The Best Types of Wood to Use for BBQ

Barbecue is an artform, and it takes lots of time and patience to get it right. True barbecue is slow smoked at temperatures between 180 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit—much lower than the average stove or oven temperatures. In the smoker , different types of wood will create unique flavor profiles in the meat as it slowly cooks and develops a delicious crust, or bark, on the outside while staying tender and juicy inside. There are lots of different woods that can be used for authentic BBQ, but the best choices tend to be those listed below.


Oak is the most versatile wood to put in a smoker, and it is easy to work with as well. It will offer a medium bodied flavor that doesn’t overpower the meat, so it is appropriate for beef, chicken, sausage, or pork.


When you want a stronger smoke flavor, hickory is the right choice. It offers a savory yet sweet aroma, but it can become bitter if the food is over-smoked, so it can be best to start with oak and finish the meat on hickory.


The distinctive flavor of mesquite is highly sought after by barbecue aficionados, because it is much more intense and deep than other types of wood. It is also perfect for the low and slow cooking methods of BBQ, because mesquite can lend bitter flavors when it becomes too hot.


Pork and Applewood are a perfect match. The sweetness and mellow flavors of the wood pair well with sweet and tender pork, though it does take many hours for Applewood to leave its mark, so it’s best for items that smoke longer, like ribs or large pork roasts.

Steamboat Smokehouse knows a thing or two about the right wood for perfect barbecue. Their meats cook for up to 15 hours, the old-fashioned way. If you’re in Steamboat Springs, CO, place an order for takeout or delivery today to see what this restaurant has to offer. You can reach them online or at (970) 879-7427.