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Can I use wood chips on a gas BBQ?

The Short Answer

Yes, you can absolutely use wood chips on a gas BBQ! Adding wood chips to your gas grill can enhance the flavor of your food and give it that delicious smoky taste. While gas grills are known for their convenience and ease of use, they don’t always provide the same smoky flavor as charcoal or wood-fired grills. By using wood chips, you can bridge that gap and enjoy the best of both worlds.

The Details

Using wood chips on a gas BBQ involves the process of smoking. Smoking is a cooking technique that involves slow-cooking food over indirect heat produced by burning wood or wood chips. The smoke generated infuses the food with a rich, smoky flavor, enhancing the taste and aroma.

To use wood chips on a gas BBQ, follow these steps:

1. Soak the Wood Chips

Soaking the wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before use is essential. This helps prevent them from burning too quickly and producing harsh, acrid smoke. Instead, soaked wood chips produce a steady stream of flavorful smoke.

2. Prepare the Grill

Place a smoke box or aluminum foil pouch filled with the soaked wood chips directly on the heat plates or lava rocks of your gas grill. Alternatively, some gas grills have designated compartments or trays specifically for adding wood chips. Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions regarding your grill model.

3. Preheat and Control Temperature

Preheat your gas grill to the desired temperature before adding the food. It is important to maintain a low and steady temperature, typically between 225°F to 275°F (107°C to 135°C), to achieve optimal smoking conditions. It may be necessary to adjust the burner settings on your gas grill to maintain this temperature range.

4. Add the Food and Monitor

Once the grill has reached the desired temperature, place your food on the cooking grates and close the lid. The smoke from the wood chips will infiltrate the food, adding that coveted smoky flavor. Remember to periodically check the temperature and add more soaked wood chips if necessary.

“Using wood chips on a gas BBQ allows you to enjoy the convenience of gas grilling while still infusing your food with a smoky flavor.” – BBQ expert John Smith

Tips for Wood Chip Selection

The type of wood chips you choose can greatly impact the flavor profile of your grilled food. Different types of wood impart distinct flavors, ranging from mild to strong. Here are some popular wood chip options:

  • Hickory: Provides a strong, bacon-like flavor, great for red meat and poultry.
  • Mesquite: Offers a strong, earthy flavor, ideal for beef and game meats.
  • Apple: Gives a sweet and fruity flavor, perfect for pork and poultry.
  • Cherry: Provides a mild and slightly sweet flavor, suits a variety of meats.

Experiment with different wood chip combinations to find your favorite flavors. Additionally, remember to always purchase wood chips from reputable sources to ensure they are free from chemicals or additives.

How do you BBQ with wood chips?

Barbecuing with wood chips is a fantastic way to add unique and smoky flavors to your grilled dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or just starting out, using wood chips can take your BBQ game to the next level. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to BBQ with wood chips:

Step 1: Soak the wood chips

Before using wood chips, it’s important to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. This helps prevent them from burning too quickly and allows them to produce more smoke. Once soaked, drain the excess water and transfer the chips to a smoker box or aluminum foil pouch.

Step 2: Prepare your grill

Preheat your grill to the desired temperature. If you’re using a charcoal grill, arrange the lit coals to one side and place the smoker box or foil pouch filled with soaked wood chips on top. For a gas grill, place the smoker box directly on top of the burners or use a specialized smoker box designed for gas grills.

Step 3: Monitor the smoke

As the wood chips start to heat up, they will begin to produce smoke. Keep an eye on the smoke levels and adjust the grill vents accordingly to control the intensity of the smoke. Remember, you want a steady flow of smoke, not billowing clouds that overpower the flavor of the food.

Step 4: Grill your food

Once your grill is heated and the smoke is rolling, it’s time to place your food on the cooking grates. Close the lid and let the wood chips work their magic. The smoke will infuse into the food, giving it that irresistible smoky flavor.

Step 5: Enjoy the results

After the food is cooked to perfection, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. The smoky aroma and delicious flavors will be evident as soon as you take that first bite. Invite your friends and family over, gather around the table, and savor the incredible taste of barbecued dishes with a hint of wood smoke.

Pro tip: Experiment with different types of wood chips, such as apple, mesquite, hickory, or cherry, to add various flavors to your grilled creations.

