best wood for smoking brisket

What is the Best Wood for Smoking Brisket

Smoking briskets is an art, and, as with any art, one’s 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.

So what are the best types of woods for cooking brisket?

The best and most common types of wood for smoking brisket are:

  1. Oak and Hickory Wood – Chips are small wood shavings that can be used with most electric and propane smokers. Wood chips can also be used on charcoal smokers. chips do burn faster, so you might need to keep an eye on your chips and smoke.
  2. Oak and Hickory Wood Chunks – chunks are small wood blocks and are generally used in charcoal smokers and are great for long cooks and charcoal grills.
  3. Oak or Hickory Wood Logs – Wood logs are generally used when cooking in large offset smokers. Wood logs are used as both the heat source and smoke. 

What are the different 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 meat’s 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 world’s 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 what’s known by many, the world’s best brisket. 

Related: The Best Offset Smoker

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

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.

Aaron Franklin has a MasterClass! You can learn how to Smoke A Brisket by one of America’s best.


Best wood for smoking brisket, what chips can you use in your home smoker?

Not all of us are blessed to own an amazing restaurant or big offset smokers. Most of us own smaller vertical smokers which are not capable of burning big logs of wood. Most of us will need to use wood, and some charcoal smokers can burn chunks.

If you use a vertical cabinet or smaller smoker, you can use wood chips for smoking briskets and add flavor to the brisket meat. 

Here is a list of the best wood for smoking 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 meat’s 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.

Why are Oak and Hickory popular for smoking briskets?

I’m not surprised that many pitmasters prefer oak wood or hickory. These woods produce amazing flavor and are well balanced. Daniel Vaughn wrote a great article for Texas Monthly, where he went in detail over the brisket recipes from 22 barbecue books. In his research, oak and hickory were the two preferred pitmaster wood choices for smoking briskets.

An article published in the Dallas Observer surveyed barbecue restaurants in Dallas and found that the pitmasters were split between oak and hickory woods.

These woods have distinctly different flavor profiles.

  • Well seasoned Oak, and Post Oak, in particular, burns very cleanly with little smoke and produces a mild sweet flavor.
  • Hickory has a much stronger smokey flavor than oak as it does not burn as clean.

Our Picks: Best Woods For Smoking Brisket

Here are top choices for woods for smoking briskets:

Western Premium BBQ Products Post Oak BBQ Smoking Chips

Post Oak wood is a great wood flavor for smoking briskets. In fact, well-renowned BBQ Pitmaster Aaron Franklin prefers and only uses Post Oak Wood to cook his world-famous briskets. Western premium BBQ Post-Oak Wood chicks provide excellent value and flavor for smoking meats. These chips are 100% natural, burn well in electrical, propane, and gas smokers.

What we like:

  • Western premium BBQ Post Oak smoking chips are available in chips and also chunks for those cooking in bigger charcoal smokers or kamado grills.
  •  Western premium BBQ products heat-treat its Post Oak Wood to eliminate pests, mold, and rot.
  • Great flavor for brisket meat but also pork and steaks.
  • Amazing smoke flavor

Camerons Products Smoking Wood Chunks Alternative 

If you use a charcoal Grill to smoke your brisket or have a larger offset charcoal smoker, wood chunks will work much better than wood chips. We wrote an article where we weighed the differences between cooking with wood chips and cooking with wood chunks. 

The Cameron smoking chunks are dried large cuts of chunks and are great for charcoal smokers, big barrel smokers, kamado grills, and offset smokers. These wood chunks produce an abundant amount of smoke and great flavor. 

Cameron smoking chunks can be found in different flavors, including apple, cherry, hickory, and mystique. In this article, we recommend their Oakwood chunks. 

What we like:

  • Good value per pound.
  • These wood pieces are dried and are one hundred percent natural precision-cut from Timber.
  • Great smoky flavor

Oklahoma Joe’s Hickory Wood Smoker Chips

Hickory is another smoke flavor preferred by many Pitmasters and ourselves for smoking briskets. Hickory wood creates our second-best flavor for cooking brisket. Oklahoma Joe’s hickory wood chips are an excellent option for those who use an electric smoker or propane smokers and even gas and charcoal grills. 

Wood chips are easy to manage and can be utilized in many different grills and smokers. Oklahoma Joe’s hickory chips are made in the USA and are produced from 100% natural Hickory. 

Oklahoma Joe’s chips and wood chunks are available in different flavors. Don’t be afraid to try other flavors. Still, in this article, we’re sticking to the flavors that yield the best results for smoking briskets; however, it’s worth mentioning that Oklahoma Joe offers chips in different flavors. It’s always a good idea to try different flavors and find your favorite.

What we like 

  • Oklahoma Joe’s a great brand. They make great grills and smokers
  •  Oklahoma Joe products are made in the USA.
  •  Oklahoma Joe hickory wood offers great value per pound.

 

Western Premium BBQ Products Hickory BBQ Smoking Chips

Western Premium BBQ Products also offer great smoking wood for smokers and gas grills. Western’s hickory wood products are 100% natural. These hickory chips are a bit strong in flavor but still pack that sort of sweet hickory flavor.

Hickory is one of our preferred flavors from smoking brisket. We’ve had excellent results with Western Premium Products hickory wood chips.  

These products are made in the USA and are of excellent quality. You can find Western Premium BBQ chips in different flavors including, cherry, mystic pecan, Post Oak, and apple.

As I always say, don’t be afraid to try different flavors. My taste might not be the same as yours, however, and as we have mentioned in this article multiple times Post Oak and Hickory are the two prefer flavors among world-renowned Pitmasters.

What we like:

  • If you enjoy and love with the Western Premium Brand as they offer many flavors under one brand: Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Instinct, Post Oak & More
  •  Western premium BBQ products are made in the USA, and we appreciate the quality delivered by this brand
  •  Great value 

One last word

If you are trying to smoke a brisket or are learning about smoking briskets is important to use the best wood flavors to get the best taste possible out of the brisket meat.

Using the best wood will help you get the best flavor and taste. Although you are certainly free to try your own wood flavors, we have concluded that post oak and hickory are the best woods for smoking briskets. 

Nonetheless, smoking meat is about being creative and having fun. Don’t be afraid of trying your wood flavor mix. 

Enjoy, have fun, get grilling!

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