best wood for smoking salmon

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What is the best wood for smoking salmon? The answer: it depends on who you ask and what kind of smoker they use. Most people will tell you that fruit woods work well with fish, such as apple or cherry. But if we look at pellet smokers, we see a different picture. There isn’t one wood that’s best for smoking salmon. But there are a few types of pellets to use, and it depends on how you want your salmon to taste.


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Because of the numerous choices, we have decided to make your decision easier by compiling the post below. There are the top 5 best wood pellets for smoking salmon, and they all have great reviews. There is also a buying guide to help you know what to consider before buying wood pellets. You will also find answers to the common frequently asked questions. Read through to the end so that you can learn more.

On this list we have 5 best wood for cold smoking salmon

In a hurry? Check the best wood for smoking salmon from amazon. Just check the product link, the detail & price.

WESTERN 28065 Apple Flavored Smoking Chips, 180 cu in...
WESTERN 28065 Apple Flavored Smoking Chips, 180 cu in...
Apple wood heat treated to eliminate and prevent pests, mold, or rot. 100% Natural.; 180 cubic Inches of large sized Apple BBQ Smoking Chips per package.
GrillPro 00250 Alder Wood Chips,Brown
GrillPro 00250 Alder Wood Chips,Brown
170 Cubic inches re-sealable bag; Natural wood smoke flavor; Great for pork, poultry and fish
Weber 17905 Beech Wood Smoker Chips, 3-Pound, Brown
Weber 17905 Beech Wood Smoker Chips, 3-Pound, Brown
Beech chips are great for smoking fish, pork and game; 3 pound bag; Try our other types of smoker chips
Western Premium BBQ Products Post Oak BBQ Smoking...
Western Premium BBQ Products Post Oak BBQ Smoking...
Post Oak wood heat treated to eliminate and prevent pests, mold, or rot.; 180 cubic Inches of large sized Post Oak BBQ Smoking Chips per package.

If you feel a wood for smoking salmon is not for you, have a look at our guide and reviews of the best grilling meat thermometer or the best grill tool set or best smoke tube for traeger or gas grill smoker combo reviews.


Let us now guide you in finding the best wood for smoking salmon. Smoking salmon at home is the best way to make delicious, nutritious, and healthy food. It’s one of the most beneficial things you can add to your diet! It’s also a significant investment, and that is why you have to be careful about the types of pellets you buy; below are things to consider before buying wood pellets for smoking salmon.

best wood for cold smoking salmon

√ Pellet grain size

There are three types of hardwood used to produce pellets: beech, maple, and oak. These materials can vary significantly in density (weight), affecting how much energy is produced by burning them. The only exception here are birches that tend to burn quite hot as they have a lower density than most other hardwoods. However, they don’t work well when it comes to smoking salmon. A good rule of thumb is to buy pellets labeled as “low density,” or go for beech with a high energy yield, although some say it doesn’t taste as good. We prefer maple and love using it when smoking salmon.

√ Pellet size

Pellet manufacturers make their products in all shapes and sizes: from small dust-sized sawdust particles to standard pencil-sized sticks; from toothpick-sized parts to large 1″ thick pellets; etc. Most pellet smokers can handle any hardwood pellet (there are very few exceptions); however, the fuel may end up not burning correctly if you use small or huge ones. Our advice is to go with the most common/standard type of wood pellet that manufacturers produce, which usually has a diameter of 1″ (25mm) and a length of 2.5″-3.5″.

√ Pellet packaging

This is one thing many people tend to overlook when buying pellets for their pellet smokers. However, proper packaging can make or break your entire smoking session! What you should look out for when purchasing hardwood pellets is how firmly they are packed in the bag: if they’re loose, the fuel will easily get contaminated by dust particles found inside the container; this may even result in dreaded “pellet overload” where your auger motor burn out because it tries to transfer too much fuel at once (more on this later). Our advice is to buy firmly packed pellets, but still easy enough to pour out of the bag.

