The season for smoking meat is here. Your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is ready to go but like many others, you are wondering what wood chips to use. There are many different wood chips out there and many different flavors.
Electric smokers look the same but the flavor you give your food will not be. The best wood chips for a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker are those that will produce the strongest flavor. This means wood chips should not be ignored.
The flavor of the meat you are grilling will depend on the wood chips you choose. My top ten tips will make sure you get the best flavor, learn important preparation tips, and teach you how to use wood chips in your electric smoker.
With this guide, you will be the master of your Masterbuilt smoker, a wood chip expert, and the flavor of every month.
Table of Contents
How To Use Wood Chips In An Electric Smoker
You want to make sure your electric smoker is clear of ventilation obstructions before starting. Regular use of a smoker can cause wear which can lead to a worn seal on the smoker door which can cause smoke to leak and poor ventilation.
Once you have inspected your smoker, add 1 cup of wood chips to the wood chip tray. You may have to remove the loader fully to do this.
Once the tray is returned to the smoker, turn the handle to ‘unload’, allowing the wood chips to fall into the wood chip tray over the heating element.
Set the smoker to your desired temperature, but do not add the food until the smoker has warmed up. This preheating should take about 20 to 30 minutes. Before adding your food, check the internal temperature of your smoker.
Even though Masterbuilt smokers are designed to perform at even subzero temperatures, you should also use an external oven-friendly thermometer to better gauge cooking temperatures.
Once you have the desired temperature, add your meat, and smoke for the desired amount of time according to the ships and flavor you want to achieve.
What Kind Of Wood Chips Does A Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Use
The most common wood chips used in a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker are apple, cherry, mesquite, and pecan flavors.
Knowing which wood chips to use is a common question, especially since there are so many options. Ultimately, the choice of wood chips will depend on the flavor you are trying to create and your personal preferences.
- Fruity wood chips such as apple, cherry, or peach are better for chicken, seafood, pork, and ribs.
- Woody chips like mesquite, hickory, and oak work better with turkey and beef
- Nut-producing wood such as walnut or pecan are ideal for lamb and wild game
I recommend you experiment with different types to find what best suits your tastes. Many grillers like to create their own flavors by mixing wood chips such as apple and alder, a citrus wood and pecan, or cherry and hickory.
Wood chips are typically divided into either sweet or savory categories. Savory woods include mesquite, hickory, and oak. Hickory is the most commonly used flavor and is the most distinctive taste.
Mesquite is popular for Southern fare and is a very strong flavor that can easily drown out others. Oak is often combined with other flavors and alder is a very light flavor and is best used for smoking fish.
For your sweet wood chips, you will find mostly the fruity woods. Apple is by far the most common because it pairs with pretty much every meat as well as savory wood flavors.
The chips you do not want to use are those that come from any evergreen or coniferous woods. These are not only considered harmful and can damage your smoker over time, but they do not really boost any flavors.
What Size Wood Chips For Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Smaller and thinner size wood chips will burn up quicker than larger chunks. This means they may heat up faster and will also require more frequent replacement.
You need to make sure that the size wood chips you select are reasonable and can fit in the wood chip holder or tray. The majority of the wood chips you can purchase will be an appropriate size already.
What matters more than chip size is the temperature, and the size of the wood chips can influence this.
Best Brand of Wood Chips For Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Along with the many flavors of wood chips, there are different brands. Not all brands are created equally and when it comes to wood chips, price is not the only factor that determines quality.
Ultimately, the choice in wood chips becomes a personal preference, but the top three brands to start with are listed here to get you started.
Top Wood Chip Brands For Electric Smoker:
1. Jack Daniel’s Smoking Chips
By far one of the most popular brands for smoking wood chips is Jack Daniels. You get a rich, smokey flavor unique to the taste that is Jack Daniels whiskey.
Made from Old No-7 brand whiskey, these wood chips deliver an oaky aroma and a sweet taste. These chips are great for both electric and gas smokers as well as charcoal grills.
One of the most popular features of this brand is that you get a unique taste with every type of meat you smoke. These are slow-burning so you do not need to pre-soak the chips but if you want to increase the burning time, you can soak them for an hour before use.
The only drawback for the Jack Daniels brand wood chips is that they have to be replenished more frequently than other brands in order to maintain that rich flavor.
2. Weber Wood Stephen Products
Weber is a name you know and trust when it comes to grilling, so it should come as no surprise that Weber wood chips are in the top three brands here.
Weber typically offers larger sized bags of wood chips, so you end up with more value for your money. Weber also offers different flavors, of which apple is their most popular by far.
Weber creates their wood chips with the goal of creating flavors to meet your tastes. Bags are affordable so that you can combine flavors and make your own unique smoking flavors.
One drawback for Weber wood chips is that they do burn quickly, but you also have a larger bag than with other brands, essentially making sure you always have enough to get the smoking job done.
By soaking these wood chips, you can extend their burning time and make your bag last even longer.
3. Western Perfect BBQ Smoking Wood Chips Variety Pack
Western wood chips typically come in variety packs which is what makes them one of the favorite brands.
This way you get to try different flavors, mix your own creations, and have a flavor for every type of meat. Western is also one of the more affordable brands allowing you to try and smoke with multiple flavors at a low price.
