Top 5 Woods for Pulled Pork (BBQ Smoking)


Want to take your pork grilling to the next level? Here are 5 of the best types of wood for smoking pulled pork.

Best wood for pulled pork

Fried pork tastes much better. Barbecue smoking helps flavor the fat content of the pork. This makes it juicy and tender throughout the meat and absolutely lovely to eat. This makes pulled pork perfect for BBQ smoking.

Not only that, the smoke also helps us carry flavor to the meat, which helps us further improve our meat. Choosing the right wood chips is important to help us pair the right flavor with our meat.

smoked pulled pork on a bun

If you get it wrong, you risk ruining all the cooking hours you’ve put into your meat.

Today I’m going to break down the top five types of wood YOU can use to smoke pulled pork , and what YOU should avoid.



Pork is often better when paired with apple, and the same goes for pulled pork.

As expected, it has a subtle sweet and fruity flavor. It’s also extremely versatile, no matter what cut of pork you use for your pulled pork, it will pair perfectly with it.

I think apple is also perfect if you want to mix BBQ sauce with your finished product.

However, remember that applewood is very subtle and can take a while to turn into pork. Perfect if you plan on cooking your meat on a low setting for several hours, but if you plan on cutting down on your cooking time then it might be worth considering something else.

For the future when you just smoke pork loin or ribs, it goes perfectly with that too.



Like the apple, the walnut goes well with all types of pork. Whether bacon, rib eye or, above all, pulled pork.

However, what sets it apart from the apple is that it has a much richer flavor and also offers a slightly nuttier flavor.

It’s a light and smooth flavor, so it’s perfect for people who like the finest flavors instead of strong and distinct flavors or traditional woods like hickory or oak.

Pro tip: Consider blending with another fruitwood, such as cherry or apple, to give your wood an extra layer of nuanced flavor. If you prefer an earthier flavor, try blending it with hickory for a balanced yet sweet taste.



If you notice a pattern forming here, then you’ve been paying attention. Pulled pork is fantastic with another sweet and fruity wood: maple.

Maple tends to be a little harder to find commercially, but it’s well worth the extra effort. It’s sweet, subtle and insanely delicious.



We’re definitely treading into hard-to-find territory here, but if you have a temporary chance, I highly recommend finding some Orange Wood to smoke for your next pig cooking contest.

It touches the right side of citrus without being sickly, adding an interesting twist to your next grilling session. It can also be combined with hickory to grind it into a woodier flavor.



My top is rounded off with a fruit mix, but this one is a slightly different citrus color. This time the peach offers a more floral note with much less acidity than woods like orange or apple.

It’s much more tender and lighter in flavor and goes perfectly with “lighter” pork like ham. However, it also tastes great with pulled pork and will definitely make your next batch of pork the talk of the town.

Boiled pork pulled with forks on a baking sheet

What to avoid

For every type of wood that goes perfectly with pork, there’s one that doesn’t go at all. Here are some to avoid at all costs.



Alder is great for more meats with a stronger flavor, such as beef. B. Beef. This is due to the strong aroma of the wood. However, with something more tender and light like pork, you risk overpowering it.



Like alder, mesquite is too heavy to use for most cuts of pork. It works well with pork ribs, but for cuts that call for low, slow cooking so the fat is calculated in large batches of meat, it’s just too overwhelming.

It has an intense, strong, and earthy flavor, meaning it’s far better used in smaller batches or for richer cuts of meat.

What also doesn’t help is the fact that its natural oil content makes it extremely prone to burns and flare-ups, which is extremely detrimental to slow, slow grilling.

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