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What Wood Chips Are Best For Smoking?

The best wood chips for smoking are hickory wood chips. Hickory wood is one of the most popular wood types, and it adds a rich flavor and nice color to all your smoked foods. The wood chips burn clean and add a dark color to any meats you smoke on it.

Wood chips are one of the best tools that you can use for smoking on your grill. Whether you are making meats, grilled vegetables, pizza, or dessert outside on your grill, wood chips are your best friend.

There are several types of wood chips out there for the prospective grillmaster to choose from, and it’s essential to figure out how to use them effectively.

Can You Use Any Wood Chips For Smoking?

No, not all wood chips are grilling quality. Many grillmasters use oak, hickory, pecan, and apple wood chips. The different flavors that each wood chip brings to the meat you are grilling has to be tasted to be believed, but they are all different. The wood chips that you should not be smoking are from conifer trees like pine and cedar wood.

The conifer trees are filled with sap and terpene, both things that can give your food a funny taste. No one wants that at a backyard barbeque.

Is It Best To Soak Wood Chips For Smoking?

If you are looking for controversy in the grilling world, then soaking woodchips is it. People argue for and against it, but I believe that woodchips do not need to be soaked. You can get just enough flavor without soaking them. Plus, going with dry woodchips is faster.

How Long Do You Soak Woodchips Before Smoking?

 If you don’t soak your wood for at least 24 hours, then the water doesn’t penetrate deep enough into the chips. The entire reason people argue for soaking wood is that the water slows down the combustion and makes a better flavor.

But with incorrectly soaked woodchips, you are just slowing down the grilling process. If you’ve got a lot of hungry mouths to feed, then you can’t afford to have anything slowed down!

Do Wood Chips Go Bad?

We’ve all been there, lugging out the grill after a very long hiatus and finding that our bag of woodchips has been sitting in the garage. They can go bad if you do not store them correctly or if they are not taken care of. However, with proper storage techniques, you can make sure that they last indefinitely.

Make sure to store your wood chips in a cool and dry area with plenty of airflow. If you store them wrong, then they can get moldy, wet, and even start to rot.

Which Is Better Hickory or Mesquite?

Both of these wood types are good for your next grilling day, but if you are looking for versatility, Hickory is the way to go. You can use it on red meats, fish, vegetables, and ribs. Hickory also burns long and clean, giving you power for slow cooks that need a constant barrage of heat.

Mesquite wood doesn’t have the versatility of hickory, but it does burn hot and fast. It also has a robust flavor and does well in high heat grilling situations. Due to the high amount of lignin, a compound that lets out a ton of energy when burned, you can get too much smoke out of it.

Can You Have Too Much Smoke In A Smoker?

Having a ton of smoke rise out of your grill is a cause for concern and usually means that something is burning. While you want the meat you are grilling to absorb the smoke that you are coating it with, you can put too much smoke in. After a while, the meat takes in that excess smoke and starts to taste like it.

While you want your meat to have a smokey quality, tasting entirely of smoke is a sign that you have put in too much. It is a process of trial and error. You should figure out what you need in terms of smoke after a few tries.

Do You Put Water In A Smoker?

Using your smoker’s water pan can be tricky if you have never used one before, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. There are several reasons to put water into your smoker, with the main one being that it creates an indirect cooking surface. This helps to move the heat away from the cooking chamber, allowing you to control the temperature better.

Can I Use Firewood In My Smoker?

If we have chopped firewood, we have wondered if that wood can be used as the woodchips in our fireplaces. As long as it is hardwood and not conifer wood, then you can chop it up into woodchips and throw it on the grill.

Get Started Grilling

Now that you have some of the FAQ’s about woodchip grilling answered, as well as the best type of woodchips to use, start grilling!

Article by: Almog Keynan

Beyond being married and a father of three my real passion is to grill and smoke food. ever since I was young I have enjoyed smoked meat. If you want to know more about me check out the about page.