smoking with orange wood

Smoking With Orange Wood: Is Orange Wood Good For Meat?

If you’re anything like me, you take your grilling seriously and love experimenting with different flavors and techniques.

I always want to try out new things to make sure I’m exploring different flavors that my friends and family will enjoy.

I had seen a lot of people on bbq and meat forums recommending smoking with orange wood so I decided to try it out and see for myself.

So, in general, is orange wood good for smoking meat?

Yes, orange wood is a great choice for smoking meat. It produces a mild and sweet smoke flavor that complements a variety of meats, including poultry, pork, and fish. 

Orange wood is also a popular choice for smoking barbecue because it produces a nice, even burn and doesn’t overpower the meat with too much smoke.

In this blog post, I will share with you everything I know about smoking with orange wood so you can decide for yourself if it is the best smoking wood.

Let’s dive right in!

What is Orange Wood?

I have been grilling for years and I can honestly tell you that Orange wood is not the most common fruit woods.

When people are going for a mild, subtle flavor, they typically pick fruit woods like Apple, peach, or cherry.

However, if you want to try out a different fruit woods, then I would recommend going for orange wood.

 Orange wood is exactly what it sounds like – wood from an orange tree (…duh!). 

You probably have an orange tree in your backyard but have never thought about using it to smoke meat.

My neighbor had four orange trees in his backyard that he would always use for woodworking because this was not his number one wood choice for barbecue.

He thought that the only woods for cooking are hickory, apple, cherry, mesquite, and so on.

This changed when I invited him and his family over for a barbecue and smoked the meat with orange wood.

Orange wood has one of the most unique food flavors and I’ve used it on everything including pork, lamb, fish, ham, turkey, duck, beef, steaks, you name it!

I have found that this smoking wood will complement most types of foods.

That’s because it has a unique flavor that’s tangy, and citrusy all at once. It also has a bit of sweetness to it that you won’t find in other woods.

During my research, I discovered that Orange trees are not very common in many states.

They typically grow in states with warmer climates like California and Florida. Therefore, you might have a problem finding one for your next bbq.

The good news is that you can substitute with wood chips so you don’t miss out. Chips typically add a burst of flavor to the dish so orange chips should do the trick!

One thing to keep in mind is that Orange wood is a hardwood, and like most other hardwoods,  it burns hot and slow.

Softwoods, on the other hand, burn hot and fast which means you’ll have to keep a close watch on the fire so it doesn’t burn out.

One of the things I love most about this wood is the citrus aroma that it produces. As you grill, this scent will waft in the air attracting anyone that’s in the vicinity.

Mildness is a key feature of fruit woods like apple, cherry, and orange. All these woods impart a sweet and fruity flavor to the meat, without being overpowering.

This is in contrast to smoking bbq with hickory or oak.

Orange Wood Characteristics

smoking with orange wood

Now that you know what orange wood is, let’s talk about its characteristics. As I mentioned earlier, orange wood is a hardwood, which means it’s dense and heavy.

This density makes it perfect for smoking meats, as it burns hot and slow, providing a consistent source of heat for hours on end.

But that’s not all – orange wood has a unique aroma that’s sweet and fruity, with a subtle citrusy note.

One thing to note is that orange wood is on the milder side of the smoking wood spectrum.

If you’re looking for a wood that’s going to impart a strong, smoky flavor to your meat, you might want to try hickory, oak, or mesquite instead.

Cooking with Orange wood will spruce up whatever food you’re smoking.

Over the years, I have discovered that you can make bbq more interesting by experimenting with wood chips that are not up there in popularity.

This has made bbq at my house all the more interesting and exciting.

In all cases, I have done my due diligence to ensure that the products I am using are safe. That’s how I know to avoid cypress, eucalyptus, cedar, elm, and redwood.

These woods are softwoods that won’t last long in the fire and they give off a terrible taste.

Can You Use Orange Wood In A Smoker?

