How To Keep Wood Chips From Burning In Smokers?

Smoking takes much more time than grilling. For example, beef brisket requires more than five hours of smoking. The pork butt needs to be smoked for about 12 hours. But you need to keep your meat away from smoke. If your wood chips burn in the smoker, then the smoke cannot impart much flavor to your meat since there is no smoke to absorb.

Many people must learn how to keep wood chips from burning in smokers. The best ways are to adjust the temperature by vents, put chips in the aluminum foil, or soak your wood chips. In the Thai article, I have described these and some other methods in detail.

How To Keep Wood Chips From Burning In Smokers

Why Use Wood Chips For Smoking?

Wood chips will be the best choice if you smoke fish, chicken, or small pieces of meat. Simply put, they are best for smoking foods requiring less cooking. The main problem with them, which many people are worried about, is that they burn too rapidly. Before discussing how to prevent wood chips from burning, I will discuss the best woods. 

Wood TypeFlavor ProfileFlavor Strength
MapleSweet and SubtleMild
AlderSweet but not fruityLight
Cherry Sweet and FruityMild
HickoryBacon/Strong flavorSweet to Strong

Related: how to make wood chips for smoking

How To Keep Wood Chips From Burning In A Smoker?

Soak Your Wood Chips In The Water

You may need clarification about whether you should soak your wood chips before smoking because there are many different arguments. By doing this, you can add moisture to your wood.

The main benefit of this method is that the wet woods will produce smoke instead of fire. As you want to cook your food thoroughly, you need it. Soaked wood takes more time to burn. Many people have claimed that soaking the wood chips will maintain the taste of your meat. 

Soak Your Wood Chips In The Water

Knowing how to use wood chips is the first thing if you are interested in learning how to keep wood chips from burning in the smoker. If you use sharp and thin wood chips, keep them in water for at least 30 minutes. If you have wood chunks, then soak them for about 2 hours.

Place The Chips In Aluminum

Aluminum is an excellent material to protect your food from accidental fire. It will also make the wood chips slower. 

  • Firstly, take an aluminum foil and place it in the center of the smoker.
  • Then keep your wood chips over it.
  • Wrap your wood chips in this foil and make a thin hole.
  • After that, smoking will change the foil. This method will help you with both dry and wet woods. 

Limit The Airflow

If the vents are completely opened, the fire will rise quickly. However, only close them partially because it causes smoke in the smoker. You will not want to close the vents again, but it is necessary. 


Choose The Right Wood


It does not matter which type of wood you have selected for smoking, but make sure it is ripe. Otherwise, you can face many issues regarding the fire. To get good results, use mature wood. 

Do Not Put Too Much Wood

People usually think the food will cook better if the smoke remains better. Many people claim that the better technique to create a lot of smoke is to add a lot of wood to your smoker, which is incorrect. You are increasing the probability of fire by increasing the amount of wood. Therefore, always be careful in deciding the amount of wood. 

How To Use Wood Chips On Electric/Gas Grill?

There are different ways to produce smoke depending on the grill used. Suppose you are using a gas grill. Using wood chips on the gas grill is the following:

  • Choose the best wood chips for your grill.
  • Place your wood chips in an aluminum foil and keep them inside the grill. If there is a smoker box, then place wood chips in it. 
  • Ignite the fire and put the aluminum pouch or smoker box over the grill. 
  • When the smoke starts to produce, it enters your meat. 
  • Choose indirect or direct grilling and then start cooking.

How To Use Wood Chips On A Charcoal Grill?

To use wood chips in a charcoal grill, follow the following steps:

  • Choose a non-toxic wood type. Use wood chips that will not release toxic food.
  • Take briquettes or charcoal, put them in the chimney, and ignite them.
  • Put the chips in an aluminum foil and dig a hole.
  • The wood chips should be placed under the meat if you make burgers. But for the meats like ribs that take long-term cooking, the wood pouch would be on top. 
  • Place your meat on the grate placed over the fire.
  • Close the grill but make some holes for smoke.

How Long Do Wood Chunks Last In A Smoker?

Considering all important factors, let’s discuss how long the wood chunks last in a smoker. First, consult the manual to get an idea about how long the tray of wood chunks lasts in a smoker so that you can get rough information. 

Ignite your smoker and do a fire run. If your smoker is new, season it, and then after 2 hours, add the whole tray of wood chunks and note how long it produces smoke. By this, you can know how long it lasts, and you need to fill it again. 

If it will last 2 hours and you need 4 hours smoking, then fill it again to half. But if you need 6 hours of cooking, add the wood chunks again three times. Only use your smoker for 6 hours consistently. If your cooking session requires extra time, complete it in the next session.


Frequently Asked Questions

Now it depends upon you whether you soak your wood chips or not. For smoking wood chips, soak them for about an hour. However, some people say there is no need to soak them that long because it will change the taste. While some people claim that it will produce slow combustion and gives and enriches the taste of the food.

Charcoal is more efficient than wood when it comes to fuel as it lasts longer than wood and produces more heat. Besides, charcoal burns cleaner than wood. The charcoal will not produce smoke while burning initially. Charcoal is consistent as it does not vary in temperament or moisture.

Barbecue can be pretty atrocious when this logic is applied. One of the biggest rookie BBQ mistakes is needing to understand fire management and using less wood. If you close the vents to keep the smoke in, this will worsen the situation. Using this method is a surefire way to throw your meat away.

If the wood chips are smaller than a quarter, they must soak for about 1 to 8 hours. If the wood chips are more prominent, they should be soaked for 24 hours. Soaking wood chips for more than 24 hours is bad for most smokers, but the time may vary according to the device.

Final Words

Once you have mastered these methods, you do not have to worry about your wood chips burning in the smoker. Your meat can get maximum flavor from smoke, and you can still enjoy low-temperature grilling. I hope my article will help you and you can keep wood chips from burning in smokers.

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