How To Use Wood Chips In An Electric Smoker

Woods chips in electric smokers play a vital role in enhancing the smoky flavor of your meat or pork. An electric smoker comes with various components: a heating element, water tray, a smoking chamber, and sometimes a wood chips tray. Some models have no wood chips tray, but there are methods that can accommodate them. Incorporating wood chips properly prevents the bitter-smoke flavor that most people dislike. The benefit of using wood pellets is that you can change the flavor of the meat or pork. Some of the common wood chips are:

– Applewood

– Mesquite

– Alder

– Hickory

These pellets have different flavors that can be transferred to almost anything you cook. The main objective of an electric smoker is to convert electric energy into heat energy. It supplies the cooking chamber with sufficient heat. Below are ways how to use wood chips in an electric smoker:

1. Foil Pouch Method

There are numerous ways to use wood pellets in electric smokers, but the easiest is the foil pouch method. This approach is the best for electric smokers that lack a wood chip tray. Here you need to put pellets in an aluminum foil pouch and poke holes at the top. The heat in the cooking chamber of the smoker will cause the pellets to smolder and produce heat. The smoke from the aluminum foil pouch will add flavor to your food. In addition, this method is ideal for people with less or no experience using electric smokers because it’s straightforward.

Foil Pouch Method Steps

I. Cut a sizeable piece of aluminum foil and place it on the table

II. Choose wood chips that suit your flavor

III. Place the wood pellets on the aluminum foil

IV. Fold the aluminum foil to cover the wood chips

V. Use a sharp object or a toothpick to poke holes into the aluminum foil pouch

VI. Place the aluminum foil pouch inside the smoker. Then, place the meat or pork

2. Wood Chip Tray Method

In the modern era, most electric smokers come with a wood chip tray. The pellet tray makes it easy to add wood chips with your desired flavor. Using wood chips in your electric smoker isn’t easy as it sounds. Therefore, follow these steps to obtain the perfect amount of smoke for your meat:

I. Clean the Electric Smoker

Cleaning is a maintenance practice of the smoker. Frequently cleaning can improve the life span of the electric smoker. Remove obstructions that can interfere with the ventilation. In addition, ensure the door of the tray has no leaks. A sparkling clean smoker will provide the right flavor for your meat. On the contrary, a dirty or leaking electric smoker won’t give the right results.

II. Invest in the Right Wood Chips

There are different kinds of wood chips or pellets on the market. There are various aspects that you should consider when choosing wood chips:

– The size of the wood chips tray

– Type of wood

– Flavor of the wood

In addition, different wood pellets have different prices. Choose wood chips that suit your needs. Some people prefer larger pieces, while others prefer small and hard chips.

III. Place the Woods

In this case, an electric smoker should have a wood chips tray, which is situated at the bottom. Place the wood pellets or chips carefully for optimum results. The arrangement of the pellets influences the intensity of the smoke.

IV. Set Up the Desired Cooking Temperature

The cooking temperatures depending on what you’re opting to cook. It’s important to turn on the smoker as you prepare the meat or pork. The heat from the cooking chamber will burn the wood chips, producing smoke. It’s not advisable to add food before the electric smoker is heated up. Most smokers take 20 minutes to 30 minutes to heat. During the winter, it might take a bit too long.

V. Fill Up the Water Tray

Electric smokers come with a water tray. The main objective of the water tray is to keep the food moist. Place the drip pan on top of the wood chips and fill it with clean water. Some people tend to include herbs in the water to add a different kind of flavor to the meat. Smoking meat is a time-consuming and tedious process that requires the utmost attention. In this case, some of the factors that contribute to the success of this process are humidity, temperature, and wood chips.

VI. Smoke your Food with Wood Chips

If the temperatures of the electric smoker are right, it’s time to add your meat or pork. You should place your meat on top of the wood chip tray.

3. Smoker Box Method

The smoker box method is a great way to add wood chips to your electric smoker. Each way has its unique pros and cons. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each method. This process can be challenging because you should add wood chips to the smoker box. Some of the steps that you should follow include the following:

I. Preheat the electric smoker

II. Put wood pellets in the smoker box

III. Keep the lid closed to optimize the smoker box’s benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Prevent Wood Chips from Catching Fire?

It’s common thing for wood chips to catch fire in a smoker. To lower the risk of this problem, soak your wood chips before using them. In addition, use either a smoke box or foil pouch method to prevent heat from contacting the chips.

How Long Do Wood Chips Last in Electric Smokers?

It depends on the type of wood chips as well as how often you use the electric smoker. Quality pellets can last for 1 hour to two hours. On the contrary, older wood chips can last for up to 30 minutes.


The above-mentioned are the three methods of using wood chips in electric smokers. These ways include the smoke bod method, the wood chip tray method, and the foil pouch method. Use a method that will fulfill your wants.

Leave a Reply