Best Wood for Smoking Brisket

Only a master of smoking brisket can you earn a black belt in barbecue. Cooking juicy and tender meat by infusing a smoke flavor that doesn’t overpower the meat’s flavor requires years of practice.

Besides the cooking skills, there is one more integral thing that can make or break your brisket – the type of wood you use to smoke meat. The type of wood that you use to smoke a Brisket will have a significant impact on its aroma and flavor.

Are you unsure which wood is best for smoking? cuts of beef? Continue reading to learn more.

Best Wood for Smoking Brisket

Smoked Brisket

No matter if you have a pellet smoker Or an electric smokerThe type of wood used in the smokers is the same. It is enough to focus on the wood type, the aroma, and the resulting smoky flavor.


Oak has a medium flavor, which is stronger than apple and cherry but lighter than mesquite. It can be smoked at a higher temperature than 250F to 300F, which allows you to smoke brisket.


Hickory is a good choice to infuse your brisket a bacon-like, or nutty flavor. best wood pellets for smoking. However, it’s tricky to use hickory to smoke a brisket because over-smoking brisket can taste bitter.

Pro tip: Sweet sauce or sugar can be a great pairing for hickory.


Because of its earthy flavor, Mesquite is one the best woods to smoke brisket. It burns quickly, just like oak because it’s essentially oily wood. However, it can become strong like hickory, which can lead to a bitter-flavored brisket.

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Mesquite wood is a great way to make Texas-style smoked barbecue brisket for friends and family. You must rub some salt and rubber on the brisket before smoking on the mesquite hardwood to enhance beef’s natural flavor.


Pecan wood chips are a great way to enjoy tender cuts of meat with a mild, nutty and sweet flavor. Pecan wood chips can be combined with other hardwoods to enhance the flavor. For a subtle spice, rub the brisket lightly with a pinch of cayenne pepper.


You’ll expect nothing less than a sweet, mild flavor from applewood. Smoking brisket on applewood can take several hours so be patient.


Cherry infuses a fruity, sweet flavor to your brisket just like an apple. Cherry wood can be combined with hickory for a unique flavor and aroma.


Maple smokes your favorite piece of meat in a subtle, yet sweet and mild way.

Tips Smoking Brisket in Pellet Grill

Once you have chosen one of the wood chips, these are some tips to make your brisket tender and moist.

Soaking Wood Chips

Before you use the wood chips smoking brisket in an electric smoker Or pellet smoker soak wood chips You can soak the wood chips in water for 12-24 hours, but no more than that. You can drain the water later and place the wood chips into the hopper.

Why soak? This way, wood chips don’t catch the flames when you place them on hot charcoal. However, soaked wood chips increase the intensity of the smoke and steam inside the smoker.

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On the other hand, you don’t need to soak free hardwood logs because they already contain enough moisture to produce smoke and steam.

Don’t Over Smoke

Don’t think that more smoke will make your brisket flavorful; instead, it will make meat bitter and harsh. That’s why you shouldn’t leave the brisket in the smoker for longer than required.

Combination of different best woods

Different woods have a distinct flavor and aroma, as we discussed earlier. Therefore, it’s wise to combine various hardwoods which complement one another to increase the rich flavor of the brisket.

Let the Brisket Rest

This common error is made by many people who serve the wrong person. brisket right away After the smoking is done, you must place the brisket on a shelf for 20-30 minutes. Instead, place the brisket onto a shelf for 20-30 min.

After the resting, you can slice the brisket thinly using the Mercury Culinary edge slicer. best knives for slicing brisket.

How do I choose the wood size?

The wood size will depend on the brisket size as well as the type and brand of smoker you use. The following guide will help you understand common wood sizes.


As the name suggests, wood chips are essentially wood scraps and thin shavings of ¼ inch thickness. They are often used in gas and electric smokers. They burn extremely quickly because they are small and thin.

A word of advice: You shouldn’t use wood chips to smoke large-sized briskets.


Wood chunks measure approximately four inches in length and are roughly the same size as our fist. They can be used in combination with charcoal to make offset smokers. Wood chunks can be smoked for a long time after ignition.

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Wood logs can grow up to 18 inches in length and are suitable for large offset grills. They can also be used as direct heating sources to smoke your ten-pound brisket. Due to their large size, however, they take longer to burn down.


Sawdust can be made by grinding wood into a coarse powder. It is ideal for stovetops or handheld smokers. Since the wood is grounded, sawdust provides instant smoke; however, you can’t use it as a heat source, nor should you soak it in water before using it.


Flat disks are formed by compressing sawdust. These disks can be used to quickly produce smoke for electric smokers. But, again, don’t soak them as the water will disintegrate the disks.


Pellet wood is the most popular fuel for pellet smokers. There are many types of wood pellets on the market. Moreover, you don’t need to soak pellets in water before using them because they are also formed by compressing sawdust.

How to choose the right wood to smoke meat


Before smoking a brisket, it is important to consider the combination of meat and wood. Hickory and oak are the most popular woods to smoke a brisket. You can later combine these hardwoods and mild flavors to customize your brisket’s flavor.

Which type of wood is best for smoking a brisket?

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