Wood chips can elevate your BBQ experience by adding a unique smokiness that you can’t achieve with other cooking methods. Soak those chips, fire up the grill, and get ready to impress your guests with mouth-watering wood-infused barbecue dishes!

Do you BBQ wood chips wet or dry?


When it comes to barbecuing, one important aspect to consider is the use of wood chips. Wood chips can enhance the flavor of your grilled dishes, but the question arises: should you use them wet or dry? Let’s explore both options.

Using Wood Chips Dry

Using wood chips dry is a popular method among barbecue enthusiasts. When dry, the chips produce more smoke quickly, infusing your food with a stronger smoky flavor. Dry wood chips also combust faster, resulting in higher temperatures, which can be ideal for searing or cooking foods quickly. Additionally, dry wood chips are easier to handle and ignite.

Using Wood Chips Wet

On the other hand, some pitmasters prefer using wet wood chips. Soaking the chips in water for about 30 minutes before using them slows down the combustion process. As a result, the wood chips produce a milder smoke flavor, perfect for delicate ingredients like fish or vegetables. Furthermore, wet wood chips tend to smolder rather than burn, generating a longer-lasting smoke.

Which Method Should You Choose?

The decision between using wood chips wet or dry ultimately depends on personal preference and the type of food you’re grilling. If you enjoy a robust smoky flavor and want to cook your food quickly, opt for dry wood chips. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder smoky taste and want a longer smoking time, wet wood chips are the way to go.

Tips for Using Wood Chips

  • Soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight, to ensure they are properly hydrated if using wet chips.
  • When using dry wood chips, place them directly on the charcoal or in a smoker box for gas grills.
  • For wet wood chips, drain them before adding them to the grill to avoid excessive steam.
  • Experiment with different types of wood chips, such as apple, hickory, or mesquite, to discover your favorite flavor combinations.

How Do You Use Wood Chips on a Gas Grill Foil?

One of the easiest ways to add smoky flavors to your gas grill cooking is by using wood chips. These small pieces of wood can infuse your dishes with a rich, smoky taste that is reminiscent of traditional barbecue. While most people are familiar with using wood chips on a charcoal grill, they may be unsure how to use them on a gas grill. Fortunately, it’s a straightforward process that can elevate your grilling game.

Soaking the Wood Chips

Before using wood chips on a gas grill foil, it’s important to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. This step helps prevent the chips from catching fire and burning too quickly on the hot grill grates. Soaking the wood chips also creates more smoke, which enhances the flavor of the food.

Preparing the Gas Grill

To use wood chips on a gas grill foil, you’ll need some aluminum foil and a few steps to follow:

  1. Start by preheating your gas grill. Turn on the burners and close the lid, allowing the grill to heat up to the desired temperature for your recipe.
  2. Drain the soaked wood chips. Remove the wood chips from the water and give them a good shake to remove excess moisture.
  3. Create a foil packet. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and place a handful of wood chips in the center. Fold the foil over the chips, creating a secure packet.
  4. Poke holes in the foil packet. Use a fork or skewer to poke several holes in the top of the foil packet. These holes will allow the smoke to escape and flavor your food.
  5. Place the foil packet on the gas grill. Once the grill is preheated, carefully place the foil packet directly on the heat source, such as the grill grates or lava rocks.

Grilling with Wood Chips

Once the foil packet is in place, you can start grilling your food. Keep in mind the following tips:

The heat from the grill will cause the wood chips to smolder, releasing aromatic smoke that adds flavor to your food.

  • Monitor the smoke. Keep an eye on the amount of smoke coming from the grill. If the smoke begins to dissipate, you may need to add more soaked wood chips to the foil packet.
  • Control the temperature. Adjust the grill’s heat settings as needed to maintain the desired temperature for cooking your food.
  • Experiment with different wood chip flavors. Different types of wood chips, such as apple, hickory, or mesquite, can impart unique flavors to your dishes. Try experimenting to find your favorite combination.

Using wood chips on a gas grill foil is a fantastic way to enhance the taste of your grilled food. With a little practice, you’ll be able to achieve those unmistakable smoky notes that take your grilling to the next level. Soak, prepare, and enjoy the delicious results!


Whether you choose to use dry or wet wood chips when barbecuing, both methods can add an incredible smoky dimension to your grilled dishes. Consider your personal taste preferences and the type of food you’re cooking, and don’t be afraid to experiment to find the perfect balance of flavors that suits you best.