How often do you you add more chips or chunks when you are smoking meat? First off, this is only for those of you who are NOT using a “stick burner” or a smoker that only takes actual sticks or splits of wood.
Many new meat smokers do not understand the “full” concept of smoking.. they have a general idea but sometimes wonder if they need to replenish the wood chips when it stops smoking or whether to soak the wood chips or even where to put the wood chips or chunks.
I had a newcomer ask me one time if the wood chips go in the water bowl.. now this may seem basic to some but I subscribe to the notion that there are NO stupid questions and questions are how you learn and if you don’t ask questions then you never get smarter.
The answer is YES.. you do need to replenish the wood chips when they stop smoking whether that is every 15 minutes or every hour. It is different for each smoker and also depends on the method of adding wood chips to the fire.
I actually have a formula that I use and it seems to work well for me:
Keep adding smoking wood to the smoker for about half of the total cook time or until the meat reaches 140° F.
If you are having trouble with the wood chips or chunks burning up too quickly, simply soak them in water for about 30-60 minutes before you are ready to use them. This will slow down the consumption of the wood and make them last slightly longer.
I prefer not to soak the wood most of the time but as I always say.. these things are personal preference and there are no rules one way or another.
Another option if you are using wood chips is to soak one half of the wood chips in water for 30 minutes then mix half wet and half dry chips and place a single handful onto a 12 x 12 inch piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.
Wrap the foil around the chips and poke three or four holes in the top of the foil to allow the smoke to get out.
Lay the package on top of the coals or heating element of your smoker for good smoking action. Be sure to make several of these so you can have them ready once the first one stops smoking.