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Best Woodchips For Smoking

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Nothing makes a backyard bbq or a day at the campground better than delicious smoked meats. One of the secrets to a great-tasting BBQ is Wood chips. Using it takes your smoked meat to a whole new level. Here are the best woodchips for smoking that simply make everything better and tastier!

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Types Wood Chips For Smoking

There are so many types of wood chips you can use for smoking with each one having a distinct and unique flavor that elevates the taste of your meats. To let you know what your options are, here are the different types of wood chips and their characteristics.

  • Alder – Has a hint of sweet flavor and can be mixed with other wood chips like an apple. Great for smoking fish and poultry. 
  • Apple – Mild sweetness and fruity flavor and taste great when mixed or used alone. Can Be used for smoking beef, poultry, and fish.
  • Cherry wood– Mild fruity flavor and works well when mixed with hickory or mesquite. Perfect for all kinds of meat but most especially with beef and pork.
  • Grape wood – Tart and sweet berry flavor, and great when mixed with apple wood chips. Best for cooking chicken and other poultry
  • Hickory – Sweet and bold flavor that works best for smoking all types of meat especially pork and ribs. 
  • Maple– Mild and subtly sweet flavor, best fit for smoking poultry, small game birds, vegetables, and cheese. Can be mixed with other wood chips like hickory and apple.
  • Mesquite wood– Strong, earthy-sweet flavor, works well if mixed with any other type of wood chips. Great for smoking all types of meat but works best with beef( brisket).
  • Mulberry– Sweet and berry flavor similar to apple. Works best when used for smoking ham or chicken.
  • Oak– Offers moderate smoky flavor and works perfectly alone but can also produce tasty results when mixed with apple, cherry, or hickory. Best for smoking red meat, pork, and fish.
  • Olive wood– Similar yet lighter flavor than mesquite and taste great for smoking poultry.
  • Peach wood– Gives off a sweet and fruity flavor quite similar to the other fruitwood. Ideal for smoking poultry, pork, and small game birds.
  • Pear– Similar to peach, with a subtle yet sweet flavor. Best for poultry, small game birds, and pork.
  • Pecan wood– Similar to hickory but milder and is great for smoking any type of meat.
  • Plum– Milder and sweeter than apple wood, and is perfect for any meats types.

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What Are The Best Wood Chips For Smoking?

There are so many types of wood chips out there that add a different flavor to your smoked meat. Frankly speaking, the best wood chips are quite subjective, we all have our preferred types and flavor. If you want to try something new or level up your choice of woodchip, here are some of the best wood chips for smoking that are highly rated and well-loved by many smoking enthusiasts. 

Best Woodchips For Smoking

Should You Soak Wood Chips Before Smoking?

There is a common belief that you need to soak wood chips before smoking because it prevents them from burning fast thus producing more smoke. This is not a necessity, smoking pre-soaked wood chips don’t produce “more” smoke. Wet wood chips should release moisture before producing smoke, what it produces at first is steam which most people believe to be smoke, this gives the illusion that it generates more smoke than dry wood chips.

What Temp Do Wood Chips Smoke?

Wood chips start to produce smoke at a temperature of about 570 – 750 °F or 300 to 400 °C depending on the type of wood chips you are using. This temperature applies to all wood chips but some may burn at a slower or faster rate than the other types of wood chips. Hardwood like hickory, pecan, and oak burns slowly while fruitwood like apples tends to burn at a faster rate.

Can You Mix Wood Chips For Smoking?

Yes, you can mix wood chips for a custom flavor. Many people have been doing this for so long and achieved tastier smoked meat. Depending on the taste that you want to achieve you can mix any type of wood chips. To find the best combination of wood chips, you can try experimenting. Use your favorite woodchip for smoking and add another type in small amounts until you get a good grasp of how to smoke with it and achieve your desired flavor.

What Wood Should You Not Smoke With?

There are so many types of woods that are great for smoking, it’s easy to think that all woods are good for smoked meat, but that’s not the case. Some woods are not appropriate for smoking for the simple reason that they can be harmful and toxic. Woods that contain resin(sap) and terpenes are not good as it can upset the stomach and doesn’t taste good. Woods such as redwood, cedar, pine, sycamore, fir, spruce, cypress, elm, and eucalyptus should not be used for smoking.

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