Best Wood To Smoke Brisket With

Wood Chips When To Use Them

EASY smoked brisket recipe to nail it your first time

Wood chips, on the other hand, are small easy-to-burn shavings of flavour wood. Wood chips work great for smoking in electric smokers that dont use an open flame, gas grills, smoker boxes charcoal grills as well as homemade foil smoking packs. Chips are easy to handle, feed into the smoker and are available in a variety of flavours you could think of. However, I would consider them as a last resort because they have a short burn life compared to chunks. Chose wood chips if you are planning on smoking for a few minutes to a few hours, or if you just want to use them for infusing flavour, not as the single heat source. Wood chips are a good choice for small to medium-sized briskets.

What Type Of Wood Does Franklin Use For Brisket

Franklin uses Post Oak that has been cured for nine to twelve months, to cook brisket. In fact, Aaron Franklin only uses Post Oak at his restaurant for cooking briskets.

Arron maintains that Post Oak delivers good flavor, burns clean, and produces good consistent heat. Mr. Franklin prefers 20 inch long logs for his smokers to get a good, balanced smoky flavor in his briskets.

If you are using a smaller smoker, chips will be better, logs will not ignite and generate smoke. So if post oak is what the man is known for making the best brisket. Post Oak is good for us!

Smoked brisket is a flavorful BBQ Dish, and there is nothing like smoked brisket. However, smoking a brisket is not as easy as it seems. Pitmasters such as Aaron Franklin have been working on their crafts for years. This cut of meat can be challenging to smoke.

Utilizing A Smoke Tube For Pellets

Loads of people use smoke tubes to increase the amount of smoke in their pellet grills, add smoke to gas or charcoal cooks, or cold smoke in an unlit smoker. Pellet tubes create a heavier smoke from smoldering wood pellets and can occasionally leave creosote build-up on the lid of your smoker under where they are burning.

You can find smoke tubes or chambers in a variety of sizes that will last a certain amount of hours based on how many pellets they hold. I personally own and use the A-Maze-N pellet tube and use it mostly for cold smoking. You can mix any blend of pellets in the tube to create smoke of any flavor youd like and add some extra smoky flavor to your smoked brisket.

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So Which Is The Best Wood For Smoking Brisket

The best wood for smoking brisket depends on the smoker you are using, the size of the brisket, and the flavors you wish to achieve.

Hickory and oak tend to be the most popular choices and are a good starting point for any novice pitmaster.

As you get more experienced, you can start mixing a strong flavored wood with a milder one to get a deeper smoke profile, or try a combination of mild woods and see how the layers of flavor play with the meat.

Its really up to you. You have to experiment to figure out what flavor profiles you prefer.

Related The best types of wood for smoking all types of meat

What Wood Size To Choose

Best Wood for Smoking Brisket

Before deciding on flavor, I think its also important to take size into consideraton. In general, there are three different sizes of wood to choose from.

  • Logs. Sometimes intimidating in size, but perfect if youre using an offset smoker due to the large amount of smoke they emit. The downside is they can be difficult to ignite and keep lit, but fantastic with the right smoker.
  • Chips. My go-to if using a charcoal grill or electric smoker. Sometimes called wood shaving or scraps, these are very small. As a result they do burn out very quickly, so only really suitable with smaller cuts of brisket.
  • Chunks. These can also take a while to ignite, but they do burn for a very long time. These are the perfect choice if needing to smoke for long period of times.
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    What Are The Best Types Of Wood For Smoking Brisket

    When it comes to smoking meat, your preferences and taste play a significant role. However, these are the most commonly used types of wood for smoking and adding flavor to brisket.

    • Oak Oakwood provides a balanced smokey flavor and is excellent for long cooks as it will not overpower the meat seasoning flavors.
    • Hickory Hickory produces a more potent and smokier flavor than oak wood. Hickory can be described as producing a nutty or bacon-like flavor that can overpower your meats flavor if overused.
    • Mesquite Mesquite wood can also yield a strong flavor, and mesquite wood can burn faster than other wood. Mesquite is popular in places like Texas.

    Since we are on the topic of woods and woods type for smoking briskets, have you heard of ArronFranklin? Well, let me tell you, his restaurant in Austin, Texas is one of the most popular BBQ places in the United States, Aaron is known and recognized as one of the worlds best pitmasters, and his specialty is, you guessed it, briskets.

    Aaron has been a feature in many documentaries and won many BBQ awards. Celebrities and even presidents have visited his Texas restaurant to taste whats known by many, the worlds best brisket.

    Learn more about offset smokers and which one is the right fit for you.

