Using a smoker isn’t the only way to get great smoky flavor into your favorite foods- you can easily transform any grill into a smoker by simply using wood chips. Here’s everything you need to know about how to grill with wood chips.
1. Choose your wood flavor.
The multiple varieties of wood flavors each produce their own unique flavor of smoke. Pick wood flavors that will compliment the food you are grilling. The wood smoking chart above shows that poultry pairs well with fruity woods, while pork and beef are better suited for woods of stronger flavor. Check out our article on smoking wood flavors for more information on choosing the right wood.
2. Choose size of smoking wood.
Smoking woods come in different sizes, such as chunks, logs, and simple smokes, but we recommend using chips for grilling because they are quick to smoke and easy to manage. Chunks are better suited for when smoking for a long period of time and pellets burn out after just a little while of cooking.
3. Select grill method.
Your method of grilling with wood chips will differ based on the type of grill you are using. Find the best method for you below.
- Charcoal grill: Heat coals with half-time charcoal starter. Pour coals into grill and place smoke packet on top for a quick smoked suited for chicken or fish. For long smokes, try setting up a fuse burn with charcoal and wood chips/chunks. (pic)
- Gas/Electric Grills: Place wood chips in packet or smoker box and place over direct heat. Once the chips are smoking, move to cooler side of grill and add food.
- Tru-Infrared Grill: Place chips directly onto grate.
- Amount of chips– For long smokes, add a packet of chips every 30 minutes to keep the smoky flavor going. About 2-3 handfuls of chips placed on direct heat will smoke for about an hour.
- Soaking chips– It might be tempting to soak your wood chips to prevent them from burning up faster. This will only add time to the process and take away some of the smoke intensity because wet chips steam before smoking. If you are worried about the chips catching fire, place them in a foil packet.
- Don’t lift the grill lid– Keep as much smoke as possible sealed in the grill to help flavor your food.
Char-Broil makes smoking easy with our 3-Pack Wood Chip Smoker Boxes. Check out these other great Char-Broil® recipes for grilling with wood chips, like our Smoked Beef Brisket or Smoky Chicken Sliders.