How to select the woodchips for your smoker

There are different types of woodchips used in a smoker, each with its own distinctive flavor on your BBQ. In the past, smoke was mainly used to preserve food. But we have now gone beyond that. Today, it is also used to add flavor to the food. Whether you’re using a Masterbuilt electric smoker or even a charcoal smoker, your woodchip can have a huge impact on the final taste of your meat.

So, how do you select the right woodchip for your smoking task?  To understand which wood is suitable for which food, it’s important to know the different flavor tastes of the most common woodchips we have.


When it comes to versatility among hardwoods, Oak wood is leading the pack. It’s another very popular option for those who want to use hardwood. Oak is not quite overpowering as it produces a mild smoky flavor. It is great with pork, lamb, fish, and beef.


If you’re an inexperience BBQer, it’s better off you stay away from mesquite. It burns hot and fast, which will give you problems with temperature control. But when you master how to use this woodchip, it can add a unique blend of flavor to your food. Mesquite has an earthly robust flavor, and is considered to produce one of the strongest flavors.


Apparently, Hickory is the most common woodchip for BBQ smoking. Its bacon-like, pungent, and smoky flavor makes it a favorite for many BBQ enthusiasts. Although this woodchip can be used for many smoking tasks, it is exceptional for ribs and pork.


Alder is the favorite for smoking salmon. This is because of its sweet undertones and light flavor, which is perfect for smoked fish. Alder is also good with poultry.


Pecan is interchangeable with hickory. If you don’t find Hickory around, your best alternative is Pecan. Like hickory, it yields a woodsy flavor with sweet undertones.


This is another fruit wood that’s mild and slightly smoky. It best works for vegetables, cheese, pork, and chicken.


If you are considering a fruit wood for fruity flavor, apple is your best shot.  It gives off a dense flavor with a light touch of sweetness. Apple is great with pork, chicken, and beef.


Cherry produces mildly sweet flavor and it is great with almost anything you want to smoke.

The above are some of the most popular woodchips you can use on your electric smoker or charcoal smoker. As you master their different flavors, you can combine two or more of them to give you a unique and distinctive taste.