Best Wood For Smoking Pork Loin (Complete Guide!)

Are you looking for the perfect wood to provide smoky deliciousness to your pork loin?

Whether you’re a novice smoker or a BBQ pitmaster, selecting the best wood for smoking pork loin is essential in creating mouthwatering meals.

When picking the best wood for smoking pork, loin, cherry, and Hickory are two of the most popular choices.

Both cherry and Hickory provide a smoky flavor that compliments pork loin very well, although cherry is about half as intense as Hickory.

While cherry has a mellow sweetness and is ideal for slow cooking, Hickory has a more robust and low-smoke flavor.  

Today we’ll look at these and other types of wood suitable for smoking pork loin, along with their aromatic characteristics and food pairings. Let’s get started!

What Type Of Wood Is Best For Smoking Pork Loin And Why?

Smoking Pork Loin

Regarding smoking pork loin, cherry wood and hickory wood have earned a reputation as the two most popular options for achieving that delicious smoky flavor.

Cherry wood brings a subtle sweetness to your pork, while Hickory adds an intense smoke flavor.

Depending on the results you’re hoping to achieve, cherry or Hickory could be the best choice for smoking your pork loin.

However, if you want to experiment with other flavors of smoked meat, oak or pecan woods may also provide a delicious twist!

Also Read: When To Wrap Pork Butt – Here’s What You Need to Know

The Different Types Of Smoke Produced By Various kinds of wood

1- Hickory 

Hickory is a hardwood that is indigenous to the eastern United States.

Hickory wood has a distinct flavor often used to smoke pork. The wood produces a lot of smoke, so it is essential to use it sparingly.

2- Maple 

Maple is a type of hardwood that is native to the northeastern United States and Canada.

Maple wood has a sweet, subtle flavor that goes well with pork. The wood produces a moderate amount of smoke.

3- Oak 

The hardwood oak is endemic to the eastern United States and Europe.

Oak wood has a strong, robust flavor that can be used to smoke pork. The wood produces a moderate amount of smoke.

4- Cherry 

Cherry is a hardwood that grows in the eastern United States and Canada.

Cherry wood has a sweet, fruity flavor that goes well with pork. The wood produces a moderate amount of smoke.

5- Apple 

Apple is a hardwood that grows in the eastern United States and Canada.

Applewood has a sweet, fruity flavor that goes well with pork. The wood produces a moderate amount of smoke.

How To Prepare The Pork Loin For Smoking?

1- Choose The Right Pork Loin.

When selecting a pork loin, seek one that is well-marbled with fat. This would help to keep the meat juicy and tasty. 

You should also check that the pork loin is neither too thick nor too thin.

If it is too thick, it will take longer to smoke and may not cook evenly. If it is too thin, it may dry out during smoking.

2- Trim The Fat.

Once you have chosen the right pork loin, you must trim the fat.

You want to remove any large pieces of fat, as they will not render during smoking and will only make the meat greasy.

However, you do want to leave some grease on the heart, as this will help to keep it moist during smoking.

3- Season The Pork Loin.

After trimming the fat, you will need to season the pork loin.

You can use any seasoning you like, but we recommend using a rub containing salt, pepper, and other spices.

Rub the seasoning all over the pork loin, covering all sides evenly.

4- Smoke The Pork Loin.

Once you have seasoned the pork loin, you will need to smoke it.

We recommend smoking the beef for about 2 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit

5- Rest And Slice The Pork Loin.

Allow at least 10 minutes for the pork loin to rest after smoking before slicing it.

This allows the liquids to disperse throughout the meat, preventing them from all running out when you slice it. 

Is Cherry Wood Good For Smoking Pork Loin?

Cherry wood is an often overlooked choice for smoking pork loin, but it can make a delicious difference.

Cherrywood imparts a hint of fruity flavor to the pork while adding an element of smoke without being overpowering.

Concerning temperature control, cherry wood burns slowly, producing great taste over time without getting too hot too quickly.

Plus, cherry wood is one of the more affordable smoking woods on the market, making it accessible to all smokers.

All in all, cherry wood is an excellent choice for smoking pork loin and should not be overlooked or discounted as a viable option.

Is Apple Wood Good For Smoking Pork?

Apple Wood Good For Smoking Pork

Applewood is an excellent choice for smoking pork, as its mild and fruity flavor enhances the taste of the meat.

