Hickory Flavor Profile: The Richest, Strongest Food Smoke

Hickory Flavor Profile: The Richest, Strongest Food Smoke

Posted on: January 12, 2023

Hickory is one of the most popular choices for longer cookouts. Like oak, it burns with a crisp, clean smell but has a slightly stronger flavor that’s comparable to bacon!

Hickory is one of the most popular choices for longer cookouts. Like oak, it burns with a crisp, clean smell but has a slightly stronger flavor that’s comparable to bacon! The hickory wood creates a sweet, yet strong bacon-flavor. The smoke can become more on the pungent side, but it adds a nice, strong flavor to all meat cuts, but it’s especially popular with pork and ribs. Here’s our review of the Hickory Flavor Profile: The Richest, Strongest Food Smoke.

Hickory has a relatively strong-flavor wood, more intense than alder and fruit woods like cherry wood and apple wood, but with a milder profile than mesquite wood.

Pitmasters love to use hickory because it adds a dark color to smoked meats. Hickory has a stronger flavor than oak and the two woods are often used in combination, since they burn in a similar fashion. The popularity of hickory-smoked bacon originates from the smoke’s unique flavor – sweet like maple wood, pungent like mesquite. Hickory is used to in smoking, grilling, barbecuing meats predominantly in the Midwest and the South of the United States.

What Do Hickory Bisquettes Pair Well With?

Though most famous for its use in bacon, hickory is a versatile smoking wood that works well with most types of meat. Smoking whole chickens or turkeys, wild game, and larger cuts such as Texas-style beef brisket with hickory is your best bet.

Additionally, Pork, such as pork loin and pork shoulder (used for pulled pork), pairs particularly well with the sweetness of hickory. Hickory can also be used to smoke salmon, or to add smoky flavor to cheeses and nuts.

Here are our favorite recipes using hickory bisquettes:

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe

Simple Smoked Pulled Pork is a go-to any time you are looking to feed a hungry crowd and don’t want too much fuss. This is the correct way to smoke pulled pork with professional results–from the brine, to the rub and sauce, to the rave reviews you will receive. Hickory bisquette smoke is the key to breaking down the fat which adds flavor and moisture to the shoulder. Place in a bun with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Buffalo-Style Hickory Smoked Wings Recipe

This recipe is an easy way to learn how to smoke chicken wings with deep smokey flavors that are nice and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.

Smoked Bourbon Ice Cream Recipe

I’ve got a great idea! Smoked Bourbon Ice Cream Recipe! I know what you’re thinking, “puddles of sooty cream in the bottom of my smoker…great idea…”, but hear me out. It’s amazingly delicious!

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

You can use your favourite ingredients to stuff chicken breasts. For this recipe we have chosen cream cheese, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes. On top of that, wrap chicken breasts with bacon and smoke them using Hickory, Maple or Oak bisquettes. They will turn out succulent and juicy.

Smoked Fiesta Chicken Jalapeño Poppers Recipe

Treat yourself with these homemade crispy Smoked Chicken Jalapeno Poppers. Featuring a filling of cream cheese, smoked chicken and cheese, all wrapped in bacon for better taste. No way you can go wrong.


Hickory has been, for many decades, a commonly found hardwood in the traditional barbecue states who are credited with bringing barbecue to the limelight. This includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and then advancing west to such states as Tennessee, Missouri, and Alabama. Eventually, those who wanted to duplicate the smoke flavors of the south continued to request hickory. The result is that hickory became one of the highest demand food smoking wood. Don’t forget to check out more of the Bradley Smoker Hickory-related recipes!