New for You!!! Raichlen Woodchips and Chunks for Grilling and Smoking

Raichlen Woodchips and Chunks for Grilling and Smoking

Wood smoke.  It’s the soul of barbecue and the essence of some of the world’s greatest foods and beverages, from bacon to bourbon.

Smoke is also the very lifeblood of regional American barbecue. Without it, there would be no Carolina pit-roasted pork, no Texas brisket or Kansas City burnt ends, no slabs of Memphis style baby backs smoked low and slow, and no salmon kissed with alderwood smoke from the Pacific Northwest.  

Few among us have access to a steady supply of the hardwood trees to create the magic—not to mention the time to chop the wood, stack it, and season (dry) it for a year or more. Fortunately, there’s a better, easier way.

It’s our pleasure to announce the latest addition to Steven’s line of barbecue products: Barbecue Essentials Wood Chips and Chunks. They will add incomparable flavor and authenticity to your next grilled or smoked meal.


Four Varieties of Wood Chips and Chunks

These natural kiln-dried woods—sourced from Europe and the U.S.—can be used in charcoal grills, gas grills, and smokers to generate the thin blue smoke so prized by pit masters. Currently, four wood varieties are available.

Apple Wood Chips and Chunks

This orchard stalwart is the wood used by many championship pit masters. The secret of ours? We import it from Europe. It’s the cleanest tasting applewood smoke I’ve ever tasted. Pairs great with pork (especially bacon), meat in general, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.

Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chips (Apple)Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chunks (Apple)

Hickory Wood Chips and Chunks

Long associated with Southern barbecue, hickory is the traditional wood of choice for Carolina-and Memphis-style barbecue, compatible with pork and other meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. We source ours from Texas and Arkansas. 

Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chips (Hickory)Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chunks (Hickory)

Cherry Wood Chips and Chunks

Cherrywood smoke has a flavor that defies easy description. (The words “clean”, “full-flavored”, “fruity” and “elegant” come to mind). We source ours from orchards in Europe, and we use it for pork, poultry (we love it with duck), fin fish or shellfish, vegetables, and even fruit. Try this Cherry-Smoked Duck With Chipotle-Cherry Barbecue Sauce or Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs.

Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chips (Cherry)Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chunks (Cherry)

Mesquite Wood Chips and Chunks

Native to the American Southwest, mesquite has a strong, assertive flavor that makes it the perfect fuel for smoking beef, including brisket, plate ribs, steaks, chili, and shoulder clod. Use it to smoke tomatoes or tomatillos, jalapenos, and onions for an explosively-flavored salsa. Appropriately, we source ours from Texas and Arkansas. 

Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chips (Mesquite)Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke Smoking Wood Chunks (Mesquite)


How to Use Wood Chips

These easy-to-use 100 percent natural wood chips can enhance foods cooked over charcoal or gas, specifically, small offset smokers, water smokers, ceramic smokers, lidded charcoal or gas grills, kamado-style cookers, drum smokers, etc.  For longer smokes (brisket, pork shoulder, whole chickens, etc.), soak the chips in water for 30 minutes, then drain.  Replenish as necessary—the idea is to keep a thin wisp of pale blue smoke rising from your smoker.   Tip: There is no need to soak the chips if you require a short smoke; quick combustion will flavor foods like chops, burgers, shrimp, chicken breasts, and fish fillets.

How to Smoke on Charcoal with Wood Chips:

If cooking with charcoal, place soaked, drained chips, or unsoaked chips directly on the coals, then cover the grill.  

3 Ways to Smoke on a Gas Grill with Wood Chips:

1. Use Your Grill’s Smoker Box

If your grill has a dedicated smoker box, fill it with chips and light, following the manufacturer’s directions. 

2. Make a Smoker Pouch

Enclose the chips (about 2 cups) in an aluminum foil pouch and poke holes in it with a skewer or fork so the smoke can escape.  Position the resulting smoker pouch under the grate directly over one of the burners. 

3. Use a Smoking Puck

Fill these ingenious metal cylinders with wood chips and direct their spouts toward the food.    


How to Use Wood Chunks

Hardwood chunks are slow-burning and do not need to be soaked. (They absorb very little water, even if soaked for several hours. So we don’t bother.) Like wood chips, chunks can be used in all charcoal- or wood-burning grills or smokers, or even gas grills.

How to Use Wood Chunks with a Charcoal Grill

Simply add one or two chunks to each pile of coals. If building a long-lasting fire using the Snake Method, distribute the chunks at intervals along the length of the “snake.”

Long-Lasting Coals? Testing the Snake Method

How to Use Wood Chunks on a Gas Grill

Lay a couple of chunks directly on the heat diffuser plates or ceramic briquettes, beneath the grill grate and directly over the burners.

How to Use Wood Chunks with a Chimney Starter

How to Use Our coolest tip ever: Nothing produces flavor like grilling over a wood fire. It’s easy to do with our Barbecue Essentials wood chunks and a chimney starter. Fill the starter with wood chunks and light as you would charcoal. Dump the burning embers in the firebox and you’re ready to grill.  

Note: a wood chunk fire burns more quickly than a charcoal fire. I always light a second chimney full of wood chunks so I have fresh embers on hand when I need them.

Chimney starter


Smoking Recipes Using Wood

If you’ve never cooked with wood before, here are some great recipes to get you started.

Bourbon Brown Sugar Smoked Pork Loin

Bourbon Brown Sugar Smoked Pork Loin

Get the Recipe »


Big Bad Beef Ribs

Big Bad Beef Ribs

Get the Recipe »


Steakhouse Potatoes

Steakhouse Potatoes

Get the Recipe »


What will you be smoking first with Steven’s new wood chips and chunks? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or Instagram!