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How much wood chips should I use?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm still not sure how many chips do you guys use for a 10 hour smoke?

I have been using the small Hickory chips that you get a Lowe's.

I wrap them in foil and punch a few holes in the foil. And put it on the charcoal.

The last smoke I did was a butt and went through about a bag of chips. I think this might be way overkill. The chips never completely burn to ash. Or maybe I never really gave them a chance.
post #2 of 12
Somebody might have a less obtuse answer for you but I think its all trial and error, matter of taste and depends on your set up.
What you dont want is a lot of wood burning(smoking) all at once. Ive used the foil pouch with good results but still if you place it directly on top of hot coals the whole pouch will incinerate much too quickly. The key is a set up that will slowly smolder your chips. When I set up my ECB, I always leave one pocket off to the side with no coals. Its in that pocket that I place my chips unfoiled adjacent to but not directly on top of the coals. They are close enough that they slowly begin to catch and smolder providing just a thin whisp of smoke that lasts in the ballpark of an hour to an hour and a half. As I add chips ill do the same placing the chips directly next to but not atop the coals. How long you keep the smoke trickling is a matter of your taste and what your smoking. Big hunks of meat ill keep the smoke for at least 4 hours nice and thin but even.
Anyway try placing your foil pouch in such a way to slow down the rate of burn. The fact that there is still some unashed wood sounds promising as long as it wasnt extinguished hours ago its still providing smoke and flavor at a very low rate which is desireable.
post #3 of 12
As was previously said each person is different to the amount of smoke they like to use. I have found that we like our meat lightly smoked and therefore use about 2 hands full of wood chips that have been soaked in water.

I have used the foil method but found that the wood chips seem to burn up too fast and I like the wood box, a small rectangle box with holes on the top and bottom. I use the same amount of wood 2 hands full of wood chips.

With the metal box I get a more even smoke than I did with the foil.
post #4 of 12
What kind of smoker you run has a bit of bearing on this too.
post #5 of 12
I have a GOSM which is a gasser, but did the same thin with my side firebox rig, I use a 9x9 cake pan, fill it with chips er chunks, then cover with foil, poke about 3 er 4 holes in the foil, this heps prevent flare ups.

On Charcoal, I always set it off ta the side, lookin fer a nice thin blue smoke, just visible is perfect. Once in a while I shake the pan ta hep keep the wood in contact with the metal, I usually refill my pan once er twice durin a long butt smoke. I like a heavier smoke flavor myself, so I use a bit more, but this is also effected by which would yall er usin. Hickory bein a heavy wood, apple lighter an such. Lilac is very light an I use it on fish. Good luck.
post #6 of 12
Lowes has a steel chip box for about 10 bucks ... fill er up with chips and one box is all you really need ... but it depends on your taste requirements. I use the chip box when I wish to mix woods such as apple - maple or red oak - cherry ... that being said I don't use chips, chunks or pellets give a much better results over a longer cooking time.
Lowes also has hickory and mesquite lump charcoal ... no chips needed.
post #7 of 12
A handful every hour or so for the first few hours ought to work.

You'll probably get 3 (maybe 4) smokes from one of those bags of chips you find at Lowe's.
post #8 of 12
I have a MES and use the chips. You have to be careful to get the thin blue smoke. Just a few chips about every 30-40 min, otherwise I sometimes get to much white billowing smoke with a full handful.
post #9 of 12
Try the Minion method and layer your foiled chips amogst the charcoal. This can work with chunks too. good luck.
post #10 of 12
I have a propane/charcoal smoker. This is my first smoker and i ha e pre seasoned it. I need to know how much wood chips to use to smoke a whole chicken. Ive seen the wood chips last like 20 mins..... when i preseasoned it. Help.please......
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeman 72 View Post

I have a propane/charcoal smoker. This is my first smoker and i ha e pre seasoned it. I need to know how much wood chips to use to smoke a whole chicken. Ive seen the wood chips last like 20 mins..... when i preseasoned it. Help.please......

I am wodering about this too. Seasoning right now and chips burn to ash in 20 minutes. Soaked chips for about an hour. I may have the same one as smokeman, Masterbuilt Pro duel fuel smoker. Foiled the pan according to the great post here...

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/113601/initial-setup-and-using-the-masterbuilt-vertical-propane-smoker

post #12 of 12

 

 The main thing to concern yourself with is "thin and blue". Not a heavy white smoke like is on left. Personally, I would switch to chunks when you can. The only time I use chips is in my gas grill for an addition of smoke. Chunks will last you much longer. As to how much, as another poster stated, it is really up to you. Different woods impart different flavors and/or taste. It will be up to you to find out which ones you like and just how much you need.

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