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How To Pick The Best Wood For Food Smoking

The ancient way of preserving meat for a long period of time was food smoking. Nowadays, we use smoke to enhance the flavor of meat by using an electric smoker with a type of wood. In the end, good smoke is produced by a variety of woods that are low in resin and high in flavor.

When it comes to smoking, wood is just as much about adding flavor as it is about fuelling the fire. Yes, you don’t want to have wood as your source of heat, and here is why. The type of wood you use to barbecue meat acts similarly to the spices used to season it. As with spices, when cooking with smoke, aim to use enough to impart good flavor to the dish without overpowering it. To do so, you’ll want to find the best wood for smoking the cut of meat you’re cooking.

How To Pick The Best Wood For Food Smoking

Pro tip: you want to make sure that what you’re using is all wood – no glue, nails, or chewing gum

You need the heat to smolder the wood and this means a pretty high heat. Other factors are the type of wood you are using as some types seem to burn better than others. Sometimes customers get a batch of bisquettes that are more compressed than others.

For example, one batch of bisquettes that are light to the feel and flakey. While others seem more dense (compressed harder together), and don’t flake as much or not at all. The denser ones don’t burn as completely! At Bradley’s we pride ourselves in consistent quality that you can taste.

If you experience any quality issues with your bisquettes, please do not hesistate to contact us at

A less common issue is that your bisquette burner may be faulty. If you have an infrared thermometer, check the temperature of the burner surface after it has heated up. It should register around 550°F. But even when bisquettes don’t burn completely, there’s still a good amount of smoke flavor that customers are looking for!

The bisquette burner either works or doesn’t. There is nothing in between. Also, as the system warms up, it could be that the very first 1-2 pucks won’t burn completely. After reaching the maximum operating temperature, it will provide you with the full smoke you need.

Pro tip: Woods to AVOID would include: cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, pine, fir, redwood, spruce, and sycamore.

Final Thoughts

Experiment a little and see what works best for you. The best person to dictate what the best wood for smoking is, is the diner! Experiment by cooking with different types of wood until you find one that you like. Try mixing two or more woods together to find your ideal level of smoky flavor. You’ll also want to try different spice rubs to find something that compliments the smoky flavor without overpowering it. Don’t forget to try each wood with a simple salt and pepper seasoning before you start adding other flavors.

Remember to visit our Bradley Smoker blog for more delicious food smoking tips and tricks!

The post How To Pick The Best Wood For Food Smoking appeared first on Bradley Smokers North America.

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