Smoke is the time-honored way to add flavor to anything you cook. In ancient times, smoke was used to preserve meat for long periods of time. Nowadays, we use it to enhance the flavor of meats by adding wood to the fire. Good smoke is produced by a variety of hardwoods that are low in resin and high in flavor. The types of wood below are among some of the most popular choices among barbecue enthusiasts:

Hickory

One of the most popular options available, hickory provides a strong flavor to meats. However, if you are going to use this type, you have to be careful. If too much smoke is produced, your meat may wind up tasting somewhat bitter.

Mesquite

This type of wood is favored by most restaurants. This is because it is a naturally oily wood and tends to burn quickly and at high temperatures. However, this is not the best type of wood if you are hosting a barbecue.

Apple Wood

This type of wood has a sweet and mild flavor. It is a good pairing for cooking pork, especially if you are planning on cooking poultry and ham.

Red Oak

Out of all the hardwoods and oaks, red oak is considered to be the best. This is especially true if you are going to use it for smoking meat. While the oak is strong, it won’t overpower the flavors, taste or texture of the meat you have chosen. If you are planning on cooking or smoking lamb or beef, this is the best type of wood to use.

Cherry Wood

This is another wood option that is good if you are barbecuing pork, but it is also a good match for beef. It gives a vibrant, mahogany color to the meat that you are cooking. You can even balance the cherry wood by mixing it with pecan, oak, or hickory.

Pecan Tree

The pecan tree is in the hickory family. It is a great option for barbecues and it burns very slowly, giving the meats you are cooking a delicate flavor. Additionally, this makes a great smoking wood; however, it can be somewhat pungent and you should only use it in moderation.

Love the flavors of smoked meat, but don’t want to barbecue yourself? Southbank Original Barbecue is located right along the beautiful Fox River in downtown Yorkville. We offer favorites such as pulled pork, ribs, and tri-tip, as well as homestyle creations like gumbo, meatloaf, lemon pepper chicken, and jambalaya. All of our BBQ is wood cooked, and our comfort food is homemade, served to order, and delicious every time. Stop by today, or visit our website and like our Facebook page for more information!