Oak is one of the most popular option when smoking meat – but is it the best option?
In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons to using oak firewood for smoking meat and some alternatives depending on the flavor profile you are trying to accomplish.
Let’s get started:
Oak Firewood for Smoking Meat Overview
Oak is a strong wood, but it does not overpower the meat’s flavor and texture. Oak firewood is best for cooking or smoking beef or lamb.
Oak wood is also suitable for game meats and fish, like elk or deer and even most red meats.
If you have a big grill, consider putting the wood in with the coals. Arrange your coals on the bottom of the grill and light it. When the coals turn white, lay your live oak pieces on top.
The heat and flames produced by the coals charring the wood reach into and season your meat. If the oak is still wet or fresh, do not utilize it for barbecuing.
Red oak and white oak are two types of wood used for barbecue grilling and cooking.
You can also find great oak firewood nearby here.
Red Oak Firewood
Red oak is ideal for meals that need to cook for a long period of time. It burns longer than other oaks, making it perfect for dishes with lengthy cooking times.
White Oak Firewood
White oak works well in smoking meat inside a smoker as it burns slower. Red oak burns more quickly and is better suited to recipes that cook faster.
Pros to Using Oak Wood To Smoke Meat
- Oak is a strong wood, meaning that it doesn’t easily catch on fire and it produces a lot of heat, making it perfect for smoking meat.
- Oak is a dense wood, which means that it doesn’t produce a lot of smoke. This is beneficial when smoking meat because it produces a strong, flavorful smoke that can penetrate.
- Oak has a smoky flavor that is neither too strong nor too mild. (a bit more forceful than apple or cherry but less aggressive than mesquite), and it can be blended with apple, cherry, or hickory for some great flavor.
Cons to Using Oak Wood To Smoke Meat
- Oak is a hardwood which can cost a bit more than alternatives. Hardwoods are more firm and durable but grow much slower than softwood which makes them more cost a bit more, so it can be a bit costly to use it regularly.
- Oak is a very heavy wood.
- Oak can take about 3-6 months to season completely. The drying time depends a lot on the climate. In a hot, dry climate, the drying process could take only a few weeks. In a more humid area, it’ll take longer.
Oak firewood is a great option for smoking meat and can elevate the flavor profile of your food. For the best firewood, you can buy, check out Cutting Edge Firewood.