Best Wood for Smoking Turkey

Whether the holidays are approaching or not, smoking turkey has become more common. More and more smokers realize the benefits of turkey meat.

For one, it’s much healthier than chicken meat. For another, a whole turkey is one of the best meats you can smoke no matter the season. Aside from adding stuffing or sprinkling salt and pepper, enjoying the best-smoked turkey requires you to add wood chips.

To help you get started on smoking turkey, we’ve created this article. It features the five best wood chips to improve the taste of turkey. It is our hope that this article will help you enjoy the experience instead of stressing about it.

Recommended Wood Chips for Smoking Turkey

Before we get started, you need to remember one thing. There is no such thing as the perfect wood chips or wood chunks for smoking turkey.

Concerning wood selection, experimentation is key. No matter which type of wood you choose, we assure you that our most recommended chips will improve the flavor of the turkey.

So without further ado here is the top 5 wood chips to use for smoking turkey:

1. Western Premium BBQ Products Post Oak BBQ

Western-Premium-oak-wood-chipsOur first recommendation is Western Premium oak wood chips.

Oakwood often appears with just about any type of meat as it is versatile and popular. From beef briskets to pork loins and everything between, oakwood proves to be perfectly capable of achieving a delicious flavor.

Smoking a turkey with these wood chips introduces a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower its natural taste.

These wood chips burn slowly, which also makes it cost-effective. Without having to worry about refilling your wood chips tray, it allows you to focus on smoking the turkey correctly.

Pros
  • A notable smoked flavor that doesn’t overpower the meat
  • Produces a good amount of smoke
  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile
  • Dense
  • Burns slowly
Cons
  • Western Premium offers them in varying in sizes and chunks in one bag so you’ll have to even it out
  • Too much of the Western Premium wood chips can result in intense smoke flavor

2. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips

Jack-Daniel's-Tennessee-Whiskey-Barrel-Smoking-ChipsAnother wood chip that’s great for smoking turkey is Jack Daniel’s whiskey oak barrel chunks.

Unlike the Western Premium oak, these wood chips feature an intense natural flavor. Furthermore, it also burns quicker than our first recommendation. These characteristics mean that you’ll have to take care not to use too much and that you have to replenish the tray regularly.

Jack Daniel is known to offer high-quality materials for smoking. So, if you do choose their wood to add flavor for your turkey, you don’t have to worry about much.

Pros
  • The bag it comes with is resealable
  • Whiskey undertone improves the oak barrel chips smoky flavor
  • High-quality smoking wood chips
  • Gives great flavor for any meat and poultry
Cons
  • Burns quickly
  • Intense smoky flavor can be too much

3. Big Green Egg Smoking Chips Apple

Big-Green-Egg-Smoking-Chips-AppleIf you want to for a more fruity flavor, then your best option is apple chunks. For this are, we recommend Big Green Egg’s apple chips.

Similar to Western Premium and Jack Daniels, Big Green Egg produces high-quality materials. As such, their apple-flavored wood chips have become known to be perfect for smoking a turkey and other meat cuts of poultry.

Applewood boasts a naturally mild and sweet flavor. As a result, you’re going to have to wait a while for that flavor to reach the deepest parts of the turkey, especially considering the poultry’s size.

Big Green Egg’s applewood chips come in medium to large sizes. Thus, it’s better to use them on top of the charcoal instead of as a main fuel source.

Pros
  • The fruity, mild, and sweet flavor
  • Big Green Egg’s wood chips are almost always dry
  • Inexpensive
  • Medium to large sizes means that it burns slower
Cons
  • Takes a while to completely reach the meat
  • Can’t be used as the main fuel source

4. Alder Camerons Smoking Wood Chunks

Alder-Camerons-Smoking-Wood-ChunksOur fourth recommendation is Camerons Smoking alder wood chunks for a number of reasons.

For one, alder wood is even lighter in flavor than applewood. As a result, it’s perfect for beginners who are trying to smoke a turkey for the first time.

For another, Camerons Smoking chips feature a sweet smell that can be mouth-watering for you and your audience.

It should be noted that alder chunks are more appropriate for seafood. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for turkey. In fact, while underrated, alder smoking chips have gained popularity over the years.

Pros
  • Camerons Smoking alder wood chunks add a light flavor to your food
  • Good for smoking seafood and poultry
  • Burns slowly and is long-lasting
  • Perfect smoking chips for beginners
Cons
  • More expensive than all the other brands on this list
  • Bag contains incredibly varying sizes of alder wood
  • More chunks than chips; chunks are sometimes too big

5. BBQ Pit Boys Hickory Smoking Wood Chips

BBQ-Pit-Boys-Hickory-Smoking-Wood-ChipsOur final recommendation for the best wood chips for smoking turkey is BBQ Pit Boys’ hickory wood chips.

Hickory wood chips have gained the reputation of being the most versatile. It boasts a rich flavor that definitely beats maple wood for turkey, which is even subtler than alder.

The hickory represents different flavors of wood from sweet to savory. It’s more distinct than the other wood chips we’ve recommended, and it’ll definitely leave an impression on your guests. That said, we’d like to remind you that with hickory chips, you’ll have to be extra mindful of how much you use.

Pros
  • Rich flavor
  • BBQ Pit Boys bag of hickory wood chips offers higher quality than most of its competitors
  • Evenly-sized chunks
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Distinct flavor can be overpowering to some
  • Takes a while to burn
  • Needs to burn completely to reach a perfect balance of turkey, wood, and smoke flavors

Final Tips

Now that we’ve gone over the best wood chips for smoking turkey, we’re going to end this article with a few final tips.

First and foremost, choosing the best wood for smoking will require you to do trial and error.

Second, depending on the wood chips, there are some you might need to be dry, like applewood, and some that you may need to soak, like alder wood.

Finally, smoking turkey takes more time than normal chickens so be patient!

That said, smoking turkey should be a process that you enjoy. With this article, we hope we’ve helped you achieve just that.

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