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Inishta 12-17-2007 01:40 AM

Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
A question for all our smoking experts out there. We have access to fruit woods of all types and various hard and soft woods. We cannot get wood chips for smoking and barbequing. Can someone advise on a method of making our own or point me in the direction of a tutorial online. I am sure it is not as simple as going out with an axe and lopping bits off.

Many thanks ........


CanuckJim 12-17-2007 03:59 AM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

Here, it's easy; there it might not be. Commercial tree cutting operations here use a gas powered device called a chipper to coarsely chop up limbs (at least if I don't get there first), and the size is just about right for smoking or BBQ. Alternately, for smoking at least, you can use chain saw dust. It's finer than what comes out of a chipper, but it does work.


dmun 12-17-2007 07:04 AM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
I recently saw a picture of a well known pizza place in Naples, and they had a pile of wood chips under the oven where you would expect the logs to be. I did a google search for wood chip fuel, and it's quite standard in Europe, used the way that wood pellets are here. It seems that after they get the fire going, they keep it fueled and flaming by shoveling in wood chips.

As Jim points out, tons of wood chips go to the landfill in North America every day. If there was a process to dry and de-leaf them, it might be a good source of fuel not only for smokers but for ovens and stoves.

n2iko 12-21-2007 01:46 PM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
You can de-junk a pile of chips in front of a fan to blow all the light stuff like leaves. Seperate the chaff.


Inishta 12-21-2007 11:45 PM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
Thanks all for the input. Sun-dried chips. So all I have to do is get an axe, take some branches, de-bark and lop off lots of bits. I will then dry these in the mediterranean sun and be 'good to go' as our US friends would say.


Xabia Jim 02-09-2008 10:58 PM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
Just noticed this post....I've used wood chips for years in the BBQ for smoked flavor. I find mesquite and hickory at Wal-Mart or Home Depot but have also found apple and alder at other places.

Remember to soak them chips well before using and they'll last longer and provide more smoke. I'll soak for 2 to 12 hours.

I custom built a stainless steel tube with holes in it so it would smoke more than burn. I but it low in the grill above the burners of my gas Weber.

In the WFO the woods does the smoky trick!:)

Xabia Jim 02-09-2008 11:00 PM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
Oh by the way I've seen both fine chips and big chunks used. I use the finer chips in my tube but the wet chunks should work on or near a fire.

telehort 02-10-2008 09:35 PM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
If you use chunks you shouldn't have to soak them. I have a competitive BBQ team and we debated this once and finally took a chunk a bit smaller than a tennis ball and soaked it for about 12 hours. We cut into it and the water probably penetrated less than 1/8th of an inch. It "steamed" a bit when we put it in the smoker, but no really difference. I do agree about soaking chips though.

Xabia Jim 02-11-2008 12:12 AM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ
Good info on chunks.

I think the trick is to get it to smoke more than burn if you can

CanuckJim 02-11-2008 06:35 AM

Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

Ever use chainsaw dust? I've got tons of the stuff. Could it be used green, do you think?


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