Smoked turkey is a favorite food of many. It is a great meal to have if you are eating a whole smoked turkey. Many of us think that Christmas and Thanksgiving is incomplete without a turkey meal. The key to have a perfect smoked turkey meal is using woodchips. There are a lot of wood flavors available that works fine for smoking turkey. There is nothing better than the flavor of smoked wood with rich spices.
Here, we will show you the best wood for smoking turkey to get an irresistible taste.
Cherry wood for smoking provides a great touch of sweetness to your meal. When you smoke turkey for several hours using cherry wood, your turkey will develop a nice deep color and will be a standout meal. You can use hickory too with a combination of cherry. It will give some complexity to your smoked turkey. It will highly compliment the cherry wood for smoking.
Here you can also check a best electric smoker for smoked turkey. Cherry infused wood will provide a clean burning with its great flavor.
Pecan wood for smoking is another great choice like cherry giving a sweet taste to your meal. It is great in terms of rich flavor and gives a nut-like layer to your smoked turkey. It is somewhat more powerful than cherry so if you are unsatisfied with cherry wood, you have this great option of pecan.
It is better to test pecan wood first and see how your turkey meal reacts to it. You don’t want to ruin your meal. To me, pecan is already rich enough so you don’t need to add it with other woods.
Maple is another option you have but believe me, it is far more subtle than its other sweet counterparts. Maple add a delicate layer of flavor to turkey. It not only add a touch of flavor but also have all the natural flavors you want in your turkey meal.
Maple wood is also recommended for ribs and stuff but you can make it a go to wood for everything. It is a great alternative if cheery and pecan are too strong for you.
If you want a sweet and fruity wood than apple wood is the choice for you. It is famous for providing much more mellow flavor compared to pecan or cherry wood for smoking. It is considered as best wood for smoking turkey by many and we respect their decision. The flavors in apple are so subtle, it will take a long time to permeate the turkey meat and infuse it with apple wood flavor.
The problem with turkey wood is that it makes the smoked turkey prone to dry out when you don’t struck a good balance in it. For balancing, you need to smoke at a lower temperature and use the apple wood to start with.
Mesquite wood can also be a best wood to smoke turkey because it’s overall a beautiful wood. It is especially great for smoking traditional BBQ. It has been associated with red meats for long. It has a strong and robust wood flavor which is best for smoking brisket and turkey. For striking a balance, I usually use only little mesquite to compliment with the natural turkey flavors.
There is always a talk of hickory vs. mesquite. This is because hickory is also a deep earthy wood used as a base layer for different type of meats. It has a distinct texture making it an indisputably classic wood. Hickory smoked turkey will be a great meal so try to have it.
Oak is another example of a best wood to smoke turkey. Again, it also is a wood with deep flavor but compared to mesquite and hickory, it’s a bit lighter. Its best use to combine oak with cherry to create a more nuanced flavor.
Also Check: Best Charcoal for Smoking
Best Wood for Smoking Turkey – FAQs
1. How much of wood is to be used for smoking turkey?
There is not a rule about adding the amount of wood for smoked turkey. I usually add 5 ounce of woods for smoking turkey. You should keep in mind other thinks like temperature, smoker size, and cooking time. These are all important variables that will impact your meal. I usually start with 5 ounces and if the wood isn’t imparting the required flavor, add some more.
2. How long to smoke a turkey for?
It is generally considered to smoke for 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. You can smoke at 225°F/107°C. When the internal temperature reaches 165°F, your turkey will be ready.
3. Do smoked turkey required presoaked woods?
If you ask me I don’t do it. I believe that water can’t penetrate the surface of wood as easily as its thought. Moreover, there will be steam which will interfere with your coals and smoke.