Smoking is one of the best ways to impart great flavors in your food. The taste, however, will depend on several factors. Aside from the smoking technique, your choice of wood will also have a huge impact.
Wood burns in the smoker. It creates heat and smoke, and in turn, this will penetrate the meat. The flavor can be mild or intense depending on the wood that you will choose.
For those who are asking what the best wood for smoking turkey is, we got you covered in this short guide! Keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll share.
This fruitwood is known for its subtle and mild flavor. This is a popular choice for turkey because it won’t overpower the flavor of the meat. It has a delicate flavor that will complement the simplicity of turkey. It will also make a great choice for blending with other woods, such as oak and mesquite. Because this wood imparts a mild flavor on your meat, take note that you need to smoke longer to make sure that it will penetrate deep into the meat. Otherwise, the taste will not be evident.
Like apple, cherry is also a good choice if you want a mild and sweet flavor on your turkey. The flavor is delicate, but it is not overpowering, which is one thing that you will commonly expect in fruitwoods. Because of being light, it will also make a good choice if you are looking for something that you can blend with stronger woods, such as oak and hickory. This will create a dark mahogany outer color on the turkey, which will make it mouthwatering. Be careful when it comes to the length of keeping the meat in the smoker to avoid the meat from being too dark.
Pecan is a type of a hickory wood. While this s a fruitwood, the flavor is stronger compared to others. Nonetheless, it is milder compared to oak and hickory. It provides a sweet, nutty, and rich flavor when used in smoking turkey. Even if it is strong, when used the right way, it won’t bury the natural flavor of turkey. Take note that it can become pungent if you use it in excess, so make sure to smoke in moderation. Using more than what is necessary will result in a bitter flavor, and this is a sure-fire way to ruin the turkey.
If you are looking for a mild wood that you can use for smoking turkey, maple is one option that should be on your radar. The mild and sweet flavor profile of maple makes it perfect for turkey. While the smoke is sweet, it can give the meat a dark appearance, which will make it more presentable. In smoked meats, a dark color is preferred, but be careful to not go overboard as it can burn the turkey or make it look unpleasant. The light flavor of this wood is great of you want the natural flavor of turkey to be more dominant.
This is a forgiving wood, making it another great option if you are smoking turkey. It is often used in combination with strong-flavored hardwoods if you need something that can easily balance out the taste. Used on its own, alder has a delicate and earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness. Because of its light flavor, it is also a common choice for smoking fish, especially salmon.
This isn’t as popular as the options that are mentioned above, but it will be an equally impressive choice when you use it for smoking turkey. This wood has properties similar to hickory, but the flavor is not as robust. It will perfectly complement turkey because it is sweet and mild. Even when smoking for an extended period, it will not cause the meat to have a bitter or unpleasant flavor.
It is another unpopular option for smoking turkey. Nonetheless, like the others that are mentioned above, it has a mild flavor, which is exactly what you will need for turkey to unleash its true taste. It also has a sweet aroma to make the turkey more special. It is also similar to hickory, except that it is sweeter and milder, so this will not make your turkey overwhelming. It infuses a fruity flavor in the meat.
The best wood for smoking turkey is one that comes with a subtle flavor. This will allow the natural taste of the turkey to shine. If you choose woods with strong flavors, this can overwhelm the meat. This can also result in a bitter taste.