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What is the Best Wood for Smoking Turkey? How to Cook the Tastiest Turkey Every Time?

Smoking has always been a way of cooking food ever since the ancient days of the cavemen. It’s either used to preserve meat or to improve the taste of food or dish. Thankfully in this day and age, you don’t need to have an open fire to smoke your meat since smokers and grills are already available for your smoking needs.

If you are looking to smoke your first turkey, or you’ve been trying to improve it but you’re still on the quest to find that perfect taste, knowing the right and the best wood to use might help you out. Smoking a turkey can be challenging as it has the tendency to get overcooked, but when you finally get that perfect flavor, it’s definitely worth it.

Why don’t you begin your journey by finding the best wood? Here is some information to give you a head start.

Why Should You Choose the Right Wood?

Best Wood for Smoking Turkey

This is one of the vital decisions you would have to make because this is where the subtle flavor comes from. Choose the wrong one, and you might end up having an inedible turkey. What a waste would that be.

A smoked turkey is always a sure winner because of the texture of the meat, and it’s just so flavorful. The reason for its rich taste is because it’s cooked for length of hours, continuously basting itself, that’s why it doesn’t get dry. Add up the smoke that carries amazing flavor, that even just by seasoning it with the usual pepper, salt, a bit of onion and garlic, is already enough to give your turkey that mouthwatering taste.

This is also the reason why it’s a must to choose the right wood to match with the turkey. There are different types of wood that can be used for smoking meat, but you need to find the one that would impart the right flavor. You can’t just use any wood because it can work against the turkey that you’re going to cook.

Another reason would be not all woods are suited or compatible for the grill or the smoker. You might buy something that your smoker cannot handle, and that would be a waste of time and money.

What’s the Right and Best Wood for Smoking Turkey?

When choosing the wood that matches the one for turkey, go for those that are okay to use with poultry. Fruit woods such as peach, cherry, pear, and apple would be the best because they have sweet, fruity, and light flavors. They might be more challenging to find, but their subtle and light flavor is worth the effort.

Best Wood for Smoking Turkey

Is it okay to combine wood? Yes, it is, as it can also help give depth in the flavor of your meat. An example would be the combination of plum and maple wood that would carry out a subtly sweet and slightly smoky taste without having to worry about overpowering the flavor of the turkey. Other good choices for wood combinations for smoking poultry would be pecan, mulberry, peach, olive, and nectarine.

You also need to check what kind of smoker you have, so you’d know if you should get wood chips or wood chunks. There are gas and electric smokers that are only able to work with wood chips since they are smaller in pieces. If your smoker can handle wood chunks and you know you’d be smoking for a longer period of time, it’s best to use them since they are larger. They would produce more smoke, and you won’t have to add more every now and then.

Another thing is you need to use the kind of hardwood that are high in flavor and low in resin. Go for the premium quality as well. After all, quality wood means quality flavor, right? Choose the ones that are heavy for their size because this would indicate that the wood is fresh enough to use for smoking. Those woods that are old and dry would burn too quickly and would produce a lot of smoke.

Do you Leave or Remove the Bark on the Wood?

This one would be a matter of experimentation and personal taste since this is a very subjective issue. Some say the bark gives a richer flavor, while others say that it gives a harsh flavor or taste to the meat. There are also some that would say it gives a completely different taste or flavor, and then there are those who would insist that it doesn’t make a lot of difference at all. There are even claims about the amount of smoke that it produces, that it produces more if you leave the bark on.

This is why this subject matter would be up to you and if you want to experiment with it. If you’re only a beginner, it’s best to follow the instructions on the wood package first just to be on the safe side.

