Is Birch Wood Good For Smoking Meat?

You may have noticed that different woods can add a slightly different flavor to your food.

From mildly sweet to bitterly strong — and everything in between — your choice of smoking wood can make all the difference to the taste of BBQ.

So, what particular flavor will Birch wood infuse into brisket?

Well, in this post, we describe what kind of taste Birch wood can give to red meat. You will also discover which wood will give meat the strongest smoky flavor.

And we explain why you should always allow Birch wood to ‘season’ before you burning using it.

is birch wood good for smoking meat

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Which Smoking Wood Gives Meat The Strongest Smokiest Taste?

The wood that gives meat the strongest smoky flavor is very likely Hickory wood.

It goes well with heavy red meat such as brisket. And it can be mix with milder woods, such as Cherry or Apple wood, to smoke meats such as duck.

What About Birch Wood? What Kind Of Flavor Does Birch Wood Add?

Birch wood gives wood a smoky flavor that tastes like a milder version of Hickory.

It is still strong enough to smoke heavy meats like beef. But, it can also go great with smoking some pork ribs too.

Also, it’s milder taste means that it won’t over-saturate meat with a bitter taste, the way that Walnut or Mesquite can.

Related Post: Is Plum Wood Good For Smoking Meat?

And Is It Safe To Use Birch In My Smoker?

Birch wood is a clean burning firewood, which means it doesn’t contain much sap or pitch. As a result, there’s little chance of this particular smoking wood overwhelming your food.

You see, wood that contains a lot of sap or pitch can end up over smoking meat. What’s more, the sap/pitch can infuse into meat, making your food unpalatable.

However, this isn’t an issue with Birch wood as this wood doesn’t contain huge amounts of pitch or sap resin.

What Is Tree Pitch And Sap? Tree pitch is a resin that trees produce to heal damaged sections of their tree stem. Whilst tree sap is a substance that helps fight off insect attacks.

Can You Smoke Poultry With Birch Wood?

You can, but Birch wood might be a little too strong for poultry, such as chicken and turkey.

Birch goes best with heavier red meat, and even pork. Nevertheless, if you want a milder wood for slow-cooking poultry, then Cherry and Plum wood are a better choice.

And Can You Mix Birch Wood For Smoking?

Birch wood can go well with fruit-bearing tree woods, like Apple and Peach.

However, it’s worth noting here that Birch wood is already fairly mild. So, it can become overwhelmed — and you’ll lose much of it’s flavor — if you mix it with very strong woods.

And What Can You Do To Make Birch Wood Smoke Better?

Simply always make sure Birch wood is dry before you start to burn it.

Wood that has a lot of moisture in it, (referred to as its moisture content), will emit a lot of smoke. And too much smoke is the last thing any good BBQ needs, as it will make your food taste bitter.

So, before you go using Birch wood, make sure you’ve given it time to dry out — which is referred to as seasoning.

It takes around 6 to 12 months for lumber to season. This will allow for its moisture content to fall down low enough to burn cleanly.

You can learn more about seasoning Birch wood by checking out our post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)

To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…

  • 1). Birch wood gives meat a milder flavor than say Hickory or Oak wood.
  • 2). Birch wood can be mix with other mild smoking woods such as Cherry or Peach.
  • 3). Allow Birch wood time to properly dry and season, before you burn it. It takes around 6-12 months for freshly cut Birch wood to dry out enough.


Husbands, A. and Cranford, S., 2019. A material perspective of wood, smoke, and BBQ. Matter, 1(5), pp.1092-1095.