Cooking with wood is an exciting, fun and rewarding experience. Nothing delights the senses quite like sizzling meat over a crackling flame. And you can’t beat the thrill of using just the right type of wood for a tastebud-tingling flavor sensation.
The key is not to be afraid to play around when using wood for cooking. It’s an art, not a science—meaning there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for what will give you the best results. Instead, by trying new things, you’ll no doubt stumble on something unique and surprisingly delicious.
Think of this guide as an orientation for your journey with using wood for cooking. The guidelines we lay out below are like guardrails to keep you in the right creative space for an enjoyable wood-fired cooking experience. Whether you want to fire up your pizza oven, smoker or grill, you’ll find the info and tips you need to get started on the right foot.
Here’s a rundown of the topics we’ll be covering:
- The Essential Qualities of the Best Cooking Wood
- Types of Wood to Avoid When Cooking
- Getting to Know the Best Species of Cooking Wood
- A Brief Guide to Mixing Cooking Wood Species
- How to Use Wood to Cook in Pizza Ovens
- Wood-Size Guidelines for Grilling or Smoking Meat
- Choosing the Best Type of Wood for Whatever You’re Smoking
- Expert Tips for Smoking or Grilling with Wood