Oak, Whats the deal

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by lookwow, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. lookwow

    lookwow Smoke Blower

    I normally use Hickery/fruit wood in my UDS but have been thinking of switching to Oak/Sugar Maple as we have 12 acres up north full of the stuff that i could get for free. Ive read a ton of the stuff on the forums about them.

    Everyone seems to be on the same page about Maple and the flavior it adds. Oak on the other hand seem to be all over the place. Some say its strong, others say its mild. What are all your thoughts on how this will work in a UDS which is fo course not totally fualed by wood? Im going to try this out either way but figured I would get some experts to way in.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have not used Oak.........I know there are several varieties and each may have it's own flavor profile...[​IMG]
  3. Oak is a fine smoking wood. Milder than hickory. I use a mix of the 2 quite a bit.
  4. I like oak because it is plentiful (read: free) and imparts a nice flavor.  It's mild enough to use with poultry and seafood - especially when combined with fruitwoods (cherry and apple are my personal favorites), and smoky enough to use on beef and pork.  

    Oak burns pretty hot so if you are using it as fuel as well as flavoring in your UDS, be careful how much you put in at one time.  

    I love to use oak for "finishing," when I smoke only part way and then grill to complete the dish.  A good bed of oak coals burns hot and gives great flavor "kick".
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use oak all the time.

    It's the dominant wood around here.

    I know there are a lot of oak varieties.

    Different parts of the country have different kinds of oak.
  6. tjoff

    tjoff Smoke Blower

    I use oak.  Black oak mostly  I like the flavor it adds
  7. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    White oak and red oak (southern apparently) are part of my regular rotation. I really like oak with beef.
  8. kingkoch42

    kingkoch42 Smoke Blower

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like Hickory the best. Then the fruit woods.

    I tried Oak, but didn't care for it, but my opinion on Oak is kinda biased.

    I turned so much Red Oak into cabinets, and sucked up so much Tannic Acid from the Oak sawdust that my taste for Oak is forever compromised.

    The dust gives you a burning in your eyes, nose, and throat.

    At the end of the day, I think I used to spit Oak 2 X 4s, and sneeze trim!

    I would go by other people's opinions on Oak for smoking.

  10. lookwow

    lookwow Smoke Blower

    My house could really use the trim redone. Can you sneeze a free batch for me. Ill pick it up :)
  11. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Use oak and hickory alot .Hickory is stronger.Never had the problem.[​IMG]
  12. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    White,burr and pin oaks are going to be milder, where red and black may be stronger. I like the flavor and heat from oak, that reminds me, i need to go cut some................
  13. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     My assumption is it is a stronger wood also. Both white and red oaks work (southern) but I know Red burns hotter than White and seems to be preferred over White. Black Jack, Turkey and Blue Jacks are great Red Oaks.  Love mixing them with Cherry. Gives a great color to the meat (beef)
  14. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

       Oak is one of the best woods you can get. I prefer Hickory and Fruit,for flavor and use Oak and Maple for long cooks. Each to his own,personally I would starve if I had to use (yuk)charcoal or those bags of 'whatever ' 'they burn for Charwood.

    Just MHO.have fun and
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL---Not right now!!!!!

    Thanks to you I got coffee going through there right now.

    That was a beauty of a come-back!!!!   [​IMG]


  16. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I use Oak from time to time. I like to mix woods and change it up alot. It is lighter than hickory. 
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  17. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use both oak and Pecan.  While I prefer pecan the local Q joint uses oak only because it is cheap , available, and his patrons do not object to the not overpowering flavour.  I also like apple alot but is hard to come by now that I live in  the deep south.
  18. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    First off let me say that judging from your signature pic that you probably live in Wisconsin, second if you have access to a ready supply of maple I would cook with the maple, but that's my personal preference.  Smokin Al is correct there are 49(if I counted correctly) oaks native to the US, so when someone says "oak" I always wonder "which one?" The oaks most often mentioned as good cooking wood are white oak, live oak, post oak, pin oak, northern red oak, southern red oak and coast live oak which is also known by the local name of "red oak" on the west coast where it is found. Don't worry I'm keeping it simple, this is a link that tells you which oaks are found in Wisconsin, just scroll down until you find Quercus, they're listed with the scientific name first and the common name second.


    On the other hand   Kingkoch42  lives in France and the oak he has is not what we are used to. BTW Cal your acacia pic is posted here-


    solaryellow the growing ranges of southern and northern red oak do overlap, if you go to this link and click on NC you'll find a list of trees found in NC.


    FWIW I find that northern red oak smells sour when burning and at this latitude takes a very long time to season for cooking so I do not use it, although I know others that do. JM2C.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011

Share This Page