When you think of cooking with wood for smoking, it is a whole different ball game compared to the sizzle of a hot pan or the quick flip of a burger on the grill. This style is less about speed and high heat, and more about a slow, patient process that infuses depth of flavour into the food. It is a method that stands in stark contrast to the immediate satisfaction of traditional cooking techniques, embracing the art of smoking with wood, a culinary approach that is worlds apart from the fast-paced frenzy of a kitchen.

What is smoking with wood?

Smoking wood is a cooking method where you slow-cook food using wood smoke. It is all about giving your food a rich, smoky flavour that you just cannot get from regular BBQing or other cooking techniques. While BBQing is more about grilling over direct heat, smoking is a slower, lower-heat process, think of a marathon, not a sprint.

And the best part is you can do it both indoors and outdoors. Indoor smoking needs special equipment, though, to keep the smoke under control. Outdoor smoking, on the other hand, is where you can really go to town with different woods and flavours. Choose smoking wood chunks or kiln dried logs, depending on which type of wood best suits your cooking device.

A Kamado grill is a popular device for smoking

A Kamado grill is a popular device for smoking

Smoking devices

If you are exploring the world of smoking, there are many devices that can deliver smoky flavours. Here is a roundup of some popular devices:

# Device name Device type Fuel sources
1 Box smoker Looks like a small fridge and is excellent for consistent heat Various
2 Charcoal smoker For those who love the traditional charcoal flavour in their smoked food Mainly charcoal, possibly wood too
3 Drum smoker Made from a steel drum, it is a favourite for its simplicity and efficiency Mainly charcoal, possibly wood too
4 Electric smoker Perfect for beginners, it is all about convenience and control Electric, with wood chips for flavour
5 Kamado grill Inspired by ancient cooking techniques, it is great for both smoking and grilling Charcoal, possibly wood chips too
6 Kettle grill Super versatile, it can be used for both grilling and smoking Charcoal or wood chunks
7 Offset smoker The classic choice for serious BBQ fans, great for large cuts of meat Wood or charcoal
8 Pellet smoker Uses wood pellets and is known for its precision in temperature control Wood pellets (also called briquettes)
9 Portable smoker Small and easy to transport, ideal for camping or picnics Various
10 Propane smoker Easy to use with consistent heat, powered by propane Propane gas with wood chips for flavour
11 Smoker oven A kitchen appliance for indoor smoking, perfect for when you can't smoke outside Usually electric with wood chips
12 Water smoker Also known as a bullet smoker, it is compact and ideal for small spaces Charcoal or wood
Ribs, sausages and pulled pork all being smoked over oak wood

Ribs, sausages and pulled pork all being smoked over oak wood

What meats are suited to smoking?

Each of these meats brings something special to the smoker, from beef that turns buttery soft to chicken that is next-level juicy. So, fire up your smoker of choice and get ready for some serious flavour adventures! Here is a rundown of the meats that really shine when smoked:

  • Beef brisket - the king of the smoker, brisket transforms into something melt-in-your-mouth amazing with a low and slow smoke
  • Chicken - smoking gives chicken a whole new level of juicy goodness and with delicious crispy skin
  • Duck - smoking duck gives it a crispy skin and rich, flavourful meat, which is seriously classy
  • Fish (like salmon) - smoked salmon is a classic, with its flaky texture and rich, smoky taste
  • Lamb shoulder - it becomes incredibly rich and tender with a smoky twist, perfect for shaking up your smoking routine
  • Pork shoulder - perfect for pulled pork, it gets super tender and flavourful with hours in the smoker
  • Ribs (pork or beef) - ribs and smoke are best mates. They come out sticky, sweet, and with that perfect fall-off-the-bone tenderness
  • Sausages - smoking adds depth to sausages, making them more than just your average BBQ fare
  • Turkey - smoked turkey is not just for Christmas. It is different to what you might think smoked, it is a moist meat with smoky flavour when smoked
  • Venison - lean and gamey, smoking venison brings out a unique, robust flavour you won’t get any other way

Choosing between kiln dried logs and smoking wood chunks

Deciding between kiln dried logs and smoking wood chunks for your BBQ sesh? It's all about what you're working with and the taste you're after. Let me break it down for you:

Kiln dried logs

Here are some of the advantages of using kiln dried logs as the best wood for smoking:

  • Big smoker friendly - if you have a large smoker or a fire pit that means business, logs are your best bet. They are chunky and perfect for large setups
  • Flavour powerhouses - logs pack a serious punch in the flavour department, and are great for big cuts of meat that can soak up all that smoky goodness
  • Marathon burners - these burn slow and steadily, and are ideal for those epic, all-day smoking sessions
  • Space eaters - just a heads up, they are hefty. You will need a bit of room to store them and a smoker that can handle their size. Visit out log store ideas article here

Smoking wood chunks

Here are some of the advantages of using smoking wood chunks as the best wood for smoking:

  • Easy storage – wood chunks are smaller, so they will not turn your shed into a woodpile
  • Jack of all smokers – wood chunks are like the universal remote of smoking woods, they work well with pretty much any smoker, especially smaller ones
  • Quickfire option - if you are not planning to smoke your meat for a long time, wood chunks are your go-to option. They burn faster than logs but still bring the flavour
  • Smoke control pros - want to fine-tune your smoke levels? Chunks give you far more control to hit that flavour sweet spot

Both kiln dried logs and chunks are top-notch choices – it is all about a clean burn and consistent smoke.

