Updated On 21st April 2023
Whenever I’m planning a bbq, I’m thinking of the different types of wood I can use.
One of the woods that I’ve always been curious about is cherry…black cherry to be exact.
That’s because some people use it as their signature and it seems to work out well for them.
So, is black cherry a good wood for smoking?
Black cherry wood is an excellent choice for smoking meats. It imparts a sweet and fruity flavor to meats without overpowering them, making it a popular choice among grilling enthusiasts. Additionally, black cherry wood burns consistently and produces a moderate amount of smoke, making it ideal for smoking a variety of meats.
Most of the people I’ve come across in smoking and bbq forums complain of bland, uninspired smoked meats.
That’s because they use the same type of wood over and over again rather than being creative by experimenting with different types of wood.
Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Wood is wood, right?”
Wrong! The type of wood you use can greatly impact the flavor and aroma of your smoked meats.
That’s where black cherry wood comes in.
I have used black cherry a couple of times and I found that it imparts a deliciously sweet and fruity flavor to meats, without overpowering them.
In this article, we will delve deeper into why black cherry wood, and cherry wood in general, is good for smoking meat.
What Is Black Cherry Wood Used For?
Black cherry tree has been used for centuries for a variety of purposes.
In my research, I discovered that this tree was once used by Native Americans to make tea for medicinal purposes.
It was also used for firewood and lumber (It’s still being used for these purposes).
The European settlers in North America also used it to make furniture and cabinets due to its durability and beautiful color.
But as a grilling enthusiast, you’re probably most interested in its use for smoking meats.
Well, black cherry wood is a popular choice among pitmasters because it imparts a unique sweet and fruity flavor to meats that pairs well with a variety of flavors.
It’s especially delicious when used to smoke pork and beef, but can also be used with poultry and fish.
Is Black Cherry Wood Good For Smoking?
As I mentioned earlier, black cherry wood is a great choice for smoking meats. But you might be wondering why that is.
Well, first and foremost, black cherry wood produces a sweet and fruity flavor that’s not too overpowering.
This makes it a versatile wood that can be used to smoke a variety of meats, from pork to chicken to beef.
Another great thing about black cherry wood is that it burns consistently and produces a moderate amount of smoke.
This means you’ll get a nice even smoke flavor throughout your meat without it being too overwhelming.
And let’s not forget about the beautiful color that black cherry wood can give your meats. The reddish hue that it produces can make your smoked meats look as good as they taste.
So overall, yes, black cherry wood is definitely a good choice for smoking meats. It produces a unique flavor, burns consistently, and can give your meats a beautiful color.
Just be sure to properly prepare the wood beforehand and you’ll be smoking like a pro in no time.
How To Prepare Cherry Wood For Smoking
Now that we’ve established that black cherry wood is a great choice for smoking, let’s talk about how to properly prepare it for use.
The first step is to make sure your wood is dry. If you’re using fresh wood, you’ll need to let it dry out for a few weeks. Otherwise, you can use kiln-dried wood or buy pre-packaged wood that’s ready to go.
Once your wood is dry, you’ll want to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes before using it. This will help the wood to smoke and produce a more consistent flavor.
One time I forgot to soak my cherry wood before smoking a brisket.
Let’s just say it ended up being a little too smoky and didn’t have the best flavor. Lesson learned: always remember to soak your wood!
Another important tip is to make sure your wood is the right size for your smoker. If your wood is too large, it won’t burn properly and can produce too much smoke.
On the other hand, if it’s too small, it’ll burn up too quickly and won’t give your meat enough flavor.
Should I Soak Cherry Wood For Smoking?
When it comes to smoking with cherry wood, one question that often comes up is whether or not you should soak the wood before using it.
Some people swear by soaking their wood chips or chunks in water or other liquids, while others argue that it’s unnecessary and can actually have a negative impact on the smoke flavor.
One common belief is that soaking wood can help prevent it from burning too quickly and producing too much smoke, which can lead to bitter flavors in the meat.
However, others argue that soaking the wood can actually create steam, which can dilute the smoke flavor and make it less intense.
So, what’s the right answer? Well, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and experimentation.
Some people find that soaking their cherry wood produces great results, while others prefer to use dry wood.
If you do choose to soak your cherry wood, make sure to do so for no more than 30 minutes and use a liquid that complements the flavors you’re going for in your meat.
For example, you might consider soaking your wood in apple juice or beer for a fruity or malty flavor.
At the end of the day, the best way to figure out what works for you is to try different methods and see what you like best.
Whether you soak your cherry wood or not, the key is to use high-quality wood and pay attention to the smoke to ensure that you’re getting the best possible flavor in your smoked meat.
What Is The Advantage Of A Cherry Wood Smoke?
There are so many reasons why people choose to use cherry wood when smoking meats. For one, the flavor is simply incredible.
Cherry wood has a mild and sweet flavor that complements just about any type of meat you can think of.
But it’s not just about the flavor – cherry wood also has some unique benefits that make it a great choice for smoking.
For example, cherry wood produces a consistent heat, which is important when smoking meats for long periods of time.
This allows the meat to cook evenly and results in a delicious, juicy end product.
Cherry wood is also a relatively dense hardwood, which means that it burns slower and produces less smoke than other types of wood.
This is great for smoking meats that require longer cook times, as it prevents the meat from becoming over-smoked and bitter.
And let’s not forget about the beautiful color that cherry wood smoke imparts on meats.
Cherry wood smoke gives meats a gorgeous reddish-brown hue that’s sure to impress your guests at your next barbecue.
What Meat Can You Cook With Cherry Wood?
