The Best Wood for Smoking Snack Sticks: The 12 Favorites

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Snack sticks is one-of-a-kind food – from on-the-go to outdoor parties. However, you have to select the proper wood for smoking delicious snack sticks. The right woods impact both the smoking process and the ultimate outcome, particularly the flavor. 

However, what is the best wood for smoking snack sticks? The answer is-

Several hardwoods or fruit woods are suitable for smoking snack sticks. However, the’ best’ depends on your demand for taste and aroma. Hickory and oak are so far the best hardwood choices. But you have other suitable options like mesquite, alder, etc., and some fruit woods like apple, cherry, etc.

Give more insights to this article to know more details about the do’s and don’ts of choosing the right kind of wood to smoke your snack sticks.

The Best Wood For Smoking Snack Sticks
Hard WoodsFruit Woods

What Is The Best Wood For Smoking Snack Sticks?

Best Wood For Smoking Snack Sticks

While choosing the ideal wood for smoking, you should know that every wood has its own flavor profile that complements the taste of your meat. Choose the wood that most perfectly aligns with the taste profile of the snack sticks to smoke. 

There are many options to try out wood with the meat as each wood compliments the flavor of the meat with the smoke it produces. So, you might have to smoke a different kind of snack stick with a different kind of wood to see the results that fit your taste perfectly. We have done that job for you. So it is easier for you to choose.

There are mainly two types of woods – hardwoods and fruit woods, with their unique aroma and flavor. Let’s explore the right one to suit your demand and desire.

1. Hard Woods

Hard Woods

Hardwoods burn more slowly, which causes a lot of time to smoke the snack sticks properly. It requires an increased amount of heat than the softwoods.

They are ideal for barbecues that take a long time since they enhance meat taste. Hardwoods include hickory, mesquite, pecan, oak, maple, and alder. Click here to look for the best hardwoods for smoking snack sticks.

  • Hickory

Hickory is the most famous and is considered the best smoking wood. It has a smoky, spicy flavor that is stronger than the fruitwoods and is fantastic with mostly all red meat and chicken and giant slabs of ribs and pork shoulders.

It has a pleasant rich aroma that resembles bacon. Furthermore, hickory wood imparts a sweet scent to your meats, resulting in a fantastic flavor and aroma.

  • Mesquite

Mesquite has the most robust and most potent earthy smoke taste.

Use it when you want a strong smoky taste. It works fine for smoking beef and pork snack sticks.

However, if you’re new to smoking, mesquite may not be the best option. Very few are as hot and bold as smoking wood as mesquite, and learning how to handle it correctly requires a while. If you’re not cautious, your snack sticks will rapidly burn.

  • Oak

Smoking snack sticks with oak are a popular option. The oak flavor is more powerful and smokey, though it’s delicate.

It is a great option to start if you are a beginner. It has a bold to moderate aroma that isn’t overpowering. You can smoke perfect beef, lamb, and sausages. However, if you’re smoking chicken, use caution since oak wood might overpower it.

  • Maple

For those who want a little sweet flavor in their snack sticks, the maple is a great option. 

Wood has a more delicate, mellow, and sweet smokey flavor that suits alder, oak, and apple woods. It’s perfect for smoked pork and chicken snack sticks. For smoked turkey, sugar-maple is an excellent choice.

  • Alder

Alder wood is another good choice for smoking snack sticks. It has a sweet aroma with gentler meats like chicken, but it also works well for smoking pork.

  • Pecan

Pecan is another hardwood favored by most. It perfectly matches the juicy, flavory sweetness and softness of pork ham or chops. Its mild and subtle flavor also goes perfectly with any poultry pot.

2. Fruit Woods

Fruit Woods

Fruit-bearing trees’ wood has the lightest aromas. The most popular fruit woods are apple and cherry. They work well with pork, beef, and lamb snack sticks since they offer a sweet flavor to the table that goes well with all of these meats.

  • Apple

The flavor of apple-wood is light, sweet, and delicious. You can smoke almost anything. However, it produces a softer smoke taste best for pork, chicken, and fish.

If smoked for too long, it can overpower the chicken. Applewood aromas take a long time to penetrate the meat, so plan on smoking for several hours.

  • Cherry

Cherry is light and fruity, and when combined with other hardwoods such as oak, the two tastes complement each other beautifully. Cherry gives the meat a mild crimson hue, especially pork and chicken.

  • Walnut

For beef and pork, walnut wood, mainly black walnut, can be an excellent smoking alternative. But keep in mind that you can only use it if you have enough experience to handle it.

  • Orange

The alluring flavor of orange woods adds the perfect aroma to your snack sticks. The mild and tangy smoky flavor is best for pork.

  • Olive

Olive is quite similar to Mesquite. But, they are lighter and milder, which go amazingly with poultry.

  • Peach

Peach is another name for perfect pork. The sweet fruity woods provide pork with an alluring flavor and aroma. It also goes well with poultry.

