Best Wood for Smoking Turkey

There are many ways to grill and bake a turkey, but one of the most favored is a wood-smoked turkey.

In this article, we look at some of the best available woods for smoking a turkey to perfection.

Woods for Smoking a Turkey

Depending on what type of smoker you use to smoke your turkey, the wood is slightly more important when it comes to old-styled wood smokers and methods.

Wood that has been left out to dry for around six months is the ideal quality for smoking a turkey. This type of wood still contains enough moisture for smoking but not too much.

Most store-bought woods are kiln-dried, meaning they will burn quite hot and fast, which can be challenging when you are trying to control temperatures and the length of your cooking.

A good advantage of getting wood with some moisture in it is the fact that it will burn slower and create more smoke.

Tips for Smoking a Turkey with Wood

Here area few expert tips when it comes to using wood smoke for your turkey;

  • Wood Smoke – Get your smoke from wood rather than charcoal, as the flavors are just so much better.
  • Store wood Outside – Store your wood outside, lifted off the ground as they will get the perfect moisture to dry ratio outside.
  • Chunk Size – The longer you want to cook for, the larger should be the chunks of wood that you use.
  • Wood That Smells Bad – Never use wood that has an off or fowl smell. You will taste it in your food.
  • Oxygenate – When your smoker does not get adequate oxygen, you will have soot all over your food, so make sure that the smoker gets adequate oxygen.
  • Thermometers – Invest in a good thermometer if your smoker does not have a built-in thermometer. This helps you to check and regulate the temperatures and smoke.
  • Keep the Cooker Clean – Sticky residues in your cooker will give a bad taste to your turkey the next time you try to smoke it, so keep the cooker clean.
  • Unused Chips – Drain unused wood chips and dry them to use next time.

Features of a Good Wood for Smoking Turkey

There are a few types of wood chips that work exceptionally well for smoking Turkey with;
Apple Wood

  • Apple Wood Chips – Applewood is one of the most used woods for smoking a variety of foods, not just turkey. Applewood burns with a very mild and fruity smoke that will enhance all the natural and sweeter flavors in foods and turkey. Apple wood gives off a subtle yet slightly dense smoke that is well paired with most white meats and can be used in conjunction with marinades and spices of honey, molasses, maple, and cinnamons.
  • Maple Wood – Maple wood has a mild and smoky-sweet flavor that is subtle and delicious. It is ideally suited to poultry and most game birds and also excellent for planking salmon if you do not like cedar planks. Maple pairs well with turkey and other types of poultry, ham, cheese, smaller game birds, as well as many vegetables.
  • Pecan Wood – Pecan likewise offers a sweeter and milder flavor that is similar to hickory but not nearly as strong. Pecan wood is delicious and has a more subtle character. It is an all-around superior smoking wood for a variety of foods, including turkey. Pecan works well for turkey, brisket, and pork. You can likewise smoke the shells of the nuts for a similar flavor.
  • Cherry Wood Chips – Cherry wood is the second most used fruit wood for smoking foods. Cherry wood is a slightly sweet and fruity wood that [pairs well with almost anything. Cherry wood smoking will help to blacken the skin of poultry slightly and causes it to taste incredible. You can mix cherry wood with lighter woods such as apple and apricot for smoking your turkey, which may also lessen the blackening if it is a problem for you. Ornamental cherry and double blossom cherry woods are all great substitutes for smoking a turkey.

While looking for wood for smoking turkey, you may also visit this propane smoker as they consist of a durable material that can withstand very high heat very well.

Reviews: The Best Wood for Smoking Turkeys

Here are some of our favorite picks in wood chips that are perfect for smoking your turkey;


The Cameron’s Products BBQ apple wood chips are among our top favorite woods for smoking a turkey in.

  • These are apple-flavored wood chunks used for smoking turkey.
  • You soak the wood chunks for 20 minutes and then place them on the hot coals to give an extra aroma.
  • Apple flavor is also ideal for seafood, salmon, and other types of poultry.
  • Gives you an alternative and smokey flavor.
  • It can also be used as a charcoal briquette for any occasion.

Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Quick Ignition25%100
Sweet Smoke25%95
Total Score100%98


From Camerons, we have a coarser kiln-dried, maple flavor wood chip for smoking turkeys.

  • These are smoking wood chunks designed specifically for smoking and grilling.
  • They are a maple flavor that goes well with turkey and other meats.
  • Maple wood creates a delicate smokey flavor and aroma.
  • The wood has a coarse cut in chunks.

Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Quick Ignition25%100
Sweet Smoke25%90
Total Score100%96.75


Pecan wood is also a good option for smoking a turkey, such as pecan wood chips from Weber.

  • These are pecan wood chips for smoking turkey.
  • They provide a vibrant and sweet smokey flavor to your turkey for a unique taste.
  • The wood chips are ideal for turkey, fish, and beef or lamb.
  • It comes in a 192 sized bag so that you can use it several times.

Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Quick Ignition25%95
Sweet Smoke25%90
Total Score100%95.5


The Western Premium maple chips are perfect for smoking turkeys and also come in other flavors.

  • This is a Maple BBQ-flavored wood chip.
  • Ideal for smoking turkey to get a sweet and rich barbeque flavor.
  • The wood is heat-treated to eliminate pests, mold, and rot.
  • It is a 1080 cubic inch bag of wood chips.


Another excellent addition from Weber is their Apple Chips for smoking a turkey in.

  • The wood chips will supply a very subtle and sweet flavor to your turkey.
  • They are apple-flavored wood chips from Weber.
  • Weber is a top brand when it comes to BBQ tools and supplies.
  • The wood chips come in a two-pound bag option.


The Weber Cherry wood chunks are perfect for smoking a turkey in.

  • Another excellent addition from Weber is their Cherry Wood Chips.
  • The Cherry wood chips give Smokey and sweet taste to your turkey and are also ideal for other meats.
  • The Cherry Smokey Chips ate a subtle fruity flavor and also worked well with vegetables.
  • There is a 350-cu sized bag included.

Index Table: Top Rated Wood for Smoking Turkeys

1Cameron’s BBQ - Apple Wood for Smoking Turkey
  • Apple Wood Chips
  • Large bag
2Camerons Smoking Wood Chips - Wood for Smoking Turkey
  • Coarse
  • Kiln Dried
  • Natural
  • Maple Flavor
3Weber Stephen Products - Wood Chips for Smoking Turkey
  • Pecan
  • 192 cu
  • More Options
4Western Premium BBQ Products - Maple Wood for Smoking Turkey
  • Maple and Other Options
  • 180 cu
  • Chips
Western Premium97
5Weber Stephen Products - Wood for Smoking Turkey
  • Apple Chips
  • Options
  • 192 cu
6Weber Cherry Wood - Wood for Smoking Turkey
  • Options Available
  • Cherry
  • 4lbs

About the Author

Eliza Ward

Eliza Ward is a food enthusiast, blogger, and author. In addition to being one of the founders of this website, Eliza is also a full-time mother for 3 lovely kids.