√ Pellet type and flavor

As you may already know, most hardwood pellets for smoking come in two different flavors: “original” and “hickory.” However, these terms don’t mean anything when it comes to pellet smokers: all standard-type pellets burn similarly regardless of what their flavor is called. However, there is one significant difference between the original wood pellets; the flavored ones – BBQ pellets. So why are we telling you this? Many manufacturers use a combination of different flavors to produce their BBQ pellets, which often makes it difficult to smoke anything with them appropriately.

For example, most of the flavor will be burned off within the first few minutes of your smoking session – long before you even start getting a lovely salmon color on the outside. Some brands even use so much flavoring that it’s virtually impossible to taste actual wood smoke when using their pellets – regardless of how big your firebox is or what type of fuel you’re using. In our opinion, this limits pellet smokers as serious tools for smoking food as most hardwood flavored pellets don’t work well when producing real wood smoke.

The best way to overcome this shortcoming is by buying pellets from manufacturers who specialize in making only pellets: no BBQ mixes, no flavored pellets, just plain old wood smoke on its own. This way, you’ll know that your smoker can do what it’s supposed to do: produce real smoke and set the right flavor for the type of food you’re smoking at any given time.

√ Pellet price

If you’re new to smoking foods with a pellet smoker, this may sound like a weird section to be in a guide about buying pellets. After all, who cares about price when it comes to buying something as important as fuel? However, most people we know don’t think things through when they make their first purchase – which is usually pretty cheap (just like us, we bought our first pellet smoker for $300). However, once you realize how quickly you’re burning through a bag of pellets and compare it to the cost of a good quality bag over at your local hardware store – the price difference becomes pretty apparent.

We’ve seen people waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars because they decided that saving a few bucks on fuel was worth ruining their entire smoking session! Our advice: don’t go crazy when buying pellets for your smoker. In our opinion, even if it means spending more money on getting good quality wood pellets from reputable manufacturers who make nothing but smoke-flavored fuels – do it! You’ll save plenty after just two or three bags.

√ Pellet checklist

NEVER buy cheap hardwood pellets (or any other type of fuel for that matter) from unknown brands. – ALWAYS buy pellets from reputable manufacturers who specialize in making nothing but smoke-flavored fuels – no BBQ mixes, no additives, just plain old wood smoke on its own.


In this first segment, we review five of the best wood for smoking salmon on the market as of now:

1. WESTERN 28065 Smoking Chips, 180 cu in (Pack of 1)

If you are looking for some BBQ smoking chips that will work perfectly when you are out at your campsite, then these might be what you need. Soak them in water for 30 minutes before use, and they will give off the perfect amount of smoke. They last for hours, which means that if you don’t want them burning through your entire trip, they will only need to be soaked once every few hours, depending on how much wood they are exposed to. A great choice that you will not regret making.

Outstanding Features and Benefits

√ Adds flavor

These smoky chips are fantastic to use when you want to add some flavor without strong grill marks or if you do not have a proper smoker. The flavors that come out of the meat are so strong and authentic tasting. It’s almost like cooking inside of your home while you cook outdoors!

√ Easy and quick to use

They were quick and easy to use; we were only required to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before placing them into our smoker unit. Then just set it over the fire, close the lid, pick up our guitar and strum away. Once WErealized how well they worked, WE removed all but two of the pieces because our buddies devoured all six racks in less than one hour!


√ It makes a great-tasting smoke for up to four hours
√ Made from 100 percent pure wood
√ It can be used with different meats
√ 180 cubic inches of smoking chips


× No, how to use instructions

2. GrillPro 00250 Alder Wood Chips, Brown

GrillPro 00250 Alder Wood Chips are made from 100% pure kiln-dried compressed sawdust. No additives are used during the manufacturing process. The result is authentic wood flavor, natural smoky taste, and better grill marks when cooking food on your gas or charcoal grill. They help add original smokehouse flavor to fish, turkey, chicken, ribs, beef, pork roasts, and turkeys.

Outstanding Features and Benefits

√ Enough chips

A box of GrillPro 00250 contains enough chips for 20 hours of smoking time, depending on how you use them. Just soak the chips in water for 30 minutes before smoking, and either spread them over the heat source or place them inside the smoking box.

√ Keep food moist

Alder chips help keep the food moist, adding a subtle sweetness to smoked meat, poultry, and fish. It is the ideal wood for smoking turkey. Alder smolders at a moderate rate producing flavorful smoke that does not overpower your food and enhance the natural flavors of your marinade or barbecue sauce.


√ Adds wonderful flavor to meats
√ Significantly cheaper than other pellets
√ Natural smoke flavor


× It may become less fragrant after opening the package and exposing them to air

3. Weber 17905 Beech Wood Smoker Chips, 3-Pound, Brown

A mouthwatering smoky flavor is easy to achieve with this Weber 17905 Beech Wood Smoker Chips, 3-Pound, Brown. Made from 100% natural Beechwood, these chips are a great way to infuse your food with a smoky flavor. Ideal for use in electric smokers and gas smoker grills. The well-known brand name ensures you are buying a quality product, and with over 20 years of experience, customers can trust that this wood smoking chip is made to last.

Outstanding Features and Benefits

√ All-natural flavor

With no chemical additives or artificial flavors added, you can enjoy the authentic taste of real smoke when using this product. For best results, soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes before using them in your grill or smoker.

√ Enough chips

This pack contains 3 pounds of Beechwood chips which give you enough time before needing to replace them again, making it perfect for cooking on an occasional basis or larger feasts for gatherings with family and friends.

This pack offers enough material for approx. Fifteen hours of smoky goodness so you can spend more time enjoying the party and less time emptying your grill! These wood chips are great for electric smokers and gas smoker grills, so there is something here for everyone.


√ Additional flavor and Pleasing smell
√ Cost-effective
√ Easy to use
√ All-natural


× Hard to use on a vertical water smoker

4. Western Post Oak BBQ Smoking Chips, 180 cu in

We recommend the Western Post Oak BBQ Smoking Chips to anyone looking for a lighter flavored wood for meats that are more difficult to flavor. It is also great for people who are just starting with smoking their foods. It would also be good if you have a smoker of unusually small size because these chips can last a long time in even the largest smokers without burning up all at once.

Outstanding Features and Benefits

√ Great smoky flavor

This is a good product that delivers exactly what it says it does. It will add a Smokey flavor into your food without being too overpowering for lighter meats like fish or pork chops. Larger, tougher meats benefit from these heavier-tasting woods. Still, if you want a stronger taste for more significant cuts of meat, you might want to try something else in addition to this type of wood for a better-rounded flavor profile.

These chips worked well in our smoker, but unless we were cooking something exceptionally light-flavored, we would probably not use them exclusively on their own again because we enjoy having less plain tasting meat and adding another seasoning instead – such as with marinades.

√ Lasts longer

The flavor of these chips is very neutral, so they won’t interfere with whatever meats you are cooking. They are heavy-bodied wood that will last a long time in your smoker, but be sure that your smoker can handle the size chunks you are using before putting them in.


√ Treated to prevent mold and pests
√ Adds great flavor to meats
√ It lasts a long time


× It takes time to light up unless you have a charcoal chimney

5. Zorestar 6 packs of natural mini smoker cherry chips

The Zorestar 6 packs of natural mini smoker cherry chips are used for smoking the food you are cooking in your backyard, camping trip, or even indoors if you need. The product is made of 100% natural ingredients. A pack weighs about 3 oz. (85 g) and it contains the following: Cherry chips, Salt, Sugar, Potassium nitrate (KNO3) as well as Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). The last two are known as the chemical leavening agents since they release carbon dioxide when they interact with each other that causes the chips to expand and increase in volume.

Outstanding Features and Benefits

√ Adds excellent flavor

The product is ideal when smoking the food and imparting a good taste. The only thing you need to consider is that you should cut down on salt before using this since even though it has little salt, compared to other products, you will still get too much sodium if you use this product without any modifications.

√ 100% natural and organic

Zorestar Cherry Wood Smoke Chips are wholly organic and natural. These chips have an excellent grain and produce lots of smoke when burned. The flavor produced by this smoke is rich and flavorful, with a delicate aroma that could only be described as delicious!

√ Small in size

Another benefit of these chips is their size because they are small; you can use them for hours! How great is it to not constantly add more wood to your container or grill every 20 minutes?


√ 100% natural and organic
√ Great smoky taste
√ Lasts longer
√ Easy to use


× The smoke smell remains on hands after use


We finish off by answering some of the hard questions about the best wood for smoking salmon. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions on wood pellets for smoking pellets? We hope they help you gain more information so that you make the right choice.

wood for smoking salmon

Q1. What types of woods produce good results when smoking salmon?

A. You can use any or pellet combination to smoke salmon. It is more a question of how you want it to taste rather than if the pellet will work or not.

Q2. What is considered ‘good’ for smoking salmon?

A. Different people have different tastes – some like a strong smoky flavor, while others prefer less or none. To achieve the desired taste, different types of wood can be used in various combinations. Also, remember that most pellets contain small metal pieces (for stability) and might therefore impart unwanted flavors when burned, so try mixing your favorite wood with another one until you find the perfect combination!

Q3. Where do I find good pellets for smoking salmon?

A. Because most pellets found in stores are made with mesquite or alder, they do not work well when smoking fish. Instead, go for pellets that are made from maple or beech. These types of wood produce a nice mild smoky flavor – perfect to smoke salmon!

Q4. Do I have to soak the wood before putting it in the smoker?

A. No, you don’t need to soak the wood to use it when smoking salmon. This is unnecessary since there is only a little heat in a smoker and no direct flame.

Q5. Can I use my BBQ grill to smoke salmon?

A. No, it would help if you did not try smoking your salmon using an open-flame grill or barbecue grill – this has been known to lead to flames, resulting in a severe accident. If you want to smoke salmon, use an electric smoker or gas smoker instead.

Q6. Can I season the wood before using it?

A. Yes, some people prefer to season their pellets with olive oil or other oils before smoking fish to create a better flavor. However, this is not necessary at all, and it is perfectly fine without doing so.

Q7. How long should I smoke my salmon?

A. Most experts recommend cooking your salmon until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit – just enough time for the heat of the smoker to penetrate through each layer of your fillet of smoky goodness! Be sure to check on it now and then, depending on how big it is.

Q8. What’s the best way to store my wood pellets for smoking salmon?

A. Because maple and beech are small enough particles to leave through the slots of your pellet smoker, your best option is to buy a sealable food-grade container (such as Tupperware) in which you can place the pellets after each use. Be sure that they’re dry before using them again!

Q9. How much wood should I use?

A. It is essential to follow the instructions from your specific smoker regarding how many pounds of pellets you should place inside. However, as a general rule of thumb, be sure to start with a few chunks or pieces and add more if needed. You don’t want it too smoky, nor do you want undercooked salmon!

Q10. What type of wood do professional smokehouses use?

A. It is interesting to note that most commercially smoked salmon is cold-smoked, so no heat is used. However, it has been proven that some types of hardwood are the best when it comes to smoking fish – for example, hickory or mesquite.

Final verdict

Thanks for reading our post; we do appreciate your time spent here! We believe that you now have all the required information to make the right decision on the best wood pellets for smoking salmon. If you are still in doubt, we recommend WESTERN 28065 Smoking Chips, 180 cu in (Pack of 1). It is one of the best in the market, and you are guaranteed great smoky flavor when you use it. All the best as you try the above-recommended products.

Just to recap an earlier point, we ask you to compare the prices of the many dealers to find one at the cheapest possible cost of acquisition. Remember also to assess your demands and expectations before setting out for a purchase. How else will you find one that is relevant to your course? team and our families are supported thanks to affiliate commissions that we may earn when you buy through links on our site. Read more

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