Cooking With Wood

Cooking with wood is an excellent way to add some flavor to your favorite dishes. That pile of firewood may be the perfect ingredient to spice up your favorite meats. But what is the best way to cook with wood? What species should I use? Don't worry I'll cover the basics for you, read on!

What are the different ways to Cook with Wood?

Cooking with wood can be done in many of different ways but I'll only cover a couple of my favorites. The most obvious is to simply use the heat from burning firewood to cook your food. The second and my personal favorite way is to smoke your food.

Firewood as a heat source for cooking

Using firewood to cook your dinner is an excellent way to put your firewood to use. You get warmth from your fire and a hot meal. Not too shabby, huh?

If you are cooking over an open fire, your best bet is to let the fire die down and wait until you get a decent bed of coals. Then you will have a relatively even source of heat to cook your food. Unless you are simply roasting marshmallows or hotdogs, in that case, grab a stick and have at it while the fire is roaring. Half the fun of roasting marshmallows is not letting them burst into flame!

Another great way to cook with wood indoors is to use the heat from the top of the woodstove. Throw your casserole ingredients into a nice cast iron skillet and let the woodstove do the work. Just like in the old days!

Using a Wood Smoker

Smoking meat is one of my favorite ways to cook. You get super tender, slow cooked meat with that great wood-smoked flavor.

If you are not familiar with how a smoker works, here's the deal. Basically, you have a heat source in an enclosed container (could be as simple as a 55 gallon drum to an elaborate professional setup). The heat source causes the wood chunks, pieces or chips to smoke and cook the meat at a relatively low temperature. The end result is a very tender piece of meat that is infused with that great smokey flavor.

It doesn't stop with meats either, cheese and vegetables are also popular foods to cook in a smoker.

Which species work best?

If you are talking about cooking over an outdoor fire, you are best to use species of wood that coal well such as oak or hickory. Because the coals last a long time, you'll have much longer to cook your food than you would with a species like aspen or willow.

In terms of smoking wood, nut and fruit trees are the best species for the task. Firewood such as hickory, walnut, pecan, apple and cherry give off excellent smokey flavor that is sure to please. Also, mesquite is a very popular wood to use because of its southwestern flavor.


Cooking with wood can be a fun experience if for no other reason than for the novelty of the whole thing. However, if you are using nut or fruit trees for firewood, you should really give smoking your food a shot. The flavor is great and the meat is always tender. The best part is that it only takes a few chunks of wood to make it happen. Good luck and eat well!

If you are looking for an excellent site with more information about cooking with wood, I recommend visiting this site:

The Fire Pit and Grilling Guru - Do you want to learn how to put your barbeque, fire pit, indoor grill or even your fireplace to work to make a delicious meal? Or maybe you want to build an outdoor firepit? The Fire Pit and Grilling Guru can help!

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