Top 6 Best Wood for Smoking Fish – Review

best wood

Smokers are popular for eating smoked fish, with the flavor of the meal varying depending on the wood used.

Learn about the best types of wood for successful fish smoking in the following paragraphs.


Our Top 6 Woods for Smoking Fish


  • Alder

  • Apple

  • Mesquite

  • Maple

  • Hickory

  • Oak

What Kinds of Wood Are Used for Smoking Fish?

Kinds of Wood

Fish smoking wood comes in a variety of shapes. Depending on how much fish you wish to smoke and how your grill or smoker is set up, you’ll need different ingredients.

Wood Chips


Wood chips, 1-2 inches in diameter, are irregularly shaped wood chips suitable for use in small and large smokers and grills.


Wood Pellets


Small, compressed bits of wood and sawdust called pellets are used in pellet grills and small smokers.


Wood Logs


Logs are little logs of wood for smoking, as their name would imply. In big grills and smokers, they are used.


Wood Chunks


With an average size of around a fist, wood chunks, which are larger than wood chips, burn for a longer period of time and are perfect for larger smokers, grills, and meat cuts.


Best Woods for Smoking Fish Reviewed


Cameron’s Alder Wood Chips


Cameron’s products, made from natural hard wood and kiln dried, emit quickly and don’t produce excessive smoke, although some bark may be present.




  • Natural wood that has been kiln dried, easily ignites, and isn’t excessively fragrant




  • There might be bark on the chips in the pouch


Weber Apple Wood Chunks


Weber applewood chunks, untreated and sourced in the US, burn well despite their inconsistent size, ensuring no chemicals or oils.




  • US-sourced, untreated, and burns nicely.




  • Inconsistent size


Traeger Premium Hardwood Wood Pellets – Mesquite


100% hardwood pellets from Traeger that are made for smokers have an output of 8500 BTUs per pound.




  • The smoke offers a consistent mesquite flavor and a reliable mix of hardwoods for an optimal smoking experience.

  • Contains no fillers or bark




  • More costly than other alternatives


Smoak Wood Chunks – Maple


Smoak wood chunks are certified pest-free, US-sourced, and chemical-free, but may not be suitable for budget woods due to their high cost.




  • Chemical-free, fist-sized pieces, kiln-dried, and pest-free; sourced in the US




  • More costly than other alternatives


Hickory Wood


Hickory, a smoking wood, pairs well with fish for a stronger flavor but may overpower it if not used carefully, as it can strike a perfect balance between smokiness and sweetness.




  • Strong Flavor




  • Overpower (if not used carefully)


Jack Daniel’s Wood Smoking Chips – Oak


The product, which is made from charred oak whiskey barrels, is an innovative take on standard wood chips.


These chips have a great flavor and go well with fish; however, the bag size might not be a good representation of what’s inside.




  • Unique flavor

  • Using burned-oak barrels




  • Less than advertised is in the bag

  • More expensive than standard oak chips

Tips for Smoking Fish


To ensure a successful fish smoking session, follow these general tips, regardless of the wood type:


  • To ensure leaner fish cuts, use a drip pan filled with water in the smoker to prevent the meat from drying out.

  • To enhance the flavor and maintain the fish’s sulfiness during smoking, consider brining the fish before the smoking process.

  • Avoid using treated or varnished wood chips in smokers for fish or meat, as they can cause off-flavor and contamination.

  • Separate meat pieces on a smoking grill to prevent discoloration and improve smoke circulation, as pressing fish together can impede proper smoke circulation.


Depending on the fish or wood you use, your smoking techniques may differ significantly, but you may utilize the aforementioned tips to enhance the results of every smoking session.




Q: If I use the Wrong wood or Smoke the Fish too Long, Will it be Ruined?


Try it first; if it is too strong, use it in dip or on crackers with cheese. Avoid sitting in the pan for too long, as it can ruin the dish.


Q: What’s the Difference Between Cold and Hot Smoking?


Cold smoking involves drying fish in a cool smokehouse or refrigerator, while hot smoking is a labor-intensive process often used as a main meal or dip. Both methods are labor-intensive.

So, How Do You Choose the Right Wood?


Well, that is completely up to you and your own preferred tastes. Choosing the right wood for smoking BBQ fish is crucial, with options including alder, apple, mesquite, maple, hickory, and oak wood. 


Alder is the best wood for smoking fish, providing a subtle, smokey flavor without overpowering the fish’s natural flavor. Milder sweets like apples go nicely with fish as well.


Whiskey barrel chips can give your fish a flavor unlike any other if you’re searching for something new to try.


Experimenting with these woods can create a unique, mouthwatering dish that leaves friends wanting more.

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