meat smoking fuel

Meat Smoking Fuel

Selecting the right meat smoking fuel for you is something you’ll need to consider. If you’ve got a wood smoker.

Depending on the fuel source depends on the final outcome of the flavour, so keep it in mind when choosing a smoker too.

Here are some of the top fuels you can expect to use when starting out on your BBQ journey.

Wood Smoking

When using wood to smoke your meats, it’s really really important to keep in mind the types of wood you want to use. Flavour is one of the most important aspects of smoking.

Maple Chips

A mild to medium hardwood with a sweetness that adds to the flavour. Maple chips produce a really nice mellow smoke, this works well with meats such as pork and poultry and is also fantastic with more delicate fish flavours such as trout or haddock.

Maple chips for smoking meats
Maple Chips

Cherry Wood Chunks

This is probably one of the more popular wood smoking options amongst the meat smoking community. Cherry wood has a strong sweet smoky flavor which suits pretty much all kinds of BBQ meat, especially chicken or pork ribs. If you’re not a massive fan of strong sweet flavour you might be better off with something a little less intense.

cherry wood chunks
Cherry Wood chunks

There’s plenty more different types of wood to choose from, flavors range from Apple, to Oak. Check out this image to see what kind of Woods work best.


Charcoal is a fan favourite when it comes to smoking. Readily available, cheap and burns for a goo long time.

charcoal meat smoking fuel
Glowing charcoal chunks are hypnotising

Charcoal offers a nice all round smoke and cook for your meats. It’s easily stored and gives a longer burn giving you more bang for your buck.

You can choose either briquette charcoal or lump charcoal, both have their advantages as a meat smoking fuel.

Lump Charcoal

The amount of burn time lump charcoal gives out varies by brand, you may need to do some research and development into which one works best for you. The size of the chunks will also vary. Typically, lump charcoal tends to burn cleaner than briquette charcoal and you’ll notice it produces much less ash. It burns a bit hotter though, with some practice, you’ll be able to control the temperature with your smokers air vents.

Briquette Charcoal

Briquettes would be a great choice for a beginner. Briquettes are made by compressing sawdust together which is the formed into the briquettes. Using a clean binding agent, these are able to offer a much cleaner burn than most other smoking fuels. If you notice that the cheaper brands are a bit hotter then the additives are something to take note of.

Charcoal Briquettes will let you maintain a steady cooking temperature and will burn longer than lump charcoal. However, they take longer to light, which to be fair, isn’t that much of a problem for a meat smoking fuel.