Food Smoking Tips: Wood Chips vs. Wood Chunks
Barbecuing can add an incredible dimension of flavour to any food, but smoking your food takes it to the next level. When it comes to smoking, the two most popular fuels to work with are wood chips or chunks. Both options have their own advantages, but once you choose the right smoking fuel, you’ll want to follow these food smoking tips to give your meals an authentic smoked flavour.
Chips are small, thin pieces of wood, and they’re excellent for creating short, quick bursts of smoke. They work best for short cooks because they burn away relatively fast even if you soak them beforehand, but they can be used for longer cooks as well if you only want your food to have a hint of smoky flavour. Our woodchip smoking tip is to have lots on hand if you haven’t used them before, so you have enough to give your food as much smoky flavour as you desire.
Chunks serve the same purpose as chips, but they are larger and usually sourced from hardwoods. Although the pieces are larger, they are still usually less than 2 inches wide and long, and are ideal for longer smokes. Chunks are perfect for extended smokes because they burn slower, which means you won’t have to constantly add more into the smoker every 20-30 minutes. If you want your food to have a smoky flavour all the way through, then chunks are the way to go.
Our number one smoking tip regardless of whether you’re going to use chips or chunks to smoke your food is to soak them beforehand so they don’t burn away as quickly. Soak chips for roughly 15 minutes and chunks for around 30 minutes, but be sure to drain them and let them dry for a few minutes before use.
Part of creating a rich smoky flavour comes down to when you add your chips or chunks to the grill, but each grill is different, so follow these food smoking timing tips to get the flavour just right.
- Charcoal Grill: Add wood once the fire has died down and become embers, and you’re ready to start grilling.
- Vertical Gas Smoker: These smokers have a designated tray or pan to hold the wood. Add your wood of choice once the smoker is up to temperature, and then add your food once the smoke has developed.
- Gas Grills: You can smoke on a gas grill, but you’ll need a smoker box or tin foil trays to keep the wood separate from the direct heat, and it will keep ashes out of your grill.
No matter what you choose to use, Harding The Fireplace has the perfect unit for you!
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