    How To Buy The Best Wood

    As we stated earlier, brisket is a hard cut of meat that needs to prepare in a specific way. Too much heat can destroy the juiciness of the meat, whereas too low heat can leave the meat rare. Not to mention the smoke taste you have to infuse in the meat during cooking it.

    Therefore, There are several types of wood for smoking briskets depending on size, flavors, etc. Moreover, before you buy the wood, you need to learn the specifics to decide your preference. Also, can find out the best wood chips for grilling steaks available in the market.

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    Other Brisket Cooking Methods

    If you are cooking on a barrel, pit or more traditional smoker, you will need larger pieces of wood that can burn and develop into hot embers that last through the cooking process.

    Smoking blocks are a great way to achieve smoke flavor while simultaneously being used as a fuel source. The golden smoky hue they can add to some smoked items is an added visual bonus. Smoking blocks are a lot like smoking chunks, but with some added benefits, including the lack of bark , and being kiln-dried for better, more even heat.

    I suggest every novice smoker practice, until they achieve a result that impresses , then reuse that technique and strive to perfect it.

    Matt worked his first kitchen job in the country of Malta at the age of 15. He has worked as a restaurant Chef in Arizona, Maine, Spain, the UK, Oregon and finally North Idaho. Now the Executive Chef at Wildwood Grilling, he thoroughly enjoys his day job.

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    So Which Is Really The Best Wood For Smoking Brisket

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    When it comes to the best wood, there isnt a clear winner. This is mostly because all the woods in our list have their own features, and end of the day, it all depends on you.

    If you like fruity flavor, then a blend of applewood can be good for you. Again, if you want extended cooking times for your beef brisket, then oakwood can be a great option.

    For bigger chunks of meat, Mesquite can be decent too. So overall, it all depends on which flavor you prefer. Combining woods can be a good way to make a complex, unique flavor for you.

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    Which Is The Best Wood For Smoking Brisket

    If I am being perfectly honest, there isn’t such a thing as the “best wood”. This is because it is all about what flavors you are looking to impart in a brisket.

    And if you think that I’m trying to dodge the question, go ahead and check out what some of the top wood choices of major pitmasters. It will undoubtedly vary from one person to another.

    Despite this, each of these pros are celebrated for their excellent brisket. This means that there is no right or wrong answer – it is all down to what you like.

    Size Of Wood For Smoking Brisket

    Aside from the wood itself, Smoking woods usually come in three major sizes. They are:

    1. ChipsThese are readily available in stores and are also called as wood shavings and scraps. Because of its small size, wood chips burn out really fast so using it for larger cuts of brisket isnt advisable.

    2. Chunks Wood chunks takes longer to ignite, but they burn for hours on end. Perfect for larger cuts of brisket or if you simply want to cook your meat in the smoker for longer.

    3. Logs and sticks Perfect for those with offset smokers. Produces a lot of smoke, but can be very hard to ignite.

    Peter’s path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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    The Best Wood For Smoking Brisket For Better Flavor

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    Smoking briskets is an art, and, as with any art, ones perception, taste, and predilection influence results and opinions. However, award-winning pitmasters such as Aaron Franklin prefer only to use only one type of wood, Oakwood, specifically Post Oak.

    Oakwood produces a great balanced flavor, and it also burns well in traditional smokers. Other pitmasters in different parts of the US use Hickory wood, and in other areas, you will find pitmasters using only mystique.

    Best Wood Types For Smoking Brisket

    Brisket! Result of an 11 hour smoke in the cold and wind! Smoke ring ...

    Buying the perfect wood for smoking might be a daunting task due to the sheer number of options. The following is a breakdown of smoking wood types, categorized by the strength of flavor they are likely to impart.

    Wood Size

    It is important to use the right size of wood for your smoker type. Wood for smoking comes in varying sizes to include.

    1. Wood Chips :- Generally, these are shavings or wood scraps. They are readily available in stores. Keep in mind however that they burn out quite fast.2. Chunks :- These fist sized wood pieces offer a better amount of time. In a smoker, chunks can burn for hours on end. They do nonetheless take a bit longer to ignite. There is no shortage of chunks either.

    Whether shopping around for cherry chunks, pecan chunks or indeed exotic types such as the New Zealand manuka wood chunks, you will find that there is no shortage of supply on the Internet.3. Sticks and Logs :- For offset smokers, these full wood pieces, would be the best choice. Additionally, logs produce more smoke than both chips and chunks.

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    When You Want Sweet

    Sweeter woods like the following can really bring a hint of sweetness to your barbecue brisket:

    Using fruit hardwoods can leave a slight fruity taste to the meat. So if there is a fruit you just dont like, avoid using that kind of hardwood when smoking.