When it comes to smoking meat with cherry wood, the possibilities are endless.
I use it to grill Pork, beef, chicken, and fish because it adds a unique smoky flavor.
One of my personal favorites is cherry wood smoked ribs.
The sweetness of the wood complements the natural savory flavor of the meat perfectly, creating a mouth-watering combination that is sure to impress any guest.
Another favorite of mine is cherry wood smoked salmon.
The delicate flavor of the fish pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the wood smoke, creating a complex and delicious dish.
If you prefer poultry, cherry wood-smoked chicken is a must-try.
The wood’s unique flavor profile adds an extra dimension of taste to the already delicious meat, creating a dish that is both flavorful and tender.
Is Cherry Wood Good For Cooking Chicken?
In my opinion, Cherry wood smoke can enhance the flavor of chicken in a way that no other wood can.
The subtle sweetness of cherry wood smoke complements the mild flavor of chicken, creating a dish that is both delicious and satisfying.
In fact, cherry wood smoked chicken is one of my favorite dishes to make for a backyard barbecue.
The sweet and smoky flavor pairs perfectly with a cold beer and some grilled vegetables.
One of the great things about smoking chicken with cherry wood is that it’s versatile.
You can use it to smoke whole chickens, chicken breasts, or even wings.
The key is to make sure that you monitor the temperature and cook the chicken to the appropriate internal temperature to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
If you’re new to smoking chicken with cherry wood, don’t be intimidated.
It’s a simple and rewarding process that is sure to impress your guests.
Just make sure that you use high-quality cherry wood and take the time to properly prepare and season the chicken.
Mixing Cherry And Apple Wood For Bbq
Mixing different types of wood when smoking meat is a popular technique among pitmasters and barbecue enthusiasts.
It allows you to experiment with different flavor combinations and achieve a unique taste that can’t be achieved with a single type of wood.
When it comes to mixing cherry and apple wood, the results can be truly delicious.
Apple wood provides a mild, fruity flavor that complements the subtle sweetness of cherry wood smoke.
Together, they create a well-balanced flavor profile that is perfect for smoking a variety of meats.
One of the most popular combinations is cherry wood and apple wood smoked ribs.
The sweetness of the cherry wood complements the fruity flavor of the apple wood, creating a delicious and complex taste.
This combination is also great for smoking pork loin, brisket, and even chicken.
When using a mix of cherry and apple wood, it’s important to find the right balance.
Too much apple wood can overpower the subtle sweetness of cherry wood smoke, while too much cherry wood can make the flavor too sweet.
Experiment with different ratios to find the perfect combination for your taste.
Can You Smoke Meat With Wild Black Cherry Wood?
When it comes to smoking meat with cherry wood, some people may wonder if they can use wild black cherry wood.
Wild cherry trees, also known as black cherry trees, are common in North America, and their wood can be used for smoking.
However, there are a few things to consider before using wild black cherry wood for smoking.
Firstly, it’s important to make sure that the wood is properly seasoned and dried before using it for smoking.
Freshly cut wood will contain too much moisture, which can lead to an uneven burn and a bitter taste.
Ideally, the wood should be left to dry for at least six months before being used for smoking.
Secondly, it’s important to note that wild black cherry wood may have a stronger and more distinct flavor than commercially available cherry wood.
This can be both a positive and a negative, depending on personal preference.
Some people may love the bold and unique flavor of wild cherry wood smoke, while others may find it overpowering.
Lastly, it’s important to ensure that the wood is sourced sustainably and legally.
Cutting down wild cherry trees without permission or in protected areas can be damaging to the environment and may also result in legal consequences.
Overall, wild black cherry wood can be used for smoking meat, but it’s important to properly season and dry the wood, be aware of its potentially stronger flavor, and ensure that it is sourced sustainably and legally.
Are There Downsides To Using Cherry Wood?
While cherry wood is an excellent option for smoking meat, it’s important to note that there are a few downsides to using this wood.
One potential issue is that cherry wood can be difficult to find, particularly if you live in a region where it’s not readily available.
If you’re unable to find cherry wood at your local hardware or home improvement store, you may need to order it online or find a specialty wood supplier.
Another potential downside to using cherry wood is that it can be a bit more expensive than other types of smoking wood.
This is because cherry wood is not as readily available as other woods, and it takes a bit more effort to harvest and prepare it for use.
However, many people find that the unique flavor and aroma of cherry wood smoke are well worth the extra cost.
Finally, it’s worth noting that cherry wood can be a bit more difficult to control than other types of smoking wood.
This is because cherry wood burns at a slightly higher temperature than other woods, which can make it more challenging to maintain a consistent temperature inside your smoker.
If you’re new to smoking meat, you may want to start with a more forgiving wood like hickory or oak before moving on to cherry wood.
And there you have it, folks! I’ve covered everything you need to know about smoking meat with black cherry wood.
From the types of meat that pair well with cherry wood smoke to the advantages of using cherry wood in your smoker, we’ve covered it all.
If you’re a fan of sweet and savory flavors, then black cherry wood smoke is definitely something you need to try.
The subtle sweetness of the wood complements a wide range of meats, from beef and pork to chicken and fish.
And if you want to take things to the next level, try mixing cherry wood with apple wood for a complex and delicious flavor profile.
Of course, like any smoking wood, there are some downsides to using cherry wood.
It can be a bit difficult to find in certain areas, and some people may not enjoy the sweetness of the smoke.
But overall, cherry wood is a fantastic option for anyone looking to add some flavor to their smoked meats.
So go ahead, fire up that smoker and give cherry wood a try.
Your taste buds will thank you!