The Best Wood for Smoking Beef Brisket
Brisket is a highly coveted cut of beef and if not prepared or cooked properly, could end up ruined. Brisket is full of meaty fibers, a few tendons, and a very large fat cap.
The meat is a very tough cut of beef which has to be cook for a long period at very low temperatures. The meat is then cut against the grain to help further in creating a more tender end product.
Choosing the best wood for brisket will determine if your final product is soft, tender and flavorful or just a mess.
How To Choose Wood For Brisket
Choosing the correct wood for smoking meats will determine several different factors of the end product. Brisket is a very tough cut of meat with strong meat fibers that need to be broken down to create a soft and tender texture.
So, wood that creates the maximum amount of smoke is vital. Oak and Hickory are both very dense and heavy kinds of wood that burn for a long time and smolder well causing the smoke to be dense.
Apple and Maplewood both are also great woods to use. While they are lighter than Oak and Hickory, they contain more sap causing the smoke to be extremely flavorful and thick.
Texas almost exclusively uses Mesquite wood for their brisket which is a very pungent flavored wood creating stronger flavors in the brisket.
Other wood may be used to smoke a brisket as well; some may take longer to cook, leave less flavor or burn up fast causing you to constantly refuel the smoker. To take a look at different types of wood used for smoking.
Benefits of using wood
Wood brings the key component of smoking meat to the table, flavor. A wide range of different types of wood each with opposing and complementing flavors are available to use.
Wood also creates the maximum amount of heat needed to cook just about anything. The temperature of a live fire can exceed most other fuel sources like propane and charcoal.
The amount of smoke that comes from burning wood is perfect for smoking food.
Different purposes of wood
Each wood possesses a different flavor that they will bring to the meat. Some woods are very subtle in flavor while others are very strong and pungent. Some wood also burns up very quickly minimizing the amount of smoke created.
Fruit woods like apple and cherry bring a sweet and lightly fruity flavor to the meat which is most commonly used for pork products like bacon and ham.
Nut woods like hickory, pecan and walnut have a very balanced level of smoke to the flavor. The nutty flavors are somewhat mild, and the smoke is heavy enough to smoke just about anything.
Why using wood instead of other fuel sources is better
While you could use propane, charcoal, natural gas or any other alternative heat source to smoke your food, wood will always win as the primary fuel source used regarding flavor. Wood creates the most smoke when used properly than any other fuel source as well.
Smoke will be the key to adding flavor within the meat. Of course, you may spend more money using wood rather than an alternative fuel, but the results will be worth it in the end.
Smoking began using wood, and many have not changed it due to traditions or because there is no better way.
The experience of smoking the meat may not seem like fun to some people but is quite fun and very rewarding in the end.
What you should not do
Do not start your wood fire using lighter fluid or any other non-natural fire starter. This will add the flavor of the fluid to the meat and will defeat the purpose of using wood to smoke your meat.
Try and use any natural fire starter or dry kindling to build your fire up. Wood also needs some time to dry out to be used.
Once the tree is cut down, the wood is not ready to use since it is still alive and contains too much moisture which will prove difficult for starting a fire and keep it going at the desired temperature.
Make sure to store your wood in a dry area like a shed or garage or if you keep it outside make sure to cover it with a tarp to protect it from the rain. Wet or damp wood is never a good thing.
Camerons Products Smoking Wood Chunks
This 10-pound bag of apple wood chunks is great for smoking brisket from the dense some the applewood omits.
A very affordable bag of quality wood that comes highly recommended. The bag is sturdy enough to hold all the wood without breaking or ripping.
However, the bag is not resealable which would be ideal to keep moisture out of the wood. Make sure to store this wood in a dry area to avoid that from happening.
The chunks of wood are of a good size ranging from 4-inch to 6-inch blocks but make it fairly tough to maintain an even fire without uniform shapes.
This wood will add a sweet flavor to your brisket as well as a subtle fruitiness. The smoke rings will be deep because of the dense smoke, but that is a good thing with smoked brisket.
This wood is intended to be the primary fuel source when cooking, but the chunks are small enough to be added to a charcoal grill for extra flavoring.
- Great amount of wood for the price
- Can be used as a primary source of fuel
- Strong and sturdy bag
- Wood chunks are not uniform in size
- The bag is not resealable
Smoak Firewood Cooking Wood Logs
This firewood is a great option to choose from. The wood is white oak which is a great wood for smoking just about anything.
The oak provides an even balance of heat and smoke density. This wood is very versatile as it will burn well as a fire or smolder well if you are smoking with it.
The product comes in several sizes ranging from 10 pounds all the way up to 80 pounds, allowing you to buy in bulk.
The wood is cut into 16-inch logs which are ideal to use as a primary fuel source but very bad as a secondary fuel source or flavoring wood. The logs are just too big to use as you would with wood chips.
