View Full Version : What kind of wood used for competition?

04-26-2007, 12:52 PM
I am curious what woods you guys use for smoke in competitions? Do you use different wood for different meats? It seems that you guys with the bigger pits would have to use the same wood for all meats right? I will be cooking on two different smokers and have the option to use pretty much any wood choice we want to. I could really use some help here guys. Thanks in advance.


Dale P
04-26-2007, 12:59 PM
We use different woods for different things but we have been known to use cherry, oak, hickory, pecan, and apple. I like them all. Never tried peach but would like to find some. Pecan is hard for us to get as is apple but the others are real easy to find in these parts.

Pig Headed
04-26-2007, 12:59 PM
I like to use fruit woods for pork & chicken (cherry preferred) w/ a little hickory.

For Brisket, I use Hickory.

04-26-2007, 01:45 PM
Pecan and Cherry for pork - Cherry for chicken and pecan or hickory for brisket.

04-26-2007, 02:12 PM
we use a mix of cherry and apple on all of our meats but this year i got a hold of some black walnut and will be using that as well. ive used it at the store and it has a great flavor

04-26-2007, 02:28 PM
I like cherry


04-26-2007, 02:46 PM
Hickory/Cherry/ Apple.

Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry. Did I mention I like Cherry??

04-26-2007, 02:56 PM
I have some cherry and it sounds like I need to try it. I usually will mix in just a little cherry with other woods like mesquite or apple. I think I'll give it a try as the primary wood type and maybe some apple as a secondary.

04-26-2007, 03:06 PM
Straight Hickory for brisket and pork butts. Combination of 75% apple or cherry and 25% hickory for ribs and chicken. I like the delicate smoke from apple and cherry for these cuts of meat however I think 25% hickory gives it a little extra kick and makes it taste like bbq.

04-26-2007, 03:31 PM
Oak with pecan or hickory the majority of the time. I like peach when I can get it.

I started with oak and it's still my go-to wood since it's about the only easily available hardwood around my area. The pecan and hickory come from north Florida - and since Tim has gone FEC100 I'm doubting I see much more!

04-26-2007, 06:29 PM
I have only done one comp and the wood was all pecan.

04-27-2007, 12:48 AM
I use cherry, but in the pellet form.

04-28-2007, 09:08 PM
I use the exact same wood for comp as I do at home for recreational Que.
I can imagine no reason for changing---quality Que is quality Que-- the best you can make it.

The only "unique" wood in my assortment is Mesquite. I love a "touch" of mesquite on beef! Easy to overdo and become bitter. But, WOW when it is done right :lol:

Otherwise for all meats in general:
"Nut woods" starting with Oak as a mainstay, with Pecan for more flavor or darker bark. Hickory is great and is "Pecan on steroids" to me. I use it in moderation. Hickory can overpower and produce a very black bark if overused. Can become bitter also.
Never had Black Walnut to play with. Understand it is great, but stronger than hickory.

If I am cooking pork and poultry:
I start with a nut wood, most likely oak. Or just straight fruit woods.
Then, add the fruit woods. Peach, Apple, Pear, Cherry, or whatever is available at the time.
All of them seem to work "fine" to "great", depending on your taste.

For "Specialty smokes", I use pure apple for bacon and pure mesquite for beef jerky.

To be honest, for the standard butts, briskets, ribs, and such--I do not "taste" a lot of difference in the woods. That is excluding the pure or extremes of the wood smokes.
I do see a lot of difference in color--Oak can be controlled to "Mahogany Brown", Pecan tends from Brown to Black, and Hickory produces real black bark.
On the other extreme, Cherry is....well...Cherry and gorgeous on pork. :lol:

Just something you have to play with and is also a "regional" thingie.
Alder does not work in the SE, Oak does!
Texans love Mesquite, SE folks like it only in moderation.

Just have fun experimenting!

Good Luck,


04-28-2007, 11:32 PM
I use a mix of apple and oak. I think the type of wood you use has alot to do with where you live many people use what they have the easiest access to. I can get apple, oak and sometimes peach no problem. I am not opposed to using other woods I just cannot get them. I personaly do not feel that one wood is far supier to another if they are used correctly.


04-29-2007, 06:36 PM
Oak and Apple, my personal favorites