How to Smoke With Walnut Wood Chips


Pecan smoked wood is a famous wood chip option in the grilling world thanks to its slightly sweet flavors. Learn how to use it and our recommendations for the best walnut wood for grilling.

Walnut wood for roasting

If you are a lover of grilled food, one of the most important decisions you will make when smoking your next dish is what type of wood to use. We’re often asked what the best wood for grilling is, and one of our favorite woods is associated with walnut.

Pecan is a soft fruitwood that exudes a deliciously sweet aroma that doesn’t overshadow the show’s star: your meat. A variety of meats are complimented, including chicken and pork ribs.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this wonderful grill wood, as well as our recommendations on how to use it and where to get it.

Walnut wood for roasting

What is pecan wood?

A versatile hickory species, pecan is native to southern regions of North America and Mexico. It has properties similar to other types of hardwood that are in demand for smoking when grilling. The difference is that it is not as dense as oak or maple. This means the pecan flavor shows through in your dishes without overwhelming them.

Walnut Wood Shavings aren’t as easy to find as other fruit woods like Apple or Cherry, but they’re worth tracking down.

The advantage of the pecan nut is that it can be roasted hot and for a long time without overpowering the meat. Its delicate fruity and nutty flavors make it an easy choice for smoking chicken or turkey, as well as most types of fish.

The best meat for smoking with nuts

The rich, nutty flavor of the pecan means it’s better suited to some meats than others. Here are some of our favorite dishes to go with it.

Pork shoulder

If you’re new to grilling, this is the place to start. Smoked pork butt (also known as Boston butt ) is a popular slow -cook meat cut because it contains a lot of fat and connective tissue that needs to be broken down. This makes it a delicious cut for beginners, while its high fat content makes it perfect for smoked pulled pork . However you choose to serve it, the pecan adds sweetness to the flavor profile, but you may need the help of another strong hardwood like oak or hickory.


Pecans are a delicious addition to chicken, especially when mixed with applewood or a touch of hickory. Barbecue-smoked chicken is incredibly tender and provides the perfect canvas for the pecan to do its job. Even on lean cuts like chicken breasts, a handful of pecan chips in the mix can work wonders, adding a touch of flavor without too much smoke and bitterness.


This veal cutlet is the king of grilling. Cook it slowly and slowly for a long time to create a succulent masterpiece that can be sliced ​​​​or left thin in large chunks, depending on your preference. Pecan adds great depth to smoked brisket , especially when blended with oak.


This classic holiday meat can easily dry out on the grill, but with a little help from a good brine and firewood, it can turn out delicious and tender.

Pork ribs

Pork ribs are naturally paired with sweet, fruity woods. Pecan is the perfect partner for meaty and fatty short ribs. Try the St. Louis-style smoked ribs to see why.


Unlike the other meats on this list , salmon IS cold smoked . That means the woody flavor is much more pronounced in the finished meat, which rules out strong hardwoods like hickory or mesquite. The salmon with walnuts strikes a nice balance, although you should only be able to use a few fries at a time.

How to store walnut wood chips

Pecan wood chips should be stored in a tightly closed container. This protects them from air, which can affect their taste and aroma. The best containers are resealable or vacuum sealable bags as they are less exposed to the outside environment than traditional plastic storage bags.

How Long Do Walnut Wood Shavings Last?

Depending on how often you grill with walnut wood, your bag of chips can last anywhere from two weeks to two months before they become stale or spoil entirely. If you’re only using it for special occasions, count on about a month per pound of chip material for this type of product. As long as they stay cool (below 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and dry, these products can last a long time.

Should I soak my wood chips?

In short, no. There’s a heated debate about this, but I firmly believe it doesn’t do much and can actually prevent your smoking progress.

Proponents of soaking claim that soaking fries for an hour before grilling can help spread the smoke more evenly.

My argument is that wood chips don’t absorb much water , even if soaked for hours. What it charges is then vaporized, not roasted, so it doesn’t produce the effect you might be looking for. In fact, the added water vapor or steam can cool the embers in your smoker (if you’re using a charcoal smoker), which can affect temperatures.

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