In a chilly winter night, your friends and family get together at your home.
And you have to prepare a lot of delicious pork meat at that time.
What’s the thing that fits perfectly here?
With time, I have come across many advancements in cooking and thereafter, I have used various types of grillers.
Today, in this article, I will be focusing particularly on a Traeger Grill.
I will also provide some common questions and mistakes people make during cooking with a Traeger grill.
One of the most common mistakes that new users of the Traeger grill make is to use wood chips instead of proper wood pellets in the grill.
Now the question is whether should you use wood chips in the Traeger pellet grill.
In my opinion, the short answer to this question is “No”.
The reason is, when you will add the wood chips via the hopper, the Traeger auger will be put in a situation where it can get jammed for sure.
This means not only the wood wouldn’t be any beneficial but also, you may be looking at some maintenance cost for your pellet grill.
The main problem with the wood chips is their irregularity.
They all have different shapes and sizes and the Traeger auger cannot process those wood chips properly.
On the other side, the fine shape of wood pellets makes things easier for the auger to execute the wood burning procedure comfortably.
Plus, the wood pellets generate additional smoke that gives a nice flavor to your meat and other bbq food dishes.
These are the main reasons why I recommend to use only wood pellets instead of wood chips in your Traeger pellet grill.
There are few more queries related to the use wood chips in the Traeger grill which I am going to discuss in this article ahead.
I highly recommend to read this article till the end so that you get a clear idea why it is better to use only the wood pellets and not the wood chips in your Traeger grill.
Table of Contents
- Are Wood Chips Bad for Your Traeger Grill?
- Can You Use Wood Chips in a Pellet Smoker Tube?
- Can You Use Dry Wood Chips in a Traeger Smoker?
- Can You Put Wood in a Pellet Smoker?
- Wood Pellets vs Wood Chips – What is Best For a Traeger Pellet Grill?
Are Wood Chips Bad for Your Traeger Grill?
Yes, the wood chips in my opinion, are not really good for using inside your Traeger pellet grill.
Some people still use wood chips in their pellet grills and then they mistakenly increase the maintenance cost of their grills.
If you want to use them, you can still use them.
But let me warn you first!
Using wood chips directly in a Traeger grill might not be a good idea because of the risk of Traeger auger being jammed.
Another factor of using the wood chips is they don’t need much time to catch fire.
But the problem with them is they don’t get to very high temperatures and finish up pretty fast.
The wood chips, because of their size are burnt quickly unlike the wood pellets which usually take much longer time to burn entirely.
Plus, as mentioned earlier, the wood chips are the main culprits that cause the Traeger auger to get jammed and become malfunctioned.
Your Traeger auger is usually designed to work efficiently with wood pellets.
If you use the wood chips inside the auger, then they will simply break the ignition cycle and create more problems for you.
However, if you are looking for higher smoke in your grill then you can try some other ways.
Like, you can try a pellet smoker tube that will give your dish that smoky taste.
You can even set the temperature a bit low, that way they will tend to produce more smoke and you’ll be having a fine grilled food taste.
Can You Use Wood Chips in a Pellet Smoker Tube?
The right answer is “No”.
You should not use wood chips inside a pellet tube because it is not its designated place.
Although you may try it to see the results yourself considering you don’t have any choice.
In an urgent scenario, you may take your chances.
Remember, it is highly recommended to use wood pellets in a pellet smoker tube.
And, wood chips must be used only in a smoker box.
Furthermore, if you do try adding wood chips to the pellet tube then, you might have to face the danger of unwanted fire.
The reason being these wood chips are highly vulnerable to fire and get burnt easily when exposed to fire.
So, if you can’t control the oxygen level or the heat, then you should not use wood chips at any cost in your Traeger grill.
So, then what is the best place to use these wood chips?
Yes, you guessed it right!
The best place for them is the smoker box.
The smoker box such as Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box is highly durable and it comes with a lid too.
It’s simply a box of stainless steel with very limited holes on the top.
This smoker box works perfectly in safeguarding the wood chips against the oxygen exposure in the air.
That’s why the chips do not get easily ignited when you store them in the smoker box.
A smoker box does not allow pellets to properly heat up and ignite.
That’s the reason, you can’t put wood pellets in the smoker box because they take time to burn and heat up.
Can You Use Dry Wood Chips in a Traeger Smoker?
Yes, you can certainly use dry wood chips in the Traeger pellet smoker.
Most people say that you should soak them in the water for a few minutes and then put them to use.
But in reality, that doesn’t do much to the wood chips because we know that the chips don’t soak much water inside them.
If you want a smoky flavor in your BBQ dish, then you can use wood chips to get that smoky flavor.
Using soaked wood chips and charcoal isn’t going to help you that much.
The soaked chips are going to need more heat and eventually, you’ll be using steam instead of smoke.
This technique was used in earlier times to regulate the temperature inside the smoker.
But today, this function comes in-built in most pellet smokers.
It’s simple, if you are going for meat smoking, then you should prefer using dry wood chips and not soaked wet chips.
There’s no harm in soaking the wood chips but they won’t be much beneficial either.
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Can You Put Wood in a Pellet Smoker?
Yes, you can definitely use wood in your pellet smoker.
But here comes the main question for you.
Which type of wood must be used in a pellet smoker?
Is it wood pellets or wood chunks?
If you happen to own an electric smoker then, you should stick with the wood pellets.
It’s pretty simple to operate as well.
Simply put the wood pellets into the hopper section.
Then, set the heat level or temperature accordingly.
The smoker will decide the number of pellets that are supposed to burn.
It also provides that taste and flavor which we all are looking for.
You can find these wood pellets online easily and they are pocket-friendly too.
The main disadvantage comes when you compare them with wood chunks.
The taste natural wood will provide is unbeatable.
Let’s turn to wood chunks.
Any professional cook knows that wood chunks provide the actual smoky flavor that we all love to have in the grilled meat.
They are meant for traditional grillers and smokers who use charcoal grill.
Obviously, if you’re using a charcoal grill then, it would be a waste to use wood pellets as they’ll burn and turn to ash quickly.
It will simply add a burden to you as you’ll be adding pellets every now and then.
Wood Pellets vs Wood Chips – What is Best For a Traeger Pellet Grill?
There’s this one question that bothers most Traeger users.
Should you use wood chips or wood pellets for your Traeger grill?
If you are looking for a simple answer then, I recommend to use only wood pellets.
The best ones to use are Traeger wood pellets that you can readily buy online.
There are two important reasons why you should choose wood pellets over wood chips.
Firstly, the pellets burn longer than the chips and there you have the ease to control the temperature of the smoker.
Hence, the time factor is in your hands.
Plus, they are quite efficient to use.
This is because they burn for a longer period and they can reach high temperatures gradually.
So, you can save a great deal of fuel and money eventually.
Now you must be asking where should be the wood chips used more efficiently.
They are going to help you if you want your meat to be juicy.
You can get this by soaking the wood chips in the water for some time.
This way, steam will be generated and will make the chips burn for a bit longer duration.