Do you know what makes barbeque so iconic? Of course, it is the smoke. Flashback to the ancient days. The smoke that came out of the wood was used to flavor and sweeten anything that was cooked.
It was also used in the preservation of some foods like meat for a long time. Now come back to today where the use of electric stoves and natural gas stoves are more popular for cooking.
Despite these innovations, the humble beginning and time-honored way of adding flavor to meats and other foods have not been forgotten.
Apart from time and heat people still see smoke as the third leg of barbeque and add wood to the fire. But do you know it is not just any wood? Different woods come with their unique flavor and aromatic element. To know the wood that is better suited for your chicken check below for the best wood for smoking chicken and other helpful information.
Montana Wood Chunks – Best Maple Wood for Smoking Chicken
No matter your level of skills as a BBQ cook, these smoking wood chunks can be used for cooking your meats as it provides smoky flavor to your favorite barbeque foods and also a good source of heat.
The type of wood packed in this product pack is sugar maple. This feature offers your vegetables, poultry, and pork with a sweet, smoky and mild flavor. Additionally, the Montana Grilling Gear Smoking and Cooking Wood Chunks ensure quality and safety by ensuring the woods are free of dust.
Overall – it is one of the best options out there with different flavor options. It is an excellent product for slow smokers.
Western Premium BBQ Chunks – Best Oak Chunks for Smoking Chicken
If you want a smoking wood that is more versatile and always ready to add texture to your next barbequed meal taste, the Western Premium Post Oak BBQ Cooking Chunks might be an option to opt for. The product comes with post oak wood that is treated with heat.
This feature prevents and also eliminates the woods from rot, pests, and mold. It also ensures the woods offer a strong and healthy flavor to your food. The product can be used on electric, charcoal, or gas grills. It can also work on large smokers and open fires.
Due to the heat treatment the Western Premium Post Oak BBQ Cooking Chunks might be a perfect choice once-in-a-while BBQ cooks. You can store them for long without worrying about rots, pest, and molds.
Big Green Egg Smoking Chips – Best Smoking Chips for Big Green Egg
If you want a smoking wood that can provide your chicken, shellfish, fish, and other poultry with mild and natural sweetness, the Big Green Egg Apple Smoking Chips might be able to meet your needs. All you need is to add them to your charcoal by sprinkling a handful on the charcoal.
Inside the bag there were chips of medium and small size – work perfectly (I mixed it with lump), enough smoke and great taste.
It might be a perfect option for an individual that wants a fruity flavor and will be smoking their meal for a few hours.
Western Premium BBQ Products – Best Cherry Chips for Smoking Poultry
This is another product from Western Premium that does the job well. The package comes with cherry one of the popular smoking wood that works with gas, charcoal, and electric grills.
They are heat treated which mean you don’t have to be worried about pest attacking your wood where you store them. Also, they will eliminate and also stop molding and rotting from happening when the woods are not in use. You can use the chunks alone or add them to charcoal.
An excellent alternative to the post ark product from Western Premium. It last when using it and can also be stored for a long time without worrying about the chunks getting damaged.
Char-Broil Wood Smoker Chips – Best Cherry Chips for Smoking Poultry
Do you want a smoking wood type that works better for shorter smokes and burns quickly? The Char-Broil Tabasco Wood Smoker Chips might be your best bet.
It can be used in electric grills, gas grills, charcoal grills, and water smokers.
Just to let you know – Tabasco Wood Chips were very popular and top seller in several states for a long time. After many feedbacks from loyal customers, they came back to the stores after a long delay.
The Char-Broil Tabasco Wood Smoker Chips might be a good option for those who want to try another flavor different from the taste other common smoky woods offer.
There are some few things you need to consider to make everything go right with your meat smoking. These things are:
Fresh cut wood or dried wood? – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
When choosing wood to smoke your chicken going for dry wood is the best option you have. A wood that is freshly cut will produce off flavors and a lot of steam when burning. Do you know why? They have a lot of water that can be up to 50 percent of their weight. If you decide to dry them, it might take a lot of energy.
Size – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
The size of wood for smoking varies from whole log and chunks to chips and pellets. Entire logs are better suited for giant grills and pits, and they will burn hotter. This makes there smoke generally clean. But they require more space which means you can’t use them for small grills.
As for chunks, they burn steady and slow making them suitable for smoking especially if your grill has enough space. They are probably the best size to go for. Also, chips are another size of wood for smoking. It burns quickly and might require you to add more frequently.
Type – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
The food you want to cook should determine the best wood for smoking it. As mentioned earlier, woods are not the same. They have different levels of smokiness and flavor.
The type of wood you will require to smoke pork is different from the ones you can use to smoke beef, chicken, vegetables, seafood and much more. Make sense? Don’t worry; we are going to take a much more in-depth look into the types of wood for smoking.
Different woods have different smoking power and to get the most out of your barbeque, it is advisable to match the smoke intensity of the wood with the dish type you will be smoking. The three categories of wood smoking intensity are mild, moderate or medium, and heavy or strong. Let’s take a look at them.
Mild – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
If you want to smoke more delicate or lighter food such as game birds, fish, chicken, and other poultry, going for a wood that offers mild smoking intensity can be a perfect option. These woods are cherry, apple, and some other fruit woods. Alder can also be a nice option. They offer slightly sweet flavor, a hint of sweetness, and fruity notes.
