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Best Wood For Smoking Pork

Pork is a delicious meat with a great natural flavor that can stand up well to various modes of cooking. Smoked pork is a delicacy that excites BBQ beginners and enthusiasts alike. There are many different cuts to choose from, each with its own unique quality. The best way to …

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Pork is a delicious meat with a great natural flavor that can stand up well to various modes of cooking. Smoked pork is a delicacy that excites BBQ beginners and enthusiasts alike. There are many different cuts to choose from, each with its own unique quality. The best way to ensure that you get consistently decent results is to choose the right wood for smoking pork.

Best Wood For Smoking Pork

Smoking meat over wood infuses it with smoke flavor. This gives the meat a unique flavor that depends on the natural flavor of the wood itself. This is why different woods can result in different flavor profiles when it comes to smoking pork. Depending on the kind of flavor you want to end up with, you need to choose the right type of wood or wood combination while smoking.

You can go for sweetness by using fruit woods or perhaps a more traditional barbecue taste. 

There is a lot of science to how smoke effects our foods and we recently published a post on this.

You also want to make sure you’re using the right type of wood for your specific grill or smoker. 

Let us take a look at some of the woods we recommend for smoking pork ribs and Boston butts.

Orange

Orange wood is an interesting choice for smoking pork as it can lead to a very unique flavor and aroma for the meat. Like the fruit, the orange tree’s wood has a natural citrus flavor that can infuse deep into the meat if you smoke pork over orange wood. Accompanied by a light, smoky flavor, this citrus punch can add an entirely new dimension to your smoked pork.

Smoking over orange wood can be particularly good for smoking pork roast, loin, or ham. You can also experiment and end up with a unique, complex flavor profile by pairing the right amount of orange wood with a more traditional choice like hickory.

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageTropical Spark Orange Pellets
  • 100% natural wood
  • No binders or fillers
  • Air Tight Bag
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageDiamond King Wood Chunks : Orange
  • 100% natural wood
  • USDA certified
  • Stored indoors
CHECK PRICE


Maple

Maple and pork have always been a classic combination. The unique flavor of maple wood smoke goes particularly well with pork as it helps render the fat down and infuse the meat with excellent flavor. The light, sweet smoky flavor is a perfect foil for the natural flavor of the pork. Also, smoking over maple wood can leave your cut of pork looking great with a bright golden crust.

Smoking over maple can be a particularly solid option if you are looking to cook some baby back ribs or pork butt. In fact, it is the best wood for smoking pork butt hands down. If you do this right the response from your family and/or guests should come in droves and if you make someone present a little jealous oh well! Your cooking does the talking for you.  

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageBear Mountain Wood Pellets : Maple
  • No binders or fillers
  • Works well with all major grill brands
  • Low moisture
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWestern Premium Wood Chips : Maple
  • 100% natural wood
  • Heat treated
  • Large sized chips
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWestern Premium Cooking Chunks : Maple
  • 100% natural wood
  • Large size
  • Heat treated
CHECK PRICE


Peach

If orange wood brings a citrus kick to your pork, using peach wood can bring a different kind of citrus flair. Unlike orange and a lot of other fruitwoods, peach wood can impart a significantly less acidic and more floral flavor to the meat. 

This can be a great way to smoke delicate cuts of pork and enjoy the result with a nice glass of wine.

Smoking over peach wood can also create a light red color on the pork that is sensational for presentation. Solid candidates would be lean cuts of pork and ham. 

Peach can also be paired with other fruit woods to create more complex flavor profiles.

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageZorestar Pellets
  • Sample Kit
  • All Natural
  • Low Ash
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWestern Premium Wood Chips : Peach
  • 100% natural wood
  • Heat treated
  • Large sized chips
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageDiamond King Wood Chunks : Peach
  • 100% natural wood
  • USDA certified
  • Stored indoors
CHECK PRICE


Pecan

Pecan wood has a very unique savory flavor that is reminiscent of bacon. This means that it can be one of the best choices for smoking pork. It can add to the natural flavor of the pork while infusing it with subtle smoke. Pecan wood is also relatively easy to use, making it a great choice for BBQ beginners.

