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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Use Smoker Chips in Any Type of Grill



Smoker chips are wooden chips that emanate a flavored smoke when you burn it. When you blend more than one smoker chip together, they give off a combination of different flavors.

If you want to use smoker chips, first, know about the most common types to use for grilling.

Barbecue Grill

The 5 Types of Smoker Chips

Here is a list of 5 types of smoker chips:

1. Hickory Wood Chips

  • Aroma: Pungent, but pleasing
  • Mix well with apple and pear wood chips
  • Pairing: Chicken, beef, pork, ribs, and turkey

2. Alder Wood Chips

  • Aroma: Delicate and sweet
  • Mix well with hickory and fruit wood chips
  • Pairing: Chicken, fish, pork, beef, lamb, and turkey

3. Apple Wood Chips

  • Aroma: Fruity, light, and sweet
  • Mix with alder, maple, oak wood chips
  • Pairing: Chicken, beef, pork, ribs, and lamb

4. Pecan Wood Chips

  • Aroma: Subtle and sweet
  • Mix with cherry wood chips
  • Pairing: Chicken, beef, pork, ribs, and turkey

5. Maple Wood Chips

  • Aroma: Smoky and sweet
  • Mix with hickory and apply wood chips
  • Pairing: Chicken, fish, pork, and turkey

These are just a few of the smoker chips available for you to use with your grill. Other smoker chips that you can use include almond, cherry, mulberry, hazelnut, walnut, orange and lemon, herbs, coconut, corn cobs, apricot, lilac, grape vines, birch, guava, mesquite, and hardwood chips.

If you are using hardwood chips to grill your meat, you need to be careful. There is a chance of the lumber mixing with another type of wood such as pine wood. In addition to this, you need to be alert for wood covered in resin because it can damage your smoker and ruin your food. You may use hardwood chips for cooking seafood, poultry, and other types of meat.

Next, you need to learn how to use these different types of smoker chips that you just learned about various types of grills.

How to Use Smoker Chips to Grill in These 5 Types of Grills

You can use smoker chips with gas, charcoal, pellet, electric, and Tru-Infrared grills. Here is how you can use smoker chips with the following types of grills;

1. Gas Grill

You will find a smoker box with some gas grills. If your gas grill comes with a smoker box, you need to damp the smoker chips before you add them to the grill and light it on fire. If your gas grill did not come with a burner, you can still use smoker chips for grilling your meat. You should use a foil pain with aluminum covering the smoker chips with your gas grill in the absence of a burner.

2. Charcoal Grill

If you own a charcoal grill, you will need to use the charcoal as the heat source. You will need to burn the charcoal until it has become white. Once the charcoal has turned white, you need to add smoker chips to it.

Once smoke, emitting from the smoker chips, begins to thin and smolder, you can add your meat to the charcoal grill. You can also combine smoker chips with wood chunks. Wood chunks will make the fire burn for a longer duration. You should add one or two cups of smoker chips to your charcoal grill after every 45 minutes.

3. Pellet Grill

Pellet grills have taken over the grilling season, becoming one of the most popular grilling trends. Pellet grills provide you with the ultimate convenience of gas grill combined with the smoky flavor of smoker chips. The best part about a pellet grill is that it can pre-heat quickly.

You will some pellet grills that let you adjust the grilling temperature in 5-degree increments. You can use the pellet grill to smoke, bake, grill, barbecue, roast, and braise. Wood pellets are their heat source.

4. Electric Grill

If you do not want to go the trouble of maintaining your grilling station, you should invest in an electric grill. The only downside to owning an electric grill is that it does not provide you with the same flavor that a gas grill and charcoal grill provides you with.

You will need to use a smoker box. Add smoker chips to the smoker box and place it in the center rear of the electric grill when it comes hot. Before you begin to cook your meat, you need to wait for the smoker chips to give off smoke.

5. Tru-Infrared Grill

Tru-Infrared grill may have a complex name, but it is simple and convenient for you. If you are using a Tru-Infrared grill for cooking your meat, you need to start by heating one side of the grill. Next, you need to add packets of smoker chips to it.

If you want, you need to add smoker chips to heavy-duty aluminum foil, seal the packet, and poke a few holes on top of the packet. You also have the option to purchase disposable packets of smoker chips or use a smoker box. When the smoke is ready, you need to add your meat to it.

What Else Should You Know About Smoker Chips?

You need to soak your smoker chips in water for half an hour or 30 minutes before you use them. If you want, you also use whine or juice to soak smoker chips. In doing so, it will enhance the flavor of the smoker chips.

You need to heat the smoker chips for 100 minutes until you start to see smoke. Once smoke begins to emit from the smoker, you need to add your meat to the grill. As for changing the smoker chips, you should do it after every 6 hours.

You can check the taste and smoke of the smoker chips to determine if you need to change them or not as well. If you have used the smoker chips more than once, you need to check them for mold.

Have a fun time grilling various meats using smoker chips.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rhonda Richardson, Editor

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

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