Smoking meat requires a good smoker and a great type of wood to get the best flavors.
These are the best woods for smoking beef brisket that you can choose from.
Beef brisket is one of the best cuts and one of the largest cuts to smoke.
With this, you need to consider both the size and the cut’s thickness for cooking it.
You will need something that can penetrate the thickest part of the brisket.
You also need to be careful not to overpower the flavor of the meat as you would want to highlight the beefy flavor.
It is hard to manage which type of wood you should use as it is important to balance out the flavor of the wood and the smoke as well as the flavor that is the brisket.
The general rule that I would recommend is that you choose a type of wood that is mild in flavor but can last for a long time.
That way, you will have that hint of smoke flavor within the meat.
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So if you are still unsure of which flavor of wood you should choose when cooking your brisket, you do not have to worry as we have here a list of the best types of wood you can use.
1. Oak WOOD FOR SMOKING BEEF BRISKET
Oak is one of the most common types of wood that you can use to smoke a brisket.
It is a type of wood considered to have a strong flavor but it can sometimes be mild when used.
- It is a great choice for beginner cooks.
- It can last longer than most types of wood.
- A medium flavor that does not overpower the meat.
- Can overpower the brisket if not used properly.
Oak is used mostly for furniture, but it is also a great choice for smoking your brisket.
It can last for a long time which means that you will not need a lot of it to smoke the meat for hours.
Smoking meat involves a low and slow cooking method which means that a large cut of meat like the brisket will need to cook for hours.
That is why you need oak for those long hours.
The flavor of oak is great as you get that authentic wood flavor without overpowering the meat.
However, this can be tricky as you might put too much on the firebox that overpowers the food.
With its mild flavor, the best way to use oak when smoking brisket is to mix it with milder types of wood.
That way, you will get that smoky flavor without overpowering the meat flavor.
2. Hickory WOOD FOR SMOKING BEEF BRISKET
Hickory is usually in the number one spot for smoking meat because of its delicious flavor.
However, I put it in second as it is much trickier to use than oak because of its strong flavor.
- It can produce slightly sweeter flavors than other wood.
- It has a strong smoky flavor for your food.
- Hickory has a hint of other flavors such as nutty flavors.
- It can easily put that authentic barbecue flavor to your brisket and more.
- Can easily overpower the flavor of the brisket.
Hickory is one of the classic types of wood that you can use to smoke almost any food.
It has a strong flavor to induce it easily into whatever recipe you want to cook or smoke.
Aside from the authentic barbecue flavor that comes from the wood, it also has other flavors that come with it.
It can produce nutty flavors and truly enjoyable and even bacon-like flavors.
The problem with hickory is that it can easily overpower the flavors of the brisket.
That is why you need to mix it with other types of wood with milder flavors or use just enough to cook it.
3. Mesquite WOOD FOR SMOKING BEEF BRISKET
Mesquite is another type of wood that can produce that beautiful and delicious smoky flavor on your brisket.
It can easily put that flavor in your food and will not cost a lot of money.
- It can produce great smoky flavors on your brisket.
- It also has other flavors that give you a hint of earthy flavors.
- It can burn quickly so the flavors get in the brisket at the start of cooking.
- Perfect for Texas smoked briskets.
- Like the hickory, it can also easily overpower the flavors of the brisket.
Mesquite has a strong flavor that it emits once lit up and can bring that smoky flavor to your brisket quickly.
This means that it can penetrate the meat pretty easily with its flavors.
It also produces another noticeable flavor that gives it its earthy flavor, which can be very great for briskets.
This type of wood can bring your brisket a whole new flavor to make it more delicious.
The problem with mesquite is that it can easily make the brisket taste bitter if you use too much of it.
That is why it is perfect for mixing with charcoal as your main fuel to reduce the strong flavor.
4. Apple WOOD FOR SMOKING a BRISKET
Apple is one of the types of wood that are more common in smoking.
While it does produce the right amount of smoke, it does not overpower the meat while adding more flavors to it.
- It has a mild flavor so your brisket will not turn bitter.
- It is very abundant and you can buy it almost anywhere.
- It produces a thick cloud of smoke but it does not suffocate the brisket
- Apple can be a little tricky to use because of its milder and weaker flavor.
Apple is one of the milder types of wood you can use to add that smoky flavor to your brisket.
This type of wood can produce sweet flavors that you would usually get with other fruit-bearing types of wood.
It can also produce a thick cloud of smoke, but it does not heat up.
That means that you can use it alone or mix it with other types of wood that can give that bolder smoky flavor.
That will give your brisket delicious sweet notes with smoky flavors as well.
Cherry is also another fruity type of wood that you can use to smoke your briskets.
It is a mild type of wood, so it does not overpower the flavors of the brisket even after a long period of cooking.
- It has great yet subtle flavors that can go so well with your brisket.
- You can blend it with hickory to get a stronger smoky flavor.
- It also affects the color of the brisket in a very good way.
- It can add that sweet flavor to the brisket when you smoke with it.
- It can have a little strong sweet flavor.
Cherry can add that amazing sweet and fruity flavor to your brisket, but it can also add color.
It helps darken the crust of the brisket with a nice smoke ring in the meat making it look more delicious.
There are subtle flavors that come with the cherry wood, but it can also make your brisket sweet.
