How To Make Wood Chips For Smoker in 5 Steps

The article is going to be about how to make wood chips for smoker. It has a detailed list of supplies that you will need in order to create your own wood chips. The steps are easy and concise. All you need for this project is a few high skewers, some aluminum foil, and some dried out branches from a hardwood, such as oak or ash. There are many options in regards to what kind of woods you may use. Take your time and experiment to see what works best for you.

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What type of wood should you use for chips?

 You can use any type of wood that you would like. However, when making a chip for barbecue, the most common is oak. Oak does not make good charcoal shortening, so what do you do? You can use another type of hardwood instead of oak. You could also use hickory or pecan. Any type of hardwood will work well to create your own wood chips for your smoker. The same process will apply to all types of chips; they are just different ways of doing it.

Methods for making wood chips

  • How to make chips from bark

You first need to cut the tree down and then cut the bark off. Bark contains very little flammable material, which is why it doesn't burn in a smoker, so it's best to use bark in areas where you wouldn't want to put wood chips.

For example, if you are mixing something that has a high sugar content with smoke as well as meat, you will want to mix wood chips with the bark. This can be used as a smoking method because bark has very little flammable material inside of it.

  • How to make chips from wood pellets: 

Most people that want to make their own wood chips usually go after scraps from their local warehouse and use them for the smoker. However, there is a better way to create a chip that gives you longer lasting chips. You can take pine bark or cedar shavings and compress them into the shape of a log and put it in the smoker. This will make sure there is nothing but wood inside of your chip, giving it a very long shelf life when it comes to smoking with it. The taste will also be far superior because there is nothing but wood within the structure of the chip.

  • How to make chips from wood shavings: 

You can also make your own wood shavings. If you want to use branches, you will have to cut them up into pieces that can be used in the smoker. However, those pieces must be small enough to fit properly in the smoker. It is best to leave the wood its natural color instead of adding stain or paint. However, if you are using this branch shavings as an additive instead of as a chip, it will not matter what color they are painted because you won't see them anyway.

How to make wood chips for smoker:The material you need 

  • High skewers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hardwood chips of your choice 
  • Aluminum trays

Depending on the smoker you are making, you will need to use different amounts and sizes of chips, so this is just an estimation as well as a guideline on how much wood chips you will need to purchase.

The dimensions for the high skewers should be about 40 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 4 inches thick; although this might vary depending on your preference for thickness. You may also have to consider what kind of shape you would like the chip to be when it is cut out, but keep in mind that it needs to fit inside of your smoker.

The aluminum foil should be about the size of four inches by four inches, and it will be used to wrap around the skewers in order to keep them together.

The hardwood chips should be cut into strips that are 12 inches long, 1 inch wide, and no more than 2 inches thick. If you are going through a local tree farm, you may want to ask beforehand if they would provide you with cuttings of hardwood. 

If they do not have the right sized pieces for you, but only large amounts of bark or sawdust, which can be used instead of chips. You can use the aluminum trays to store your chips until they are ready to go in the smoker.

How to make wood chips for smoker

  1. Cut the hardwood down into small sized pieces that are thin and flat on one side and rounded on the other. You will need to cut them the right length so that they can fit in your smoker.
  2. Take each strip of hardwood and wrap it with aluminum foil, making sure it is a tight fit around the wood.
  3. When you have all of your strips of hardwood wrapped with aluminum foil, you will then take a high skewer and stretch out each individual strip with it to make them straight up and down.
  4. Use the high skewers to hold the hardwood strips in place while you nail them into a piece of plywood on top of the aluminum trays. Make sure that your nails are flush with the wood chip so that when it is time to go into the smoker, you can easily grab them and remove them from the smoker.
  5. You have successfully made wood chips for smoker, and now it is time to put them in your smoker!

Tips on make wood chips for smoker

  • You want each individual piece of hardwood to be about 1/4 inch thick, which is why it is best to cut them into 12 inch long strips. However, if your smoker has different dimensions than the one that is being discussed above, you may need to change the measurements and make them fit.
  • You can also make wood chips from rolling up thin branches and rolling them into a cylinder shape, rather than cutting them down into long strips.
  • For those smokers that do not have any type of attachments for wood chips, you can use a metal ruler to hold your chip because nails work just as well as any other type of fastener when it comes to smoking meat. However, you will only be able to use this method if you can find a way for the metal ruler to stay flat and straight without bending.
  • You need to have high skewers that are 40 inches long and 15 inches by 4 inches in order for the chips to fit properly into your smoker. The skewers should not be too thin because they could break when you insert them into your smoker.

