Smoking wood chips are a great way to add a smoky flavour to your barbecue and grilling. Wood chips can be used in both charcoal and gas grills to infuse your food with the unique flavours of various types of wood. With this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about wood chips, from preparation to the best ones to use, to start your smokin’ adventure.

How to prepare wood chips?

There are a few things to know before lighting up the grill. From knowing how to soak wood chips to the best ways to use them on different types of grills. 

How to soak wood chips?

When it comes to soaking wood chips, it’s a good idea to place them in water for around 30 minutes before smoking them. Once the chips are soaked, put them in a smoking box or directly into the charcoal in the BBQ or Smoker.

By doing this, you prevent the wood chips from catching fire and burning too quickly (which can result in a bitter taste), and instead, allow the smoke to infuse with the food to enhance its flavouring. After all, cooking is all about how good the food tastes, so it only makes sense to soak them ahead of time. 

using Wood Chips in a Charcoal Grill

We recommended adding your soaked chips directly into your charcoal BBQ to eliminate the need for a foil bag or smokebox. However, there are still a few steps to follow to ensure you get the most out of your wood chips.

Firstly, you need to use one layer of charcoal to your BBQ and let it burn until the charcoal is white, then you add your chips. Allow the chips to develop a thin smoke, then add your meat. One of the great benefits of smoking in a charcoal BBQ, as opposed to a gas grill, is that you can add more wood chips and chunks of wood to keep your fire burning longer. It is also useful if you have soaked excess wood chips, as they can be put aside for later.

Ensure that your BBQ has the right amount of ventilation. Otherwise, you will burn the wood too quickly. Thick, white smoke is a good indication that your wood is burning too quickly, which will result in your food tasting bitter.

Using Wood Chips in a Gas Grill

Using wood chips in a gas grill is possible but can be tricky. One way is use a smoking box that holds the wood chips on the burners of the gas grill, allowing them to smoke without catching fire. 

If you’re new to smoking and don’t plan on doing it regularly, a cheaper option is to create a foil packet filled with wood chips and poke holes in the top to allow the smoke to escape. This is placed on top of the gas grill similar to a smoking box. 

Tips on using a gas grill:

  • Gas grills produce less smoke than charcoal grills, so use more wood chips to achieve the desired flavour. 
  • Smoke will escape from the grill if you open the lid, so for optimal smoke infusion, keep the lid closed. 
  • Wood chips can be messy, so clean the grill thoroughly after use to prevent a build of ash and debris.

What is the best wood chip to use?

When are wood chips suitable for smoking?

Whether you use wood chips, chunks or logs is entirely dependent on how long you’ll be cooking for. The larger the wood, the longer it will burn and take to break down. If you’re cooking for a short period of time i.e. steak or chicken, wood chips work great. However, if you’re slow roasting a brisket, you’ll be much better off using wood chunks or a log. 

Different types of wood chips

Are you looking for something a little more special than just ordinary wood chips for your BBQ? Our Smokin’ Chips are designed to maximise the flavour of your BBQ food. As with all our woods, we source them from sustainably managed woodlands or wood biomass from the wood industries such as the Vineyards of Rioja in Spain, where we utilise the old oak barrels for our range of brandy & whiskey chips & chunks. Our restaurant-graded wood chips are perfect for those avid home cooks who want to try something new.

Apple Wood Chips have a sweet and fruity flavour, making them an excellent choice for pork, salmon and other fatty fishes. Why not mix up your chips by adding Oak Whiskey Barrel Smokin’ Chips to add another level of flavour? Our Oak Whiskey Chips are infused with whiskey to give you a BBQ or smoky flour to your food with a touch of whiskey aroma. Not only do they complement red meats and fish, but also go great with hearty vegetables such as aubergines.

Our Citrus Wood Smokin’ Chips give your BBQ a sweet and distinct fruity smoke flavour, working well with fish, light game, turkey chicken and your veggies. Our Oak Brandy Chips are made from used oak barrels. The chips are infused with brandy and give your BBQ a strong smoky flavour with a touch of brandy aroma. Going beautifully with bold red meats and game.

Smokin’ Wood Chips’ are a great way to try something new with your BBQ, as well as a great way of adding a variety of flavours to your food. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours, that’s all part of the fun!

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