The Ultimate Guide in Wood Flavouring for the Grill

The Ultimate Guide in Wood Flavouring for the Grill

Smoke is an ancient way to add flavour to anything you cook. It was actually first used to preserve meat for long periods of time but as different woods were used, enhanced flavour was a happy accident. Now we have several different options when it comes to the flavour of wood used in the smoking process. To create “good smoke”, your go-to woods for the best flavour are hardwoods that are free or low in resin.

You don't have to use prepackaged wood chipsto add a little smoke to your fire, but it is wise to do so. You want to ensure that you’re using the best wood, free of glues, nails, chemicals, paint, etc. It’s also important to pick the right wood for what you’re cooking and flavouring.

Make sure you check out our ultimate guide in wood flavouring below.

When in doubt, ask the professionals at Barbecue Country for suggestions on the proper wood chips to use and the way to use them in your specific grill. Generally speaking, any hardwood that is free of resin (or sap) is good for making smoke. If you enjoy the fruit or nuts that the tree makes, then you’ll likely enjoy the flavouring it gives off during smoking.

Haven’t used wood for smoking before? We suggest you start small. Use a ¼ cup of presoaked chips in your grill and see what it does for you. Half the fun of barbecuing is experimenting. Practice using different woods with smaller items like steak and chicken. With a little practice, you can graduate to the 20-hour brisket.

Size Matters


Sawdust -

Ideal when used in a contained smoker box so the small particles will smoulder slowly.


Chips -

Will produce great smoke and are available in many flavours. For gas barbecues, always use a smoker box or foil pouch. For charcoal barbecues and smokers, put directly on hot coals.

Pellets -

May have the greatest selection of flavours. All pure, all wood, no bark. Only a 1/3 cup needed for most cooking sessions. Compact storage. Warning - Do not soak pellets.


Chunks -

Large chunks are ideal for smokers and when cooking for longer periods of time.


Soaking Wood -

Soaking larger chunks does not increase burn time. The water does not penetrate large chunks well. Chips are ideal for soaking. Soaked chips will take longer to light and the flavour will be more pungent. Try a mix of 1/2 wet and 1/2 dry – just don’t soak pellets! Never use wood that has been sprayed with insecticides or chemicals.

Get started practicing with flavoured wood chips today! Visit us online or come down to Barbecue Country to see our full selection of premium wood chips.


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  • Taylor Mitchell