Is Pine Wood Good For Smoking Meat?

When it comes to flavoring meat, the first thing you need to know is what type of smoking wood pairs best with your food.

The second thing you need to know is that not all timbers are suitable for smoking. Why? Well, because certain types of wood smoke can leave meat tasting bitter.

So, poorly chosen wood can turn even the best brisket into a stomach-turning meal. But, why does any of this matter when it comes to smoking meats with Pine?

Well, in this post, you’ll discover why smoking meat with Pine wood is a bad idea. You’ll also learn why sap-imbued woods are simply not suited for this slow-cooking method.

And keep reading to find out which woods add the tastiest smoky flavors to BBQ.

is pine wood good for smoking meat

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Which Smoking Wood Gives Meat The Strongest Smokiest Taste?

Hickory wood has what is probably the best smoky flavor.

It’s a great wood for red meat, such as beef brisket. And it can also be blended with mild smoking wood options, such as Apple and Plum wood.

Related Post: Is Plum Wood Good For Smoking Meat?

What About Pine Wood? Is It Safe To Use Pine In My Smoker?

A lot of tree sap/pitch can be found in Pine wood. And those tree resins can completely ruin the taste of your food.

That’s because sap/pitch can permeate meat— right along with the smoke— making your meal taste bitter at best. And at worst, it can even make your food so bad that it makes you ill.

What’s more, burning sap-filled wood will produce a lot of thick smoke (as those tree resins vaporize).

So between the extra thick smoke, and the infusion of sap/pitch, Pine wood is more likely to ruin your food, than make it taste better.

What Is Tree Pitch And Sap? Tree pitch is a sticky thick resin that trees secrete to heal damaged portions of the tree. And they secrete their less viscous tree sap to help fight off insect attacks.

Can You At Least Mix Pine Wood For Smoking?

No, you can’t. Even if you use less Pine in your smoker, you’ll still end up with bitter tasting BBQ.

Besides, those unappetizing resins will only end up overpowering the flavor of the other woods in your smoker.

So What Wood Can You Smoke Meat With?

Heavy meats, like brisket and pork, pair well with the great taste of Hickory smoke. Even milder smoking woods, such as Oak and Maple, will infuse red meat with fantastic flavor.

And, when it comes to smoking poultry such as Turkey and Chicken, mildly sweet smoking woods compliment these meats better. In the case of poultry, you should use wood from trees that bear sweet edible fruit. So, use woods such as Apple wood, Cherry wood, and Plum.

And What Can You Do To Make Wood Smoke Cleanly In A Smoker?

The best thing you can do is to let those wood season and dry, before you start smoking meat on it.

Wood with a lot of moisture in it, (known as it’s moisture content), will emit a lot of smoke. And this will have a noticeably detrimental affect on the taste of meat.

That’s because wood that is too moist will generate a lot of thick smoke. And this in turn spoils the wonderful flavor of barbecue. So you should avoid using freshly cut wood, (also referred to as ‘Green Wood’), in your smoker.

Now, freshly cut green wood requires six to twelve months to season. This allows woods moisture content to fall down to a level at which it will burn much more cleanly.

Related Post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)

But How Can You Tell If Wood Is Seasoned Enough?

All you need to do is get a small test sample from your pile of wood and see how it burns. You’ll be able to see if it generates too much thick smoke by observing how that wood sample burns.

If a tiny portion of wood emits a lot of smoke, then your wood pile requires more time to dry.

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

  • 1). Pine wood contains a lot of tree sap/pitch.
  • 2). Tree sap/pitch filled woods will produce too much smoke, and infuse meat with a bitter taste.
  • 3). Do not use Pine wood to smoke meat. Instead, use Hickory or Oak to smoke heavy red meats. And use mild smoking woods, such as Apple and Plum, to smoke Poultry and Fish.


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