Is Cherry Wood A Good Smoking Wood?

Smoking meat takes time, patience…and the right type of timber.

Why? Because various timbers can infuse meat with different unique flavors. And choosing the right type of smoking wood can make the difference between smoky deliciousness and bitter disappointment.

So, what can you expect to get from smoking Cherry wood in particular?

Well, in this post, you will discover what kind of flavor Cherry wood can add to BBQ. You’ll also learn whether or not this mild smoking timber can be mixed with other woods.

is cherry a good smoking wood

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Can You Use Cherry Wood In A Smoker?

Yes, you can. Cherry wood, like any fruit bearing tree, produces wood that adds a mild sweet flavor to your food.

And mild fruit smoking woods go great with poultry such as chicken and turkey. Plus, they also pair well with duck and fish too.

Is Cherry Wood Really That Mild? Or Is There A Wood That Gives Meat A Stronger Smoky Flavor…

If you want to give meat a stronger smoky taste, then Hickory is ideal. This smoking wood pairs well with heavy meats, such as brisket and pork.

Nonetheless, one thing to be cautious with, when smoking with Hickory, is that you don’t end up over-smoking your food. Hickory wood will give meat a much more intense flavor than Cherry wood will.

So you need to keep the temperature low — and smoke your food for a while longer — to avoid it tasting bitter.

And Is It Safe To Smoke Meat With Cherry Wood? What Kind Of Wood Isn’t Suitable For Smoking Meat?

You should avoid using wood that has a lot of tree sap or pitch in it. These resin-filled timbers aren’t suited for smoking food, because their resin can become infused into the meat.

When meat becomes infused with sap/pitch, it will taste bitter. Or worse, it will become so unappetizing, it’ll make you ill if you eat it.

This is why notoriously sap-saturated timbers, such as Cedar and Pine, aren’t suited for smoking BBQ. However, in the case of Cherry wood, this timber does not contain a lot of tree resin.

What Is Tree Sap And Tree Pitch? Trees secrete sap in order to fight off bugs and insects. While tree pitch, (which is a thicker resin than sap), seals over damaged sections of the tree.

Is Cherry Wood The Mildest Wood For Smoking?

Trees that bear sweet edible fruit will tend to have lumber that adds a mild flavor to meat.

And these fruit-bearing tree woods are much milder than Hickory or Mesquite. And, they even add a certain sweeter taste to food.

Which is while Cherry wood, (along with Apple wood, peach, and plum wood), are among the mildest smoking woods.

And Can You Mix Cherry Wood With Other Smoking Woods?

Cherry wood is great for mixing and matching with other stronger timbers. It will help take the edge off of very intense (almost bitter) wood, such as Mesquite and Walnut.

For example, two thirds cherry wood mix with one third Hickory or Oak, is a great blend for slow-cooking pork ribs.

So How Do You Make Cherry Wood Smoke Better?

Well, the main thing you need to do is to make sure that cherry wood doesn’t emit too much smoke. That’s because too much smoke makes it difficult for you to control how much of it gets imbued into your food.

Now, wood that has too much water in it, will bellow out too much smoke. So, it’s important that you only smoke meat with well-seasoned cherry wood.

Seasoned wood refers to wood that has been given time to dry out, (after its been freshly cut and logged). This process (called seasoning) takes roughly 6 to 12 months, depending on the local humidity/climate.

You can learn more about how to season Cherry wood, by checking out our post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)

How Can You Tell If Cherry Wood Is Seasoned Enough To Use In A Smoker? The best way to check is to burn a small test piece. If a lot of dark black smoke bellows out from just a small piece of wood, then it needs more seasoning.

To Sum Up, Here Are the 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…

  • 1). Cherry wood is great for smoking poultry, and fish.
  • 2). Cherry wood will infuse BBQ meat with a mild sweet tang.
  • 3). Cherry wood is mild enough to be mixed with strong intense smoking woods, such as Hickory and Mesquite.


Husbands, A. and Cranford, S., 2019. A material perspective of wood, smoke, and BBQ. Matter, 1(5), pp.1092-1095.