There is something incredibly satisfying and almost primal about wood smoking your food. Humans have been smoking their food for pretty much as long as we’ve had fire.
Though the techniques have evolved over time, the final product is still just as finger-lickin’ good.
Whether you enjoy smoking classics like brisket and pork shoulder, oysters and shrimp, or even throwing some summer squashes or mushrooms on the smoker, there’s something satisfying about that smokey taste that comes from woodchips.
So, what should you look for when it comes to choosing the best woodchips for smoking? Make sure they are compatible with your smoker and/or grill. You want woodchips that have no bark or fillers, that come from natural or organic trees, and ones that come in a variety pack so you can test different flavors.
As a bonus, some brands even come in eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled or used to start your next bonfire.
I’ve even included one woodchip that is made from hand-chopped bourbon barrels and flavored with maple syrup, wine, or bourbon.
Read on to discover how to choose the best woodchips for all your backyard smoking needs and 7 of my favorite brands to start with.
How To Choose The Best Woodchips For Smoking
When it comes to choosing the best woodchips for backyard smoking, there are a few things you will want to be on the lookout for to make sure you’re getting the best quality.
Check out the following guide to help you pick the perfect woodchips to start smoking like a pro.
Works In Smokers
It may seem self-explanatory that woodchips should work in smokers. However, different styles and brands may not be made specifically for smoking.
In that case, you are going to want to look for woodchips that state on the packaging that they work in smokers.
Before you buy your woodchips, you will also want to make sure that you don’t have a smoker that only runs on pellets or briquettes, since they may have specific spaces designed solely for those options and none for woodchips.
Works In Gas Or Charcoal Grills
If you don’t have a smoker, but want to impart that smokey flavor into your regular grilling, then look for woodchips that state they are compatible with gas or charcoal grills, depending on what you have.
Before you use your woodchips, make sure you read the instructions on the packaging. Different brands of woodchips and different grills may have different requirements, such as using tinfoil or smoking boxes.
Double-check your grill and your woodchips before starting to ensure the best final product.
Has No Bark Or Fillers
The best quality woodchips are going to be the center part of the tree, without any bark or other fillers, additives, or preservatives.
The best flavor comes from the wood inside the tree and you want as much of it as possible to impart that distinct smokey flavor to your meal.
Some woodchips may have some added flavors or be soaked in whiskey or another product to impart an even richer flavor to your meats, seafood, and vegetables.
I wouldn’t count this against a product since it’s there to enhance the smoking process and not as filler to make it cheaper to produce.
Comes In A Variety Pack
I love products that come in variety packs for a couple of reasons. It gives you a great opportunity to try out different woods to see which flavors you enjoy most.
Some woods are going to taste better when used with meats, others will enhance the delicate flavors of seafood, and some may be best for smoking less obvious items such as vegetables.
When you get a variety pack, you can test out different flavor combinations to come up with your favorites.
With all these different options to play with, you can really flex your creativity while you’re smoking to come up with blends that are unique to your tastes and preferences.
You might really enjoy using something like peach wood to smoke shrimp while wood from a pear tree could be amazing for portabello mushrooms.
There are so many wood types out there that buying a sample pack is a great way to experience more than your standard hickory or cherry woods.
If you plan on smoking vegetables, you will want to look for variety packs that include maple, hickory, pecan, and applewood.
Maple gives a delicate sweetness to all vegetables, while hickory is great for vegetables that are smoked for under an hour.
Pecan is great for smoking broccoli and asparagus, while applewood complements hearty winter vegetables like squash, pumpkin, carrots, and beets.
Alder is another wood to look for since it is one of the highly-rated choices when it comes to smoking seafood.
Made From Organic And/Or Natural Trees
When you are smoking, you want the purity of the wood to come through with every bite.
Purchasing woodchips made from trees that haven’t been sprayed or treated with pesticides and herbicides means you’ll get that pure flavor without any potential contamination.
By looking for brands that are natural or organic, you can be certain you will have that pure smokey flavor come through no matter what you’re smoking.
Bonus: Comes In Eco-Friendly Packaging
While coming in eco-friendly packaging doesn’t impact the final product, it is a nice to know that it’s not going to a landfill.
With some brands you can either recycle the packaging or use it as a fire starter the next time you cozy up to your fireplace or have a bonfire in the backyard.
The 7 Best Woodchips For Smoking Of 2021
Now that you know what to look for in terms of the best woodchips for smoking, you can take a look at the brands below to find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
|1.||Zorestar Wood Chips||Best overall woodchips|
|2.||INSISART Natual Wood Chips||Comes with eight different types of wood: apple, cherry, oak, pecan, pear, peach, walnut, and beech woodchips|
|3.||Fire & Flavor Premium All Natural Smoking Wood Chips||Works best in gas or charcoal grills|
|4.||Mr. Bar-B-Q Wood Smoker Chips||Made without any added fillers, chemicals, or preservatives|
|5.||Western Wood Smoking Chip||Variety pack that comes with post oak, cherry, applewood, pecan, hickory, and mesquite|
|6.||Western BBQ Smoking Wood Chips||Variety pack that comes with cherry, apple, hickory, and mesquite|
|7.||Jax Smok'in Tinder||Best woodchips designed for stovetop smoking|
|Bonus!||Midwest Barrel Company Wood Chips||Flavored woodchips from aged barrels|
1. Zorestar Wood Chips
These wood chips take the top spot because they tick every box on the list above.
