Fruitwoods for Smoking: Which Ones Are Best for Your Meat?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 28, 2022

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Is fruitwood good for smoking? Fruitwood is a great option for smoking meat due to its mild smoke flavor compared to hardwoods like oak or hickory. However, its effectiveness for smoking fruit is still up for debate.

In this article, I’ll delve into the reasons why fruitwood is ideal for smoking meat and explore its potential for smoking fruit.

Are fruitwoods good for smoking

Why Fruitwoods are the Best for Smoking

When it comes to smoking, not all woods are created equal. Hardwoods like oak, hickory, and mesquite are popular choices, but fruitwoods are the real MVPs. Here’s why:

  • Fruitwoods are a type of hardwood, but they have a higher resin content than other hardwoods. This resin gives the wood a sweet, fruity aroma that is perfect for smoking.
  • Softwoods like pine and cedar are not recommended for smoking because they contain too much resin. When burned, this resin can give off an acrid flavor that can ruin your meat.
  • Fruitwoods are safe to use as long as they are seasoned and free of residual sap. This is because the sap can also give off an unpleasant flavor when burned.

The Best Types of Fruitwood for Smoking

While any fruitwood can be used for smoking, some are better than others. Here are some of the most popular fruitwoods for smoking:

  • Cherry: Cherry wood gives off a sweet, fruity smoke that is perfect for pork and poultry.
  • Peach: Peach wood has a mild, sweet flavor that is great for smoking chicken and fish.
  • Apple: Apple wood gives off a slightly sweet smoke that is perfect for pork and beef.

How to Use Fruitwood for Smoking

Using fruitwood for smoking is easy. Here’s how to do it:

  • If you’re  using a smoker (here’s how), add chips or larger chunks of fruitwood to the charcoal or other fuel.
  • If you’re using a charcoal grill (here are the best ones), sprinkle the fruitwood chips directly onto the hot coals.
  • Let the fruitwood burn down until it gives off a steady smoke.
  • Place your meat on the smoker or grill and cook as usual.

In terms of cooking time, fruitwood gives off a milder smoke than other woods, so you may need to smoke your meat for a little longer to get the desired flavor.

Exploring the Variety of Fruitwoods for Smoking Meat

Applewood is a common and versatile fruitwood that is a staple in many regions. It is a low smoke wood that is ideal for making bacon and other delicate meats. Applewood smoke is consistent and provides a medium to dry smoke flavor. It is a popular choice for smoking poultry, pork, and fish due to its delicate and sweet flavor.

Cherrywood: The Rich and Fruity Choice

Cherrywood is a fruitwood that provides a rich and fruity smoke flavor. It is a medium smoke wood that is ideal for smoking beef, pork, and game meats. Cherrywood smoke is consistent and provides a slightly sweet and tart flavor. It is a popular choice for smoking ribs and brisket due to its ability to add a rich and complex flavor.

Peachwood: The Delicate and Versatile Option

Peachwood is a delicate fruitwood that provides a versatile smoke flavor. It is a low smoke wood that is ideal for smoking poultry, pork, and fish. Peachwood smoke is consistent and provides a mild and sweet flavor. It is a popular choice for smoking salmon and other delicate fish due to its ability to add a subtle and fruity flavor.

Overall Quality is Crucial

When it comes to smoking meat, the type of fruitwood you choose is crucial to the overall quality of your dish. Each variety of fruitwood offers a unique smoke flavor that can enhance the taste of your meat. Whether you prefer a delicate and sweet flavor or a rich and complex one, there is a fruitwood that will suit your needs. So, experiment with different types of fruitwoods and find the one that works best for you.

Why Fruitwood Smoke is the Perfect Choice for Smoking Meat

When it comes to smoking meat, using fruitwood chunks is an excellent way to create a smoky flavor. Here are some benefits of using fruitwood chunks:

  • Fruitwood chunks produce a steady smoke that is perfect for smoking meat.
  • Fruitwood chunks are able to supply a long and consistent burn, which is great for smoking big cuts of meat.
  • Fruitwood chunks come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the right size for your smoker.
  • Fruitwood chunks are a great way to add extra flavor to your meat.

The Best Meats to Smoke with Fruitwood

Fruitwood smoke is perfect for smoking a variety of meats. Here are some meats that are commonly smoked with fruitwood:

  • Pork: Pork is one of the most popular meats to smoke with fruitwood. Applewood and cherrywood are both great choices for smoking pork.
  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey are both great meats to smoke with fruitwood. Applewood, peachwood, and pearwood are all good choices.
  • Beef: Beef can be smoked with a variety of fruitwoods, but cherrywood is a popular choice.
  • Fish: Fruitwood smoke is perfect for smoking fish. Pearwood and applewood are both great choices.

Where to Buy Fruitwood Chunks

If you’re going to use fruitwood chunks for smoking, it’s important to choose a high-quality product. Here are some tips to help you find the best fruitwood chunks:

  • Check with local restaurants that offer smoked meats. They may be able to recommend a good supplier.
  • Ask your local BBQ supply store if they carry fruitwood chunks.
  • Check online for companies that sell fruitwood chunks. Make sure to read reviews and check the company’s service record before making a purchase.
  • Choose fruitwood chunks that are clean and free of any ground or coal dust.
  • Make sure the packaging contains helpful information about the type of wood and how it should be used.


So, fruitwood isn’t the best wood for smoking meat, but it can be good for smoking delicate fruits and vegetables. 

Plus, fruitwoods have a sweet and fruity aroma that can add a unique flavor to your food. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with fruitwood and see if it’s the right wood for you!

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.