Best wood for smoking meat: smoking wood, smoking good!

Q: I have traveled the world with my job and have eaten at many 5 star restaurants. Yours is the best steak I have ever had in my life. I noticed you were using a blend of wood for smoke. What types of wood are best for smoking meat, and do you use the same wood for everything you smoke?

A: Mesquite, oak and cherry wood was used when I prepared your steak. I would not use these same woods when smoking fish.

For Beef: Mesquite, hickory and oak are more common. But if you could find some cherry, peach or pecan wood they can be versatile for most any meat. Black walnut, sassafras and persimmon woods are excellent but exotic and sometimes hard to find for the home cook.

For Chicken, Pork or Fish: Most any fruit wood will be okay to use. Alder wood definitely for fish and also orange or grape wood are good. More towards chicken and pork, common woods like hickory and mesquite are nice but I prefer to layer flavors. A blend of apple, pear, plum, peach, mulberry, sugar maples are all great for a bouquet mix along with the common woods.

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