6 Best Woods for Pulled Pork — Reviews and Buying Guide

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Some chefs are more skilled than others; we all know. However, regardless of your skillset as a chef, you must pay attention to the type of wood you use for BBQ as it can make a massive difference in your eventual flavor. It is no different when smoking pulled pork. While there are other ways to make this dish, there is no better way than smoking it. So, if you intend to smoke some delightful pulled pork for your friends during the next summer holiday, you must look for the best wood for pulled pork.

Of course, different manufacturers make these woods, which makes it a bit tricky to determine which one is the best. That should not be a cause for alarm, though, as we have gathered a list of the top six while being guided by some crucial factors. For starters, all our picks are suitable for pulled pork. However, we have included a variety of different types that add different flavor notes; chunks, chips, and pellets. Regardless of your preference, you will find something in this guide.
Editor's Choice

100% natural apple wood pellets for a mild smoky taste

  • Burns clean
  • No fillers
  • Large package
Read Our Review
9.8
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Premium Pick

High-quality peach wood chunks, 95% debarked

  • Up to 3 hours of continuous smoking
  • No need to pre-soak
  • Great size
Read Our Review
9.6
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Value

A set of different types of wood chips to find your ideal one

  • 6 packages included
  • All suitable for pork
  • 1 quart each
Read Our Review
9.4
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Most Versatile Wood

Fine wood chips in a convenient package

  • Mesquite creates a delicate smokey flavor
  • 5-quart bucket
  • Resealable for secure storage
Read Our Review
9.1
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Wood Mix

A mix of oak and apple wood chunks in a large box to last for long

  • No pesticides or chemicals
  • Balanced mix
  • Low price tag
Read Our Review
8.8
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Longest Burn Life

Hickory wood chunks that create consistent, even heat for long

  • All-natural
  • 8-pound package
  • Suitable for almost all smoker and grill types
Read Our Review
8.6
GrillScoreTM
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

Top 6 Woods for Pulled Pork Review 2020

Features
  • What it is: pellets
  • Type of wood: apple
  • Weight: 20

We begin our list with the Traeger Grills Apple All-Natural Hardwood Pellets, which is specially formulated to give an amazing hardwood taste in every meal you smoke, grill, bake, roast, or braise. It has just the right amount of moisture content that gives a blue flame, which makes the wood to burn with a blue, clean light. Also, apart from being 100% natural, the wood has no fillers, binding agents, bark content, or artificial addictive; all you get is 100% virgin hardwood.

Its quality is not in doubt as it’s made with the highest standard to ensure a consistent result you can rely on. Besides, Traeger owns and operates its mills, which results in this level of consistency and smoke perfection. Furthermore, it is eco-friendly as it makes use of sawdust from an already existing, clean, and green hardwood, a process that produces pellets of high quality while conserving the eco-system.

What we liked: We love everything about this product. From its wood-fired taste that gives it that unique smoky taste that will have you craving for more, its perfect blue burns, and its 100% hardwood composition. We also love that the consistency and high quality, its production process, and sustainable sourcing.

What could be better: It’s almost perfect. If there could be some mesquite wood in the blend, then it would be even more superb.

Pros
  • Eco-friendly wood sourcing
  • Good, clean burn
  • Rich flavor
  • 100% all-natural wood
  • High quality; consistent results
Cons
  • None
Features
  • What it is: chunks
  • Type of wood: peach
  • Weight: 7 lbs.

Having the tastiest BBQs ever seen can only be made possible with the right things in place, one of which is having the best wood for smoked pulled pork. DiamonKingSmoker is just the wood you need for your poultry and pork. The wood chunks are stored indoors to help retain its freshness and lock in its flavor.

Also, you wouldn’t have to pre-soak it, unlike other smoker chunks. Just buy and use, it’s that simple! Weighing 7 pounds, it can be used for three-hour-long continuous smoking and heating. Also, it is designed to create the perfect temperature, flavor, and smoke amount.

What we liked: We love that the wood stays fresh, clean, and flavorful. We love its durability, and best of all we love its versatile application.

What could be better: Though an outstanding product in all right, the flavor could more readily available and the price more affordable.

Pros
  • Proper size
  • Good quality
  • 95% debarked
  • Doesn't require pre-soaking
  • Fresh and clean
Cons
  • High price tag
Features
  • What it is: chips
  • Type of wood: oak, alder, cherry, apple
  • Size: 1 quart each

Who says you can’t have all the flavor you crave in one product? Sure, you can. Zorestar Wood Chips for Smokers 6 pcs Variety Pack features oak, alder, cherry, and applewood chips, which are ideal for all types of smokers, including electric, gas, and BBQ grills. On top of that, it can also be used in camping and on a fireplace. The wood mix is made of 100% natural wood chips and is ideal for smoking. For a better experience, try smoking it with some wood flavors such as cherry and apple – you will love it!