Here are some of the best wood for smoking turkey that are the market’s top sellers to give you an idea of what to get the next time you want to cook a smoked turkey for your friends and family.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Weber Hickory Wood Chunks, 350 Cubic Inch (0.006 Cubic Meter), 4 lb
  • Hickory wood chunks
  • Rich subtly Sweet flavor
  • Great for poultry, pork & beef
  • 350 cu. in. (0.006 m^3) sized bag
SaleBestseller No. 2
Western BBQ Smoking Wood Chips Variety Pack Bundle (4)- Apple, Mesquite, Hickory, and Cherry Flavors (Original Version)
  • Contains most popular flavors- Apple, Mesquite, Hickory, and Cherry
  • 180 in cu of chips in each bag
  • Works with electric and gas grills
  • Great way to try new flavors or convenietly replenish your favorites
  • Made in the USA
Bestseller No. 3
Oklahoma Joe's Wood Smoker Chunks, 8 lb, Hickory
  • Oklahoma Joe's hickory wood chunks are the best way to get a long last burn in the cooker and to infuse great taste into meats
  • For use with smokers and charcoal grills to add flavor over a long period of time
  • Ideal for smoking meats, poultry, vegetables and fish
  • Made of all natural wood chunks
Bestseller No. 4
Camerons Smoking Wood Chunks (Apple) ~ 10 Pound Bag, 840 cu. in. - Kiln Dried BBQ Large Cut Chips - 100% All Natural Barbecue Smoker Chunks for Smoking Meat
  • Apple Smoking Wood Chunks Bag weighs approximately 10 pounds
  • Soak wood chunks for 20 minutes and place on hot coals for maximum flavor
  • - 840 cu. in. (0.013m³) - Apple is perfect wood for salmon, seafood and more
  • Great Charcoal Briquette Alternative for smoky flavor
  • Due to natural variations in wood density and chip size, bag weights will vary   (may receive in box or bag)
SaleBestseller No. 5
Old Potters Kiln Dried Firewood - Hickory, 1100 Cu. in, 18 - 20 Logs. ~ 8" x 2.5" Logs.
  • Kiln Dried
  • All Natural Hickory
  • Great for cooking
  • ~ 8" x 2.5" Logs.
Bestseller No. 6
Midwest Barrel Company Authentic Barrel BBQ Smoking Wood (Bourbon Barrel Smoking Wood Chunks)
  • BOURBON BARREL SMOKING WOOD CHUNKS – 100% white oak smoking wood chunks cut from an authentic bourbon barrel that aged bourbon whiskey for 4 or more years.
  • CREATES DELICIOUS, COMPLEX FLAVORS – As these wood smoking chunks came from used barrels that aged bourbon, they’ll add unbelievably delicious flavors to the meats you smoke – and not to mention the smoke will smell great with its bourbon notes.
  • MIDWEST MADE BBQ WOOD – Midwest Barrel Company’s BBQ smoking wood chunks are cut into 1-4” wide chunks. Each bourbon barrel was cut by a Midwest Barrel Team Member.
  • GREAT FOR MOST SMOKERS/GRILLS – The 1-4” wood chunks are the perfect size for most smokers and grills. The chunks are cut large enough to produce excellent smoke for the needed amount of time. **These do not work in pellet grills or pellet smokers.**
  • STRAIGHT OUT OF KENTUCKY – These oak chunks are from authentic bourbon barrels. The barrels come to us freshly emptied from many popular distilleries. Now you can add that whiskey smoke flavor for an incredibly authentic and unique BBQ experience.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Carolina Cookwood Pecan Smoking Wood Logs for Wood Fired and Charcoal Smoker Grills - Large 6-in. Hardwood Splits, 12-17 lbs., 675 cu. in. Naturally Cured Smoker Wood
  • Naturally cured, and locally sourced, our smoking logs allow you to get serious about grilling and smoking meat on your favorite smoker or grill. Smoking meat wood is different than fireplace, pizza oven, or even campfire wood since the goal is flavor, not quick combustion, and high heat.
  • Our 6-inch wood for smoking pieces are thick-cut wood splits for smokers. Though size and shape may vary, each is typically not less than 1 inch thick on the narrowest edge and often as much as 4 inches thick. Pieces will vary in shape & size due to the splitting technique.
  • Large natural smoking wood logs are an excellent choice for these types of smokers & grills: vertical, offset, larger kamado style, gas, and some unconventional smokers.
  • Carolina Cookwood dense smoker wood splits will burn slower and last longer than smaller chunks you may find in plastic bags in your local hardware store or online.
  • Grilling wood chunks, like any cooking wood and seasoned wood logs, vary in size depending upon the producer and grill type. While small, bagged products and smoking chips work okay in gas and small charcoal grills, our thick smoking wood logs are BBQ competition worthy and used by professional pitmasters and serious backyard grill masters alike.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Western Wood Smoking Chip Variety Pack of 6, 180 cu in per Bag
