Preffered Smokewood For Brisket ?


Corey S

Hey All, I have a question
I am getting prepaired to start my Smokeday Brisket here in a few hours!
Most threads I have read re: Cooking Briskets, recommend Hickory for the smokewood
Around my home (3 females, and Myself) the girls all complain if smoke flavor is prominent.
So in the past I have stayed with mild smokewoods like cherry or apple, for the 2 or 3 brisket flats I have done, and I have been pleased with my finished briskets using those woods!.. This time I got a 10.5 lb packer cut
So here are my questions:

Is a brisket smoked with hickory considerably better than one done with milder smokewoods?

Am I substantially comprimising the potential flavor quality of my briskets by using mild smokewoods (Just to keep my girls happy)?

Just looking for a little guidence from those who may have tried it both ways!

I currently do not have any hickory, but I could run to HD a get some real quick, and grab even more K on sale while I am there
The wood doesn't make the meat any better or worse. It is all about the tastes of the people who are going to eat the meat. Fruit wood is fine, although for a large piece of meat like brisket, my preference is a bolder wood like hickory, pecan, or even a piece of mesquite mixed with another wood. It's all about the level of smoke taste you are looking for and the flavor you like. I don't know if I'd make a special trip for the hickory, but if you want to, try half and half, hickory and apple or cherry. If you get complaints that the meat is too smoky, you'll know better for next time. That would also mean more meat for you.
I've done briskets separately with hickory, apple and pecan. I definitely prefer the pecan. Not sure where you live in Arizona, but pecan wood is pretty easy to get for free. I'm in Chandler and there are a few small pecan groves within a couple miles of me. Just knocked on a door one day and asked if I could take some of the branches that had fallen. The guy was cool and said to take all that I wanted.
Mesquite is the best wood for beef, a couple of fist size chunks is all the smoke wood you need for a brisket. A lot of people give mesquite a bad rap, but its not the wood its the cook using to much wood, most cooks think just cause there is no smoke coming out from the exhaust it needs more wood, how wrong they are.
Thanks for the input Ethan,

I am about 2 miles from the Colorado River, in Ft Mohave, just South of Bullhead City, Which is, right across the river from Laughlin NV.

That is good to know. I have wanted to try pecan for sometime. From where I am at over here, your Pecan orchard near Chandler, might just be the closest one to me also!.. (200 + miles) Not a lot of fruit trees going on over here in the Lower Colorado River Valley. Just cactus, rocks, scrub brush, and lizards!

I have decided for this cook, I will just stick with trusty old apple, (i was going to mix with some cherry, but just discovered I am out of cherry) I also have some plum, and some appricott. But I have mostly apple, so I will just stick with it for now!...

I need to get some pecan, I bet that is good!
May Fav wood for Brisky, is wine/oak staves, that Steven Raichlen sells. Makes for a very tasty brisket. I also like to use Pecan wood too. Very good stuff. Let us know, how your brisket turns out, and with pics too, of course
Hi Corey,

The best wood to use is whatever your family likes!
If you want to try pecan or even get a variety pack as it were, check out Their prices are good, shipping is free and you'll have your wood in 2 days or less.
I just got some apple and cherry myself which I'm going to use with sugar maple lump.
Thanks for all your input guys!

Sounds like the concenses is: What you have, What you like, and in moderation with certain species..

I was going to do an apple cherry combo, but discovered I was out of cherry, so apple it is, I did two chunks burried, and three on top.. The packer went on at 9:30 pm on smokeday Eve!... it is now 7:00 am here in AZ, been up about 1/2 hour, and all is good!... cooker temp only dropped about 10 or 15 degrees overnight. I have not even peeked yet!