There’s a myriad of wood for smoking chicken currently available in the market, and each of them provides a distinct flavor for your smoked chicken.
I think you’ll all agree with me when I say that some barbecue Sundays aren’t complete without smoked chickens on the table.
Chickens, when consumed in moderation, provide several health benefits, probably as much as some vegetables.
We can guarantee you that after reading this article, you’ll have a good idea of what wood to use for smoking chicken.
In this article, we’ve featured some of the best wood for smoking chicken currently available for you to buy.
Best Wood For Smoking Chicken On The 2023 Market
FireStar – Wood Chips For Smokers Variety Pack – Budget Pick
[amazon box= “B07G184JWF”]
The FireStar – Wood Chips For Smokers Variety Pack is a pack of wood smoking chips excellent for several types of smokers such as gas, electric, and barbecue grills.
Upon opening the package, we knew right away that these wood chips are of the highest quality. This variety pack contains apple, cherry, oak, and alder wood chips.
All of the wood chips variety smell fantastic, and it doesn’t take a genius to know that when used for smoking chicken, the smell of the wood chips would be absorbed by the chicken.
Each wood chips variety provided a distinct flavor to the chickens we smoked, and the seller’s recommendation of trying to smoke the chicken with fruits using these wood chips was on point.
The packaging was pleasing to the eye, and there’s even a gift set that you can send to your family and friends. You can recycle the packaging materials to start a fire in your fireplace instead of throwing them straight into the trash bin.
Also, there’s a free ebook called “TOP 101 Smoking Meat Recipes” by Daniel K. Hinkle, which provides useful information about preparing the best barbecue meat with a fire, gas, or electric smoker.
FireStar claims that wood chips are a 100% fuel source without any chemicals, additives, or preservatives.
The FireStar – Wood Chips For Smokers Variety Pack are a fantastic assortment of wood chips ideal for smoking chicken.
- 100% fuel source without any chemicals, additives, or preservatives
- Excellent for gas, electric, and grill smokers
- Variety pack contains a fantastic assortment of wood chips
- Packaging materials can be recycled to start a fire in your fireplace
- Comes with a free ebook.
- No noticeable drawbacks.
Weber 17139 Mesquite Wood Chunks
[amazon box= “B01IF1HGN4”]
The Weber 17139 Mesquite Wood Chunks are wood chunks collected from hardy mesquite trees. These wood chunks add a rich and bold flavor to smoked chickens.
One look at the wood chunks and one can tell that they’re hardwood, which is a good thing since most hardwoods are excellent for smoking not only chicken but also pork, lamb, and beef.
After smoking chickens, we’ve tried these wood chunks using a grill smoker, and we must say that it’s one the best, if not the best wood for barbecue.
Weber did a decent job with the packaging, although the packaging materials cannot be recycled. The wood chunks smell of hardwood, which was to be expected.
Weber claims that these wood chunks aren’t treated or coated with anything, although they confess that these wood chunks can’t be considered as organic.
Our package consists of several wood chunks, and there really wasn’t any cause for concern, but some consumers claim that their package came with a mixture of both chunks and chips. These wood chunks performed well when we used it for smoking chicken, so we really can’t say anything against it.
Overall, we must say that The Weber 17139 Mesquite Wood Chunks are one of the best wood for smoking not only chicken but other meat types as well.
If you want a robust and smoky flavor to your chicken, we highly recommend these wood chunks.
- Made of high-quality wood
- Great packaging
- Wood chunks smell awesome
- Provides a bold and rich flavor when used for smoking
- Excellent not only for smoking chicken, but for several other meat types as well.
- Weber admits that these wood chunks can’t be considered organic
- Some consumers complain about getting packages with a mixture of wood chunks and chips.
Cameron’s Smoking Wood Chunks – Runner Up
[amazon box= “B001VKYAEU”]
Cameron’s Smoking Wood Chunks are large-cut chips that came from the Apple tree. These smoking wood chunks add a delicate smoky flavor to several meat types, especially chicken and salmon.
It’s an excellent alternative for charcoal briquettes, and these wood chunks burn and smoke relatively fast, which is rather convenient.
We’ve tried not only chicken, but also beef, pork, and seafood – specifically salmon – and we were delighted with the results. Following Cameron’s recommendation, we soaked these wood chunks for 20 minutes and placed them on top of hot coals for maximum flavor.
This recommendation definitely added a distinct, smoky flavor to our chicken and beef, but not so much to our seafood. We recommend just using it as is, without adding anything else.
Cameron claims that these wood chunks are kiln dried, 100% natural precision cut raw timber, which Cameron says is responsible for its excellent smoking performance.
We’ve used other Cameron products in the past, and we were never disappointed with any of the purchases, including this one.
Cameron is considered to be a leader in Smoke Cooking Technology, and it’s not hard to imagine why. They’ve been around for 25 years, and have always delivered superior-quality products.
Cameron’s Smoking Wood Chunks are absolutely one of the best wood for smoking chicken, and we highly recommend it also be used for other meat types and seafood.
- High-quality wood chunks from Apple tree
- Burns and smokes relatively fast
- Excellent not only for chicken but also for smoking pork, beef, and seafood
- Adds a distinct, smoky flavor to your smoked chicken
- Great alternative for charcoal briquettes.
- No noticeable drawbacks.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips – Editor’s Pick
[amazon box= “B000P3JMV0”]
We all know how awesome Jack Daniel’s Whiskeys are, and these wood chips are made out of the barrels used for storing and aging their whiskeys.
The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips are wood pellets excellent for smoking chicken. Yes, specifically chicken, because we’ve tried it, and the end product is top-notch.