Moderate or medium – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
This type of smoking intensity will impact intense and distinctive smokiness without overpowering your meat. This type of intensity is a perfect choice for sausages, beef, pork, and game meats. The woods that deliver moderate or medium smoking intensity are maple, hickory, pecan, or oak.
Heavy or strong – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
Woods that produces heavy or strong smoking intensity can be a perfect option for hearty and strong meats such as brisket. Mesquite is often used to provide strong intensity because it is one of the smokiest of all smoking woods. However, if you want to use them to put some punch into dishes like pork, chicken, or fish you can use them with milder woods.
When it comes to smoking, hardwoods are a better option than softwoods because they burn slower. That said, there are some popular and common types of wood for smoking when cooking BBQ. They are common because they offer more abundant flavors and make better smoke than others. The common types of woods for smoking are:
Hickory – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
Have you heard of the king of BBQ woods? This is it. This wood type is the most popular wood used for smoking meat. It burns clean and comes with a beacon-like and very pungent flavor that is suitable for beef, turkey, and chicken. However, if you want to smoke pork or lamb, going for hickory wood chips can be a perfect option.
Oak – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
This type of wood is considered as the most versatile of the hardwoods. Oak is highly popular among experienced BBQ cooks. It is known to offer clean burns, even heat, and heavy, smoky flavor that is not overpowering. This wood type is good for smoking big game, pork, lamb, fish, and beef.
Mesquite – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
This wood type burns fast and hot. It is also gaining popularity because of its robust earthy flavor. Most BBQers consider it as one of the strongest flavored wood. Also, it works better for grilling most vegetables and meats, especially beef. However, it is not often recommended for inexperienced BBQ cooks because of its hot and fast burns.
Fruit woods – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
This includes apple, cherry, peach, grape vines, guava and much more. Apple is one of the popular fruit woods with a lightly smoky, fruity flavor that is perfectly suitable for smoking poultry such as chicken. Do you want to smoke some red meats? Try apple chip it can be a perfect wood size.
Additionally, cherry as the most popular wood pellet comes with strong smoky sweet flavor which works well for any meat. As for grape vines, they produce tart and fruity flavor suitable for any kind of meat; from lamb and red meat to game. All fruit woods gives your meat fruity aroma and flavor, but the one you use will depend on your preference. What flavor or aroma appeals you most?
Maple – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
When it comes to BBQ grilling, the maple wood chip is one of the wood types popular among BBQ cooks. It is a perfect option for cheese, game birds, pork, and poultry as it offers your meat with maple syrup overtone and slightly sweet smoke. It also works well with vegetables.
Alder – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
This wood type is famous in its use for smoking salmon. It produces sweet overtone and light flavor which makes it perfect for smoking fish, chicken, and other poultry.
Apart from the popular woods mentioned above, there are some other common and good wood types that work well with BBQ cooking. They include pecan, herbs, peach, apricot, plum, birch, mulberry, orange, pear, walnuts, and lilac. However, there are some trees you should avoid when smoking your meat. These are redwood, spruce, sassafras, pine, fir, elm, cypress, cedar, oleander, poisoned oak, and treated woods.
Now that you know the popular and best types of wood for smoking your meat you have to think of the shape and size that will work best for your food. Is it chunk, chips or pallets?
Pecan – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
Believe me and try. Of course, this will be your best choice or second-order option for future barbecue parties.
There are two sides to a coin. This wood shapes and sizes have their unique advantages and drawbacks. However, choosing any of them depends on individual preferences. Let me start by letting you know that wood will last depending on its thickness. It means the thickest wood will last more than the thicker wood and the thicker wood more than the thick wood. Make some sense? Knowing this let’s take a look at where each will fit when smoking.
Chunk – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
If you are going to cook your BBQ for a long time (More than a couple of hours), chunks can be the perfect choice for you. They provide more smoke and last longer.
Chips – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
If you want to smoke your meat for a few hours, chips can work better.
Pallets – Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
Do you plan on doing a light smoke on your chicken? Pallets can be your best friend because they burn off quickly and provide a little bit of smokiness to help your meats maintain its flavor and sweetness.
Turkey as other poutry need gentle approach, from this side one of the best choice is fruit woods. Apple, cherry and peach will make your turkey lightly smokey with fruit flavor without hiding own taste of meat. If you want to make the taste more rich, you can mix fruit wood with hickory.
Yes! You definitely should try pecan wood with chicken. It is not so strong as mesquite or hickory, and at the same time it is not so soft as other fruit woods. It is ideal fir chicken.
Usually it takes about 3 hours and depends on your smoker. To be correct it depends on temperature, which mostly depends on smoker.
Best way to be sure about cooking time – is to use grill thermometer, as example iGrill from Weber.
The temperature of well cooked chicken on smoke is 165 F.
In case you are wondering if you have to soak the wood before smoking your meat, the answer is no, it is not compulsory, but it might be necessary. You can get too much aroma by using dry woods that are not soaked. However, when you soak the woods, they produce a nice and even smoke coating that will provide your meat with the perfect sweetness and flavor desired. If you think it is necessary, you can soak your chunks for one hour and your chips for 30 minutes before use.
What is the best wood for smoking chicken? This is probably one of the many questions that most BBQers asks. With the information provided above and the review of the top five wood for smoking chicken you can get on the market, I believe you already have the answer to your question.
Whether you add them to your charcoal or use them alone, you can fire up the smoker with the confidence of achieving the desired flavor and sweetness on your chicken and other foods.
P.S. By the way If you are not sure about which lump charcoal you need, check this review – https://kitchennin.com/best-lump-charcoal