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Apple versus Hickory wood for smoking bacon


Joined Nov 28, 2012
I finished my second attempt at bacon. My first attempt was awesome, using Pops brine and apple wood for smoke. Bacon didnt even last 2 days. Second run was using my new built smoker using hickory. Good taste but a little to smoky for my taste. Both batches smoked at 135 for 3 hours and temp upped to hit 145 internal. I have 10 pounds of first attempt at Canadian bacon in brine. The question is why is the hickory so strong? To much smoke. Heres a pic of bacon in smoker.



Thread starter
Joined Nov 28, 2012
I use hickory for everything else. This is the first time I used apple. Had to cut some of mine down so thought I would put to good use. That was a good idea. But everything else I smoke I use hickory. Even salmon. Hmmm I guess I will just use apple. Thanks for the response junkcollector.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Oct 14, 2012
your welcome man. I like hickory a lot personally. however, on beef, i prefer mesquite (even heavier than hickory). not done a lot with apple. spent too many years enjoying the smell of hickory when cutting firewood. it just goes well on most everything i eat.

so ms smoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Dec 20, 2010
  It's all a personal preference. I like pecan for most pork products.  You said the first time you used apple and really liked it. I'm thinking you just like a milder smoke flavor for sausage.  Try different fruit woods and see what your preference is.


chef jimmyj

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined May 12, 2011
I love Hickory but it is too strong for my family. I use Todd's AMNPS with Pitmasters Choice, Hickory, Maple and Cherry blend and get the best of all three. Mike suggested Pecan. It is similar to Hickory but milder...JJ


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Sep 3, 2011
As Chef JimmyJ suggested, you can mix the woods.  You could cut the hickory with something fairly neutral like oak or maple.  This would still give the same basic hickory flavor, just not as much.

If cold smoking, you could cut down on smoke time.

If hot smoking I would use a mixture or Hickory for part, then a milder wood.

dan - firecraft

Smoke Blower
Joined Sep 18, 2013
Agree 100% with comments above. Apple is going to a lighter wood than hickory. It is all going to come down to personal taste.

I like lighter smoke on bacon (mostly apple).


Thread starter
Joined Nov 28, 2012
Wow, great response. I will use hickory and apple when I do the Canadian bacon tomorrow. I still think I will use just apple for my bacon. I will still do hickory for everything else. Maybe my morning senses are just a little sensitive. Could be a good thing for the wife tho...thanks all.



RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 4, 2013
One of the Guru's here told me I should try corncob. I mentioned it to my Pop and he said they use either white oak or corn cob as a kid when smoking. I used the corn cob and just loved the color. I have always like pecan, trees in the back yard. I am trying some new smokes now, and expanding my horizons. Corn Cob is sweet. Be forewarned though, it does burn fast. Different smokes burn at different speeds due to the woods density.
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Joined Oct 3, 2013
I have belly 7 days in Pops brine and was wanting to use corn cobb but sadly it is backordered. No matter, apple and hickory will have to do.

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