11 Best Wood For Smoking Ribs – Savor the Flavor

wood for smoking ribs

There are many kinds of woods out there. They all have their unique flavors. Some of them have bitter flavors and must be avoided. Some have fruity flavors like peach or cherry. The smoke from these woods carries the flavor and the meat is grilled by it. This gives it a good taste and color.

Some people use wood along with charcoal while cooking ribs. It is because coal doesn’t produce any smoke and it doesn’t provide any flavor either. That’s why it is important to use wood for a delicious barbecue. The meat is cooked more tenderly with a juicy flavor and good color

If you can’t decide which is the best wood for smoking ribs and chicken then you can use different kinds of wood, all at once. Some woods burn with a powerful smoke and others are milder. You can a use combination of both for a good smokey flavor. But choose those woods whose flavors complement each other. If the flavors clash then the meat will bitter.

Selecting a wood is also a tedious task. You need to ensure that the wood is of good quality and that it has low moisture in it otherwise it will not burn properly. Also, you need to keep putting in more wood to keep the smoker burning. When the wood is burnt completely, add more chunks to keep the smoker aflame.

Smoking Like a Pro with These Picks

1. Oklahoma Joe’s Hickory Wood Chunks

Oklahoma Joe’s Hickory Wood

It is a classic and quality product. It is great for heavy poultry meat and pork. This is the best wood for smoking ribs. It is well known for burning for a long period and gives a good flavor to the meat. Use it with charcoal as a heat source for the best results. It gives a delicious smokey flavor to the meat over a long period. It will cook the meat consistently and give it a good texture.

  • Made of natural wood chunks.
  • No exposure to chemicals.
  • Ideal for smoking poultry meat and fish.
  • Infuses savory flavor to the meat.
  • Best wood for smoking ribs
  • Cover it with aluminum foil if you are using an electric grill and put holes in the foil to let the smoke rise.

2. Zorestar applewood logs for BBQ and smoking

Zorestar applewood logs for BBQ and smoking

It comes with 8-10 wood logs. With firewood, you will also get a free packet of applewood mini chips. The quantity is good and is praised by many customers. It is suited for charcoal grills. It is naturally seasoned applewood which keeps burning for a long time. This is great for BBQ and grilling. This firewood can be used for indoor as well as outdoor fire pits. They are made from 100% natural applewood and no added chemicals.

  • Well-seasoned organic wood logs.
  • Burns for a long time.
  • Applewood has a sweet aroma.
  • Gives mild smoke and a fruity taste to the meat.
  • It is easy to ignite them.

3. Zorestar oak smoker wood chunks

Zorestar oak smoker wood chunks

These oak chunks come in a small size of 2-3 inches. This makes them suitable for any kind of smoker or griller. Only a few chunks are sufficient to produce powerful smoke to flavor the meat. They are made of 100% natural wood with no harmful chemicals. Bring home today to experience its wonderful and bold flavor.

  • Oakwood chunks go well with any type of meat.
  • They provide a unique smoked flavor.
  • It is considered the best wood for BBQ because it gives a good color.
  • They are naturally seasoned, clean wood chunks.
  • They burn hot and complement the meat well.

4. Diamond King Smoker Wild Cherry Wood Chunks

Diamond King Smoker Wild Cherry Wood Chunks

It is cut out from 100% natural cherry wood. These chunks are custom-made for diamond king smokers. The wood is stored indoors after being cut down to preserve the moisture in it. It does not need to be soaked a night before like other wood chunks. It is fresh and ready to use from the second it is delivered to your doorstep.

  • The smoke is mild and fruity.
  • It is clean and gives off a great flavor.
  • Keeps burning for long hours.
  • Best wood for smoking beef ribs and poultry.
  • Large, clean, and barkless chunks of wild cherry wood.

