Many will agree that there’s nothing better than the taste and smell of food prepared on a smoker or barbecue grill. Although charcoal adds its own great flavor, using wood chips to grill can totally change the taste of your meats, fish, and poultry. However, with so many brands on the market, it’s hard to narrow down exactly what to buy for your next backyard barbecue.
Depending on the type, wood chips can add smokiness, spice, or sweetness to your foods. Chargriller notes that, in general, there are five types of wood chips that are used for grilling: hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, and pecan. You also have the option of choosing between wood chips and pellets. Pellets aren’t as fast-burning as wood chips, which means they can offer a more intense smoke flavor. Pellets also burn at higher temperatures than wood chips, allowing them to cook a larger variety of meats.
Hickory wood chips are the most common wood chips used for smoking. They provide both sweet and smoky flavoring and pair nicely with just about any protein, including beef, chicken, and fish.
Mesquite wood chips work best with beef and pork, adding a sweet robust flavor. They also work well with chicken, lamb, or fish when used in moderation.
Apple wood chips offer a mildly sweet flavor and are good for pork, poultry, and fish. They also work well with pork products such as ham and bacon.
Sweet with a hint of tartness, cherry wood chips are mild enough for any meat or vegetable.
Low key with a nutty flavor, pecan wood chips are a milder version of hickory chips and are perfect for grilling beef, poultry, and lamb.
To make things a bit easier, we’ve made a list of the best wood chips for every type of meat.
1. WESTERN Premium Hickory BBQ Wood Chips
These hickory wood chips offer a bold flavor that works on any type of grill. The large chunks make them easy to use, giving you a sweet and strong taste in every bite of food. Offered in a package of two, these wood chunks have been pretreated to prevent pests, mold, and rot.
WESTERN Premium BBQ Wood Chips
2. Traeger Grills Mesquite Hardwood Pellets
Made with robust flavor, these mesquite pellets are the perfect choice for beef, chicken, and pork. They are all-natural, offering a clean burn, and come in a large 20-pound bag that’s sure to last you through many grilling sessions. There are no fillers or additives added, so your food will be safe and yummy every time.
3. PIT BOSS BBQ Apple Wood Pellets
The natural, raw wood pellets offer a mildly sweet apple flavoring with no artificial flavors, scents, or chemicals. They provide a taste that works well with pork, poultry, vegetables, and more. These pellets also burn clean and easy for quick and simple clean up.
PIT BOSS BBQ Apple Wood Pellets
4. Weber Cherry Wood Chips
Made with a delicate hint of sweet cherry, these wood chunks help you create delicious pork, poultry, or fish. They are cleaning burning and easy to use on charcoal and gas grills or smokers.
Weber Cherry Wood Chips
5. Camerons Premium Pecan Wood Chips
Use these pecan wood chunks to create a lightly smoky flavor while cooking on gas grills, charcoal grills, and smokers. They’re made of 100% natural raw timber that pairs well with poultry, beef, pork, and lamb.
Camerons Premium Pecan Wood Chips
6. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Barrel Wood Chips
A WHISKEY BARREL OPTION
These whiskey barrel chips work amazingly on charcoal, gas, and electric as well as smokers. They’re made from real Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Brand whiskey barrels, providing a combo of whiskey and oak wood flavors. Use them to make scrumptious beef, pork, chicken, fish, and more.