What’s the Best Wood for Smoking Cheese? Our Thoughts and Advice

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If you own a smoker, you know all the amazing cooking options you have available to you from brisket, to other kinds of meat, to peppers, and even to cheese. Smoking cheese has become extremely popular for the backyard pit master in recent years.

Having good wood is crucial to really put flavor into your cheese while you’re smoking it. The type of cheese you choose will affect the kind of wood you buy. Oak wood for example does a great job of complementing the flavors that are in Cheddar, Gouda, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack.

Other common wood types popular for smoking cheese are apple, cherry, pecan, and hickory. We will go over all the flavor options below, as well as some great brands to choose from when you are ready to start smoking cheese.

If you’re unsure about how to actually flavor your cheese, be sure to check out our guide on how to cold smoke cheese after you read this!

Oak

Oak is one of the most common wood choices for smoking cheese because it flatters so many different kinds and types of cheese. When in doubt, oak is a good place to start if you are new to using wood to smoke cheese.

Keep in mind that oak burns for a long time and can reach higher temperatures than other kinds of wood. If you smoke the cheese for too long, it will begin to melt and not stay intact.

Western Oak Cooking Chunks

This wood by Western Oak provides a distinctive but not overpowering oak flavor. The mini logs are between 6-8 inches long and are better for cooking and smoking for longer periods of time. They will give your cheese a mellow smoke flavor.

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DiamondKingSmoker Post Oak Smoking Wood Chunks

This is another great oak option to give your cheese an extra smokey flavor. They do not need to be pre-soaked and soaking them could alter the flavor significantly. Each bag comes with 14 pounds of wood chunks.

The chunks are stored indoors and specially harvested to preserve moisture and the cleanliness of the wood. They will add an amazing smokey flavor to your cheese as well as meats and vegetables.

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DiamondKingSmoker White Oak Smoking Wood Chunks

Another amazing option by Diamond King, this a white oak variety of wood chunks. They have offered 10 times more flavor than traditional dried oak wood. They also do not need to be pre-soaked, so they are ready to use as soon as you receive them.

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Apple

Apple is one of the mildest flavors of wood you can purchase. It keeps more of the natural flavor of the cheese and also sweetens it. It will also add a smoky flavor that is more delicate than what oak adds. The apple flavor will never overwhelm the natural cheese flavor.

Cooking with Apple wood is easier than smoking with other wood flavors, so it is great for beginners. Apple wood does not get to extremely high temperatures.

DiamondKingSmoker Apple Smoking Wood Chunks

This apple wood by Diamond King offers a mild flavor that will add richness to any kind of cheese. The bag comes with 14 pounds of wood chunks that do not need to be pre-soaked. They are great for preserving moisture and will add a smoky sweet flavor to your cheese or whatever else you’re grilling.

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Western Apple BBQ Cooking Chunks

This apple wood will provide a mild yet delicate smoke with a small hint of sweetness. It adds a distinctive flavor that is great for many kinds of cheese as well as pork, fish, and light meat birds. It is a very versatile choice that can be used for dozens of barbecue dishes.

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Cherry

The cheese will absorb many flavors from cherry wood which makes it a unique choice for adding in a sweet, heavy, and heady aroma. It will provide a variety of flavor profiles to your cheese. The flavor is still pretty mild, so it won’t take away from the natural flavor of the cheese.

Western Cherry BBQ Cooking Chunks

This cherry BBQ wood will a delicate hint of sweet cherry flavor into any cheese type. The flavor has a little bit of a punch and adds a mild and fruity smoke flavor to not only cheese, but seafood, chicken, and steaks as well. It is also a great wood for mixing with other flavors and creating your very own custom flavors for your cheese.

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Pecan

Pecan adds a stronger and more robust flavor to cheese than many other wood options. Pecan wood is also great for mixing different varieties of wood if you want to experiment and try to create your own custom flavor.

For hard cheeses, pecan wood will give it a mild to medium intensity of flavor. It will also be nutty and savory. While assertive, the flavor from pecan wood will also be delicate enough to balance with the natural flavor of the cheese that you are smoking.

DiamondKingSmoker Pecan Smoking Wood Chunks

These pecan wood chunks do not have to be pre-soaked and come in a 14-pound bag. They are specifically made to preserve moisture and offer more flavor than regular dried wood. They are harvested and stored indoors and will provide a delightful smoky flavor to the cheese. They are also a great choice for smoking white meats.

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Western Pecan BBQ Smoking Chips

These pecan BBQ smoking chips will provide a tangy and sweet flavor to your cheese. The flavor will also be bold and complement any type of cheese. The chips are also great for poultry, pork, and beef.

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Hickory

If you are using a block of cheese with a very strong natural flavor or using hard cheeses, hickory is a perfect choice. The flavor will end up tasting like bacon and it is intense and robust. Some people even make grilled cheese sandwiches with hickory wood.

Hickory wood is paired with cheeses like cheddar and stilton. It will help mellow the cheese’s natural flavors and mask some of the more pungent aromas. Start cooking with low amounts of heat and gradually increase until you have higher heat.

Hickory wood can be tough to get right the first few times, so be patient. Also, try cooking with other woods before using hickory.

DiamondKingSmoker Hickory Smoking Wood Chunks

This hickory wood will add a delightful smoky flavor to cheese and other kinds of food grilling. These wood chunks do not need to be pre-soaked as they are harvested and stored indoors. In fact, soaking the wood chunks can take away some of the flavors.

The wood chunks are made to naturally preserve moisture and are much more flavorful than kiln-dried wood.

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Peach

Peach wood gives a very unique flavor that other kinds of woods simply do not provide. Peach flavor wood can bring a flavor that is very sweet, mild, and floral. This makes an ideal choice for cheese that is already mild and needs a special flavor added to it. The peach wood will naturally add a light red coating to any cheese that you smoke which makes it look fancier for entertaining and feeding guests.

DiamondKingSmoker Peach Smoking Wood Chunks

Like the other wood chunks by Diamond King, these do not need to be pre-soaked. They are ten times more flavorful than kiln-dried wood and will give your cheese a sweet and smoky flavor. They are made to keep the wood clean and the moisture locked in.

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Final Thoughts

There are several different flavors of wood, and each provides something unique to cheese while you are smoking it. Oak and Apple are the most popular kinds and are the easiest to pair cheese with.

It’s also worth noting here that we are suggesting wood chunks, which are fit for use for most types of smokers.  However, if you have a pellet grill, for example, you’ll need to get the above flavors in wood pellet form instead of chunks.  Learn the difference between “regular” wood and wood pellets right here.