Expert tips on finding the best wood for smoking

Each of these woods brings its own unique flavour to the smoking table. So, whether you are looking for something strong and hearty or light and sweet, there is a wood out there for your smoking needs. Time to fire up that smoker and get experimenting with the best firewood for smoking meat:


Alder is the traditional choice for smoking fish, especially salmon. It gives a light, delicate flavour that complements seafood perfectly. Alder's also pretty good with poultry and pork if you are looking for a milder smoke. It is an unsung hero among smoking wood options.

Smoked salmon being smoked with alder wood

Smoked salmon being smoked with alder wood


Perhaps an unusual choice for some, but this fruit wood is renowned for its sweet but also fruity smoky flavour. Choose apple wood when you are smoking poultry and pork as it adds a subtle but distinctive taste. Apple wood burns both slowly and steadily, so is an ideal wood to choose for longer smoking needs. Buy apple wood chunks or logs as a method of balancing out stronger-flavoured meats.


Beech wood is a hidden gem, that is right in front of our eyes. Burns this wood for a wonderful medium to strong smoky flavour. We think it is especially ideal for smoking of beef or pork. With its earthy and nutty taste, beech is a great choice. It is freely available UK-wide and can be considered as an all-round solution for use as firewood for smoking meat.


For a sweeter taste (perhaps like maple) choose birch. Smoking with a subtle but distinct flavour, we partner birch with pork and poultry. Birch does tend to burn quickly, so is better suited to only short smoking tasks. Buy birch wood chunks or logs, which are easy to use, and ideally suited to beginners in smoking.


Another fruit wood to consider is cherry wood, which delivers a mild and fruity flavour. Cherry wood is renowned for its matching with poultry dishes, so think chicken, turkey, and duck. The cherry taste brings a rich taste and a rosy hue to dishes, it is also ideal for balancing out of stronger flavours. We recommend cherry wood chunks as a good mixing wood for use with other smoking woods.


Hickory is perhaps a classic choice as a wood for smoking, with even a national restaurant chain being named after the wood. Particularly revered in the US, hickory is a classic choice as a best wood for smoking. Hickory wood unleashes a hearty and almost bacon-like flavour and is well-known for its smoked cooking with pork, beef, and ribs. One word of caution though, over-use of hickory will overpower food, therefore, hickory can benefit from mixing with other milder woods. To conclude choose hickory without hesitation, especially when smoking ribs and pulled pork.


Smoke maple wood for a similar taste to maple syrup! It is an amazing wood to smoke with poultry or ham and it gives off a smoky flavour, which is much less intense than hickory wood and others. Maple is ideal to use when you want a smoky taste without overpowering the wood, it is also much more available than it was historically in the UK. Use maple to retain meat flavours without being overpowering.


Trust oak as a solid, dependable all-rounder among smoking woods. Oak wood provides a strong flavouring for large cuts of meat, especially beef and lamb, but a flavour that is not typically overpowering. Oak can be safely paired with several different foods and of course has the advantage of being easy to buy here in the UK.

Which is the best wood for smoking brisket?

In our opinion, oak makes the best wood to smoke brisket. Oak wood adds a perfect amount of smoke flavour to the brisket, making it smoky without being overbearing. Woods like oak add a soft, mystical touch without taking centre stage.

Enjoy the delightful taste of smoked brisket

Enjoy the delightful taste of smoked brisket

But mesquite and hickory are also great options if you want to add a little smoke. Mesquite has a stronger, more intense kick than hickory, which has a robust, slightly sweet flavour. So, whether you are a fan of gentle smokiness or like it a bit more robust, these woods have got your brisket covered.

Introducing the BBQ Pro Pack

Do not let the name fool you, the BBQ Pro Pack is also ideal to use as firewood for smoking meat. Within this Cozilogs special pack is a 10KG of charcoal, a box of 25 firelighters and 8 x smoking wood chunks. Click this link to buy the competitively priced BBQ Pro Pack online now in just a few clicks.


As we near the end of our exploration of the smoky realm of wood smoking, it is clear that this method of cooking is revolutionary for those who appreciate flavour. From the variety of meats that become magical in the smoker to the wide range of woods, each adding a unique flavour, smoking with wood is an art form. It is a journey of flavours, from the delicate sweetness of apple wood to the strength of hickory.

When it comes to smoking, regardless of experience level, there is always something new to try and a flavour to discover. Gather your smoking wood chunks or logs, grab your smoker, and begin your adventure. Remember, whether you are enjoying smoked salmon or slow-cooked brisket, wood smoking brings many opportunities!

Contact us

Well, that is us finished with our article about smoking wood. If you do want to contact us to buy firewood for smoking meat, fish, or poultry we await your contact. As well as kiln dried logs, we also sell smoking wood chunks, charcoal, and briquettes, which are also great in smoking.

To discuss our best wood for smoking brisket, call us today at (01905) 954 736. You can also send us an email us using our contact us page.