Top 5 Best Woods For Smoking Fish (2021 Review)

When you’re smoking fish you want to use the right wood or you’ll ruin it. 

My guess is you want to avoid that and that’s why you’re here!

In this guide, you’ll learn: 

  • Different types of woods to use for the best flavor 
  • Our reviews of the best wood for smoking fish?
  • And much more!
Best Wood For Smoking Fish

Below is a quick list of all our top recommendations. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose the best wood for smoking your next fish!

ImageProduct
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Western Premium BBQ Chips - Hickory
  • Pre-Treated With HEAT
  • Provides a Bold Hickory Flavor - Bacon-y and Nutty
  • Quality, Reliable Wood Chips
  • Pre-Treated With HEAT
  • Provides a Bold Hickory Flavor - Bacon-y and Nutty
  • Quality, Reliable Wood Chips
View on Amazon
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Western Premium BBQ Chips - Pecan
  • Western Premium Products Are Top Notch
  • More Mild Taste That Hickory
  • Great Value For Wood Chips
  • Western Premium Products Are Top Notch
  • More Mild Taste That Hickory
  • Great Value For Wood Chips
View on Amazon
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Oklahoma Joe's Cherry Wood Smoker Chips
  • Sweet Cherry Flavor For Blast Of Flavor
  • All-Natural Timber
  • 2 Pound Bag; Great For Trying It Out
  • Sweet Cherry Flavor For Blast Of Flavor
  • All-Natural Timber
  • 2 Pound Bag; Great For Trying It Out
View on Amazon

Table of Contents

Fish is one of those flavors you don’t want to overpower with smoke so finding the right wood for the job is essential for the sake of your fish. Mild woods are often the top choice for smoking fish, with some favorites being woods with a slightly fruity flavor.

Read More: Best Wood For Smoking Brisket (2021 Review)

Our Top 5 Woods for Smoking Fish

  1. Alder
  2. Maple
  3. Whiskey Barrel Chips
  4. Pecan
  5. Apple
Top Wood For Smoking Fish Facts

What Are the Different Types of Woods for Smoking Fish?

Wood for smoking fish comes in several forms. What you need to smoke fish depends on your grill or smoker setup and how much you’re planning to smoke.

Wood Pellets

  • Pellets are small, compressed pieces of wood and sawdust. These are used in pellet grills and small smokers.

Wood Chips

  • Wood chips are typically 1-2 inches in diameter and consist of irregularly shaped chips of wood. These can be used in small and large smokers, as well as grills.

Wood Chunks

  • Wood chunks are larger than wood chips and burn longer. Average size for wood chunks is roughly fist size. They are used in larger smokers and grills and for bigger cuts of meat.

Wood Logs

  • Logs are just as the name suggests, small logs of wood for smoking. They are used in large grills and smokers

Read More: 3 Top Woods For Smoking Ribs

What Do You Look for in the Best Wood for Smoking Fish?

When it comes to the type of wood you need to smoke fish, that depends entirely on your grill or smoker setup.

When it comes to flavor though, alder takes the cake. Alder wood is not overwhelming so it won’t cover the taste of the fish.

You’ll enjoy a nice smoked fish filet that doesn’t taste bitter.

Maple is another popular choice for smoking fish that offers a slightly sweet, smoky flavor to your filet!

Milder sweet woods, such as pecan and apple are also good choices if you prefer a fruity flavor to your fish.

Whiskey barrel chips, which are typically made of oak, are another good option for fish. You’ll get a unique flavor that only authentic whiskey barrels can give.

However, alder is the best wood for smoking fish overall.

Read More: 3 Top Woods For Smoking Pulled Pork (2021 Review)

Best Woods for Smoking Fish Reviewed

Cameron’s Alder Wood Chips

Cameron’s products are made from all-natural hard wood and kiln dried.

These chips ignite quickly and do not create an overly pungent smoke when used.

You may end up with some bark on the chips, which smoker enthusiasts know is unwanted in their wood chip package.

  • Pros: All-natural wood, kiln dried, ignite quickly, not overly pungent
  • Cons: May get package with bark on the chips

You can find them here.

Smoak Wood Chunks- Maple

Smoak wood chunks are all-natural hardwood and certified pest free.

The wood is sourced in the US and chemical free. The fist sized chunks are also kiln dried before packaging.

These can be a bit expensive so if you are looking for budget woods, Smoak may not be for you.

  • Pros: Sourced in US, chemical free, fist sized chunks, kiln dried, pest free
  • Cons: Expensive compared to similar products

You can find them here.

Jack Daniel’s BBQ Smoking Chips

Jack Daniels makes more than just whiskey. They also make whiskey barrel wood chips for smokers!

They are made from authentic Jack Daniels barrels so you will get the unique whiskey barrel taste only they can provide.

These chips give a great flavor that pairs nicely with fish and they burn well.

The noted size of the bag can be misleading as you may sometimes get much less in the bag than is listed.

  • Pros: Authentic Jack Daniels whiskey barrels, great taste, burn well
  • Cons: Less in bag than advertised

You can find them here.

Western Pecan BBQ Smoking Chips- Pecan

Enjoy wood chips with no added fillers and no binding agents when using Western products.

You can expect high quality wood chips since these are kiln dried to prevent pests, mold, and rot.

Sizes may vary in the chips, from much smaller than the average wood chip to larger chunks you may have to cut.

Western pecan smoking chips are a great way to add a sweet touch to your fish without over doing it.

  • Pros: No fillers, kiln dried to prevent pests and rot
  • Cons: Inconsistent chip size, may end up with larger chunks

You can find them here.

Weber Apple Wood Chunks

Weber apple wood chunks are untreated, so you will not get any chemicals or unwanted oils with your wood chunks.

Size can be inconsistent with Weber wood chunks, leaving you with more chips or large chunks than desirable.

However, they are sourced in the US and burn well despite size discrepancies in the pieces!

  • Pros: Sourced in US, untreated, burn well
  • Cons: Inconsistent sizes (large chunks, small chips in bags of wood chunks)

You can find them here.

Read More: How To Put Out Your Charcoal Grill (3 Quick Steps)

Final Thoughts on Best Woods for Smoking Fish

Fish has a delicate taste that can be overpowered with strong flavors and smoke.

When it comes to the best wood for smoking fish, alder is it. Alder gives a slight smokey flavor that does not overtake the natural flavor of the fish.

Milder sweet woods, such as pecan and apple pair nicely with fish as well.

If you’re looking for something new to try, whiskey barrel chips will leave your fish with a flavor unlike any you’ve tried before.

Grab your wood chunks and put smoked fish on the menu!

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Shawn Hill

Shawn Hill

Hey, I'm Shawn and I run this site. With a wife and 7 kids, I get most of my grilling practice from feeding my own family. I'm here to help you learn more about grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ! With almost a decade of manning the grill and helping over 25,000 aspiring grill masters, you're in great hands! I've tried just about every type of grill, accessory, and gadget you can imagine. Because of that, I am here to help guide you to the best of the best and help you save time and money by avoiding the junk.

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