Western is also a reputable brand and the lower price does not mean less flavor. You do, however, need to soak Western wood chips before using them to enhance burning time.
Additionally, the chips are typically large and may need to be broken up for smaller smoker boxes or trays.
Best Wood Chips For Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Because flavor is a personal preference, the best option for wood chips is variety.
The best wood chips for your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker are the Western BBQ Smoking Wood Chips Variety Pack bundle on Amazon.
What you get is a bag of wood chips in 4 great flavors: apple, mesquite, hickory, and cherry. These are the most commonly used smoke flavors which means you have a flavor for every type of meat, and variety for your meals.
You can also find combinations or packs that include peach wood chips, which is a bonus, as this flavor is hard to find.
Not only can you try new flavors, but you can also use the wood chips on both electric and gas smokers. You can also create your own new flavors by mixing chips from different bags.
The Western brand is one of quality and a solid reputation and these bags are known to last much longer than others. With the price being much lower than competitors, you get more for your money.
Overall, the ability to experiment with flavors is a huge selling point.
Do You Soak Wood Chips For Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
It is not a requirement to soak wood chips for your Masterbuild Electric Smoker. Soaking wood chips before smoking can delay smoke production and it doesn’t increase the amount of smoke produced.
It is just a preference. Many also believe that soaking wood chips prevents them from catching on fire.
Moisture will slow the combustion process down, but it results in the release of more steam and not more flavorful smoke. Soaked chips can also lower the temperature of the smoker and how long it takes to heat up.
If you are looking to boost flavor, instead of soaking the wood chips in water, try using beer, wine, or juice.
How Often To Add Wood Chips To Electric Smoker
If you do not like a strong smoky flavor, then you want to only add wood chips within the first hour of smoking. The more often you add wood chips, the stronger your flavor will be. Most people add chips every hour throughout the entire smoking process.
You will add your wood chips through the chip holder on your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. This tray or holder is removed from the side of the unit and replaced once full.
Wood chips are placed in the holder once the desired temperature in the chamber is reached. How often you add chips after this will depend on personal preference and the taste you are going for.
If you are following a specific recipe, just add the wood chips as recommended in the instructions. Once you have been smoking meat for a while, you will be able to determine how much flavor you want and adjust adding wood chips accordingly.
Wood Chips or Pellets For Electric Smoker
Your options for wood when it comes to smoking food include chips, chunks, and pellets. Wood chunks are the largest version, and they last the longest.
Wood chips are smaller versions of chunks that burn quicker. Wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust or wood and are the smallest options you can buy. The compressed material for pellets allows them to last longer than wood chips.
Whether you use chips, chunks, or pellets is another personal preference. One factor to consider when choosing a type of wood, is how long you will be smoking meat.
If you plan to have longer smoking times, then you want to use larger chunks or pellets. For shorter smoking times, wood chips are the better option.
Another important consideration, is that when using pellets, you need to make sure you buy food-grade pellets. Otherwise, you end up with a product that contains fillers or pellets that are designed for heating stoves, not smokers.
You also need to verify which type of wood can be used with your particular smoker, especially with regards to larger chunks that may not fit inside the wood chip holder.
At What Temperature Do Wood Chips Smoke
It takes around 20 minutes for the wood chips to start smoking. Wood chips will begin to smoke at a temperature between 570 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit (300-400 degrees Celsius).
All smoke chips will start smoking at these temperatures, but the rate of smoldering will vary. Fruity wood chips such as apple and peach, will burn much faster than nut wood chips like pecan or hardwoods like hickory.
If the wood chips you use have a lower temperature than 570 degrees F, then they will not smolder properly, and your food will not be infused with a smoky flavor.
Why Won’t My Wood Chips Smoke
It is not uncommon to think that your wood chips are not creating enough smoke.
The most common reason for wood chips not to smoke is the wood is too dry, which can happen as a result of over-seasoning. The second reason is that the wood chips are not at their ideal smoking temperature. If they are below 570 degrees F, then they will not begin to smoke at all.
Having a temperature too high can also cause the wood chips to burn too quickly, so there is a lack of smoke and flavor.
Helpful Tips To Know About Wood Chips For Electric Smoker
You know how to choose wood chips, which brands are best, and valuable temperature information. But before you start filling the smoker tray, I have a few helpful tips on how to use wood chips for your Electric Smoker.
- Use a mixture of wood chips to create unique and contrasting flavors. A mix of a savory with a sweet flavor will produce wonderful smoky aromas.
- Do not wet or soak the wood chips before smoking, unless instructed to do so according to the brand.
- Burn low and slow, because smoking is not the same as grilling. You want to maintain the temperature so as not to overcook or burn your meat.
- Do not open and close the smoke door or tray more than necessary. Heat and smoke will escape each time you do this which can interfere with chamber variations and inconsistent smoking and cooking.
- Use an internal meat thermometer probe as a secondary check that your meat is cooked through.
Wood chips in your Electric Smoker will give you unique and delicious flavors for every type of meat. But it is important to use the right chips and the right preparation and smoking techniques.
The large variety in type and flavor of wood chips gives rise to differences in soaking methods as well as smoking temperatures.
With my guide, you will be able to pick the best flavors and will know how to use your wood chips for your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.