Apple Wood Chips Guide: Sweet And Fruity

Smoke is the main element of barbecue; it is what separates it from all the other methods of cooking. Apple wood (or applewood) is arguably the most popular fruit wood used for smoking meat. Let’s …

Apple wood chips

Smoke is the main element of barbecue; it is what separates it from all the other methods of cooking. Apple wood (or applewood) is arguably the most popular fruit wood used for smoking meat. Let’s take a closer look to understand what makes this popular smoking wood chip so special.

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This 5-pound box will provide you plenty of apple wood flavor all season long. It's coarse-cut wood that works in smoker boxes and both gas and charcoal grills. By Camerons Products, a leader in smoke grilling technology.

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11/26/2022 10:49 pm GMT

Table of Contents

Which tree do apple wood chips come from?

As you may have guessed, apple wood chips come from apple trees. There is little to no difference in the flavor of the smoke from any different type of apple tree. While some cooks will claim that wood from golden delicious trees offers a particularly good flavor, there is not much hard evidence to this effect.

Apple wood chips can be made from any apple cultivar including Honeycrisp, McIntosh, and Granny Smith. You can even use wood chips made from decorative crab apple trees to give the apple wood flavor to meats.

Apple trees that produce wood suitable for smoking meat grow in all 50 states in the US; however, they are only grown commercially in 32 with Washington being the top apple-producing state.

Apple wood chip flavor—how does it affect the taste of meat?

Apple wood is the sweetest of all the wood chips with a flavor similar to hickory but milder. Foods smoked with it typically take on a much subtler version of the hickory flavor but with fruity notes. Its mildness means that you will need longer smoking times for meats take on the smoke flavor.

Which foods does the apple wood smoke flavor complement best?

Apple wood’s subtlety makes it extremely versatile. It is mild enough that it can flavor most meats, but it pairs especially well with milder meats like poultry and pork. It is prized as a smoking wood for foods as diverse as hams and seafood.

How do you use apple wood smoking chips?

When using any kind of wood smoking chips, it is important to keep the temperature in mind. While a handful of chips is unlikely to have much of an effect on the temperature in your grill’s cooking chamber, they can if you add a lot of them at once. Apple wood is a heavier wood, which means that it burns slowly and produces more heat than other lighter woods like cherry.

Soaking apple wood chips provides no benefit as the moisture damps down your fire. It is supposed to make the wood burn more slowly but in reality, it just delays the burning time slightly until the water evaporates. Once the water is gone, the wood burns at the same rate as it would if you were to add it dry.

You will also want to avoid using green apple wood. Instead, you should cure it before using. The sap and moisture in green wood can cause creosote buildup on food, which can make it look unattractive and taste bitter.

That said, some barbecue experts prefer green wood due to the higher quantity of smoke it produces. Note that these are experts with lots of experience and who are equipped with much more than a standard backyard barbecue grill. Your results may not be the same as theirs. If you decide to try green apple wood, note that the amount of time that the meat is exposed to the smoke can affect the extent of creosote buildup. Therefore, it is better to smoke hot and fast rather than slow and low.