How to Use Wood Chips for Smoking on Electric, Charcoal or Gas Grill

This article will help broaden your knowledge in more ways on how to use wood chips. As a griller, using wood chips in a smoker gives you an irreplaceable unique flavor. Wood chips are small to medium-sized pieces of solid wood formed by chipping or cutting larger pieces of wood such as stumps, logging residues, trees, roots, branches, and wood waste. Uses of wood chips are vast, ranging from charcoal grills, gas grills, and even pellets in electric grills.

How to Use Wood Chips for Smoking

Smoking with wood chips can be done using various methods such as gas grilling, charcoal grilling, and electric grilling. Before grilling, choose the flavor of your wood that will complement the food you wish to grill. Pork and beef will be a perfect combination for more intense savory, flavorful wood chips, and poultry pairs with sweet fruit-flavored wood chips will give a delicious and tasty meal.

Choose your smoking chip wood size. Wood chips for cooking and barbequing smoking chip come in different sizes. You can get wood chips in various sizes, starting from chunks to logs and pellets for smoking. Chips are recommended for grilling because they are straightforward to manage, and they smoke quickly. But if you want to prepare something low and slow, chunks will be preferable. The grilling method that will be more convenient for you determines the grilling wood chips to use.

Using Wood Chips on Electric Grills and Gas Grills 

Put your preferred flavor of wood chips in a smoke box or a pack; usually, gas Grills always has a smoker box. If your electric/gas grill does not have a smoker box, you can buy one for a few dollars.

Using Wood Chips on Electric Grills and Gas Grills 

With the wood chips already inside, light the fire, place the smoker boxes on the Grill, and put it directly on the heat. Once the chips begin to smoke, place your meat on the grill and cover. You can cook your meal using either indirect or direct grilling methods depending on the size of your meat.

Using Wood Chips on Charcoal Grills

Using Wood Chips on Charcoal Grills

Start the wood chunk with a charcoal starter, then pour it into your Grill. Place the smoking wood chip on top of it for a quick smoke, and this is most suitable for fish and chicken smoking. For grilling that takes longer to smoke, set up a fuse burn with charcoal and chunks or wood chips.

General Step on How to Smoke

  1. Buy the wood chips flavor that will suit your food, and this is based on personal taste, e.g., cherry, mesquite, or hickory.
  2. Buy a bag of your favorite charcoal or briquettes as a source of fuel. Any of the two will be okay.
  3. Put some of the charcoal into your chimney and light it.
  4. Fill the smoker box with wood chips. If you don’t have a smoker box, create a pouch using aluminum foil with several layers, fill in the wood chips, seal it and poke some holes to enable the smoke to pass through it and let in air.
  5. Pour the charcoal from the chimney in your charcoal grill to start the fire. Electric Grills, plug the wire to an outlet and switch it in, for gas grills use the ignitor.
  6. For fast cooking food like sausage, steaks, chicken breast, burgers or pork chops, place the wood chips below the heat directly.
  7. For slow cooking food such as ribs or roasts, use indirect heat by placing the charcoal on one side with a wood chips pouch on top of it.
  8. Lastly, cover your Grill, leave a lid gap about an inch to let in air if your grilling doesn’t have a damper, but do not lift it so that it can seal the smoke.

Tips on How to Smoke with Wood Chips

smoke for wood chips

For an extended period of smoking, add a packet of chips every 30 minutes to keep the smoking flavor going. Use about three hands full of chips and place them on direct heat and leave to smoke for about an hour.

Soak your chips. Soaking it will help to prevent them from burning up faster. Soaking it will also prevent your chips from catching fire. Although soaking will reduce the smoke intensity of the wood chips, they also make your wood chips enhance the flavor of your wood chips.

Do not lift the lid while grilling with wood chips. Keep as much smoke sealed in the Grill as you can to add more flavor to your food.

Do not take the risk of picking up or using woods from your backyard. Although they might look suitable for smoking and much easier to get, they could be poisonous. Ivy vines might have clung to them without your knowledge, or weed killer might have been sprayed on them without you knowing. That’s why it’s not advisable to use backyard woods. Also, never use pine woods as pine leaves sooty smoke makes your food inedible unless you are sure that a particular wood is clean and the right type, stay away from it. Buy wood chips anywhere at any time, and for a very reasonable amount.

There are three sizes of smoking woods you can choose from; wood chips, chunks, and logs. You can always get them from anywhere, local stores, ordering them online on Amazon. That irresistible flavor and aroma of classic smoky barbeque can be tempting, and you can’t achieve this flavor without woods. The type and sizes of woods you choose are essential.


In this life, no one does anything perfectly for their first trial, the same story with barbecuing and smoking. A beginner using wood chips could be stressful, but when you know how to use wood chips, it makes the whole process effortless. Various variables are involved with using wood chips, like cooking temperature, fire control, timing, types of woods to use, dry rub recipes, sauce, etc. which all affect grilling. The sources of heat, such as charcoal, gas, or electricity, also significantly affect your cooking. Nevertheless, once you master these techniques and you will be able to choose the right type and size of woods to use or burn, to make grilling and smoking easy.

Leave a Comment