  • Variety 6 Pack of Smoking Chips
  • Try Western Premium BBQ Products Post Oak BBQ Smoking Chips with these American favorites: Hamburgers, Whole Chicken, BBQ Smoked Wings, or Baby Back or Spare Ribs.
  • Use with gas grills, electric smokers, griddles, kettle grills and ceramic grills
SaleBestseller No. 9
Wood Chips for Cocktail Smoker | 8 Types of Wood (Apple, Beech, Cherry, Oak, Peach, pear, Pecan, Walnut) Wood Chips for Smoker | Smoker Wood Chips
  • WOOD CHIPS FOR SMOKER | Finely chopped, natural and organic. Cherry, pecan, apple, oak, pear, peach, beech, and walnut wood chips to add the perfect flavor to your smoked cocktail.
  • COCKTAIL SMOKER WOOD CHIPS | Our natural smoker wood chips work with any cocktail smoking gun or cocktail smoker kit. Our apple wood chips pair well with that appletini! Makes great gifts for smokers.
  • HUNDREDS OF COCKTAILS | With an average of 24 grams of wood chips in each container, you can smoke hundreds of cocktails. Our chips pair well with any drink smoker or bourbon smoker kit.
  • NOT JUST FOR COCKATIL SMOKERS | Our wood chips can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you want a smoked bourbon or some smoked meat and cheese, the possibilities are nearly endless.
  • SMOKER ACCESSORIES | Have a whiskey smoker kit or cocktail smoker kit at home? Need some grilling accessories? Our smoker chips give you plenty of options! Use our oak wood chips with your old fashioned smoker kit.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Natual Wood Chips for Smoker, (8 Gift Pack - Apple, Cherry, Oak, Pecan, Pear, Peach, Walnut, Beech) 8 OZ Each| Smoker Woodchips for Smoking Gun and BBQ, Great for Beef Pork Chicken Fish and Whisky
  • ASSORTED 8 PREMIUM SMOKING FLAVORS – More chips, more flavor. Smoking chips set includes apple, cherry, oak, pecan, pear, peach,walnut, beech wood chips. A set of chips will help you taste different types of wood for smoking and you will be able to determine what kind of wood chips you like the most!
  • NATURAL AND ORGANIC WOOD CHIPS – Rest easy knowing these smoker wood chips are made from natural and organic trees and contain no chemicals, additives or preservatives. And our wood chips can ignite and produce smoke quickly to create a delicate smokey flavor!
  • ADD FLAVOR TO DRINKS & FOOD – Easily add authentic, rich smoky flavor to your favorite meats, braised brisket, pork shoulder, salmon, chicken, fish, seafood, cheese, cocktails, and other foods or drinks. Wood smoking chips variety pack works great with smoking gun, gas grills, charcoal grills, smoker boxes, and can use on fireplace and camping.
  • PERFECT GIFT SET – Your favorite Smoking Enthusiast, family member, loved one or friend will love this smoking wood chips variety pack . It is a perfect gift for Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, anniversary or any other special holiday or event. A present that any bartender, BBQ enthusiast or cook will enjoy!
  • SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE – The woodchips’ flavor and quality is something that we can guarantee! But, if for some reason you are not satisfied with your purchase within our return period, we will arrange a return for a replacement or set your money back.


Smoking a turkey can be intimidating and challenging at first, just like any other new endeavor. However, it’s also a very rewarding process, especially if you get that perfect taste and flavor that you are aiming for. Don’t be afraid to experiment but also don’t stray away too much from the advice of the experts. Over time, with a little bit of practice and experience, you’ll not just be able to smoke turkeys but other meats as well. You can start your journey with the information we provided above that will be helpful in getting that perfectly smoked turkey.

Among the list of the best wood for smoking turkey that we have provided, the product that most people recommend is the Western Premium BBQ Products Apple BBQ Cooking Chunks, so you may want to check that one out first.

We also talked about the proper way of reheating leftover smoked turkey. Do check it out!

That’s it for now and if you have comments, questions or suggestions, feel free to leave it here.

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