The smoker set is a 6-in-1 pack with eco-friendly packaging. Also, the packaging material can be recycled after using the wood chips – just throw it into your fireplace and watch it burn up and add its flavor. The product is made from natural and organic trees, so it contains no preservative, additive, or chemical. It’s also made of high-quality wood and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor cooking. The wood chips are made to burn fat and calories without compromising on its flavor.

What we liked: Despite being one of the most affordable options out there, we like almost everything. We like that it’s available in more than one flavor, we like that it’s organic and natural, we like that it can be used with different grills and smokers and that the packaging can be recycled.

What could be better: It’s everything we want in a wood chip, and that’s why we wish the quantity could be more so we can enjoy it better.

Pros
  • Quick ignition
  • Great flavor and smoke
  • Natural and organic
  • Free from preservative, addictive and chemicals
  • Can be recycled
Cons
  • Packages are rather small
4.

Camerons Mesquite Smoking ChipsMost Versatile Wood

Features
  • What it is: chips
  • Type of wood: mesquite
  • Size: 5 quarts

How would you like to smoke, grill, broil, roast, or BBQ your beef, poultry, and seafood with ease? We’re sure you would love that. Well, that’s what Camerons Mesquite Smoking Chips offers you. It is one of the best wood chips for pulled pork and is easy to handle. It comes in a 5-quart container that’s easy to reseal.

These barbecue smoking chips are compatible with gas grills, indoor smokers, smoker boxes, and charcoal grills. It is 100% natural, has a combination of raw timber and dried kiln all of which ensure you get the smoky flavor and taste you crave. Composed of mesquite smoker chips, it ignites quickly and combusts to form a mild smoky flavor. It is ideal for poultry, beef, and seafood.

What we liked: We particularly like that it is compatible with almost all types of grills and smokers. We also like that it’s all-natural, ignites, and combust quickly, and produces a great flavor.

What could be better: If the packaging could be better and the musty odor eliminated, then it would be perfect.

Pros
  • Quick ignition and combustion
  • Compatible with most smokers
  • 100% natural
  • Great flavor
Cons
  • Not sealed properly
  • Has a musty odor
Features
  • What it is: chunks
  • Type of wood: oak and apple
  • Weight: 15 lbs.

Have you ever tried a mix of apple and oak wood chunks for smoking your meat? If you haven’t then you should try out Zorestar, you are sure to love it. Oak, a medium smoking wood, has a distinct smoky flavor suitable for meats with an affinity for strong smokes.  You don’t need much, just about three to seven wood chunks are enough to flavor your meat, this makes it a cost-effective product. The wood chunk has a compact size; hence it can be used in various grills and smokers.

Also, it contains no pesticides or chemicals, has no splinter or chips – just wood chunks. The 15-pound wood chunks are well seasoned and clean. The oak and apple-flavored wood chunk burns evenly and slowly, creating a mild flavor and dark-colored meat that will tease your taste buds.

What we liked: Oh, we love everything about this product! We love its cost-effectiveness, its compact size, and its mild flavor. We love that it is free from pesticides and other chemicals as it makes it a healthy choice, we also love that its all-wood chunks, no splinters, no fillers.

What could be better: While we think it’s a great product, we recommend that the weight be more consistent.

Pros
  • No pesticide or chemical
  • Cost effective
  • Well-seasoned and clean
  • Has a low-price tag
Cons
  • Inconsistent weight of wood
  • Sometimes includes lumber scrap
Features
  • What it is: chunks
  • Type of wood: hickory
  • Weight: 8 lbs.

Smoking BBQs is enjoyable. However, most times, this smokiness does not penetrate deep into the meat. But with Oklahoma Joe’s Hickory Wood Smoker Chunks you don’t have to worry about that. It’s a great way to get all the flavor and smoke into your meal. Just place the wood chunks directly on the grates or in your smoker box, and then combine it with darker proteins for optimal results.

The wood chunks don’t burn out easily, hence they are ideal for long cooking, only a handful of the wood chunks added to charcoal is enough to boost flavor. It is suitable for smoking poultry, meat, fish, or vegetables. They are made of natural wood and can be mixed with other wood flavors to achieve a greater result.

What we liked: What’s not to like about Oklahoma Joe’s Hickory Wood Smoker Chunks? From its long-lasting use to its organic composition and even versatility, we love all of it.

What could be better: It’s an amazing wood chunk, no doubt. But its smokiness could be reduced while the quality can also be improved.

Pros
  • Made of natural wood
  • Has a long burn life
  • Easy to use
  • Adds smoky flavor to your meals for a long time
Cons
  • Just chips, no chunks
  • Wood chip smokes

Buying Guide

While reviews are good and give an insight into the best products available, your selection process can be further enhanced by considering some factors. To this end, we have pulled today a detailed buying guide to help you select products.

What wood type is ideal for smoking pulled pork?