The smoky flavor is well-rounded, not too heavy, and soft. It’s best used with other hardwoods, like oak or Hickory, to create a balanced smoke flavor profile.

Applewood offers a mild sweetness, making it ideal for use on all cuts of pork, from ribs and chops to brisket and loin.

While the smoke color won’t look as dark as other woods like mesquite, Applewood will still provide plenty of flavor and aroma when appropriately smoked.

What Temperature Should I Smoke Pork Loin On Wood Pellets?

When smoking a pork loin on wood pellets, the ideal internal temperature to shoot for is between 140 and 145 Fahrenheit.

While the USDA suggests that you cook pork loin to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F before consuming it, this isn’t always necessary.

Anywhere between 140 to 145 degrees F should leave your pork loin with a delicious, tender taste that will please your family and friends.

It’s important to note that because every BBQ smoker is different, the cooking time can vary and may take longer than expected.

As such, it’s wise to use either a meat thermometer or a probe thermometer when grilling your pork loin.

This will help ensure that you get perfectly cooked meat each time instead of a striking piece!

What Wood Should You Not Smoke Pork Loin With?

You want to choose the wood for smoking pork loin for the best flavor.

Therefore, you should avoid wood from conifers such as pine, redwood, fir, spruce, cypress, and cedar woods.

These woods produce intense and sometimes sour flavors that cover up the delicate taste of the pork.

Try opting for apple, cherry, or hickory wood instead – these milder yet fruity flavors will help bring out the taste of your pork loin.

Oak is also a great choice with a robust yet balanced flavor, allowing your pork loin to shine through any smoky spices or rubs you may have added.

What Is The Sweetest Wood To Smoke Pork Loin With?

When finding the perfect wood to smoke that melt-in-your-mouth pork loin, maple is an undeniable frontrunner.

Its subtle and sweet flavor pairs perfectly with this cut of meat, lending a light smokiness that won’t overpower the delicate notes in the pork.

In addition, maple wood doesn’t burn as hot as other woods like oak and Hickory, giving it a distinct advantage for smoking.

While maple might not impart as much smoke flavor as other woods, its best qualities come when used for slower smoking applications such as pork loin.

With just the right level of heat and those special sweet notes, maple makes for one of the tastiest smoked pork loins you can find.


Is Oak Or Hickory Better For Smoking Pork Loin?

The decision of which type of wood to use for smoking pork loin is a contentious one.

Oak is known for giving off a mild, sweet smoke that works well when paired with the robust flavor of pork loin. It also releases oil from its pores to keep the cut from drying out as it smokes.

On the other hand, Hickory is famous for adding bold smokiness to tender cuts like pork loin, as it burns hotter and longer than oak.

Ultimately, choosing between these two kinds of wood depends on personal preference—both offer excellent solutions for smoking delicious pork dishes.

How Do You Keep Pork Loin Moist When Smoking?

To ensure the pork stays moist and juicy, it’s essential to monitor the temperature in your smoker and keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat.

The ideal internal temperature for pork loin is between 145-160 degrees Fahrenheit, so a thermometer is highly recommended.

Additionally, bringing or marinating can help keep moisture locked into the pork while it cooks.

When smoking pork loin, try to use a low and slow approach to prevent water from evaporating and give your meat plenty of time to cook all the way through without burning.

What Should I Smoke A Pork Loin At?

The smoking of pork loin is a relatively straightforward process.

Please put it on a grill and cook it at a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit for around three to four hours.

The pork should be smoked for 20 to 30 minutes or until it achieves an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, whichever comes first.

The heat should be turned up to 350 degrees.

Why Was My Pork Loin Tough After Smoking?

When the internal temperature of the pork hits just 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the optimal time to eat pork loins, tenderloins, loin chops, and even country-style ribs. When the temperature rises above that degree, it will dry out and become brittle.


When smoking the perfect pork loin, cherry, and hickory wood are great choices.

Cherry wood has a sweet yet slightly tart flavor that pairs beautifully with the savory flavors of smoked pork.

Hickory wood adds a smokey, robust flavor that creates an intensely smoky flavor without overpowering the pork itself.

Both kinds of wood will give your pork loin just the right amount of smokiness you’re looking for.

The two types of wood also provide complimentary flavors for a unique and delicious menu item.

Also Read: How Long To Smoke A 4 Lb Brisket At 225? (Ideal Time!)

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