    Apple and cherry woods are quite popular flavors to use. Peach wood is not as popular, but it cannot be overlooked as a possibility for smoking barbecue brisket as it can give it a unique and pleasant flavor.

    One thing I do want to mention when it comes to maple is that there are great types of maple woods that can be used. A small list of the possible varieties are:

    Just about any variety of maple can add a sweet touch to your barbecue brisket, and I would consider them to be some of the best smoking woods.

    Just as the cut of meat can make a big difference in the final product, so can the variety of Maple you use. You may want to experiment with a few different types to find your personal taste.

    If you enjoy sweet meat and really want a stronger sweet flavor, Sugar Maple cannot be ignored. It has a 2% higher sugar content than most other varieties, which can really help to produce a nice sweet flavor. The added sugary sap can mean extra smoke too, which means a more smokey flavor to your brisket as a bonus.

    What Is The Best Wood For Smoking Brisket

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    Smoked brisket can be a hard cut of meat to master.

    Trying to get that perfect smoky flavor without being too overpowering while rendering the meat so soft and tender that it melts in your mouth seems like an art form.

    The type of wood you use is an important variable for mastering smoked brisket.

    With all the options out there, how do you choose the right type of wood?

  • All wood in the hood
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    Medium To Strong Flavors

    • Oak A medium smoky flavor that is not too overpowering. It can burn for a long time, making it a great choice for beginners. Commonly used in Central Texas style barbecue.
    • Hickory Strong and smoky, it can be described as producing a nutty or bacon-like flavor. Be careful though, as too much hickory smoke can cause the meat to taste bitter.
    • Mesquite Another wood that produces a strong flavor, mesquite burns quickly and can produce a strong earthy flavor. If you want to make an authentic Texas smoked brisket, this is the wood to choose. However, like hickory, it can get too powerful.

    How To Select The Wood Size

    Smoked Brisket on Pellet Grill

    A rule of thumb is that the wood size depends on the brisket size and the type of smoker you own. Read the following guide to understand commonly used wood sizes:


    As the name suggests, wood chips are essentially wood scraps and thin shavings of ¼ inch thickness. They are commonly used in electric and gas smokers. Since they are relatively thin and smaller in size, they burn extremely fast.

    A word of advice: You shouldnt use wood chips to smoke large-sized briskets.


    Wood chunks have a size similar to our fist, around four inches or so. They are used in combination with charcoal in offset smokers. After ignition, wood chunks can last for an extended time, making them perfect to smoke large briskets.


    Wood logs can be quite long, up to 18 inches, and are suitable for large offset grills. You can also use them as a direct heating source to smoke your ten pounds brisket. However, due to their large size, they require more time to burn down.


    Grounding wood into a coarse powder yields sawdust, ideal for handheld smokers and stovetops. Since the wood is grounded, sawdust provides instant smoke however, you cant use it as a heat source, nor should you soak it in water before using it.


    Compressing sawdust forms flat disks, ideal for electric smokers to produce smoke quickly. But, again, dont soak them as the water will disintegrate the disks.


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    What Wood Do Pitmasters Use For Smoking Brisket

    Just for the sake of comparison, some people might find it useful to know what professional Pitmasters use to smoke brisket.

    Keep in mind – most of these folks use offset smokers. On an offset smoker you use logs or “sticks” as your fuel source – where-as the rest of us likely use charcoal as the fuel source and wood chunks/chips for smoke flavor.

    Simply put, they’re apt to use whatever is local – both from a sales perspective and because it’s cheaper .

    This is another reason different regions have their own style of barbecue.

    In Texas, Post-oak and mesquite are quite popular. In the South you’re apt to see Hickory and Pecan. In the Midwest you’re likely to see hickory or apple You get the gist.


    Aaron Franklin is the person most people look to for Brisket information.

    Jonny White used to work for Franklin Barbecue and currently runs Goldees Barbecue with four other Pitmasters – they recently received the number one rating in Texas Monthly.

    My Pick: Smoak Firewood Cooking Wood Logs

    A white oak variety that creates plenty of heat and smokes both as fire and smolder. White oak in particular is a great smoking fuel.

    When choosing a good oak wood, we want something that creates plenty of heat and smokes both as fire and smolder.

    This white oak variety from Smoak Firewood Cooking does just that. White oak in particular is a great smoking fuel.

    These logs are large. This isnt a problem if youre using oak as your primary smoking fuel, but if youre hoping to use it as a secondary flavoring wood then you ought to consider something else. I dont consider this a big loss however, as oak is a far better primary fuel than it is secondary.

    They comes in several sizes, allowing you to either buy in bulk or start more modestly. They also start at a very affordable price so youre not breaking the bank if this is your time buying smoking logs.

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