How To Use Wood Chips In An Electric Smoker [3 Simple Methods]

How To Use Wood Chips In An Electric Smoker
How to use wood Chips In An Electric Smoker

Learning how to use wood chips in an electric smoker can be a challenge for many. You can spend some time learning how to use wood chips the right way and you’ll be an expert in no time!

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How to use wood chips in an electric smoker
  • Do you preheat electric smokers with wood chips
  • Different methods to use wood chips in an electric smoker

It’s not hard to find wood chips these days because they are widely available at most grocery stores and barbecue shops.

The following article will teach you everything you need to know about how to use wood chips in an electric smoker for smoking meat.

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Using Wood Chips in an Electric Smoker

If you want to take your smoking skills to the next level, then using the best wood chips is the way to go. From my experience, I can tell you that wood chips are the secret ingredient to delicious, smoky flavor.

There are a few things you need to know before you get started. For starters, the type of wood you choose can make all the difference in the taste of your meat. Some woods, like hickory and mesquite, are stronger and better suited for beef. While light-flavored apple and cherry, are milder and better for poultry and fish.

MeatBest Wood Chips
TurkeyApple, Cherry, or Pecan
ChickenApple, Cherry, or Hickory
RibsHickory, Mesquite, or Maple
SteakMesquite or Oak
BrisketHickory or Mesquite
Fish/SeafoodAlder, Cidar or Peach
Game meatsMesquite, Oak, or Pecan
VegetablesApple, Cherry, or Maple

It’s also important to remember that you don’t want to overdo it with the wood chips. Too much smoke can be overwhelming and ruin the flavor of your meat. Start with a small amount and adjust as needed.

You have an added benefit of an electric smoker you can easily control the temperature and amount of smoke, which results in perfectly smoked meats every time.


If you’re new to using an electric smoker and wood chips, it can seem like a daunting task. But with a little practice and patience, you can create mouth-watering meals for your family and friends.

There are 3 common ways people use wood chips in their electric smokers.

The wood chip tray method is the simplest option. You can also use the foil pouch method or smoker box if you prefer.

Supplies You Will Need to Use Wood Chips in Your Electric Smoker

There are a few essential supplies you’ll need when you are using wood chips in an electric smoker,

The first step is to choose the right type of wood chip for your food. Some woods, like mesquite, have a strong flavor that can overpower food. Other woods, like apples, have a milder flavor that will complement most foods. Each wood chip has its own unique flavor profile, so it’s important to choose wisely.

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Wet or dry wood chips in electric smoker? There is a misconception that we must soak wood chips in water and should be wet before using them in an electric smoker. This is not the case. You can check Do You Soak Wood Chips For An Electric Smoker?

You’ll also want to have a good pair of heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands. And, don’t forget to have a meat thermometer handy to ensure that your meat is cooked to perfection.


How to use wood chips for smoking? The type of wood chips you use can make a world of difference when it comes to flavor.

You can put wood chips in a chip tray, or in a smoker box, or you can use aluminum foil or tin to make your own DIY smoker hack.

1. Wood Chip Tray Method (7-Steps)

Most electric smoker comes with a wood chip tray. The tray makes it easy to add wood chips of any desired flavor to your meat by providing the perfect amount of smoke.

To use wood chips in your electric smoker, you should:

Step 1: Make sure your electric smoker is clean

When you’re using a smoker, the first step is to take care of it. It’s important to make sure that it’s clean and in great shape before you use it.

Make sure the electric smoker has no obstructions to the ventilation and has a door that seals tightly so there is no leak.

This means less time spent monitoring for leaks and observing to see if the smoke is getting out properly.

Step 2- Choose the type of wood chip you want to use.

There are many types available, so find one that suits your needs. Some people prefer small and hard chips, while others like larger pieces that give their food more flavor and complexity.

Step 3- Buy your wood chips.

You can find them in many stores. Make sure you choose a type that will accommodate your smoker and the wood chip tray.

Step 4- Place the wood chips in the tray.

Place the wood chips in the tray at the bottom of your electric smoker.

Step 5: Turn on your smoker and set up the desired cooking temperature.

Turn the smoker on and let it heat up while you prepare your food. Once the chips are heated, they will burn quickly. Don’t add any food to the smoker until it’s heated up. This may take 20-30 minutes. In colder climates, it may even take longer.

Step 6. Fill up the water tray in your smoker to keep the food moist.

Place the drip pan on top of the wood chips and fill it with water. Another thing you might want to try is adding herbs to the water that’ll bring a new level of taste and moistness to the smoking meat.

Smoking meat is a process that takes a lot of time and attention. Many factors contribute to the success of the smoked meat: temperature, humidity, wood chips, etc.

One thing that is often overlooked is the drip pan. The drip pan is placed on top of the wood chips and filled with water. This ensures that smoke and heat are dispersed evenly throughout the smoker, which makes the meat moist and juicy.