Which Wood Should not Be Smoked with Food?

Which Wood Should not Be Smoked with Food

What do you smoke snack sticks with? – well, you already know that. However, do you know what wood should not be smoked with food?

Softwoods aren’t good for smoking because they’re too sticky, provoking flaring fire and imparting strange tastes that don’t go well with smoking snack sticks.

A higher syrup level might spoil your snacks and your smoker. They also burn far too fast. These are Pine, fir, elm, cedar, spruce e.t.c 

Also the green woods. It soaks off the moisture and causes a bad taste. Chemically treated, painted, or dyed wood should not be used.

How to Choose The Best Wood for Smoking Snack Sticks

How to Choose The Best Wood for Smoking Snack Sticks

There are some simple tips and tricks we can give that you can follow to get the best wood for smoking snack sticks. You can choose your desired wood following these standards.

  • Smoke Emission

Fruity woods are smokey yet have a light fragrance. For example- apple and cherry. These woods are frequently used by experienced, but they are also excellent for newbies.

  • Aroma

The woods like apple and cherry wood have a pleasant, delicious taste. Walnuts and Mesquite have a rich and powerful scent.

Walnuts and Mesquite are wonderful alternatives if you desire a robust flavor. It’s important to remember that you have to be experienced, and the smokiness might be overpowering.

  • Chips vs. Chunks

You can choose the size of your wood on your own. Because wood chips are readily available, people use them.

To make them smoke quickly, wet them the night before you want to smoke them. Wood pieces don’t have to be moistened, although they are uncommon.

  • Meat Category

You can use any meat to prepare snack sticks. However, certain woods are best for smoking certain types of meat, depending on the taste and intensity you want.

How Long Should I Smoke Snack Sticks?

How Long Should I Smoke Snack Sticks

Snack sticks can take between 6 to 9 hours to smoke in a smoker, depending on the precise temperature you adjust your smoker.

The meat obtains the maximum temperature within the first 2 hours, destroying the germs.

Begin with a low temp and gradually raise it until the body temperature of the sticks gets to the required temperature. The slowly rising temperature thus prevents solidifying the casing yet produces a tasty snack.

What Temp Do You Smoke Snack Sticks?

The suitable temperature usually depends on the smoker’s adjustment. However, the following steps typically work for any smoking session.

  1. Heat the smoker to 130 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the casings within, and then smoke for one hour at a similar temperature.
  2. Set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the door open after one hour. You should smoke the meat for the next two hours during this heat.
  3. Set the smokehouse to 160° Fahrenheit and continue to smoke for another 2 hours.
  4. Finally, increase the heat to 180° F (but not over) and smoke until the sticks’ interior temperature achieves the appropriate degree.
  5. Take the snacks from the smoker as it is finished cooking, soak them in ice water, and set them aside to cool for 30 minutes.

Things You Should Avoid While Smoking Snack Sticks

Things You Should Avoid While Smoking Snack Sticks

There are a few things you should avoid to have the finest experience and to keep you and others safe:

Don’t Borrow Wood From Strangers

There’s no way to know where the timber came from or what kind it is. Do not take wood from anybody to ensure safety and less meat spoilage.

Avoid Chemically Treated Wood

Fire can react differently in painted and chemically treated wood. Stay clear from chemically processed wood if you don’t want to put out a fire.

Avoid Certain Types Of Wood

You should not smoke using certain woods as they’re unpleasant to eat and destructive to your snack sticks. The woods include-

  • Elderberry
  • Cedar,
  • Spruce,
  • Elm,
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus,
  • and Pine.


  • Which wood gives the strongest smokey flavor?

Hickory imparts the smokiest taste to the meat of any cooking wood. It’s ideal for smoking meat and pork. Mesquite is also quite powerful, rapidly giving you a fantastic aroma, but it may also turn bitter soon. For hot and rapid cooking, mesquite is preferable. 

While fruity smoking woods may appear too light, certain hardwoods appear excessively robust. Although a less intense smokey flavor produces good results, too much smoke can make food bitter.

  • Do you have to hang snack sticks in a smoker?

A wonderful method to use venison, hog, or beef as a snack in the yard is to hang snack sticks in a smoker.

  • How do you know when snack sticks are done?

It will take roughly 75 minutes per side, or 2.5 hours altogether, to make a normal size snack stick. So, after this time, the snacks should be made.

  • How long do cured snack sticks last?

If my batches go well, I can keep chamber-wrapped snack sticks in the fridge for above one year, in the fridge for 3-6 months, and at room temperature for the minimum time of 2-3 weeks.

Final Words

Now that you’ve known your possibilities, it’s time to choose the best wood for smoking snack sticks. When creating your meat taste profile, keep aroma, smokiness, and meat kind in mind. Remember that you may also experiment by mixing different types of wood. Good luck with smoking!

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