6 Best Woods for Pulled Pork — Reviews and Buying Guide

The choice of wood to use is solely dependent on your preference. However, the outlined wood chips are suitable. They include:

Cherry Wood Chips – Pulled pork is not pulled pork until it is smoked with cherry wood chips. At least, that’s what Avalon Wine, a researcher in Corvellis, Oregon believes. Cherry wood chips give a rich flavor, but beyond that, it turns the meat darker, this makes it tastier.

Hickory Wood Chips – Hickory in particular is a favorite of ours as it adds a sweet and intense smoky flavor to your pulled pork. It is great when used with a barbecue smoker. However, the wood’s intense flavor can dominate the meat when used in excess. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to blend the wood chips with a milder wood (for example applewood).

Apple Wood Chips – Applewood chips are considered the best for pulled pork. When used with a barbecue, you get a fruity and mildly sweet flavor of pork. It is readily available and can be bought in a local market around you.

Which woods to avoid?

While all the wood pellets from apple, pecan, peach, hickory to many other, are good, Alder should be avoided as it produces much heat. Generally, woods made from conifers including spruce, fir, redwood, cedar, or pine should be avoided as they give a funny taste and cause ill health.

Features to consider when choosing wood for pulled pork

It’s not enough to purchase any product that catches your fancy; you may end up dissatisfied. The following features will help you put things in perspective and consequently lead you to purchase the wood pellets that are just right for you. They include:

Chunks/pellets/chips?

The type of wood pellet, chips, or chunks is an important factor to consider before making a purchase. Wood chips burn faster than pellets because of their small and thin size but are ideal for a quick burst of smoke within a short time. Wood chunks are thicker and heavier and are more ideal for low ‘n’ slow cooking. Pellets on the other hand aren’t so common, they are sawdust compressed into thin rods. Ensure that the pellets used are free from glues and binders.

Package size

Wood pellets have a dimension of 1000mm x 1160mm x 1500mm. after the pellets have been packed, they are then stored in a cooling unit, with the bag weighing 1000kg. there are two holes in each big bag, one for emptying and the other for filling. The packaging size is important to note as this will prevent you from buying wood pellets with a big packaging bag but little quantity in them. Going for the right packaging size ensures compatibility and easy storage.

Package weight

6 Best Woods for Pulled Pork — Reviews and Buying Guide

Wood pellets can be heavy, but in recent times, brands are starting to produce packaging bags that are 25% less than it used to be. While this may seem irrelevant, it should be taken into consideration when purchasing as it will save you time and energy that could have been spent lifting the pellets into the house.

Quality

When purchasing wood pellets, it’s important to consider the quality of wood. This can be determined by physical appearance. Smooth, shiny, and uniform wood pellets are of good quality and are more recommended. Fortunately, the products reviewed in this article all meet these criteria.

Moisture Content

Dry wood pellets ignite quickly and burn cleanly, but the water-logged ones will take forever to catch and won’t do a good job. Therefore, consider the moisture content of wood pellets and ensure its less than 6% before making a choice. For instance, the Oklahoma Joe’s Hickory Wood Smoker Chunks has less than 6% moisture content, so you may want to check it out.

Ash

Since you are burning wood, you are expected to produce ash as a waste product. However, the amount of ash produced is determined by the type of wood used. If the wood is made of bark, sand, or trees, then more ash will be produced. This makes it difficult to clean up after use. Therefore, look out for wood pellets that are debarked and as natural as possible. The DiamondKingSmoker Peach Smoking Wood Chunks is an ideal product in this regard. The wood chunks are 95% debarked; hence it won’t produce lots of ash.

FAQ

Chips are good, so are chunks, but in the end wood pellets are the best for smoking meats. They burn hotter, have an even smoke and last longer.

The quantity of chips to use depends on the method of smoking. If you are indirectly grilling your meat then one to two cups of chips every forty-five minutes is enough. While for direct grilling two to three cups of chips should be added every 30 minutes.

Our Verdict

If you intend to delight your loved ones with pulled pork during the next summer holiday, you’re in luck. With the best wood for smoking pulled pork, they’ll keep craving for more. Of course, there are many options out there, all with the same claim of being the best. However, none comes close to the Traeger Grills Apple All-Natural Hardwood Pellets. The eco-friendly wood pellet gives a good clean burn, has a rich flavor, and is made of 100% natural wood. By some distance, it’s the best wood for pulled pork.

This is followed closely by DiamondKingSmoker Peach Smoking Wood Chunks; this does not require soaking but can be used straight away. It is 95% debarked, giving a clean burn and ease of use.

In the third place is the Zorestar Wood Chips for Smokers 6 pcs Variety Pack, a wood chip that is organic, free from preservatives and other chemicals, ignites quickly, and is eco-friendly.  Certainly, there are pros and cons to these products (as is with everything else), but it’s guaranteed to give you great value for your money.

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