Adding Flavor with Wood Chips

Grilling over wood chips imparts wonderful flavor and richness to your favorite grilled recipes.

Remember…a little goes a long way. Before using, place the wood in a food-safe container; cover with water. Soak blocks of wood at least 1 hour and chips for 20 to 30 minutes; drain.

For a charcoal grill, place the wood directly on the hot coals.

For a gas grill, place the wood in your grill's smoker box if available and use according to your manufacturer's directions. If no smoker box is available, place wood in a disposable foil pan or create a foil pouch for chips and set on the grill before preheating.

Wood Type Flavor Use With
Alder Delicate and sweet Fish and poultry
Apple Slightly sweet and fruity Poultry, pork and fish
Black Birch Delicate, touch of mint Lamb, chicken, swordfish, vegetables
Butternut Sweet, nutty Steak, venison, buffalo
Cherry Mild, slightly sweet and fruity Poultry, pork and fish
Grapevine Rich, fruity Fish, especially salmon and swordfish
Hickory Hearty, smoky bacon-like flavor Most red meats, pork, poultry and vegetables
Maple Mild, smoky and sweet Poultry, ham and vegetables
Mesquite Strong, sharp earthy flavor Beef, most other meats and vegetables
Oak Rich, yet mellow Steak, ribs, pork, venison
Peach Mellow, fruity, sweet Duck, goose, turkey
Pecan Mellower than hickory Chicken, duck
Sassafrass Mellow, smoky Sausage, hot or mild