Grilling wood is used in cooking to generate smoke, thus adding flavor to your grilled meats and vegetables. Diverse woods give meats, vegetables, and other food items different flavors and tastes. Hardwoods are used for cooking, smoking, flame broiling, and barbecuing. Softwoods are not recommended for cooking, as they have an excess of tar, particles and residue. Some soft woods can also be toxic.
Traditionally, all grilling and barbecuing was done with hardwood logs as the sole fuel source. The heat from the fire cooked the meat, and the smoke from the wood along with the juices from the meat added the flavor. However, cooking soley with wood made it difficult to control the heat of the fire.
Today, most barbecues and smokers utilize either gas or charcoal to control the temperature of their fires. They then add cooking woods in the form of chips, chunks, pellets, or logs to add the smokey flavor. Grilling is generally done over a hotter flame and for a shorter duration of time, thus woods in the form of chips or pellets are adiquate choices to add flavor to whatever you are cooking. Apple, Cherry, and Almond are good examples of grilling woods. These woods put off a sweet, subtle smoke that will not only add flavor to the foods you are grilling, but fill the air with great smells as well!