When smoking chicken, choose wood chips that will complement the bird. Pecan, mesquite, cherry and apple are all popular wood chip flavors.
- Hickory is a hard wood that has a sweet to strong taste that is almost bacon-y It burns hot and slow. If you have a smaller chicken, be light with the hickory chips, as too much hickory on smaller meats can create a bitter flavor. It’s a nice wood that can be combined with cherry wood for a pleasant taste.
- Maple is a subtle wood that has a milder flavor than hickory, but it also burns hot and slow. It is the sweetest of the heavy woods.
- Apple wood is a mild and fruity wood that is ideal with chicken and other birds. Apple wood smoke takes several hours to permeate meat.
- Peach wood has its southern roots, imparting a light, sweet flavor to smoked chicken. Peach wood burns hot and relatively long. Use fresh cut peach wood, as peach wood tends to lose flavor quickly after being cut.
- Cherry wood has a mild, sweet flavor that burns relatively hot for a relatively long length of time. Cherry wood is great when combined with hickory.