You can put many different types of wood to use for smoking chicken. Some work better than others, and it can be tough to figure out which one to use. Look no further if you’re looking for the best wood for smoking chicken!
This blog post will discuss eight types of wood perfect for smoking chicken. Each type of wood has its unique flavour and aroma, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your dish. Whether a beginner or an expert smoker, these tips will help you create delicious smoked chicken every time!
So, what are the best woods for smoking chicken? Here are our top picks:
Chicken Smoking Woods: 8 Best Options
The wood smoke flavour is one of the most important aspects of smoking chicken. The type of wood you use will determine how your chicken tastes.
You can use many kinds of wood for smoking chicken, but not all woods are created equal. Some woods will give your chicken a bitter taste, while others will make it sweeter. Here we have compiled a list of 8 chicken-smoking kinds of woods.
1. Apple Wood
One of the best woods to use for smoking chicken is apple wood. The apple wood imparts a subtle sweetness to the chicken, and the smoke can help to lock in moisture, resulting in tender and juicy meat.
For best results, soak the apple wood in water for at least 30 minutes before using it to smoke chicken. It will help to prevent the wood from burning too quickly. This type of wood is excellent for adding a fruity flavour to your chicken. It pairs well with other fruits and vegetables, so it’s perfect for summertime grilling.
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2. Cherry Wood
Cherry wood imparts a sweet, tart flavour to the chicken. It’s perfect for those who like their chicken on the sweeter side. Cherry wood is an excellent option for smoking chicken. The cherry wood smoke provides a sweet, fruity flavour that pairs well with chicken.
In addition, cherry wood is a relatively mild smoke so that it won’t overwhelm the flavour of the chicken. When smoking chicken on cherry wood, it’s essential to use a light hand, so the cherry flavour doesn’t become too overwhelming. Cherry wood can also be used to smoke other proteins like beef, and vegetables.
3. Hickory Wood
Hickory is a classic smoking wood that adds a rich, smoky flavour to the chicken. Hickory is the way to go if you’re looking for a traditional smoked taste. When it comes to smoking chicken, hickory wood is often considered the best option.
This hardwood imparts a rich, smoky flavour that pairs well with poultry. Hickory is also a fairly dense wood, which burns slowly and evenly.
One thing to keep in mind when using hickory wood is that it can be quite strong. This means that it’s important to use it sparingly so that the flavour doesn’t become too overwhelming. Hickory wood pairs well with other woods like apple and cherry.
Read Also: Hickory vs Mesquite – Which is the best?
4. Maple Wood
Maplewood gives the chicken a subtle sweetness and a hint of maple flavour. It’s perfect for those who don’t want their chicken to be too sweet. Maple wood is an excellent choice for smoking chicken. The wood imparts a deliciously sweet flavour to the meat without being overpowering.
Chicken smoked with maple wood also has a beautiful pink hue that is simply irresistible. Maple wood is relatively easy and inexpensive, making it an excellent option for smoking chicken on a budget.
5. Mesquite Wood
Mesquite is a robust and smoky wood that imparts a bold flavour to the chicken. If you like your chicken with a little kick, mesquite is the way to go. Mesquite wood is a popular choice for smoking chicken. The firm, woody mesquite flavour imparts a delicious smoky taste to the meat that is perfect for BBQ lovers.
When mesquite is burned, it produces a lot of smoke, so it’s essential to use it sparingly. Too much mesquite smoke can make the chicken taste bitter. When smoking chicken with mesquite wood, it is necessary to use only a tiny amount of wood. Too much mesquite can make chicken taste painful and intense.
6. Oak Wood
Oak is a versatile smoking wood that can be used for both light and dark meats. It adds a subtle smoky flavour to the chicken and pairs well with other woods like hickory and mesquite.
Oak wood is an excellent choice for smoking chicken. Chicken smoked with oak wood will also have a nice pink colour. Oak wood is easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making it an excellent choice for smoking chicken.
Read Also: Smoker Turning Food Black: What is the reason?
7. Pecan Wood
Pecan is a classic wood used for smoking meats, especially chicken. Pecan wood is similar to oak in flavour but slightly sweeter. It’s perfect for those who want a Subtle sweetness in their meal. Pecan wood is a popular choice for smoking chicken, as it imparts a rich, nutty flavour to the meat.
In addition, pecan wood produces a great deal of smoke, which can help to infuse the chicken with flavour. Pecans are a close relative of hickory and share many of the same characteristics. Pecan wood is hard and dense, with high sugar content. It makes it ideal for smoking, as it burns slowly and evenly, giving the chicken time to absorb the smoke flavour.
8. Walnut Wood
When it comes to smoking chicken, walnut wood is often considered the best wood type. It is because walnut wood imparts a rich, nutty flavour to the meat that is impossible to achieve with other types of wood.
It pairs well with other nuts and fruits, making it perfect for fall grilling. In addition, walnut wood helps keep the chicken moist, resulting in juicy, flavorful meat. For these reasons, walnut wood is the perfect choice for smoking chicken.
Which Woods To Avoid When Smoking Chicken:
When smoking chicken, it’s important to avoid using any wood that is poisonous or treated with chemicals. Some woods can give your chicken a bitter flavour, so it’s best to stick to the woods listed above.
Cedar: This wood is often used for grilling but should be avoided when smoking chicken. Cedar can give your chicken a bitter flavour.
Pine: Pine is another wood that should be avoided when smoking chicken. Like cedar, pine can give your chicken a bitter flavour.
Red Oak: Oak is a popular choice for smoking meats, but it’s essential to use only white oak. Red oak can give your chicken a bitter flavour.
Treated Woods: Any wood treated with chemicals, such as pressure-treated lumber, should be avoided. These chemicals can be toxic and may be released into the air when burned.
Wet Woods: Avoid using any wood that is damp or wet. These woods can create a lot of smoke and make it difficult to control the temperature of your grill.
Fruit Woods: While fruit woods can add a unique flavour to your chicken, they should be used sparingly. These woods can be pretty intense and may overwhelm the taste of your chicken.
Is Apple Wood good for chicken?
The answer may surprise you. While apple wood is often used for smoking pork, you can also use it to smoke chicken. The key is to use a low temperature, so the chicken doesn’t dry out. Apple wood gives the chicken a sweet and fruity flavour that pairs well with barbecue sauce. So if you’re looking for something different the next time you smoke chicken, give apple wood a try.
Can I use Hickory to smoke chicken?
You can use hickory to smoke chicken, but it’s essential not to overdo it. Hickory is a strong flavour and can quickly overpower the delicate flavour of the chicken. To avoid this, start with light hickory smoke and gradually increase the time the chicken is exposed to the smoke.
Keep an eye on the chicken as it smokes, and when the skin starts to turn a dark brown, it’s time to remove it from the smoker. You’ll get the perfect balance of hickory flavour in your smoked chicken with some practice.
Can you mix Hickory and Mesquite?
You can mix hickory and mesquite, but it’s essential to be careful not to overdo it. Hickory is a strong flavour and can quickly overpower the delicate flavour of the chicken. To avoid this, start with light hickory smoke and gradually increase the time the chicken is exposed to the smoke.
There are a variety of woods that can be used for smoking chicken, and each one imparts its unique flavour. While different woods can be used depending on personal preference, some are better suited for smoking chicken than others.
Overall, the best woods for smoking chicken have a mild flavour, such as apple or cherry. These woods will impart a subtle flavour to the chicken without overwhelming it. Ultimately, the best wood to use for smoking chicken is one that will complement the meat’s natural flavours.