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Best Wood for Smoking Fish: The List

best wood to smoke fish

When it comes to smoking fish, selecting the best wood is crucial to infuse the perfect flavors into your seafood delicacies. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a beginner, choosing the right wood adds depth and complexity to your dish. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top choices for smoking fish, taking into account a variety of factors including flavor, aroma, and ease of use.

List of best Wood for Smoking Fish

1. Alder Wood

Alder wood is widely praised for its mild and delicate flavor profile, making it an excellent choice for smoking fish. Its subtle, slightly sweet taste enhances the natural flavors of seafood without overpowering them. The low smoke density of alder wood ensures a gentle smoking process, providing a smooth and refined smoky finish.

I like using Cameron’s Natural Alder wood chips as they provide very reach flavor and I strongly feel they product is of good quality.

2. Maple Wood

Maple wood is another popular option for smoking fish, offering a medium-level smokiness that complements various types of seafood. Its slightly sweet and nutty character adds a unique touch to the taste profile, making it a favorite among many smoking enthusiasts. Maple wood is also known for providing a beautiful reddish-brown color to the smoked fish.

Again, I like using Cameron’s wood chips but you can try different brands until you find your go-to.

3. Apple Wood

Apple wood delivers a mild, fruity smoke flavor that pairs exceptionally well with fish. Its aromatic and slightly sweet smoke infuses a delicate tang into the seafood, resulting in a deliciously balanced taste. Apple wood is favored by those who desire a subtle hint of fruitiness in their smoked fish.

I use Apple wood chips on a lot of my recipes including smoked pork. Apple wood chips also add a nice color and the smell is simply amazing. My go-to brand is Mr. BBQ Wood chips which have great reviews and are all Natural.

4. Cedar Wood Planks

Cedar wood is a popular choice for smoking salmon and other oily fish varieties. With its strong, distinct flavor, cedar imparts a robust smokiness that perfectly complements the richness of fatty fish. The aromatic notes of cedar create a memorable sensory experience, making it a go-to wood for many seafood lovers.

I love using planks, specially on gas grills. The plans impart enough flavor to the food wihout generating tons of smoke that some might dislike.

These planks are simply super cool to cook with and can be found on Amazon for just a few bucks.

5. Cherry Wood

Cherry wood offers a slightly sweet, fruity smoke that beautifully enhances the natural flavors of fish. Its medium density smoke profile imparts a rich reddish color to the seafood, elevating its visual appeal. Cherry wood is often used to add a touch of sophistication to smoked fish dishes.

Cherry wood does have a notable flavor and should be used carefuly and not too much of it.


Selecting the best wood for smoking fish is a personal choice that depends on your preferred flavor profile and the type of seafood you are using. From the mild and delicate notes of alder wood to the robust smokiness of cedar, each wood variety brings its unique characteristics to the table. Experimenting with different wood types is an exciting journey that allows you to discover your favorite combinations.

Remember to consider factors like the intensity of smoke, flavor complexity, and the desired color of your smoked fish. By harnessing the distinct qualities of alder, maple, apple, cedar, or cherry wood, you can elevate your fish-smoking game and create extraordinary culinary experiences for yourself and others.



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