That is why it is better to add hickory or oak when you use cherry for smoking meat.
The hickory or oak will give you that authentic and familiar smoky flavor without actually covering the sweet flavor from the cherry.
You can also use it to smoke thinner cuts of meat.
This type of wood you can use to produce almost the same flavors as the mesquite but in a milder way.
It can make your food better with the smoke it produces and the earthiness in it.
- Olive produces authentic smoky flavors along with mild earthy flavors.
- It can burn easily, so it produces smoke right away.
- It has a mild flavor that is not as weak as apple but not as strong as the hardwoods.
- It does not have that sweetness that you would expect from a fruit-bearing wood.
Olive is one of the best types of wood that you can use to smoke your briskets.
It can produce the same smoky flavors as most other types of wood while also having a milder taste.
That means that if you are having trouble controlling your mesquite wood fuel, you can switch to olive as it also produces that smoky and earthy flavors without overpowering the beefy flavor.
The mild flavor it gives off is perfect for smoking for long hours. If you want that fruity and sweet flavor, I recommend using it with other types of wood as it does not produce those flavors.
Maple is quite similar to oak, and beginners can use it to try and learn how to add flavors to the brisket they are cooking. It has a mild flavor that is sure to not overpower the beefy flavor.
- It has a very mild flavor that allows beginners to use it easily.
- This means that you can also test the timing when smoking the brisket.
- You can mix it with other types of wood for a stronger flavor.
- Some people find it too subtle or too mild for a thick cut like the brisket.
Maple is one of the common types of wood used by beginners to smoke meat.
It has a mild flavor that gives just enough smokiness to the food while also giving it an earthy flavor.
So just like the mesquite and the olive, this type of wood gives off the same earthy flavors that are very hard to overdo, so you can use this wood to test out the timing of smoking other cuts.
You can also mix it with other types of wood that give off stronger smoky flavors.
It perfectly gives that subtle hint of earthy flavor and enhances the beefy flavor you get from the brisket.
Pecan is another type of wood that has a very mild flavor.
It does not overpower the brisket, and it makes sure that the flavors you put or season the brisket with stay tasty and full of flavors.
- It produces a mildly sweet and nutty flavor.
- It does not overpower the flavor of the brisket even after long periods of cooking.
- It can give your brisket a unique flavor while allowing the beefy flavor to stay.
- It can be too mild and hard to add the smoky flavor you are looking for.
Pecan is not always the first choice for smoking brisket because of its mild flavor and sweet taste.
However, it essentially smokes the brisket while allowing it to keep its beefy flavors.
It is usually blended with oak or hickory to get that smoky flavor.
I recommend mixing it with other hardwood as it can sometimes produce smoke that can be too sweet for some people.
The sweet flavor it produces is pretty common, but the nutty flavor incorporated with the smoke makes it perfect as it still gives you that meaty taste in every bite on the brisket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hickory Or Mesquite Better For Brisket?
I prefer hickory because it is a very versatile type of wood that produces flavors that you can use with many cuts of meat.
It has a nutty flavor and some bacon-like flavors to it.
Mesquite is usually used with brisket as it gives off a slightly stronger flavor.
It can produce that smokiness that you like while also adding an earthy flavor to your food when you smoke with it.
It depends on the recipe as I would prefer using hickory on regular briskets.
If you want to make Texas smoked brisket, then Mesquite is the perfect type of wood to use with that recipe.
Is Maple Wood Good For Smoking Brisket?
Yes, maple wood is a great choice for smoking brisket as aside from the smoky flavors it produces, it can also add sweet flavors to your brisket. You can also control it if you want.
See, there are times when maple wood adds too much sweetness to the brisket.
That is why you would need to mix it with other types of wood to make that sweet flavor a little milder.
Maple wood is the perfect type of wood for smoking brisket, especially if you are a beginner.
It can hardly overpower the flavor of your brisket and will surely not make the brisket bitter.
What Cut Of Meat Is Used For Smoked Brisket?
A brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the underside of the cow.
This muscular portion comprises tough meat, fats, and collagen in some areas that make the meat pretty tough.
Since this cut of meat comes from the underside of the cow, it also means that the muscles are strong and tough since they take up a lot of weight and will be hard to cook with only a sear.
The collagen inside the brisket melts and dissolves in the meat which makes the meat very delicious.
It is also one of the best parts of the brisket as it absorbs the smoke effectively.
What Wood Does Franklin Use For Brisket?
Franklin uses post oak when smoking their brisket.
However, you cannot simply recreate the recipe they have by using regular oak as your fuel when smoking the briskets.
They use post oak, a type of wood cured for 9 months and sometimes even a year.
This gives it the unique flavor that you get from the wood.
Another great thing about this type of wood is that it does not produce too much soot when used.
That means that it also does not require a lot of maintenance.
Cherry Wood For Smoking Brisket
Cherry wood is a type of wood that produces mild flavors. Along with the delicious smoky flavor it produces, it can also produce some sweet fruity flavors incorporated into the brisket.
If you use cherry wood, you will get almost the same flavor that you get when using the mesquite but not as strong. It also blends well with other types of hardwood.
Cherry wood used for smoking brisket is perfect for adding another flavor to the meat and some hint of both earthiness and fruity flavors to the brisket.
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