Using Wood Chips in a Pellet Grill?

Using Wood Chips in a Pellet Grill?

You fire up your pellet grill and get ready for a nice day of smoking. You put the pellet grill on your desired temperature setting and notice that there isn’t much visible smoke.

Normally wood chips are used in regular charcoal and propane grills to produce more smoke so can wood chips be added to a pellet grill?

Wood chips cannot be added into a pellet grill’s hopper as this will jam the auger. A pellet smoker tube is more efficient at producing smoke on a pellet grill but uses wood pellets instead of wood chips to create additional smoke.

So there are ways to create more smoke on a pellet grill but wood chips are not the easiest way to do that.

Do Not Place Wood Chips in Hopper

First and foremost, wood chips must never be placed inside of the pellet grill’s hopper.

Pellet grills require compressed wood pellets since the auger and firepot are designed for wood pellets. Most wood chips are irregular in size and shape which will jam the auger and prevent the pellet grill from working.

Below is an image of the internal components of a pellet grill. Read this article to learn more about how pellets grills work.

How Pellet Grills Work

Never place irregular items inside of a pellet grill’s hopper such as wood chips or charcoal or else the auger will get jammed.

How To Create More Smoke On A Pellet Grill

Here are the best ways to create more smoke on a pellet grill:

  1. Use a pellet smoker tube
  2. Use a lower temperature setting on the pellet grill
  3. Use hardwood pellets instead of fruitwood pellets

Although I haven’t personally tested this myself but some home smokers report placing wood chips directly onto the heat shield in order to create more smoke.

However, I highly recommend using a smoker tube instead.

1. Using A Smoker Tube for More Smoke

The best way to create more smoke on a pellet grill is to use a pellet smoker tube. These smoker tubes are metal tubes that can be filled with the exact same wood pellets your pellet grill is using in order to create more smoke.

Wood Pellet Smoker Tube

The wood pellets are ignited using a lighter or a torch and then placed onto the pellet grill’s grate. The huge benefit of a smoker tube is that one or two of these tubes can be placed next to the food being smoked.

The wood pellets burn slowly from one end so a smoker tube will last hours before needing to be refilled.

Another huge benefit of smoker tubes is that these can be used for cold smoking. Typically cheeses, beef jerky, and even fish can be cold smoked by using smoker tubes.

So smoker tubes are incredibly helpful pellet grill accessories that will aid in creating more smoke on a pellet grill.

2. Lower Temperature Setting Creates More Smoke on Pellet Grills

Pellet grills produce more smoke on lower temperature settings. Typically when a pellet grill is first ignited, in the smoke or low-temperature settings, the pellet grill will produce the most amount of smoke.

Whereas a pellet grill that is set to a high temperature such as 400°F will produce less visible smoke.

Although pellet grills do create smoke at all temperature ranges, higher temperatures require the pellets to be burned faster which doesn’t allow the pellets to smolder and smoke.

So set the pellet grill to a low temperature setting such as 180°F or 225°F to produce more smoke.

3. Hardwood Pellets Produce More Smoke Than Fruitwoods

Generally, hardwoods produce more smoke than fruitwoods. So use a hardwood pellet such as mesquite or oak over fruitwoods in order to create more smoke with a pellet grill.

The extra smoke produced by hardwoods will create a more intense smoky flavor on the food as well. So hardwoods are not ideal when smoking cheeses or vegetables.

Fruitwoods such as apple and pecan are great when creating a sweeter smoky flavor on food. However, fruitwoods will not produce as much smoke as hardwood pellets.

See this article for the best wood for smoking on a pellet grill. The article also contains comparison tables to pair woods with the food being smoked.

Final Thoughts

Wood chips cannot be used a fuel inside of a pellet grill. Pellet grills are designed specifically for wood pellets which means anything fuel that is irregular in shape or size will cause the grill to jam.

Generally, wood chips are typically used inside of smoker boxes to create additional smoke. In order to create more smoke on a pellet grill, do one of the following:

  1. Use a pellet smoker tube
  2. Use a lower temperature setting on the pellet grill
  3. Use hardwood pellets instead of fruitwood pellets

More smoke can be created on a pellet grill by using the right tools and temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you use a smoke box on a pellet grill?

Q: Can you substitute wood pellets for wood chips?

A: Do not substitute wood pellets for wood chips as they will burn differently. Wood pellets can be used to create additional smoke within a smoker tube. However, wood pellets cannot be placed inside a smoker box designed for wood chips. Similarly wood chips cannot be placed inside of a smoker box, but create additional smoke within smoker boxes.

Q: Are wood chips and pellets the same?

A: The wood used in wood chips and pellets can be the same. However, wood pellets are compressed down into tiny pellets that can be used as the fuel for pellet grills or for additional smoke within smoker tubes. Wood chips can only be used to create additional smoke within a smoker box.

Q: Can you use wood chips in a pit boss pellet smoker?

A: Wood chips cannot be used in a Pit Boss pellet grill. Pellet grills require wood pellets in order to create heat and smoke. Wood chips are irregular in size and shape which will get jammed in the pellet grill’s auger. So only place wood pellets inside of a pellet grill’s hopper.

Q: Can I use wood chips in my Traeger grill?

A: Wood chips cannot be used in a Traeger or any other pellet grill. Pellet grills require wood pellets in order to create heat and smoke. Wood chips are irregular in size and shape which will get jammed in the pellet grill’s auger.

Please follow and like us:

Steven

I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

Recent Posts