How to Use Wood Chips for Smoking | Important Things You Must Know

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]You may love smoked food prepared in your backyard. Everything tastes more delicious when infused with a hint of smoke. It is all about using correct wood chips for smoking.

Smoking a freshly grilled meat is fun, but it takes plenty of practice. If you’re a beginner, you can hardly make it perfectly.

But when you’re accustomed to the techniques, your friends and family members treat you like a celebrity. They also want to come to your next barbeque party.

Most people think that they can only smoke traditional barbeque.

It’s not true at all!

You can add layers of flavors to a variety of food, like vegetables, seafood, pizza, poultry, and even dessert.

Besides, enjoying delicious smoked food is possible without a smoker. You can put a smoky barbeque flavor to your food, whatever you’re cooking on a gas or charcoal grill.

But, you may be wondering:

Some people don’t know how to use wood chips for smoking properly.

It might be you yourself!

That’s because I’m here to help you out, providing some points of the correct uses of wood chips to make your food better.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=”How to Use Wood Chips for Smoking” style=”3d” color=”turquoise”]How to Use Wood Chips for SmokingWood chips help to enhance smoke over your food when you’re grilling. If you use a variety of wood chips together, they will provide you with a combination of different flavors.

Before using wood chips in the heat source, know the most common uses of smoking, depending on how long you plan to smoke.

When you’re cooking chicken, fish, or steak for a short time, small pieces of wood chips work best because they ignite fast but burn out pretty quickly.

Let’s put it aside and get into the next point to know different types of uses of wood chips.[/vc_cta][vc_column_text]

Using Wood Chips on a Gas Grill

In a gas grill, you can easily use wood chips without any hassle.

First things first, get some wood chips and soak them in cold water for 30 minutes, at least.

In the case of cooking for a long time, you should have enough soaked wood chips to put throughout the entire cooking.

Next, put one or two pieces of wood chips in a smoker box and place the box on the grill.


It’s time to wait to let the chips start smoking.

You can cook several grilling methods, either using direct or indirect heat. Add another piece or more than one piece of chips every 45 minutes in terms of cooking at an indirect temperature.

Here’s the deal:

You can purchase a wood chip smoker box separately from the market. It comes with a wide variety of advantages:

A good quality wood chip smoker box holds the chips with convenience. It also increases airflow so that you can have a better distribution of the smoke.

Before all of that, you need to learn how to use wood chips on a gas grill. You can get help from this article or research on it by browsing the internet.

Using Wood Chips on a Charcoal Grill

Using wood chips in a charcoal grill is fairly easier. You need to burn the charcoal as long as it becomes white.

Once the charcoal has turned white, add some wood chips to it.

You can use either soaked or dry wood chips. If you’re going to soak your chips, you need to put them in the water for 30 to 60 minutes.

Then, put one or two handful pieces of wood chips on the coals. For longer cooks, you need to add more chips every 45 minutes.

Here are some recommendations from me. You can follow them for better-smoked food.

Make a pouch that folds up several layers of aluminum foil and fill with some wood chips. Next, seal it and poke some holes, so the smoke escapes in air.

For fast cooking, like chicken breast, steaks, burgers, you need to put some pieces of wood chips directly underneath the food.

On the contrary, place charcoals with the wood chip pouch on top in case of slow cooking at an indirect heat.

Keep in mind that you need not smoke for the entire cooking if you’re going to grill food for over 4 hours.

Using Wood Chips on an Electric Grill

Many people don’t want to face difficulties in regulating a grilling station. A good quality electric grill could be a great investment for them.

As it benefits, so does the downsides. The only downside I want to share with you is an electric grill doesn’t provide you with the same flavor as gas grills or charcoal grills.

In this case, you need to use a smoker box.

Add some pieces of wood chips to the box and place it in the center when the grill becomes hot.

Before starting to cook your food, wait for the chips until they begin smoking.

Should You Use Soaked Wood Chips?

You may experience a lot of debate on how to make wood chips for smoking.

Some people say that soaked chips don’t burn up too fast and start smoking as long as they dry out. This means you’re delaying the entire process.

Some other people think that using a combination of soaked and dry chips is pretty useful. The soaked ones will begin smoking slowly or later, while the dry ones will smoke as quickly as possible.

After drying out, soaked ones will provide consistent smoking for a long time.


It comes to personal preference, no matter you use dry or soaked chips.

My recommendation is you should try both and see which one you’re comfortable with. The right one will be a better option for you.

I think you definitely know what you like most. If the smoked food tastes better and more delicious, keep going with it.

Can you Use an Aluminum Foil instead of a Smoker Box?

If you’re a beginner in grilling and smoking food, or you don’t want to invest in a smoker box at this moment, using aluminum foil can be a good start for you.

Follow the above instructions. But, keep and fold the wood chips in an aluminum packet. Then, poke several holes in the packet to let the airflow.

Some gas grills usually come with smoker boxes. If your gas grill does so, you need to put some wood chips before adding them to the grill.

Next, set it on fire.

How Often Do You Change Wood Chips?

You need to change wood chips every 5 to 6 hours.

If you’re just starting out grilling and smoking, you may not determine the right time to refill wood chips. The best time to change the chips is when you check the taste of your food.

In case of purchasing a smoker, make sure you read the manual to know how to use a smoker and wood chips properly.

However, check the chips that have already been used for over four times.

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ)

1. How do you smoke with wood chips?

At first, pick up a wood chip smoker box (You can use an aluminum foil instead). The box holds the wood chips, and it’s made to let the maximum amount of smoke to infuse the food. You can also use it with a variety of grills, such as a gas grill and charcoal grill.

There is an alternative to this (as mentioned above) that allows you to wrap your chips in an aluminum foil. Then you need to poke several holes throughout the foil, so the smoke maximizes airflow.

You may need to put more chips into the box every so often, but it depends on whether you are smoking your food directly or indirectly.

When you’re smoking indirectly, place several pieces of wood chips every 45 minutes.

2. Can you put wood chips directly on charcoal?

Yes! You can. Pour charcoals on the charcoal grate and put a large disposable foil pan directly on it.

After adding about 2 to 3 cups of water to the pan and allowing the coals to burn down to the correct temperature, you’ll be able to drop some wood chips directly onto the charcoals.

3. What temperature do wood chips smoke?

Smoking over food is a combination of a variety of ingredients that can create mind-blowing aroma and flavors. Wood chips are one of them that begin smoking when the temperature reaches between 299 and 399°C. But, it may vary depending on the type of wood.

Final Verdict

Wood chips are one of the greatest and easiest ways to infuse smoke to create exciting flavors into your food.

If you have a gas or charcoal grill, you can use wood chips, whether the grill is capable of using them or not.

Want to know the best part?

Wood chips are versatile and come with plenty of variations, such as chips, chunks, discs, and pellets. Each of them can be used for various cooking methods.

Besides that, you may find a variety of different flavors. Many of them can be mixed to make a combination of great tastes.

If you’re looking to have simple flavor into your food, then wood chips are the best option to use.

Pick a size and choose one or two flavors. Then, turn your grill or smoker into a piece of professional cooking equipment.

Enjoy grilling various foods in your backyard, using wood chips.

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