Best Wood Chips for Smoking Meat (2021 Edition)

The smoky flavor to your meat is all you need for a perfect Sunday! How does one experiment with the various flavors to find the best one for your meat? Wood Chips is all you need.

The market has a variety of wood chips available, catering to your taste palettes like never before adding a new dimension to the meat. The article below discusses the best wood chips in detail and throws light on the best choice of wood for every occasion!

Best Available Wood Chips

The best available wood chips in various flavors is discussed in detail below. They form an important part of the smoking process.

Weber 17004 Apple Wood Chips

The apple wood chips have a nice mild fruity flavor and are available in bags of three pounds. They create less dense smoke.

It is best for smoking poultry and pork. To prevent the wood chips from burning quickly, it is advised to soak them for a minimum of thirty minutes.

Pros
  • Fruity Taste
  • Mild smoky flavor
  • Low Price
Cons
  • Wood chips need to be soaked to prevent faster burnout

Remarks

These wood chips are known for adding a mild smoky flavor and are generally preferred for any kind of meat or poultry like salmon or turkey. One can also mix it with other wood chips to produce a smokier flavor.

These reasonably priced chips, used in the smoker box or a foil pouch on the grill, need to be soaked for a minimum of half an hour before using for best results.

Jack Daniel’s 01749 Smoking Chips

These wood chips are best known for their rich, smoky flavor. They produce an oaky aroma with a sweet whisky flavor since they are made out of Jack Daniel’s Old No-7 brand whiskey barrels.

The wood chips are generally used for charcoal and gas grills or smokers. The ideal choice for smoking with these smoker chips includes ribs, burgers, and red meat.

Chicken and Pork Shoulders also taste good enough when smoked with them

Pros
  • Works for grills and smokers
  • Has an aftertaste of Tennessee whiskey flavor
  • Made out of age old oak barrels
  • Rich smoky flavor
Cons
  • Need to be changed after every forty five minutes

Remarks

The wood chips are the perfect choice for people favoring dense, smoky grills. For whiskey lovers, the wood chips have an added hint of flavor in them.

They are slow-burning wood chips for smoking and need not necessarily be soaked before use.

Western Perfect BBQ Smoking Wood Chips Variety Pack

The variety pack includes three kinds of wood chips: mesquite, hickory, and apple. They are the most popular wood chip options for smokers and grills.

It works on charcoal, electric, or gas grills and smokers.

The wood chips favor smoking pork, poultry, and red meat. Soaking the wood chips for a minimum of thirty minutes before use prolongs its burning life.

Pros
  • Works on any grill type
  • Has three varieties of wood chips
  • Perfect for smoking pork, poultry, and red meat
Cons
  • Chips needed to be broken into smaller pieces for smaller wooden boxes

Remarks

The variety offered by the pack stands out as its most important factor.

One can mix the wood chips to give a varied smoky flavor to your meat. The wood chips have a dense, smoky flavor and enhance the taste of the meat altogether

Diamond King Smoker Smoking Wood Chunks

These wood chips provide five hours of continuous smoke and heat.

The peach smoke tastes best with poultry and pork. There is no need to pre-soak the chips

Pros
  • Custom cut for Diamond King Smokers
  • Tastes best with poultry and pork
  • No need to pre-soak the chips
Cons
  • Due to natural variations in wood density, chunk sizes will have slight variations

Remarks

The wood chips provide the perfect dense, smoky flavor to the meat. It saves out a lot of time since one doesn’t need to pre-soak it.

They are stored indoors after harvesting to preserve moisture and cleanliness.

Picking the Perfect Wood Chip

Smoked meat has a distinctly rich flavor which adds on to the overall vibe of the dish. Every kind of meat can be smoked to perfection using the proper technique and innovation.

Each wood chip has its flavor and aroma. They bring a different palette to the plate with their smoky aroma. So it’s essential to choose the perfect wood chip.

Maple Wood Chips

Wood chips vs wood pellets have been a buzzing discussion for quite a long time. Both bring an added aroma to the dish with respect to chunks of charcoal.

The choice of wood chips is dependent on various factors. The kind of grill or smoker used plays an essential role in it.

Pairing the correct wood chips with the meat to be smoked is essential. While some meats require a dense, smoky flavor, some others taste best with a light flavor.

Another common mistake is when people smoke their meat for way too long. This hampers the taste of the meat instead of enhancing it.

Keeping the richness of the meat intact is always a primary concern when smoking meat. Below we discussed a list of wood chip flavors and the corresponding meats they taste best with:

  1. Apple wood is generally used with old chicken and foul for best taste.
  2. Mesquite wood chips taste best with red meat.
  3. Hickory wood chips can be used with any meat but is generally preferred with poultry and fish.
  4. Cherrywood perfectly complements meats like turkey, ham and chicken with their mild taste.
  5. Alder is the one stop choice for smoking fish like salmon.
  6. Oak wood chips are preferred with red meats such as beef, briskets and sausages.

All the wood chips differ in aroma and flavor majorly. The types of wood used play a vital role in determining the final dish.

Fruit woods like apple, peach, cherry are mild woods which give a subtle enhancement to the taste. They suit best with poultry, fish and pork.

Woods like hickory, maple, oak and pecan are a dash stronger in flavor and suit best with pork. One can also use it with beef and game meats.

Mesquite is the strongest wood of them all and moderate amount of smoking with it gives a distinct flavor to the meat.

Tips for the Perfect Wood Chips

Making the perfect smoky dish has a lot of factors to it. One needs to strike the right balance of the flavors and keep in mind the various constraints one has to take care of while smoking.

The following tips are essential for smoking your meat perfectly!

Choosing the perfect wood chips for your meat.

As discussed above, various meats like salmon and turkey taste better with particular wood chips. Hence it forms an important parameter.

The sweetness, fruitiness or the intense smoke helps make any barbeque perfect.

It is essential to not oversmoke the meat.

Soaking the wood chips is an essential step before smoking or grilling the meat.

Various wood chips need to be soaked for a minimum of thirty minutes before so that they don’t burn out quickly.

It is done to get rid of any moisture before they can produce smoke. Some other woodchips get the smoking process delayed if they are previously soaked.

Users often go for a mixture of soaked and dry chips to ensure the perfect balance of smoke and heat. Blending of woods is often considered as blending spices in dishes.

For specialized meats, the optimum soaking time forms a significant factor.

For example, ribs take a longer time to cook; thereby, the amount of stored soaked wood chips should last the entire process.

This ensures that the cooking is done perfectly.

Before adding the meat, it is essential to let the wood chips start burning.

Adding a handful of wood chips to the grill every time helps the smoking process a lot.

It is a good rule to change the chips every five to six hours. Observing the quality of smoke generated each time is important.

It is generally advised to use a smoker box for smoking the meat.

However, for beginners unsure of how much the smoky taste would appeal to them, one can also use foil.

All the instructions stay the same except the fact that the chips are folded in a foil packet. You should poke several holes in the foil packet to ensure that the smoke flows out.

Once convinced with the quality of smoke that you want, one can use a smoker box for better results. The perfect smoky flavor is heavily dependent on the wood chips.

Final Words

The addition of wood chips to your grill changes the taste of your meat majorly. With each variety offering strong or mild smoky flavors, it’s essential to know the perfect choice for your next cookout! 

There are multiple varieties available in the market to choose from. Wood chips adding a new dimension to your meat is all you need to satisfy your heart. Your Sunday BBQ deserves an ideal smoky flavor, and wood chips provide just that!

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TYLER LACHANCE

Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled. Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.