Benefits of using wood chips in a smoker

  • The wood chips that you use in your smoker add better, stronger flavor to your meats.
  • They can be reused if they are made properly and they are not burned out or bursting into flames while you are smoking with them.
  • If you know what type of wood chips to use and smoke with, you will be able to have a better smoked food than anyone else who is using the same type of smoker as you but using different types of wood chips.
  • When done right, adding wood chips in your smoker will help bring that smoky flavor that everyone loves without having to go through the hassle of actually smoking the food yourself, which can often be hard work and time consuming.
  • Wood chips are very affordable and are easy to come by, whether you choose to shop online or in a hardware store.
  • There are many brands of wood chips available, as well as many different types of wood chips, from exotic woods to sweet woods such as hickory and maple.
  • Wood chips for smoking can be used in any type of smoker, whether it be electric smokers, propane smokers, charcoal smokers, offset smokers or even homemade smokers. The only thing that matters is the size and shape of the smoke chamber inside the smoker; because you will have to cut your wood chips down if they do not fit inside the chamber.
  • You can make your own wood chips for smoking, especially if you are growing a vegetable garden and can use the left over sawdust for smoking your foods!
  • Wood chips for smoking can be somewhat expensive, however there are cheaper brands that have the same quality as the more expensive brands, as well as promotions such as buy one get one free sales.
  • Once you have purchased wood chips and they are ready to go into your smoker, there is no preparation required other than opening up the bag of wood chips and adding them to the chamber of your smoker!

How to store and use wood chips?

  • When it comes to storing your wood chips for smoking, it is best to put them in air tight bags and then put them into a dry box or container. Make sure that they are not exposed to too much light or moisture.
  • Wood chips can be stored for a long time, however some of the more exotic woods tend to lose their fragrance after 1 year of storage, even if they are in an air-tight container or bag.
  • It is best to use your wood chips when you first purchase them because the longer you store them, the less flavor they will have once you use them in your smoker and begin smoking meats with them.
  • You will also find that the more you smoke meats with your wood chips, the less flavorful they will become.
  • You can use wood chips in any type of smoker, whether it be electric smokers or propane smokers; however there are some benefits to using wood chips in offset smokers and charcoal smokers over electric smokers and propane smokers.
  • It is best to only use wood chips when you are smoking meats in your smoker. If you want to add a flavoring agent such as coffee beans or other seasonings, you can do so while they are still smoking and when they are done cooking rather than after they have stopped smoking themselves!
  • When smoking meats with wood chips, it is best to use a temperature that is around 225 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. You will want to use the smoking chamber of your smoker that is made for wood chips, and not one that you have converted into a cooking chamber by adding other types of wood chips, spices or seasonings.


How do you make wood chips for a smoker?

You can make wood chips for your smoker by purchasing them in a bag or box and then placing those in the smoker that you are using while it is still hot, but not yet smoking.

What size wood chips should I use in my smoker?

The size of the smoke chamber that you have inside your smoker will determine how large your wood chips need to be. The typical dimensions of a smoke chamber for electricity smokers and most propane smokers are around 12 inches long, by about 2 inches wide. For charcoal smokers, the dimensions are usually around 12 inches long, by about 5/8 inch wide; however, some charcoal smokers may vary from these standard dimensions.

Can you make your own wood chips?

Yes, you can make your own wood chips for smoking by using your left over sawdust from your work on a vegetable garden or landscaping project.

Can you make wood chips for smoking?

Yes, you can make your own wood chips for smoking by using your left over sawdust from your work on a vegetable garden or landscaping project.

What kind of wood chips do you use to smoke meat?

You will use one of the following types of wood chips for smoking meats: applewood, oak, hickory and maple.

Are there any health concerns with using wood chips for smoking?

The main health concern with using wood chips for smoking is the inhalation of smoke and the release of carcinogenic gases into the air. You are able to cut down on that by not burning your wood chips in an attempt to keep the smoke out, but instead, keeping them hot and smoking your meats.

Can you smoke with any wood?

You will need to buy a type of wood chip that you will be able to use in your smoke chamber; however, there are some exotic woods that smell great and have a very distinct and appealing scent to it. These woods are often hard to come by and can send many people running into the store to purchase them only to find out that they are sold out.

Can you smoke with apple branches?

When you smoke foods with apple branches, the flavor can be rather strong. If you do not like strong tastes in your meats, then it is best to keep away from smoking with apple branches.

What is the difference between smoking and broiling?

The main difference between smoking and broiling is that when you are smoking food, you are cooking with fire at a low temperature. When broiling food, you are cooking at a high temperature without fire present.


Make sure to have the proper tools and supplies before you get started. Start by gathering the wood chips you need and follow these simple steps to make your own smoker wood chips. Finally, always be safe when using a smoker and use common sense when smoking anything.

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