When your out in the back country with your fresh caught wild game, and are preparing to smoke your meat, what wood should you use?
Woods Not to Use
First of all, which woods should you not use. Pine, cedar, cypress, spruce, and other conifer woods have resin that produces unpleasant tastes and soot. Non-conifer softwoods such as eucalyptus and sycamore may also yield unpleasant tastes; use with caution, if at all. The same goes for woods you might expect to be nice such as sassafras and elm. Oleander is toxic, so don’t use this at all! Lumber may be treated, so don’t even try it.
Woods to Use
What you want for the best smoking are nutwoods, fruitwoods, or dried “heavy” hardwoods.
Fruit- and nut-woods
Fruit- and nut-woods impart a lighter flavor that tends to echo the fruit they produce. Any fruitwood will burn well, generally hot and long, and give a special flavor: cherry, apple, pear, and plumwood are fairly easy to find, but if you can get your hands on grape, citrus, mango, or other less common types, those will work too!
The “Heavy” Woods
Hickory is the classic in this category. Although the hickory tree does bear nuts, hickory smoke is not sweet like pecan. Oak, walnut and mesquite are also considered "heavy."
Get out there and start experimenting! Thanks for the lesson on great smoking woods BBQ Pit Master.