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If I'm using my gas grill (adding charcoal and wood) and wanted to try to get different flavors out of different wood types, is there a guideline for which woods work better for fish/meat - Hickory is a strong flavor and works great with meat; Cherry works good with chicken...Any other ideas?

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4 Answers

Here is a huge list of wood smoke flavoring.

Some tips: Apricot (other fruits), Peach, Oak, Almond

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I'm not sure if your question refers to smoke chips or plank cooking, but I really enjoy salmon cooked on cedar planks. I got a great deal on the cedar planks on Woot a while back, but you can actually buy untreated lumber at your local Home Depot/Lowes/etc and cut it to size yourself.

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yep - cedar on salmon! I should've had this in my response as well (cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/4195/…) –  Vinnie Aug 5 '10 at 15:19
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Definitely yes - different wood types pair better with different types of meat.

Here are my guidelines:

  • Hickory - Nothing in the world smells better than hickory mixing with a pork butt or pork ribs! Tastes really good too. Also good for chicken.
  • Apple - for something like a pork loin, hickory is too strong. The meat absorbs a lot of the smoke flavor. Use a lighter "tasting" wood. I prefer apple. Also good with chicken.
  • Mesquite - this is a strong tasting wood. Works great when paired with a beef brisket.
  • Cherry - I like this with many cuts of beef other than brisket. It's OK on chicken too.
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Hickory, yum! Especially with pork ribs, I completely agree. +1! –  stephennmcdonald Aug 5 '10 at 15:03
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I'm not sure whether this would work, but there is one school of thought that what grows together, goes together. You could try using wood which grows in similar places to the meat you are cooking. Probably wouldn't work so well with fish though.

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It works for fish, if you change 'wood' to 'plants', as for things like clambakes they often use seaweed to provide steam (and smoke?) –  Joe Aug 5 '10 at 15:19
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