When firing up your smoker or grill, the two most easily available fueling sources remain smoking chips and wood pellets. While the purpose for both these options is to cook delicious, smoky-flavored food, there’s quite a bit of difference between chips and pellets. After all, wood pellets are the shredded version of massive wood logs, while the smoking chips are made out of hardwood that has been finely grounded into little pieces.
In a Hurry? Here are the Best Smoking Chips and Pellets
Still, choosing the best smoking chips and pellets depend upon what flavor you want to add to your food. It’s also conditional to whether you’re smoking, grilling, roasting, barbecuing, or simply blending a single flavor profile to your choice of meat. In this article, we’ll review the primary differences between wood pellets and smoking chips so that you know which one to pick for your cookouts on different occasions. Moreover, we’ll walk you through the best options you can find online based on promising customer ratings and reviews.
Smoking Chips vs Wood Pellets
Both smoking chips and wood pellets have become widely known for grilling stakeouts, but they offer prominently different results from each other. Here’s an overview for both options:
Smoking chips aren’t subjected to a lot of processing as they’re essentially real chopped wood pieces that have been completely dried out of their moisture levels. This characteristic makes wood chips an ideal option for smoking or grilling food.
Wood chips burn faster than pellets but aren’t particularly hotter. However, this doesn’t affect the overall cooking temperature. That’s because the wood chips keep offering short bursts of smoke that perfectly flavors the meat, especially if you’re using a strong wood blend like mesquite. Moreover, you can use smoking chips for extra flavoring in charcoal or electric grill as well. Woods like maple, hickory, oak, and pecan also work wonderfully with pork, beef, and game meat, giving them the ideal smoky flavor with juicy tenderness.
On the contrary, wood pellets should be your go-to choice for cooking food when you want an intense smoke-yield, sealing the natural meat moisture while adding an irresistibly smoky flavor to it. Plus, achieving the same results with smoking chips might require you to consume almost double the product for your smoker or grill.
Moreover, as pellets are slow burners with moderately high smoke levels, it’s ideal to use them for cold smoking – that is, smoking meats, nuts, and cured meats. The best thing about wood pellets is that while they produce consistent smoke, they don’t leave behind a lot of ash in their wake.
The 5 Best Smoking Chips and Pellets
Now that you know what to expect from both options, let’s take a look at some of the best smoking chips and pellets you can find online with exceptional customer ratings!
1. Traeger Grills 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets
You wouldn’t feel the need to use charcoal or gas ever again once you try the Traeger Grills wood pellets! These smoking pellets deliver an unmatched, pure hardwood taste to your food, naturally enhancing their flavor. Moreover, the 100% all-natural mesquite is ideal for grilling, smoking, roasting, baking, and barbecuing anything from chicken and beef to fish and nuts.
2. Western BBQ Smoking Chips
Apple BBQ smoking chips are the best-known option to give your food a sweet taste that simultaneously seeps it with a deep, smoky flavor that leaves your mouth watering. Our recommendation for Apple BBQ chips is, hands down, the Western 78074, which is treated to prevent and eliminate pests, mold, and rot. This product’s customer reviews also leave a little to the imagination as they keep piling up with raving comments regarding the fantastic taste they deliver whether you’re cooking beef sirloin or filets, salmon or trout, pork loin, or braised brisket.
3. Louisiana Grills 55410 Tennessee Whiskey Barrel Pellets
You wouldn’t have to worry about running out of wood pellets with the massive 40-pound bag of Louisiana Grills 55410, incorporated with a 20/80 blend of a whiskey barrel and oak. This type of flavorful blend is usually used in smoking competitions as it offers you the flexibility to cook a variety of challenging foods to complete perfection! To be more precise, it imparts a strong smoky yet sweet flavor with an aromatic tang that’s ideal for cooking red meat.
4. Zorestar Wood Chips for Smokers – 6 Pcs
Instead of indulging in a single flavor wood blend, you can try four different flavors with this affordable variety pack of Zorestar Wood Chips. We’re listing them among the best smoking chips and pellets because of two major reasons. First, you can use these chips with several types of grills and smokers as they are made from natural and organic tree cuts, containing no harmful chemicals, additives, or preservatives. Secondly, the variety pack includes all the best blends, including two pieces of apple and cherry wood blends and single bags of alder and oak blends. Plus, the package is delivered with a free recipe book as a bonus!
5. Oklahoma Joe’s All-Natural Hardwood Competition Blend Wood Pellets
Oklahoma Joe’s 2778408DP wood pellets are the ultimate hardwood competition blend of hickory, cherry, maple, and oak. These pellets are the best choice for enhancing beef, chicken, pork, nuts, fruit, and vegetable flavors, making it an all-rounder option for all your cooking stakeouts. Moreover, you can combine these pellets with other custom blends, and it’ll still ensure a clean, slow burn with low ash clean-up.
Our Final Thoughts
The last thing to remember when picking out the best smoking chips and pellets is that you shouldn’t use chips in a smoker because that can ruin the meat flavor. The wood chips usually leave a bitter taste that can soak into all kinds of food when used in a smoker. On the other hand, wood pellets are best not to be used when you’re barbecuing, as they don’t impart the BBQ flavors as perfectly as smoking chips.