They work in smokers, grills, and can even be used when camping or in your fireplace.
They also come in great eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled or used to start your next fire.
This brand comes in a six-pack that offers a variety of 4 different types of wood including apple, cherry, oak, and alder.
This variety gives you the chance to try out different combinations or flavors. They recommend combining apple and cherry wood for a tasty treat.
The Zorestar wood chips don’t contain any fillers or bark and comes from organic trees. It also includes a bonus e-book to help you get started on your smoking adventure.
The alder wood is going to be great if you like to smoke seafood, while apple is wonderful if vegetables are on the menu.
Cherry and oak are both delicious for smoking different types of meats, so this variety pack really has you covered, no matter what’s on the menu.
2. INSISART Natual Wood Chips
This variety pack is perfect for those new to smoking.
It comes with eight different types of wood: apple, cherry, oak, pecan, pear, peach, walnut, and beech woodchips.
They also come in reusable containers, so once the woodchips are gone you can use them as storage.
They don’t contain any fillers or barks and they work great with smokers, grills, and even in the fireplace or while camping.
You can use them in a smoking gun for smaller smoking projects in the kitchen. The different flavors complement meat, seafood, veggies, cheeses, and even cocktails.
The wood comes from natural and organic trees and contains no chemicals, additives, or preservatives. And these wood chips ignite and produce smoke quickly to create a delicate smokey flavor no matter what you’re preparing.
I really like this one as a gift option or to test out different types of woodchips without a huge financial investment.
You may find a type that you really enjoy that you may not have otherwise tried out. I think the peach and pear are especially exciting.
So if you’re looking to expand your smoking horizons, this woodchip set is the perfect choice for you.
3. Fire & Flavor Premium All Natural Smoking Wood Chips
I placed this brand up near the top because it’s another high-quality offering that doesn’t include any bark or fillers.
It works well in gas or charcoal grills and should work in your smoker, but you will want to double-check to make sure.
While this one doesn’t come in a variety pack, the company does offer a few other flavors that you can try out if you’re looking for more variety.
The flavor linked above is mesquite, but they also sell applewood, peach, pecan, and hickory.
4. Mr. Bar-B-Q Wood Smoker Chips
These hickory woodchips from Mr. Bar-B-Q are high-quality, 100% hardwood smoking chips.
They are made without any added fillers, chemicals, or preservatives.
They are super versatile and can be used in smokers, charcoal grills, gas grills, and even electric grills for all your smoking needs.
Unfortunately, the bags aren’t reusable, compostable, or recyclable, so if this is an important quality for you then you might want to choose a different brand.
While this brand doesn’t come in a variety pack, they do have a hickory and mesquite woodchip option.
The hickory is perfect for smoking your meat, veggies, seafood, and anything else that piques your fancy, while the mesquite is best with hearty cuts of meat like brisket and pork butt.
5. Western Wood Smoking Chip
Western Wood offers another great variety pack.
It contains post oak, cherry, applewood, pecan, hickory, and mesquite.
This wide selection will give you ample opportunity to try out some new woodchips.
The bags aren’t recyclable or reusable, so that is something to keep in mind if eco-friendly packaging is important to you.
The woodchips are compatible with most smoking vessels including gas grills, electric smokers, griddles, kettle grills, and ceramic grills.
There are no added chemicals, preservatives, barks, or fillers so you can be confident that you’re getting that pure smokey taste every time you fire up your grill or smoker.
6. Western BBQ Smoking Wood Chips
These woodchips from Western BBQ come in a variety pack.
It includes cherry, apple, hickory, and mesquite.
They don’t include any fillers or chemicals and are heat-treated prior to storage to prevent pests, mold, and rot.
They work great with charcoal, gas, or electric grills and come with instructions on how to use them so you will be able to smoke like a pro.
The plastic bags aren’t recyclable or reusable, so something to keep in mind if you’re looking for an eco-friendly packaging option.
7. Jax Smok’in Tinder
These woodchips are designed for stovetop smoking as opposed to using with a grill or smoker.
However, they are still such a great quality product I wanted to include them on the list.
The Jax woodchips come in a variety pack of six different flavors including cherry, apple, pecan, hickory, mesquite, and post oak sourced from Colorado and Texas.
The paper packaging is also recyclable, compostable, or can be used to start your next bonfire.
Compared to woodchips that are dried out to store in plastic bags, these woodchips are shipped in paper bags and boxes which allows them to breathe.
This moisture gives the true smokey, delicious flavor to your meat, seafood, and vegetables.
They don’t contain any preservatives, fillers, or bark and you can be sure that the flavor imparted by these high-quality woodchips is going to take your smoking game to the next level.
Bonus: Midwest Barrel Company Wood Chips
This company sells a variety of flavored woodchips that come from old wooden barrels that used to house bourbon, maple syrup, or wine.
These woodchips will impart a really special flavor to whatever you choose to smoke.
The small meat smoking chips will be the perfect size for most smokers and grills.
They are hand-cut from authentic Kentucky bourbon barrels that were used to age maple syrup (or wine or bourbon) for 6-12 months. This infusion will add a unique flavor to your meats, veggies, or seafood.
There are no added chemicals or preservatives and no bark since the chips come from bourbon barrels. If you want to try something extra special, this might be the perfect woodchip for you.
Up Next: The 5 Best Herbs For Eggs