I want to smoke a few boston butts, but I want to know what wood has the strongest flavor, and I will be smoking them for 12+ hours, very slow and low cook.

  • 4
    The question you probably meant to ask is what wood(s) would go best with your meat. Sean's answer, though it ultimately recommends the same wood as Michael's, is better in that regard: it explains why you'd choose hickory besides strength of flavor.
    – Cascabel
    Nov 24, 2011 at 19:37

3 Answers 3


The strongest wood is not always the best wood. Mesquite is by far the strongest smoke wood. But it can be a disaster on anything but beef or fast-cooked foods. Hickory is a good complement to barbecued pork, and is the traditional wood for Carolina barbecue. I like to use hickory and cherry with pulled pork and ribs, myself.


I would go with hickory; it always taste strong, and it is the best for me.


I love smoking, and this is of course a matter of taste, but I think I got the best results with pieces of apple, cherry and peach, soaked overnight.

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