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How-To: Use Wood Chips on the Grill

Adding wood chips to your charcoal or gas grill lends a smokier flavor to meat, fish, and vegetables. The chips are available in a variety of woods, including mesquite, hickory, apple, and cherry—and each lends a distinctive taste and intensity, says Weber grill master Kevin Kolman.


Choose the Chips

Select the right size: large chunks for charcoal grills, smaller chips for gas. The amount needed will depend on cook- ing time, but start with one to two handfuls and replenish as needed (check every two hours).

Prep the Wood

For gas grills, soak chips in water for one hour prior to grilling—they need to smolder to impart the best flavor (don’t soak chunks). Wrap the chips in a foil packet, poke holes in the top, and place it on the grill. For charcoal, put the chunks directly on the coals.

Watch the Smoke

Ensure that the smoke coming from the grill is white, not black (a sign that the wood or food is burning). If you see black smoke, lower the temperature by closing the vents. The food should taste smoked, not bitter.