Step 7: Smoke your food with the wood chips in the smoker.

If you’re satisfied with the temperature, it’s time to add your meat! – Place your food on top of the wood chip tray and close the lid on your smoker. For easier cleanup, you should either pre-grease your cooking racks before using them or use copper grill mats.

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Copper grill mats

2. Foil Pouch Method

There are many ways to use wood chips for smoking meat, but one of the easiest is the foil pouch method. This approach is perfect for smokers who don’t have a wood chip tray.

This involves putting the wood chips in a small aluminum foil pouch and poking some holes in the top. Now place the pouch directly over an electric heating element. The heat from the smoker will cause the wood chips to smolder and produce smoke.

Smoke will come through holes and add flavor to your food.

The foil pouch method is a great way to add smoke flavor to the meat cooked in an electric smoker. It is also a good choice for people who don’t have much experience using smokers because it is straightforward. Put some wood chips in a small aluminum foil pouch, place the bag on top of your food, and let the smoker do their job.

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3. Smoker Box Method

There are many different ways to smoke meat, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. One popular method is to use wood chips in a smoker box. This can be a great way to add flavor to your meat, but it can also be tricky. If you’re new to smoking meat, here is a guide on how to use wood chips in an electric smoker using the smoker box method. How To Use Smoker Box.

To get the most out of this method, you may want to consider purchasing a smoker box. But you can also DIY your own smoker box using a tin.

A smoker box is a small container made of either stainless steel or cast iron where wood chunks/chips can be stored. Alternatively, a tin can also be used to store wood chunks or you can DIY smoker box.

-Place the wood chips in the smoker box and put them on the top rack of your smoker.

-Next, set the temperature to around 225 degrees Fahrenheit and wait for the chips to start smoking.

-Once they do, put your meat on the bottom rack of the smoker and close the door.

Generally, 1 cup of wood chips will burn for 3-4 hours. Keep an eye on how much smoke is getting out of the smoker without opening the door. Add wood chips every 3 hours or so until the cooking time is done.

How Much Wood Chips to Use in an Electric Smoker

As someone who has spent countless hours perfecting the art of smoking meat, I can tell you that the amount of wood chips you use in your electric smoker can make or break the taste of your meat.

Some people recommend that you should fill the entire wood chip tray at first. But I suggest starting with a smaller amount and adding more as needed. This way, you can control the level of smokiness and check your meat isn’t overpowered by the wood chips.

Do you add wood chips when preheating smoker?

No, you do not typically add wood chips when preheating a smoker. During the preheating process, the primary goal is to bring the smoker up to the desired cooking temperature.

Adding wood chips at this stage would cause them to burn quickly and potentially create an excessive amount of smoke before the smoker has reached the proper temperature.

Instead, it is common practice to add wood chips or chunks once the smoker has reached the desired temperature and is ready for cooking.

This allows the wood chips to smolder and produce a steady stream of smoke throughout the cooking process, infusing your food with the desired smoky flavor. Be sure to consult your specific smoker’s manual for instructions on when and how to add wood chips for optimal results.


When it comes to smoking meat, you have a few different choices for the smoker you use. You can use an electric smoker, charcoal smoker, propane smoker, or even a wood smoker.

If you are looking for an easy way to smoke your meat and don’t want to worry about charcoal or propane, the electric smoker is the perfect option.

Electric smokers are a specific type of smoker that uses electricity to generate heat and cook/smoke BBQ food. They typically use wood chips, and pellets, to produce smoke that infuses flavor into the food.

An electric smoker is a popular option because it is easy to use and clean. There is no need for lighter fluid or an open flame, making it a safer option.

Electric smokers come in various sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs. They also have multiple features, so you can choose one that meets your specific smoking needs.


Electric smokers are an excellent option for anyone who wants to smoke meat. They are easy to use, and there is no need for charcoal or propane.

An electric smoker works by heating wood chips or pellets, which creates smoke. The smoke then cooks the meat. Electric smokers come with several features, including temperature gauges, timers, and automatic shut-offs.


The electric smoker is a device that makes smoking meat easier and more convenient. The heat source is usually electricity and we can use it indoors, so it is perfect for people who live in apartments or have limited space.

An electric smoker has two main parts: a cooking chamber and a smoke generator.

The cooking chamber has an adjustable temperature control knob that allows you to set the temperature of the cooking chamber to your desired level.

The smoke generator produces smoke by burning wood chips or pellets with an electric heating element inside.

Electric smokers are simple to use – you plug them in and set the temperature. Most electric smokers come with a built-in thermometer, so you can easily monitor the temperature and make sure your meat is cooked evenly.

Electric smokers also come with a smoke box, which allows you to add smoker chips for extra flavor.

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How Often To Add Wood Chips To Electric Smoker?

How often to add wood chips to an electric smoker will depend on the size of the smoker, the cooking temperature, and the type of wood chips you are using.

