Each wood has distinct qualities that improve the flavor of your food while selecting the best wood for smoking. You should choose the wood that most closely resembles the unique taste of the dish you intend to smoke. You can experiment with various wood and meat pairings using smoke as a flavoring component until you find the perfect BBQ match.

One of those arguments that have lasted for years and probably will for a very long time. As usual, the wood that you, your family, and friends prefer is the best wood for smoking meals. For instance, hardwood is suggested when smoking heavier foods like beef and pork. It is recommended to use lighter hardwood or fruity wood for delicate foods like chicken and fish.

Hardwood and softwood refer to the way a tree reproduces.

  • Hardwood trees are seasonal and require fertilization in order to procreate.

  • Softwoods are evergreens, and they breed by producing cones.

The best woods for smoking steak include fruity cherry and maple as well as hardwoods, oak and hickory. Get the perfect smoking wood taste for your upcoming cookout today. The best woods for smoking steak are listed here for your guidance.

Types of smoking woods

  1. Alder

Alder, a tree that thrives in the Pacific Northwest, creates a moderate smoke that matches nicely with fish and chicken, particularly when smoking salmon, which is frequently grilled over alder logs. It adds a pleasant, sweet flavor to more delicate varieties of meat. 

It goes perfectly well with fish and white meat poultry.

  1. Hickory

The nutty hickory tree, which grows all over the United States, produces hickory, one of the hardest natural wood species. A key ingredient in Carolina bbq is hickory. Hickory is a sturdy wood that burns steadily for a long time, so you can smoke your steaks for extended periods of time without having to adjust your smoker. In comparison to the light flavors of the other fruit and nut trees on this list, it has a nutty, smokey flavor that is more rustic.

It goes perfectly well with beef and pork.

  1. Oak

A regional variety of white oak known as post oak is the wood that characterizes central Texas BBQ. Making whiskey barrels is just one of the numerous uses for white oak. If you use white oak or post oak for BBQ, you’ll notice the smoke gives the meat a flavor that is somewhat sweet and tinted with vanilla, much like a Kentucky whiskey.

It goes perfectly well with chicken, beef, and pork.

  1. Pecan

The pecan tree, a nut tree endemic to the southern United States, produces pecan, a sturdy hardwood. Due to its rich, nutty flavor, pecan wood is utilized for various varieties of BBQ. It has the strongest flavor among the nut trees. If you want to give the smoke on your steak a rich, sweet dimension, pecan wood is a terrific option. It is more suited for rare or medium-rare steaks when you want a rapid searing because it does not burn as long or steadily as oak or hickory.

It goes perfectly well with chicken, beef, and pork

  1. Maple

Another well-liked mild wood is maple, which emits a somewhat sweet smoke that lends a distinctively dark, burnished mahogany color to more delicate foods like chicken, vegetables, and even smoked cheese. The maple tree produces sweet liquid and is common in the northern United States, yields maple wood. It works well with woods like alder, oak, or apple.

It goes perfectly well with chicken, veggies, and cheese.

  1. Cherry

The cherry tree, a fruit tree originally from Eurasia but now found all over North America, produces cherry wood. Cherry wood is an excellent option if you want your steak to have a delicate, sweet flavor. Cherry is a useful wood to have on hand if you want to use your stock for another meal in the future. 

Although cherry wood’s fruity flavor is less strong than that of other fruitwoods, it does have a characteristic reddish-brown hue and sweet smoke. It is great if you prefer your steak well-done because cherry wood requires a lot of time to build up adequate smoke, meaning your meat will spend a lot of time on the smoker.

It goes perfectly well with beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and duck.

  1. Mesquite

One of the most popular types of wood in Texas is mesquite. It has a highly flavorful, unpleasant taste and burns hot and quickly while spitting out a lot of smoke. Although it takes a while to heal, it can be controlled. It works best when burned down into coals or used for quick meals like steak.

It goes perfectly well with beef and pork.

  1. Grape

The grape has a somewhat smoky flavor and a sweet, fruity aroma. When cooking, it smells lovely and tastes fantastic on dark meat, chicken, lamb, cattle, and game, but be cautious not to apply excessively or the flavor will become overpowering.

It goes perfectly well with lamb, dark meat poultry, game, and beef.

Avoid the woods

Although it’s appealing to go out exploring and gather your own wood, be sure you know what you’re obtaining. Some woods, such as Pine, Fir, Spruce, Redwood, Cedar, Cypress, Elm, Eucalyptus, Sassafras, Sycamore, Liquid Amber, and Redwood, are not suited for smoking and may even be dangerous. In general, you’re alright with eating fruit or nuts from trees; orchard trees or nuts are acceptable.