Yes, orange wood is a great option for smokers. As I mentioned earlier, it burns hot and slow, providing a consistent source of heat for hours on end.

This makes it perfect for smoking meats like brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs.

I have had no problems using orange wood in my smoker box.

However, that’s just my experience and I would like to hear about yours so email me: or leave a comment below.

Is Orange Wood The Mildest Smoking Wood?

When it comes to smoking meat, it’s important to find the right wood that will provide the right amount of smoke and flavor.

Some people prefer a stronger smoke flavor, while others prefer something more mild. I have family in Texas that absolutely loves a stronger smoke flavor and they’ll take nothing less.

So whenever they visit, I make sure to bbq with either hickory or mesquite. Fruit woods are not an option!

Orange wood is known for being one of the milder smoking woods out there.

But don’t let the word “mild” fool you. Orange wood still packs a punch in terms of flavor, and it can give your meats a unique and delicious taste.

Plus, because it’s not as strong as other woods, it’s a great option if you’re a pit newbie.

This is a versatile wood that can be used with a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, and fish.

Pros & Cons Of Smoking With Orange Wood


  • Mild flavor: Orange wood imparts a subtle, sweet, and citrusy flavor to the meat, which can complement the natural flavors of the meat without overpowering them.
  • High heat output: Orange wood burns hot and fast, making it an ideal choice for smoking meat that requires high temperatures.
  • Widely available: Orange wood is a common wood that can be easily found in many regions, making it a convenient choice for many grillers and smokers.
  • Versatile: Orange wood can be used for smoking a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, fish, and beef.


  • Not as strong flavor as other woods: While some people appreciate the subtle flavor of orange wood, others may find it too mild and prefer stronger flavors from other woods like hickory or mesquite.
  • May be difficult to find in some areas: While orange wood is widely available in many regions, it may be harder to find in others.
  • Produces more ash: Orange wood produces more ash than some other smoking woods, which can require more frequent cleaning of the smoker or grill.
  • Can be expensive: Depending on the region, orange wood may be more expensive than other types of smoking woods.


Best Meats to Smoke Using Orange Wood

When it comes to smoking meats, some cuts pair perfectly with orange wood while others may not be as complimentary. Here are some of the best meats to smoke using orange wood:

  • Pork: From pork shoulder to ribs, orange wood provides a sweet, tangy flavor that pairs well with pork. It’s also a popular choice for making bacon.
  • Chicken: Orange wood imparts a slightly sweet, smoky flavor to chicken, making it a popular choice for smoking chicken wings, drumsticks, and thighs.
  • Fish: Orange wood is a great choice for smoking fish, particularly oily fish like salmon, as it complements the natural flavors of the fish without overpowering it.
  • Beef: While it’s not the most traditional wood for smoking beef, some cuts like brisket and tri-tip can benefit from the subtle sweetness and mild flavor of orange wood.

Other meats include;

  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Ham

Keep in mind that the type of meat you’re smoking and the flavor profile you’re going for should always be taken into consideration when choosing smoking wood.

How To Use Orange Wood For Smoking

smoking with orange wood


When it comes to using orange wood for smoking, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your wood.

First, it’s important to make sure your wood is properly seasoned before using it.

This means allowing it to dry out for at least six months before use. You can tell if your wood is seasoned by looking for cracks or splits in the wood.

Next, you’ll want to soak your wood in water for at least 30 minutes before using it.

Soaking will help prevent it from burning too quickly and will also add some moisture to your smoker, which can help keep your meat juicy.

When it comes to using orange wood in your smoker, you have a few options. You can use whole wood chunks or wood pellets.

If you’re using wood chunks, you’ll want to add them to your smoker when it’s still cold, so they have a chance to start smoking before your meat is added.

If you’re using wood pellets, you’ll want to use a pellet smoker or a smoker with a pellet tray.

Finally, it’s important to pay attention to your smoker’s temperature and adjust it as needed.

