10 Best Wood Chips For Electric Smoker (+What Not To Use)
Choosing the best wood chips for electric smoker is easy-peasy since you’ve landed on the right page, my friend! In this article, I’m going to cover the different types of wood chips available and how they can affect your meat.
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Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or just getting started, there’s no denying that wood chips are a major part of your smoking experience.
Wood chips are placed in a wood chip tray and then inserted into a smoker in order to enhance the flavor of food. The flavor will vary depending on the type of chips used.
While making some of those treats at home with your electric smoker is relatively simple, choosing the right type of wood chips for your meat might be tricky.
The thing is, there are numerous types of wood chips on the market. This article will help you determine which types of wood chips are best for electric smokers and whether it’s necessary to soak them before using them.
Benefits of using wood chips with electric smokers
There are four types of wood for smoking: wood chips, wood chunks, wood pellets, and logs.
Wood chips can add flavor to your meats, poultry, and even fish in your electric smoker.
Wood chips provide a lot of smokey flavors, a key component of many recipes. Wood chips also allow you to add more wood smoke flavor to your food than you would with briquettes alone.
The other benefit of using wood chips with an electric smoker is that they are easy on your budget! They’re cheaper than liquid smoke or other methods of flavoring food because they don’t require additional ingredients or tools.
Western Wood 8 Pack Smoker Chips – Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Peach, Post Oak, Hickory, Mesquite, and Maple
10 Best Wood Chips For Electric Smoker
Whether you’re looking for the best wood chips for electric smokers or are simply curious about them, we’ve got you covered with this list of the 10 best wood chips for your electric smoker:
- Apple wood chips
- Cherry wood chips
- Peach wood chips
- Orange wood chips
- Hickory wood chips
- Pecan wood chips
- Mesquite wood chips
- Alder wood chips
- Maple wood chips
- Post oak wood chips
Let’s look at each type of wood chip in detail to see what smoky flavor it produces and what meat goes well with it!
1. Hickory wood chips
Best for: poultry, beef, pork, game, and cheese.
Hickory wood chips are in the same family as pecan but have a distinct flavor. Hickory woodchips have a strong flavor that is more assertive than pecan.
They also have less sweet flavor than pecan. The smoky flavors produced by hickory woodchips are straightforward—they’re not subtle, but they’re also not too powerful or empowering.
If you’re looking for something that impacts your palate, consider using hickory!
2. Pecan wood chips
Best for: poultry, beef, pork, lamb, and wild game.
Pecan produces a stronger and sweeter flavor and aroma than oak, with mild smoke and a nutty flavor similar to hickory.
Pecan wood pair well with any type of meat or fish and have a medium burn time. In addition to imparting color and flavor, it produces beautiful smoke rings outside the smoked food.
3. Mesquite wood chips
Best for brisket, steak, pork, and lamb.
Mesquite has a rather strong flavor but creates a richer and more distinct flavor than any other wood. As mesquite quickly produces a strong flavor, you should combine it with another type of wood chip, such as post oak, to blend the flavors.
4. Apple wood chips
Best for: fish, poultry, game birds, and pork (especially bacon).
Apple wood chips are a great choice for those who cook for children and want to add a light, easygoing smoke to their dishes. They have a mild and sweet flavor, complementing any dish with additional sweetness.
Apple wood chips are easy to impart smoke and have a long burn time. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other smoking woods like oak or hickory for red meat!
5. Cherry wood chips
Best for: pork, lamb, beef, duck, and other wild game meats.
Cherry wood chips are a special kind of wood that give your dish an excellent mahogany color on the outside that you won’t get from other kinds of wood. If you want to give your dish a fantastic appearance and presentation, cherry wood chips are the way to go!
If you want more than just color, mix your cherry wood with another type of wood before cooking it, as cherry only adds a very light smoky flavor to your dish.
6. Peach wood chips
Best for pork, fish, and vegetables.
Peach wood chips are an excellent smoking alternative to cherry and apple wood. They smoke well with a medium burn time and add a mild, sweet aroma to your dish. Peachwood is very nice on white meats.
7. Orange wood chips
Best for any meat.
Orange wood chips are your best bet when you want fruit wood chips that are slightly different from the rest.
It has all the mild, slightly sweet taste of other fruitwood, but it also gives off a slightly citrusy flavor that you don’t get from other fruit wood chips.
Orangewood gives off a slight citrusy smell when it burns. The color is another thing that makes orange smoking wood stand out. Due to its light color, orangewood gives food a golden yellow color.
Orange burns steadily, like most fruitwoods, but not as long as oak and other hardwoods.
8. Alder wood chips
Best for fish, vegetables, chicken, and poultry.
Alder wood chips are made from the bark of a delicious tree found in the northern hemisphere.
Alder wood chips produce a sweet, earthy aroma and a delicate, smooth flavor that is ideal for deepening your favorite recipes.
9. Maple wood chips
Best for poultry, turkey, chicken, duck, and quail.
Maple wood chips are a great choice when you’re looking to add a little sweetness to your smoking flavors.
They’re mild and sweet and blend well with alder, oak, and apple woods. Maple wood chips are ideal for smoking meats like pork and poultry.
10. Post oak wood chips
Best for chicken, brisket, ribs, and lamb.
Post oak wood chips are ideal for smoking brisket in the Texas style. They’ll provide consistent heat and a slightly spicy smoke flavor to your food.
Thanks to their distinct flavor, they pair well with larger cuts of beef, such as brisket, beef ribs, and lamb.
They’re also not overpowering if you’re using a clean fire, which is best suited if you want to ensure your meat is cooked to perfection!
What kind of wood chips should not be used for smoking food?
Avoid using Eastern Cedar, Cypress, Elm, Eucalyptus, Safflower, Liquid Amber, Pine, Redwood, Fir, Spruce, or Sycamore at all costs because they are too resinous and will cause flare-ups and impart an odd smoky flavor.
Softwoods, such as pine and cedar, are also bad for smoking food due to their higher sap content.
Should I Soak Wood Chips For Electric Smoker
There are many different opinions on this topic. Some say that soaking wood chips is a good idea, while others say that it’s not necessary at all.
And here’s my take on this:
Soaking chips or not isn’t a big deal. If you want to soak them, then go for it. But don’t think that you have to do this in order for your wood chips to work properly in your smoker.
Wet wood chips take longer to start smoking; over time, they produce more gray, dirty smoke than dry wood chips. While the dry wood chips burn more quickly at the start, the smoke that comes out over time is thin and clean.
Here is a video from MeatCranium that discusses this topic in depth:
This is the end of the blog. Before you go, here are a few suggestions for great wood chips to smoke with: hickory, pecan, applewood, and cherry. Although there are plenty of other options, these are all great for beginners.
Finally, remember not to use green wood or any kind of softwood for this purpose. They’ll just cause your meat to burn up and be inedible. Enjoy!