. One of the most popular choices for barbecue enthusiasts. Hickory is one of those choices where it is hard to go wrong since in certain amounts, it pairs well with almost anything you put on a grill. Brisket, Pork Ribs, Chicken, Lamb Chops, Turkey

Applewood

Right up there with Hickory as one of the most popular. You will find that many of the wood varieties on this list come from fruit trees. In seeking a great match for pork, this is probably the most commonly used. Boston Butt, Chicken, Lamb

Pecan Firewood

A wonderful and often underrated fruit wood that most BBQ Pitmasters use to blend with other woods in the spirit of wineries that blend their grapes. But this smoke can stand on its own very well with certain meats. Beef, Pork loin, Chicken, Leg of Lamb

Mesquite

When you smell Mesquite, it is usually because you are going to be enjoying Texas style BBQ. I will not try to do it justice here to describe the aroma, just know what protein it mixes well with as it can be overpowering but a perfect match for heavier meats. Beef Ribs, Chicken, Salmon

Cherry Wood

I have heard a lot of people that like to mix cherry with other wood because it provides a beautiful color to the outside of your BBQ. But by itself, it still provides a wonderful flavor. Beef, Pork, Chicken, Lamb, Turkey

White Oak

Another great all around wood that is becoming higher in demand. Oak is a delicious hardwood and can be paired with almost any BBQ. Steak, Turkey, Shrimp


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