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Oak wood

RichmondBGERichmondBGE Posts: 11
edited December 2011 in EggHead Forum
I've read on here that a lot of people use oak wood and fruit wood for smoking vs the more overpowering hickory or mesquite woods.  I don't think I've ever seen oak chips for sale before though.  I do have a lot of seasoned/dried oak logs I use for firewood I could cut up and make small chunks out of.  Does it matter if it's red oak vs. white oak?


  • Here is the best description of all woods that i have found. Hope it helps...


    This is that classic TexMex and Southwestern flavor. It has a strong, biting, zesty flavor.

    Use sparingly as this is the strongest smoking wood. A little goes a long way. I like it on brisket and ribs. Good on chicken too.


    Hickory is more of a sweet, smokey flavor than mesquite. It is the most popular smoking wood and is what most people would associate with the "classic" American barbecue.

    Can be used with any meat especially brisket and pork. Sometimes used in combination with oak for a milder flavor.

    Red Oak

    Most people describe red oak as a sweeter version of white oak but overall, oak is not as strong as hickory. Most people would describe oak as a neutral or mellow flavor.

    Can be used with any meat and in combination with other woods like hickory and/or fruitwoods. I often think of oak as a heat source rather than a smoke flavor because the other woods are so much more distinct.

    White Oak

    Similar to red oak, but not quite as sweet of a flavor. Can also be found in the form of wine or whiskey barrel chunks. In which case, you would gain the extra aroma of the wine or whiskey.

    Same as red oak.

    Oak Wine Barrel Blocks

    A great oaky smoke with a surprisingly strong wine aroma in the smoke.

    Great with ribs and chicken but can be used with butts or brisket too.


    A sweeter, nuttier flavor similar to hickory but not as strong.

    Can be used with any meat similar to oak and makes a good stand alone source of heat and flavor.


    A gentle, sweet aroma and flavor.

    Great for chicken and pork.

    Fruitwoods... apple, cherry, peach, pear, apricot.

    These fruitwoods impart a mild, sweet, fruity hint of smoke flavor to your meats.

    Usually used with chicken and ribs and can be mixed with oak to add just a touch of the fruity flavor.


    Similar to maple and the fruitwoods. It imparts a subtle, sweet aroma. Some say it has a hint of cedar and that it's syrup smells like bananas.

    Popular in the Pacific Northwest it is used a lot to smoke salmon. It can be used for chicken and pork too.


    A rich and fruity aroma as you would expect from a fruitwood.

    Mostly used for chicken, wild game or fish. Popular in the wine regions of the world.

    Cedar (planks)

    DO NOT burn this in your firebox, rather use it for planking inside your cooking chamber. A sharp, unique, acidic citrusy flavor.

    Mainly used with fish.


    A hardwood similar to oak in flavor.

    Use like oak if you have this wood available in your area.


    A softer wood with a flavor similar to maple.

    Good for pork and chicken.


    Usually ground into a powder and used in a foil pack or smoke box. It is strong, so use sparingly as an added flavor combined with other woods. It imparts a sweet flavor.

    Good for chicken and fish.


    Strong, bitter flavor so use sparingly and in combination with other woods.

    Used mostly with heavy game.

  • Awesome....great info. I will have to try both, my red and white oak. Thanks!
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,173
    The difference between red oak and white oak is night and day. IMO, once you have used red oak on beef, you'll be hard pressed to use anything else.
    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
    edited December 2011
    How much do you actually appreciate in flavor using oak smoking wood when you have oak lump charcoal as your base heat source?



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

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