Wood Smoke Flavour - Since different species of tree have different ratios of components, various types of wood impart different flavours to food. Another important factor is the temperature at which the wood burns. High-temperature fires see the flavour molecules broken down further into unpleasant or flavorless compounds.
The optimal conditions for smoke flavour are low, smoldering temperatures between 300 and 400 °C/570 °F and 750 °F. This is the temperature of the burning wood itself and not the temperature of the smoking environment, which sees much lower temperatures.
Woods that are high in lignin content tend to burn hot; to keep them smoldering requires restricted oxygen supplies or a high moisture content. When smoking using wood chips or chunks, the combustion temperature is often lowered by soaking the pieces in water before placing them on a fire.