5. Western Premium BBQ Maple Smoking Chips

Western Premium BBQ Maple Smoking Chips

The wood is treated to remove or prevent any kind of mold or fungi from growing. The wood is completely clean. It goes great with ribs, chicken, or hamburgers. The sweet syrup flavor is very unique. Chips are small pieces of wood so, naturally, they need an external source of heat. That is why it is most suited for charcoal grills or electric grills. Maple wood, from which maple syrup is made, gives off a sweet flavor and mild aroma

  • Mixing it with a stronger flavored wood will add a subtle zest to the taste.
  • Use a lighter fluid so that the maple flavor is enhanced.
  • They work best with charcoal grills and electric smokers.
  • The meat does not taste bitter at all.

6. Jax Smok’ in Tinder Premium BBQ Pecan Wood Chunks

Jax Smok’in Tinder Premium BBQ Pecan Wood Chunks

These wood chunks come from Colorado where they are grown in the fresh air and fertile soil for the best possible outcome. When you spend so much money on the best quality meat and grilling equipment then you deserve a good quality wood with a great flavor and smoke. It is naturally moist. All the unnecessary ingredients like sugar are eliminated by the kiln drying process. The chunks are the size of a fist and will give you your money’s worth.

  • It is packed in cardboard boxes to leave a little breathing room.
  • The wood chunks are completely rid of mold.
  • It has unique flavors and aromas.
  • Naturally cured for good smoke and flavor
  • It will burn slowly and for a longer time due to the moisture.

7. Jack Daniels’s Tennessee whiskey barrel smoking chips

Jack Daniels’s Tennessee whiskey barrel smoking chips

Some people like to season their meat by adding a little liquor to it. Whiskey and rum are the most common of these liquors. These whiskey barrel-smoking chips add quite a unique flavor of Jack Daniel’s old number 7 to your smoked meal. This combination of whiskey and oak wood complement each other well and brings out a great flavor in the meat. It can be used with a gas or charcoal grill or an electric grill.

  • These are made from oak wood barrels used to store and age the whiskey.
  • The wood absorbs the whiskey, which gives it a different color and flavor.
  • The flavor that arises from this combination is mouth-watering.
  • Put the chips in a foil pouch and keep it on the grill.
  • Add the meat when the chips start to smoke and get ready for a delicious meal.

We have looked at all the bestselling wood chunks, chips, and logs on Amazon and we can safely conclude that all of these products are great and unique. They all have something distinct to offer and will be great for a BBQ party. Now you are all set to go and choose the best wood for smoking ribs for your barbeque. But before that, let’s summarize the things we learned in brief and resolve any conflicts that you might still have.

There are still many arguments about whether to soak the wood or not. The answer is simple, it depends on you! Soaked wood will have moisture in it and due to that, it will burn slowly. It will also create less clean smoke and more steam due to the evaporation of moisture present. But it will burn for a longer period. Dry wood will ignite quickly and burn fast. It will create more smoke and increase the flavor of the meat. If the wood will burn quickly then the pace of cooking will also increase.

If you are still confused about whether to use the chunks, chips, or logs then don’t be because it is simple science. The smaller the piece of wood, the faster its burning rate will be. Chips have a short burn life, chunks burn for a little longer and wood logs burn the longest. Choose wisely from these sizes and also decide what is going to be your primary source of heat.

Factors to Look for in different woods

  1. Dryness – You might see ‘kiln dried’ written on the label of the wood. It means that the moisture in wood is seasoned out by either age or by undergoing a heat process. Dry wood is the best wood for smoking rib roasts as they produce heat quicker. Any wood with 20% moisture in it will take time in burning and will only slow you down.
  2. Wood types – There are dozens of different flavors of woods available in the market. Each one of them has some unique characteristics. For example, applewood is fruity and mild and is the best wood for smoking pork ribs. On the other hand, oak is strongly flavored and is the best wood for smoking beef ribs. Other commonly used woods are pecan, hickory, and cherry.
  3. Size – Woods come in so many different sizes that choosing from them can be a bit overwhelming. There are logs, chunks, chips, pellets, and sawdust. Logs are larger and will take longer to burn but you don’t need a separate heat source with them. Chunks are smaller in size and produce smoke quickly. They also take up less space. Chips function in the same way as chunks. They need a separate heat source. Sawdust will provide instant smoke.
  4. Quality – The quality of wood is very important. Never use lumber scraps of wood without any labels because there is no way of knowing the treatment it went through or what chemicals it was exposed to. Don’t use wood with any fungi over it. Also, avoid any wood with the bark still on it. Bad-quality wood can make you ill.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Smoke Pork Ribs

