Smokekid, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Smokewood and Flavors

Smokewood and Flavors

Smoking of food existed from the moment we invented fire. Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from smoldering material, most often wood. Smoking is a good method of preserving meat and fish. Today we use smoke mainly to add something extra to food/dishes. Known products are smoked ham, salmon and eel.

Not all wood is suitable for smoking. Smokewood has to be carefully selected. There shouldn’t be any pollution of paint, glue, stain etc. In the Smokekid webshop you buy FSC certified Smokechips.

If you’ve never used smokewood, start cautiously. First try a small amount to see what you like best. For example, use a 1/4 cup pre-soaked Smokechips in the Smoketube to fry with pork chops or steaks etc. on your grill or bbq. Below we give you an idea of the flavour of the different kinds of smokewood:

Smokewood (sawdust, chips, shavings, cubes and pellets):

Alder gives a soft and full flavour that goes well with fish and shellfish, such as salmon, shrimp and lobster, but also goes well with chicken.
Almond gives a nutty sweet flavour that goes well with all meats.
Apple is a fabulous wood for smoking, sweet and mild in it’s nature, compliments most foods, gives a special aroma and is very suitable for game, fish and fowl. Also suitable for use on the BBQ after it’s moistened
Ash has a bright, unique flavour. This wood lights fairly quickly.
Beech gives a delicious flavour to the fish or meat. By using some extra beech colour of the fish becomes reddish.
Birch is one of a kind and produces mouth watering foods. The smoke is light and tastes a bit like maple. This wood tastes good together with poultry and pork.
Citrus gives smoke with a slightly fruity flavour that is slightly stronger than apple or cherry
Chestnut gives a slightly sweet, nutty smell too. Good with meat or fish.
Cherry has a full sweet and mild taste that can be used in virtually anything, and is a popular type of wood to smoke with.
Grapefruit is a light wood that gives a great smoky flavour and goes well with all types of meat.
Hickory is probably the one of the most popular smoke wood used in barbecues. It has a strong flavour that compliments all meats. It gives a strong flavour to meat. It goes well with ribs, beef, ham and lamb. Woodchips have to soak for a while.
Maple is a little subtler than it’s cousins hickory and oak and is a great choice for smoking. Gives a sweet flavour that goes well with poultry or pork but can be well used for the smoking of cheese, butter, vegetables, salt and pepper.
Nectarine is great with poultry and pork.
Oak is the most versatile of all smoking woods, it has been used for centuries, goes practically with everything. Gives a distinct but mild smoke flavour and gives the smoked products a beautiful colour. Good for smoking any kind of food. It goes well with beef or lamb, but particularly well with pork.
Pear is similar to apple but has a slightly less strong smoke and produces a sweet flavour and mild taste it is an all rounder, but particularly well with pork.
Pecan is medium fruity, sweet and provides a delicate flavour that goes well with lamb and pork but also in cheese.
Poplar is also suitable to smoke but burns quite quickly. Gives a slightly sweet flavour. Nice with fish and shellfish.
Vines release much smoke and give it a fruity and fairly heavy flavour and should be used sparingly. Serve with poultry or lamb.
Walnut gives a heavy smoky flavour. We prefer to mix it with other smokewood like apple beech oak alder pear
Wood of Whiskybarrels gives a unique taste and is easy to use with beef and lamb.


There is also smokewood from wine and bourbon casks that gives a distinctive flavour. If you cannot find these kinds of smokewood a solution is to make your own. Dampen your smokewood with whisky, sherry, wine or beer. You may also use The Smokekid and The Smoketube with other products such as peat, straw, herbs, nuts, tea, garlic, or Smokechips mixed with other types of Smokewood.

This post is also available in: nlNederlands