You’ll also want to monitor your meat’s internal temperature to ensure it’s cooked to your liking.

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to use orange wood to smoke all kinds of delicious meats.

Can You Mix Orange Wood With Other Smoking Woods?

Absolutely! In fact, many experienced pitmasters love experimenting with different wood combinations to achieve the perfect hybrid. Orange wood can be a great addition to any smoking wood blend, especially when paired with other mild woods like apple, cherry, or pecan.

These combinations can help enhance the natural sweetness of the meat while adding a subtle hint of citrusy aroma.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that some woods can overpower the delicate flavor of orange wood, such as mesquite or hickory.

So, it’s best to use orange wood in moderation when mixing with other woods.

A good rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 2 parts mild woods to 1 part stronger woods, or even less if the stronger wood has a dominant flavor.

One fun experiment to try is to mix different wood pellet flavors, including orange wood pellets, in a pellet smoker to create a unique blend of smoky flavors.

Just be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the different types of pellets are compatible with your pellet smoker.

Ultimately, the key to becoming a pit master is to experiment and find what works best for your taste preferences.

So, don’t be afraid to mix and match different woods until you find the perfect combination for your next barbecue masterpiece!

What Can You Do To Make Orange Wood Burn Clean And Smoke Better?

When it comes to smoking with orange wood, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best flavor possible.

One of the biggest concerns when smoking with wood is making sure it burns clean and produces flavorful smoke.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your orange wood:

  1. Soak the wood: Soaking your orange wood chunks or pellets in water for at least 30 minutes before smoking can help produce more flavorful smoke and prevent the wood from burning too quickly. You can also soak the wood in beer, wine, or other liquids to add even more flavor.
  2. Use a smoker box: If you’re using a gas grill, using a smoker box can help contain the wood and prevent it from burning too quickly. Simply place the wood in the box and place the box on the grill grates.
  3. Control the temperature: Make sure your grill or smoker is at the right temperature for smoking, typically between 200-250°F. This will help the wood burn slowly and produce more flavorful smoke.
  4. Use quality wood: Make sure you’re using high-quality orange wood that’s been properly cured and stored. Freshly cut wood can produce bitter smoke and ruin the flavor of your food.
  5. Experiment with different woods: While orange wood can add a great flavor to your food, it can also be fun to mix it with other woods like hickory, mesquite, or applewood to create unique flavor combinations. Just make sure to experiment with different ratios to find what works best for your tastes.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your orange wood is burning clean and producing delicious smoke for your smoked meats and other dishes.

Final Thoughts

Overall, smoking with orange wood is a great way to add a unique and delicious flavor to your foods.

Orange wood offers a mild, slightly sweet, and fruity aroma that pairs well with various types of meat, from chicken to pork to fish.

It’s a versatile smoking wood that can be used on its own or mixed with other smoking woods for even more flavor complexity.

However, as with any type of smoking wood, there are pros and cons to using orange wood.

On the plus side, it burns clean and produces a sweet, mild smoke that won’t overpower the natural flavor of your meat.

It’s also readily available in both pellet and chunk form.

On the downside, it can be expensive compared to other types of smoking woods, and it may not be as widely available in some areas.

But if you’re a grilling enthusiast looking to up your smoking game, give orange wood a try. With its unique flavor profile and versatility, it’s sure to become a favorite in your smoking arsenal.

Just remember to follow the proper smoking method and experiment with different meats and wood combinations to find your perfect flavor.

Happy smoking!

Expand your smoking repertoire with our article on Smoking With Pear Wood.



As a passionate enthusiast of smoking, grilling, and BBQ, Mark has dedicated his life to perfecting the art of outdoor cooking. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has honed his expertise and authority on all things related to meat smoking, grilling, and BBQ. From mastering the perfect cut of meat to choosing the right wood for the smoker, Mark has the knowledge and experience to help you become a pro at outdoor cooking.

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