1. What is the best wood to use for smoking ribs?

Pecan and hickory are the best wood for smoking ribs. They both have a strong flavor and complement the ribs well. You might like oak, apple, or cherry wood as well. They will provide milder smoke but it will taste good. Of course, each wood has its unique flavor and you can test it for yourself which one you like better.

2. Is applewood good for smoking ribs?

Yes, applewood is a popular wood for smoking ribs. It imparts a mild, fruity flavor that pairs well with pork. Many pitmasters and home cooks use applewood in combination with other woods, such as hickory or oak, to create a unique and delicious smoky flavor. However, the type of wood used for smoking is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to experiment and find the wood that suits your taste best.

3. What is the best wood for smoking?

You should always use hardwood chunks instead of softwood while grilling or smoking. They produce more intense smoke and give a bold flavor to the meat. Hardwood is also well seasoned and burns clean. Hickory and pecan are great for smoking and they have strong flavors.  They are the best wood for smoking ribs. Oak also has a bold flavor. If you prefer a mild taste then you should pick fruit woods like apple, cherry, or peach.

4. Should I smoke wood chunks before smoking?

It’s not necessary to smoke wood chunks before using them for smoking. The smoke flavor will develop as the wood heats up during the smoking process. However, some people choose to soak their wood chunks in water or other liquids before using them to help regulate the temperature of the smoker and prevent the wood from burning too quickly.

Soaking can also add a subtle flavor to the smoke, but it’s not essential. Ultimately, whether or not to soak the wood chunks is a matter of personal preference.

5. What wood should you not smoke with?

You should not any kind of softwood because they contain sap terpenes. It gives a bitter taste to the meat and can make you sick. Examples of softwood are pine, fir, cedar, etc. Any kind of wood with mold or fungi on the side should always be avoided.

Some wood contains toxins that survive the burning process. Those toxins may be poisonous. Some woods like eucalyptus and sycamore have bad flavors and should not be used.

6. Can you mix woods when smoking?

Yes, you can mix wood when smoking. In fact, many pitmasters and BBQ enthusiasts recommend using a combination of different types of woods to achieve a unique and complex flavor profile. However, it’s important to use woods that complement each other and not overpower the meat.

Some popular wood combinations include hickory and apple, mesquite and oak, and cherry and maple. It’s also important to be mindful of the density of the woods you’re mixing to ensure that they burn evenly and don’t cause temperature fluctuations in your smoker.

7. Can I use firewood in my smoker?

Yes, you can use firewood in your smoker, but it’s important to choose the right type of wood. Hardwoods like oak, hickory, mesquite, and fruitwoods like apple, cherry, and peach are commonly used for smoking. Make sure the firewood is well-seasoned, dry, and free of any mold or fungus.

Avoid using softwoods like pine, cedar, or spruce, as they contain high levels of resin that can produce harmful smoke and give an unpleasant flavor to your food. Also, be careful not to use any wood that has been chemically treated or painted, as it can release toxic fumes when burned.

8. What wood is toxic burning?

Many shrubs and trees, like oleander or Mexican elder tree, are completely toxic and be nowhere near any food. Poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac should never be burned because, as the name suggests, they are poisonous and can fatally harm you if burned. Lumber scraps can also turn out to be dangerous because there is no way of knowing whether they are clean or toxic. It is better to not burn the woods of whose origin you don’t know.

Picture of Mary J. Lynch

Mary J. Lynch

As a mom of two angels, I credit myself in making meals with high concentration yet the balance of nutrition. I pay good care about the health of my family and everyone. Thus, you will find most of my recipes focus on healthy ingredients.
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