Getting Wood Chips to Smoke-HELP???

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smokin' j

Original poster
Aug 27, 2006
Beaverton, Oregon
As you all know I'm new to the smoking world -- gotta love the Q. I'm doing a brisket this afternoon and I'm having trouble getting my wood to smoke. I'm using a propane "Smoke Vault" which has a cast-iron wood tray right above the burner. I've soaked the hickory chips really well and put them into the smoker but they either just lay there or dry out. There's no real direction as to using wood chips. Do I pile them up? Do I spread them out? How many do I use at a time? (I put in two good handfuls). Do I keep adding wood? I'm sure that question will be answered by me as the smokiness I desire. Anyway, can anyone give me some suggestions or guidance on this? That poor old brisket is sitting out there looking pretty lonely without the blue mist circlin' round it.

Smokin' J
aka Jill
Beaverton, Oregon
a Novice but wanting to learn all I can
Sorry for answering this so late Jill, There are two schools of thought when it comes to wood chips-to soak or not to soak. I used to soak my chips and would wait and wait and wait for the thin blue to appear. Now I just toss them in dry just before I place the meat in the smoker. Now I don't have to wait until the chips dry out to see the thin blue wafting from the top vent. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.