If you are new to smoking, you may face some problems with this process. Beginning with choosing the right wood and ending with the age-old question - to soak or not to soak, we have gathered 5 useful tips for smoking with wood chips. So, here they are.
1. Don’t know which wood chips to choose for your meat?
Use fruitwood and medium wood types for pork, poultry, fish, or seafood or vegetables. For dense red meat or game meat use hickory, mesquite, and walnut. Mixing one-third strong and two-thirds light wood is also suitable for many meat smoking projects.
Here are a few perfect combinations of wood chips and meat that work every time:
Birch + salmon
Alder + seafood (especially well with salmon)
Apple or cherry + chicken
Maple + turkey
Mesquite + beef brisket
Oak + game meat
Pecan + pork
Pecan + any fruit wood + poultry
2. Mix different wood chips
You can mix different wood chips, but be careful with the strongest ones like hickory and mesquite. Your smoked food may get bitter, which is definitely not what you want. It is a good idea to combine these 2 flavors with milder woods, such as fruit wood (cherry, apple) or alder.
3. Never smoke with these types of wood:
Do not use softwoods such as pine, redwood, fir, spruce, cypress, or cedar. Avoid elm, eucalyptus, sycamore, and liquid amber. Some trees contain toxins and cannot be used for smoking, these are mangrove, poisonous walnut, sassafras, oleander, yew, tambootie, and laburnum.
Never use wood that has been painted or treated in any way. Wood covered in mold or fungus is cannot be used for smoking as it may be toxic.
4. How many wood chips to use?
If you not sure how many wood chips to add when you are using a grill, check these instructions:
For charcoal grill:
|Pork shoulder||16 ounces|
For gas grill:
|Ribs||8 ounces (may need to add some when they burn completely)|
|Pork shoulder||8 ounces (need to add some multiple times while smoking)|
5. What to do if my wood chips do not smoke?
- Stop soaking them! Use a smoker box or a foil pouch, fill it with wood chips, and put the grill on high until you see chips start smoking. After that, you can turn down the heat.
- If you are used to soaking the wood before smoking, you can try mixing 1 part soaked chips and 1 part dry chips. Wrap the wood chips in foil, poke holes with a fork and put directly over the flame.
- Do not open the lid, this will also negatively affect the amount of smoke you get.
Hope you have found some valuable advice above and now your smoking process is even more delightful and easy.
Our wood chips variety includes apple, cherry, oak and alder wood chips. Mix the wood chips and create new awesome flavors!