Can you smoke meat with mulberry wood? Yes, it’s great!

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  January 2, 2022

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Mulberry wood (or Morus) is pretty hard to find in many regions so it can be significantly more expensive to buy than other smoking woods, but it’s actually 16 species of deciduous trees that are known as mulberries, growing wild and under cultivation in many temperate world regions.

The closely related genus Broussonetia is also commonly known as mulberry, notably the Paper Mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera.

If you can find it, it’s great for smoking with a pleasantly sweet, fruity smoke flavor, similar to apple wood so it’s great for smoking meat.

Can you smoke meat with mulberry wood? Yes, it's great!

I know that when you think of the best smoke woods, mulberry probably isn’t the top fruit tree that comes to mind, but if you’ve got some laying around, you’ll be impressed by its sweet fruity flavor.

Mulberry wood infuses the meat with sweet smokey flavors and is best used to smoke pork, poultry, and fish just like other fruitwoods.

Yellow-colored mulberry wood is great for smoking because it has a mild flavor.

The female mulberry tree is the best for smoke wood because it bears fruit. And, if the tree bears sweet fruit, its wood is better for smoking food.

What can you use mulberry wood for?

How to buy a bbq smoker video
How to buy a bbq smoker video

In most cases, mulberry wood is used to build furniture and fence posts. Because it’s durable and strong, it’s best for making furniture.

It’s not used as firewood because it crackles and pops too much in the fireplace. Also, it’s not good for allergy sufferers because it causes sneezing and watery eyes.

But, you can also smoke meat and other food with this wood because it gives a pleasant fruity wood smoke flavor.

If you’re ready to start smoking delicious chicken, pork, or fish, you can use the J.C.’s Smoking Wood Chips in your smoker.

Wood chunks or wood chips are both suitable, it depends on your smoker’s wood chip tray size (read more on that here).

Whether you use mulberry wood on its own for smoking or combine it with stronger hardwoods like hickory, mulberry is always a good choice.

What is the mulberry wood smoke profile?

Many people are unfamiliar with mulberry wood smoke aromas because it’s not very popular in all areas of the world.

Mulberry trees grow in states like Kansas where a lot of people have them in their backyard.

The fruit is tasty but the good news is that it’s an excellent wood for smoking because it has a sweet-smelling smoke that isn’t too overpowering for the meat.

I know it sounds strange but when you smoke with mulberry, it smells a bit like cotton candy – it’s super sweet – but the actual smoke flavor isn’t nearly as sweet tasting.

When you burn the mulberry wood chips, they smell much sweeter than they actually are.

People describe the mulberry smoke profile as fruity, sweet, but with a hint of tanginess, similar to grapevine.

Some compare mulberry to apple, but it’s more similar to blackberry wood. The fruitiness is tangier and slightly citrusy and so it’s also suitable for smoking red meats and wild game.

But, I’ll get into what foods to smoke with mulberry down below.

What foods are best to smoke with mulberry wood?

You can use mulberry to smoke meat, especially pork cuts like pork shoulder, pork loin, chicken, turkey, wild game birds, beef, wild game, and fish.

When you use mulberry for smoking chicken, it gives the meat a pleasantly sweet, citrusy, and tangy flavor.

In general, most people use this wood to smoke poultry and game birds like turkey that have delicate white meat and don’t need strong tasting smoke flavor.

Since pork tastes best with fruit woods like apple, mulberry is exactly what pork meat needs to bring out a sweet tangy aroma.

Mulberry-smoked ribs are surprisingly delicious and perfect for people who don’t like the bacony and earthy and strong flavor of hickory.

It’s such a mild-flavored wood though, you can use it for all kinds of meat. I’ve even heard of people using mulberry to smoke lamb.

If you really enjoy the strong flavors of lamb and red meat, you’ll enjoy using this wood instead of apple because it adds some tanginess. Because it’s not strong, the smoke doesn’t overpower these strong meats.

You can also use it for smoking beef or as a blending wood for stronger woods like hickory, maple, red oak, and mesquite.

I’ve heard people mix mulberry with different woods that have similar mild flavors like pecan, apple, peach, cherry.

Fruit trees can generally be blended together to create a sweet smoky flavor that’s pleasant yet mild enough for smoking foods without deterring from the meat’s natural aromas.

The mulberry’s mildness makes it also suitable for fish and seafood. The fruity flavor is always a good pairing for all kinds of fish and seafood.

What can you mix mulberry wood with for smoking?

Mulberry, like other fruit trees, can be mixed with stronger smoke woods.

The best combination that works on all meat types is mulberry and hickory. It combines the earthy, smokey deep flavors of the hickory smoke with the sweet tangy mulberry.

The result is a slightly sweet smoke with a nice rich earthy aroma and I recommend this combo for ribs, brisket, whole chicken, and larger birds like turkey.

But, if you don’t like strong BBQ flavors, you can always mix mulberry with other milder woods like neutral alder or maple. The smoke will be sweet but also slightly nutty with hints of tart and citrus aromas.

Mixing mulberry with applewood, for example, is a bit pointless since the smoke flavors are too similar so you won’t really notice a big difference.

Mulberry is a good wood to mix with earthier woods.

Takeaway

When you’re imparting flavor to your meat, you can use mulberry for almost all meats because it’s a fairly mild wood with a great sweet, tangy smoke flavor profile.

So, if you’re contemplating chopping down that mulberry tree in your backyard, you can do so knowing you can use the wood for smoking your favorite meats.

Mulberry is a great smoke wood if you’re tired of using other woods that you’re already familiar with.

Next, learn all the secrets about the most delicious BBQ bark on your smoked foods

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.