The product is very affordable and is well packaged making sure to keep the wood safe from moisture or damage while being shipped.
However, there have been some complaints about being shipped much less wood than what was promised. Even though that was only a couple of complaints, the customers were compensated for the loss.
- Very affordable
- Great packaging
- Able to buy in bulk amounts
- Problems with shipping
- Cannot use as secondary fuel source or flavoring
- Does not come with a sealable bag
CharcoalStore Peach Wood Smoking Chunks
This fruitwood is another great recommendation for smoking brisket. The peach wood brings a nice dense smoke to the smoker that heavily flavors the meat with a sweet and fruity flavor.
Peachwood tends to contain more sap than other fruit trees, making it ideal for smoldering and smoking. You won’t have a light smoke problem with peach wood.
The wood is well packaged containing 5 pounds of 3-inch uniform sized chunks of peach wood. The wood can be used as a primary fuel source as well as a secondary heat source or smoke flavoring.
This wood is also able to be used in just about any kind of smoker except for a pellet smoker.
However, this wood is not cheap, and the shipping takes a little longer than most other woods.
But there have not been any bad remarks about the wood. All in all, a pretty sound wood to use for smoking brisket meat.
- Well packaged
- Perfect wood for smoking brisket
- Uniform sized chunks
- Able to use as a primary and secondary fuel source
- Long shipping times
- Very expensive
Weber Hickory Wood Chunks
Hickory is a great wood to use for brisket. Brisket is a very tough cut of meat that can easily withstand strong and pungent wood flavors and hickory is one of those.
The smoke will be very intense in density and flavor which will improve the quality of the brisket, regarding flavor, immensely. The smoke brings a rich and bold, slightly sweet flavor to the brisket.
The wood comes in 3-inch uniform sized blocks in 2-pound bags. The bags are sturdy and solid to prevent ripping or tearing, but the bag is not resealable to prevent the buildup of moisture in the bag.
The wood is very reasonably priced for what you receive. However, there have been problems of people receiving wood chips instead of wood blocks.
This wood is also able to be used as both primary and secondary fuel sources.
- Great would specific to brisket
- Uniform sized chunks
- Reasonably priced
- Primary and secondary fuel sources
- Problems with shipping
- No resealable bag
Oklahoma Joe’s Mini Log Smoker Hickory
This hickory wood is ideal for smoking brisket with the strong flavors and heavy smoke it brings.
The wood comes well packaged cut into 12-inch logs weighing in at 25 pounds. This makes it great for use as a primary fuel source but not very good as a secondary heat source for flavoring as the wood is too large to set on top of a smoker full of charcoal.
You can use it to mix with other types of wood for the same result, but we do not recommend using this wood for a small smoker as it will not fit.
The price is very affordable if you can buy in greater quantities at one time, but if you are buying a small amount the price can get pretty expensive. Oklahoma Joe’s also offers other types of wood that would be great for smoking brisket as well.
- Great wood for smoking brisket
- Affordable in large quantities
- Great packaging and delivery
- Expensive in small quantities
- Cannot use as a secondary heat source
- Too big of pieces
How do I prepare brisket for smoking?
Brisket is a very tough cut of meat and needs to be marinated or put in brine overnight to help tenderize the product and break down cellular walls of the meat structure.
After that, a heavy, peppery mixture of spices and seasonings is needed to coat the brisket entirely. Make sure to rub the seasonings into the meat while you are coating it.
This heavy seasoning will not only help in flavor but also create a nice crispy exterior to the brisket which is called the “bark.”
What is the best internal temperature for brisket?
This is a highly debated topic and depends on how you like your brisket. Some prefer the brisket to be 160-175 degrees when they remove it from the smoker while others wait until the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Either way, the brisket will be cooked.
What is the best brisket cut for smoking?
There are only two cuts of brisket available to use, the flat cut and the point cut. The flat cut will contain the “tip” which is the leaner cut of the brisket which is perfect for burnt ends.
The pointcut will contain the “deckle” which is the part of the meat that contains the fattest marbling. The deckle is the best cut to use and also what most BBQ competitors refer to as the “money muscle” because that is the part they use to present to the judges.
How should I serve the smoked brisket once it is cooked?
Allow the brisket to rest for 20 minutes after cooking to help it retain its juices and let the meat settle. Cut the brisket against the grain to create a tender texture as well.
What is the best wood to use for brisket?
We recommend CharcoalStore Peach Wood Smoking Chunks. The wood is very versatile in the sense that it can be used as a primary or secondary source of fuel.
The peach wood is also perfect for smoking brisket not only from the rich, sweet flavors it adds to the brisket but its ability to smoke and smolder quite well due to high sap levels.
The wood is also consistent in its chunk sizes making it easy to start and fuel your smoker or add to an already smoking unit.
Although it may be a little expensive and may take a little bit longer for delivery, this wood is sure to be worth the wait and the extra cash. A quality product perfect for any barbeque.