When it comes to smoking meat, I have found that a pellet smoker is by far the best way to infuse smoke flavor into your meat. But to get smoke, you first need wood. But what type of wood? Hardwood? Fruitwood? Cedar?
Let’s start with the main types of wood. There are dozens of smoke woods that can be used, but I’m going to focus on the top woods in terms of popularity and availability:
Hickory is the most commonly used wood to smoke with. It works particularly well with pork and ribs and imparts a sweet and strong flavor with notes of bacon. Hickory is often used as the measuring stick for other woods, used to describe where they fall on the flavor scale.
For example, other popular woods such as apple, mesquite, peach, and pecan are a little sweeter and milder than hickory is, whereas cedar can have a strong, nearly overpowering flavor if used to grill for too long.
I find that the Lumber Jack BBQ Wood Pellet Competition Blend and Supreme Blend are the best all around wood uses. The Competition Blend has a perfect blend of Maple, Hickory and Cherry. The Supreme Blend has a perfect blend of Oak, Hickory and Cherry.
But remember, not all wood pellets are created equal. I have found that Lumber Jack Grilling Pellets are by far the best quality. I have a seperate article regarding pellet quality. Learn More
But in the end, It's all about personal taste. You have to decide what you and your family prefer. The best way to do that is experiment with different woods.