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Best wood for smoking pork? (Here’s What To Know)

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If you’ve always wondered what the best wood for smoking pork is, keep reading! Specifically, the best wood for smoking pork is Oak wood.

The reason Oak wood is the best word for smoking pork is because it has a light and sweet aroma and taste that gets imparted onto the meat perfectly.

Most other types of wood do not do this. Types of wood like Mesquite are way too strong.

Fruit tree such as Apple, or cherry, are on the opposite end of the spectrum and are simply not strong enough to impart any kind of meaningful flavor to the meat itself.

Now, all of that being said you can certainly use other types of wood for smoking pork that aren’t oak wood. 

Here are the best types of wood for smoking pork:

  1. Oak 
  2. Pecan 
  3. Hickory 
  4. Mesquite

Oak Wood for Smoking Pork

Oakwood is part of the Quintessential Texas Style method for smoking pork. It has excellent flavor profiles, ranging from hard and smoky to sweet and flavorful.

Oak Wood for Smoking Pork

Most people in Texas especially, will only use Oakwood to smoke all of their meat. It’s not only for smoking pork.

This means that you are commonly find people using any type of OakWord to smoke any type of meat in their smoker. Another great choice while using Oakwood for smoking meat would have to be a brisket and ribs of all kinds. Speaking of pork, it usually has a natural sweet taste to it, so by using pork and Oak wood together makes it a perfect duo. 

Not only that, there are even different types of Oak wood that you can use to smoke pork. This includes Post Oak, live Oak, red oak, and white oak.

All of which have the same over arching sweet flavor profile mixed in with a hearty smoke flavor. The most prominent type of Oak wood to be smoking pork with however, is Postoak.

That is what I mean by the quintessential Texas style Way of smoking pork. Not only does Oak wood in general pair well with pork for smoking, it also serves as a great base for applying seasoning to the meat.

Regarding seasoning and putting it on your smoked pork, Oakwood is most beneficially paired with kosher salt and black pepper.

Regarding this specific types of cuts of pork that is greatly paired with Oak Wood, pulled pork, pork ribs, pork shoulder, and even ham all can have amazing flavor.

Not only is Oak wood great at imparting differing degrees of flavor into your pork, the texture is quite versatile as well.

Most woods you have to pick based on their flavor and texture because some of them burn quicker than others. Oak of all kinds has the unique property of being able to be burned with either hot and fast or low and slow types of cooks. 

Best wood for Smoking Pulled pork 

Having pulled pork shoulder paired with Oakwood specifically is an amazing combo.

Best wood for Smoking Pulled pork 

The pork shoulder has a high fat content which is somewhat salty and rich but simply melts in your mouth when combined with the sweet and savory taste of Oakwood.

Pairing any of the above mentioned types of Oakwood like Post Oak or Live Oak to a pork shoulder creates a simply amazing product of barbecue. 

Best wood for smoking pork? Post Oak

Pecan Wood for Smoking Pork

Pecan wood is an interesting type of wood to be smoking with in the first place. It has a light and nutty note to it, and also can captivate anyone around when you were actually smoking with the wood itself.

Pecan Wood for Smoking Pork

The reason it tends to get a lot of attention when you are smoking with it is because of its unique scent.

Not only does it have an amazing scent filled profile, Pecan wood is great at imparting that flavor on to even the roughest cuts of meat like pork. It can be a great way to combine the nutty flavor into the rich and fatty parts of your cook.

The texture of the wood itself is also great for cooking low and slow. It doesn’t really burn that hot or fast – so it makes for an excellent combination when combined with those traditional cuts of pork that need to be cooked very thoroughly such as pork shoulder.

Pork shoulder usually requires long cooks just due to the general size of the cuts of meat you will get, and depending on the preference of the pit-master can be a great type of wood to get smoking with pork.

Smoking Pork on Pecan

Smoking Pork on Pecan

As mentioned above, pecan wood can be an excellent way to get a low and slow cooked piece of pork. Since generally speaking it’s a light burning type of wood you are going to predominantly be smoking those larger cuts like a pork shoulder.

The smoke flavor will be rather nutty in profile and provide a very mild smoke ring to the meet. Depending on what seasoning you actually are considering and using, it can serve as a gray undertone for the meat.

And most cooks that I have done with pecan and pork shoulder specifically, the bark has never really been that dark in the outer crust has never really been two overtly burnt or charred which is an excellent quality.

Hickory Wood for Smoking Pork

Hickory is one of the types of word where the flavor skews more towards being smoky. Not only does it have that smokiness flavor to it, but it also has a lot of no and hearty types of flavor to it.

Along with pecan wood, hickory is a great and versatile way to smoke any kind of barbecue. Commonly however,People will tend to use it for the tough cuts of meat such as pork and brisket. Between those two types of meats Hickory is best served alongside pork.

The reason for that is because brisket should only ever be smoked with Oakwood. That is just the Texas way of doing things sorry y’all! 

Hickory also it does not tend to burn as hot and fast as some of its other wood counterparts. If you want a low and slow type of cook and are also thinking of smoking a pork shoulder of some kind you should be thinking of hickory or pecan wood for that. 

Smoking Pork on Hickory

Smoking Pork on Hickory

If you’re looking for a nutty, earthy, but yet slightly Smokey flavor – you’ll want to smoke some pork over a few chunks of Hickory. Hickory can be one of the best types of wood if you’re looking for a lighter version of Oak Wood. Pork shoulder is a great option for hickory.

Usually, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to impart a lot of wood flavor onto pork shoulder. Brisket on the other hand, is a much tougher piece of meat to get the flavor just right.

Despite brisket being a relatively difficult piece of barbecue to nail with just about every type of wood, pork shoulder can certainly obtain flavor from all of the types I mention in this article. At this point it’s really a matter of preference as to which type of wood is best for smoking pork.

Smoking Pork shoulder on Hickory

So, you want to smoke a pork shoulder over Hickory? Excellent choice!

Smoking Pork shoulder on Hickory

If you choose to use a pork shoulder while cooking with hickory, just know that overall, pork is a great piece of meat to impart smoke flavor onto. It can take on plenty of smoke flavor while also taking on the individual characteristics of each respective type of wood. For hickory – you will be able to combine the natural fatty profile of the pork shoulder along with the earthy, nutty, and general smoke flavor into the meat. 

Take a look below – you should see a slight smoke ring on the tips of the pork shoulder:

Best wood for smoking pork? Hickory

Mesquite Wood for Smoking Pork

Mesquite is one of the strongest types of wood you could be using for pork.

Mesquite Wood for Smoking Pork

Not only that, it is generally considered the number one guaranteed way to impart a very strong smoke flavor onto ANY type of barbecue. It’s primarily one of the types of wood actually used for tougher cuts such as brisket – but definitely has applications for lesser tough cuts such as pork shoulder.

It’s not really recommended to use it on other general types of meat like pork loin, pork chops, and pork ribs – UNLESS you want a REALLY Smokey flavor. 

The qualities preset throughout a mesquite smoked piece of pork will present you with a very Smokey filled flavor. There aren’t a whole lot of mineral or earthy components to the taste, nor are there any type of nutty tones.

This wood is strictly if you want the general taste of something REALLY smokey. And I mean REALLY SMOKEY. That’s honestly what mesquite wood is for. It’s primarily for the most thickets cuts of meat, specifically barbecue oriented cuts of meat.

That makes it a great way to get some awesome smoke flavor onto your pork shoulder.