Smoking your pork over pecan wood can be a great way to maintain the natural flavor of the pork while concentrating on other flavors you can infuse by using a marinade or dry rub. It can also be a great wood to experiment with by adding other wood flavors. Pecan can work wonders on ham or pork ribs but it really shines when used with pork chops.

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageBear Mountain Wood Pellets : Pecan
  • No binders or fillers
  • Works well with all major grill brands
  • Low moisture
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWestern Premium Wood Chips : Pecan
  • 100% natural wood
  • Heat treated
  • Large sized chips
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWeber Wood Chunks : Pecan
  • 100% natural wood
  • Long lasting
  • Kiln dried
CHECK PRICE


Applewood

Smoking pork over apple wood is a sure way of infusing the meat with some really complementary flavors. Apple smoke gives the pork a sweet, mild smoky aroma that pairs really well with pork cuts that have intense natural flavors. The fruity nature of the smoke can work well with recipes that call for a sweet sauce or glaze. This makes it a great choice for ribs and is the best wood for smoking pork loin. Try apple with our grilled pork tenderloin and Greek marinade.

If you are looking for a stronger flavor, apple wood can be mixed in the right proportion with woods like hickory wood and pecan to tone down the smokiness and create a unique, complex flavor profile that marries well with the pork.

Oak Wood

If you’re looking for a bit more of a smoke flavor, you’ll want to consider oak, especially if you’re smoking pork ribs. Oak is a staple of Texas-style barbecue, but it works well to add a strong, traditional smoke flavor. It also works well when you are making wood blends, especially with a sweeter wood like applewood. 

Cherry Wood

If you’ve ever looked at a beautiful rack of smoked ribs and it’s got that deep red color, chances are cherry wood was involved. It has a nice sweet flavor, but it really shines by helping develop that signature red color we all want to see in our ribs.

Are There Any Types Of Wood I Should Avoid?

When you’re smoking pork, you can’t use just any piece of wood you find. The first order of business is to avoid all types of softwoods like cedar and pine. The sap and resins can make your food taste bad. You always want to stick to hardwoods regardless of what kind of food you’re smoking.

I also recommend avoiding super strong wood flavors like mesquite. It’s more well-suited to Texas-style brisket than pork. 

What Type Of Wood Should I Be Using In My Grill Or Smoker?

Not only do you have to choose what flavor of wood to use when smoking pork, you also need to choose the right form of the wood. If you’re using pellet grills, you’re going to want to find your preferred flavor or flavors of wood in wood pellets.

If you’ve got a charcoal grill that you want to set up for indirect heat to smoke pork, you’re going to typically want to use wood chunks.

Finally, if you’ve got an electric or propane smoker, those smokers use wood chips to provide the smoke flavor.

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageBear Mountain Wood Pellets : Apple
  • No binders or fillers
  • Works well with all major grill brands
  • Low moisture
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWestern Premium Wood Chips : Apple
  • 100% natural wood
  • Heat treated
  • Large sized chips
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageWeber Wood Chunks : Apple
  • 100% natural wood
  • Long lasting
  • Kiln dried
CHECK PRICE


Enhancing that Pork Flavor

Smoking pork using wood can be a wonderful experience for BBQ enthusiasts. 

Pork is mostly a forgiving meat when it comes to cooking times and cooking temperatures. This makes it a prudent choice for beginners who want to get better at the art of smoking. The strong natural flavor of pork can also stand up well to different kinds of wood smoking, creating interesting flavor combinations that can be a treat at any backyard party.

You can choose one or more woods from the list above and figure out the right amounts and smoking time to get the best possible results. You can also mix different woods to create unique flavor combinations that you can flaunt in front of your friends and family.

If you’re getting ready to smoke pork, to make pulled pork, you are probably smoking a pork butt. Learn the difference between the pork butt and shoulder first.

Looking for the best wood for smoking ribs? Or how about the best wood for smoking turkey this Thanksgiving? We’ve got you covered. We even have a full-fledged overview of smoking wood whether you’re smoking cuts of beef, chicken, or other types of poultry.

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