We can’t emphasize enough how these wood pellets added a one-of-a-kind smoky flavor to our chickens, and you don’t have to worry since the barrels used were top-class, and don’t contain whiskey residues.
We’ve read of several gourmet chefs using these wood pellets for smoking, and after trying them out, we can climb aboard the hype train and vouch for these wood pellets.
The pellets burned relatively fast and performed quite well with different smoking tools. We’ve tried gas, electric, and grill smokers, and the results were one and the same.
The wood pellets smelled fantastic, and the smoke produced didn’t even hurt our eyes. These wood pellets take smoking to the next level.
And we will never forget to mention that these wood pellets are made from a mixture of oak, hickory, and mesquite barrels.
Some people would think that this brings down the smoking performance of these wood pellets, but we beg to differ.
The combination of these three wood types is responsible for the added rich, smoky flavor to our smoked chickens.
The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips are undisputedly the best wood chips for smoking chicken.
- Made out of superior-quality recycled whiskey barrels
- Wood pellets burn relatively fast and perform well with different smoking tools
- The wood pellets smell fantastic and don’t even hurt the eyes
- Mixture of oak, hickory, and mesquite barrels adds a distinct, smoky flavor to chicken
- Excellent for smoking other meat types.
- No noticeable drawbacks.
Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets – Best Wood For Barbecue
[amazon box= “B079DHNK3H”]
The Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets contains a blend of premium hickory, maple, and cherry wood pellets.
Traeger claims that these wood pellets are 100% all-natural hardwood with no binding agents or fillers.
We were quite impressed by the performance of these wood pellets because they don’t only provide a blend of robust sweet flavors of any meat type.
The blue smoke produced by these wood pellets is superb, and Traeger claims that it’s what delivers a superior flavor and consistency to smoked meats.
We’d go as far as saying that these wood pellets are made to be the best wood for barbecue. Because of the distinct, sweet flavor these wood pellets provide, you can also try brushing honey or maple to your smoked chicken for a fuller, sweet flavor.
These wood pellets provide a full-bodied flavor to our chickens, and Traeger claims they can also work great for fish and vegetables.
We haven’t really tried it out for fish and vegetables, but we’re sure that these wood pellets won’t disappoint.
Traeger also claims that these wood pellets are sustainably sourced.
The Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets is a must-buy wood pellet excellent for smoking several meat types.
- 100% all-natural hardwood with no binding agents or fillers
- Sustainably sourced wood pellets
- Excellent for smoking almost all meat types
- Adds a sweet flavor to smoked meat
- Produces a unique blue smoke which Traeger claims is responsible for delivering superior flavor and consistency..
- No noticeable drawbacks.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
There’s a multitude of available wood products for smoking currently being sold in the market. Someone without any prior experience in wood smoking can easily be overwhelmed by the vast array of options.
But don’t worry, as always, we’re here to help you out.
Here are some of the factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best wood for smoking chicken:
There are a wide variety of wood types you can choose from for smoking your chicken. We’d say that added flavor is highly dependent on the wood type, per our experience.
Oak, Maple, Cherry, and Apple provide a sweet flavor to smoked meats, while Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan, and Alder provide a robust, full-bodied flavor.
For smoking connoisseurs, meat/wood combinations matter, and if you’re looking to expand your smoking game, here’s a useful wood smoking chart for you.
When it comes to the best wood for smoking chicken, always consider the wood type, and pick the one that will work well with your smoked chicken recipe.
Different wood have different burn timers. Some wood burns quicker than others, while some just take too long to burn and produce good-quality smoke.
This factor is essential in ensuring that you’re not behind schedule when it comes to smoking chicken. You don’t want your family to wait too long for your barbecue and smoked chicken during barbecue Sundays or holidays.
Light wood burns relatively faster than hardwood. You’ll have to do a bit of research to find out their specific burn timers.
This may seem like a difficult task, but it’s going to help you in the long run, especially if you’re planning to up your smoking expertise.
The smoke quality is not solely dependent on the wood type. The best smoke wood producers use various methods for the wood to produce a certain kind of smoke.
You might ask: “Why does this matter?”
Apparently, the smoke is what delivers the flavor and consistency to your chicken, pork, beef, lamb, etc., so it is an essential factor to consider.
You don’t want to purchase a smoke wood with subpar smoke quality since it will not make a difference for your meat.
If you want to know how to smoke wood performs during smoking besides buying the actual product, you can read reviews online or watch smoking videos using the wood you’re considering purchasing.
This way, you’ll have an idea of what kind of smoke the wood produces and it’s overall smoking performance.
Most importantly, purchase only from an established brand with an extensive history of selling superior-quality smoke wood.
Trust us when we say that you don’t want to purchase smoke wood from unknown brands. Aside from receiving potentially subpar products, there’s also the risk of getting products that were treated with unknown chemicals and binding agents.
The fumes created by wood treated with such are highly toxic and absolutely harmful to humans.
Make sure to consider this factor when buying the best wood for smoking chicken. We have also talked about the best wood for smoking turkey, so don’t forget to check that out!
Smoking adds a certain flavor not only to chicken but also to other meat types. It’s a cooking technique that goes way back and is undoubtedly effective. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips is the winner of this list of the best wood for smoking chicken. The wood pellets’ performance during smoking was excellent. They burned relatively quickly and produced high-quality smoke that delivered a superior added flavor to your chicken.
We hope that you enjoyed this article. If you have feedback or suggestions, please let us know in the comments section!
Jen Lin-Liu is the founder of Black Sesame Kitchen. A Chinese-American writer and a nationally certified Chinese chef in Beijing. Jen is the author of two memoirs, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China and On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta.