What Kind Of Wood Chips Should You Use To Smoke Fish?

Smoking imparts such wonderful flavor into your food. Many people smoke meats, but you can also smoke fish. However, you won't necessarily want to use the same type of wood to smoke fish as you would use to smoke pork or beef. For one thing, fish has a milder flavor that you don't want to mask with smoke. Also, fish tends to have a shorter smoking time, which not all woods lend themselves to. So, what types of wood chips do work well for smoking fish? Here are a few top options.

Cedar Chips

You've probably had salmon grilled on a cedar plank before. This is a really common dish served in restaurants. The flavor of cedar pairs perfectly with salmon, so using cedar wood chips to smoke your salmon is a wonderful choice. Cedar also works well for other fatty fish, such as tuna and mackerel. It may be a bit too strong for white fish, like cod and haddock, unless you really like a deep, intense smoke flavor.

Applewood Chips

Applewood is known for its really mild smoke. It also has an underlying sweet flavor. This option works well for light, delicate fish like cod and trout. If you're planning on smoking a whole trout, which is quite common, then applewood is a good choice. You won't have to worry about the flavor getting too intense with the longer smoke time required for a whole trout.

If you want a slightly more intense smoke flavor on your fish, try tossing just a few mesquite chips in with your applewood chips. Mesquite is a really powerful flavor, but when diluted down with the applewood, it's quite tasty with fish.

Pecan Wood Chips

As you might imagine, pecan wood has a slightly nutty flavor. It's pretty mild and a good choice for fish. It works especially well on firmer, leaner fish like sturgeon and bluefish. You often eat the skin on these fish, and the skin takes on the nutty, pecan wood flavor quite well.

Orange Wood Chips

Citrus and fish are often paired together, so it only makes sense that smoking with orange wood chips would work well. The smoke itself adds a touch of citrus flavor, and you can add more with your rub or marinade. These chips work especially well with salmon or tuna, but really, they'll work with any fish.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of which types of smoking wood chips to choose for your fish. Enjoy!