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Too many laps of the sun...trying to simplify smoke wood selections

Since the forum has been on the "If you only had..." theme, I am trying to get down to two regular use smoke woods, recognizing that there are places for the specialty "Jack Daniels" oak etc.  I generally smoke briskets, butts, chuck roasts, prime rib (JD owns this cook), fish (primarily salmon), turkey.  Most everything else is hot and fast.  I'm leaning to cherry and pecan but would enjoy your opinions.  Right now I also have apple, oak, hickory and alder in the rotation.

Louisville   L & S BGEs 


  • njlnjl Posts: 827
    I've been using oak for pretty much everything...but that's because I've had a free supply of it.
  • Crispix49Crispix49 Posts: 190
    Cherry and Pecan here as well.  Love cherry on poultry and ribs; gives a nice sweet smoke.  Use pecan on butts, brisket, and ribs as well.  Hickory is a pretty close 3rd.
    Atlanta suburbs
    Large & Mini owner
    UGA Alum - Go Dawgs!
  • i'm down to oak, apple cherry. oak on all beef and butts. Apple on all other pork. Cherry on birds. nothing on fish

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,790
    Being from here Hickory is in my blood plus a have a buttload of it. I have been experimenting with others... Pecan, maple, cherry, etc..
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,214
    Hickory for beef with the occasional use of mesquite. Apple is the goto like others, I have a free source. Using more cherry (Neighbour is trimming his trees).
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,682
    A couple of years ago a local store started selling oak chips marked frm Texas. Certainly looks different from the red, white, and black oak that is common here in No. In. Gives the best smoke flavor, IMO, for pork and beef. I buy up lots of it. For other foods, apple is my goto. Not perfect, but doesn't bump heads w. the foods flavor.

    BTW, where I live, mulberry trees are pretty much weeds. Just about every vacant lot and old hedgerow/fence line has them. Almost impossible to kill. Can't get rid of them unless every bit opf root is dug up, or drowned in salt. Recently read that it works well for fowl, and imparts a "citrusy" flavor. I have a medium size log drying right now. Hope it works as well as mentioned. 1 or 2 trees would keep me in a continual supply.
  • For pork I like to use hickory. For poultry I like apple. For beef I use a mixture of both.
  • beteezbeteez Posts: 400
    Peach for pork & chicken maybe some maple or pecan thrown in. Orange for beef.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I haver ten acres of "black jack oak trees" and the people around me, including many of the BBQ joints cook with "black jack" --  i find it a little overpowering.  My buddy found someone cutting down a pecan tree and he got me a pick up truck load.  It too can be strong, but i have it under control now and am worried about the day i run out.  I found a supplier who gets $160 for a pallet of it, which is dried and cut/split, about a four by four foot square of chunks -- i will go that route!  The other wood i use is very mild which is peach, but i only use it on chicken once in awhile.
  • SmokinDAWG82SmokinDAWG82 Posts: 1,704
    Old School Hickory is my go to but pecan and Apple have a place in the rotation
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • Personally, I like oak (JD) I use on beef, I have cherry, apple, Hickory,  pecan, alder, white oak, and just got peach,  next some pear, and grape. I really dont know where and when to use, but I just experiment, I do like rosemary on the birds, but its hard not to get to much. 
  • cbr0011cbr0011 Posts: 85
    For my brisket solely mesquite. Everything else hickory, apple or pecan.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,321
    I'm all in with 3 oak beef. Peach, some pork and chicken. Apple for ribs butts and such. I do like have some others I dot use much maple, plum (good on beef or pork heavier than most fruitwoods) cherry and alder.
    Cherry and Pecan with occasional apple wood (occasional because I don't have much).  My dad has a pecan orchard so I have an endless supply of that.  If I had to pick one, I like cherry because it is more mild, has a pleasant smell, and seems to work on everything.
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