In short, it’s recommended to add wood chips to the smoker every 30 minutes to 45 minutes. With this technique, you can ensure that the smoker is continuously producing smoke.

When you add too many wood chips at once it will create too much smoke. As a result, the food becomes bitter and sometimes may taste like coated in creosote.

So, it’s best to add a small handful of wood chips at a time to avoid over-smoking the food.

What type of wood chips should you use in an electric smoker?

When it comes to using wood chips in an electric smoker, there are a few things you need to consider.

The first is the type of wood chip. Different types of wood will impart additional flavors to the food being smoked.

The second consideration is the size of the chip. Larger chips will take longer to burn than more minor ones, so you need to plan accordingly.

Here is an ultimate guide on wood chips for smoking 8 Best Wood Chips for Electric Smoker (Ultimate Guide)

Some of the most popular woods for smoking include apple, cherry, hickory, and mesquite. If you’re not sure which type of wood to use, start with apple or cherry; these woods have a sweet flavor that pairs well with most meats. If you’re looking for a smokier flavor, hickory or mesquite are good options.

Regarding chip size, 1-inch chips are a good option for most smokers.

7 Electric Smoker Tips

An electric smoker is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to cook meat at home. They are easy to use, and they produce delicious results. If you are new to using an electric smoker, here are a few electric smoker tips that will help you get started:

  1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Each electric smoker is a little different, so it is essential to understand how it works before you start cooking.
  2. Experiment with different types of meat and recipes. The best way to learn how to use an electric smoker is to experiment with different kinds of meat and recipes. Try different combinations until you find what works best for you.
  3. Use the correct type of wood chips. Different types of wood chips produce different flavors, so be sure to use the type corresponding to the dish you are cooking.
  4. Clean the outside of your smoker after each use. Clean the exterior of your smoker with a grill brush to remove any residue that may be building up. This will keep the surface of your smoker looking clean and new.
  5. Don’t overfill your electric smoker. The ideal internal temperature for meat is 150 F. If you leave the meat in your smoker longer than this, it will start to dry out.
  6. Make sure that your smoker is clear of debris before you start cooking.
  7. If you are using a charcoal smoker, make sure that there is no debris in the bottom of the firebox.

Conclusion: How To Use Wood Chips In An Electric Smoker

In conclusion, using an electric smoker with wood chips is a great way to cook food and enjoy the flavor of smoked meats. It is essential to follow your specific smoker’s instructions and experiment with different types of wood chips for smoking to find the taste that you like best.

Have plenty of wood chips on hand, as you will likely need to replenish them often. Have fun smoking your favorite foods!


How to use a Masterbuilt electric smoker with wood chips?

1. Add the wood chips to the chip loader and close the lid.
2. Turn on the smoker and set it to the desired temperature (225 degrees is a good starting point).
3. Smoke for 2-3 hours, adding more chips as needed.
4. Remove food from the smoker and enjoy!

When to add wood chips to an electric smoker?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best time to add wood chips to an electric smoker will vary depending on the specific smoker and the type of wood chips being used. Generally, 1 cup of wood chips will burn for 4-5 hours. Keep an eye on how much smoke is getting out of the smoker without opening the door. A good rule of thumb is to add the wood chips to the smoker. Add wood chips every 4 hours or so until the cooking time is done.

Do you preheat electric smoker with wood chips?

No, you do not typically preheat an electric smoker with wood chips. Unlike traditional charcoal or wood smokers, electric smokers rely on an electric heating element to generate heat.
To preheat an electric smoker, you simply need to turn it on and set the desired temperature.
The heating element will gradually heat up the smoker to the set temperature. Once the smoker has reached the desired temperature, you can then add wood chips or chunks to create smoke for flavoring your food.

If there are wood chips already present in the smoker you can preheat your electric smoker with wood chips, but it’s unnecessary.

You can add chips at any point in an electric smoker. The electric smoker will take about 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
Personally, I add the chips when the meat goes in. Otherwise, I find too much smoking going on while it’s preheating. It’s simply a waste.

How long do wood chips last in an electric smoker?

It depends on how often you use your smoker and the type of wood chips. If you are using high-quality, fresh wood chips, they should last for around 1-2 hours. If you are using older, drier chips, they may only last for 30 minutes.

How often do you put wood chips in an electric smoker?

The question of how often to change smoker chips? You should add wood chips to your electric smoker is a complex one. The answer depends on several factors and can vary from person to person, depending on what you’re cooking, how smokey you like things, and what kind of smoker you have. It’s generally recommended that you add wood chips to an electric smoker every hour. This will help keep the smoke flowing and will produce the best results.

How many wood chips are in electric smokers?

Generally, 1 cup of wood chips will burn for 3-4 hours. Keep an eye on how much smoke is getting out of the smoker without opening the door. Add wood chips every 3 hours or so until the cooking time is done.

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