How Often should i replentish wood chips?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by travisty, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hi, dont hate me, im a newbie to smoking and i have gotten mixed info on this. First of all i will say that i have only a Big Chief smoker, which i have modified by building an insulated box that allows me to somewhat control the temp anywhere up to 250degrees depending on outside temp.

    When a recipe says to smoke something for 6 hours, some people say to put it into the smoker with one pan of chips, then when they run out dont rifill. some say to refill 2 times, and others say to keep the pan full all the time.
    I can understand that likely there are different methods for different types of smoking, but let me give the following examples that i am doing most oftem.
    1st, basic Salmon brine and smoke recipe, where i do almost no temp control with my big chief.
    2nd Baby back ribs with a dry rub, which i plan to cook all the way until done keeping the smoker around 200 degrees.
    3rd Cold smoked bacon following this recipe: (

    Anyway i know this is a dumb question, but i just dont know whether i am supposed to replentish the tray, and how often. As a note, when i have the insulation box off of the smoker the big chief goes through a pan of chips in like 45 minutes (empty pan, no mas smoke). when i have the insulated box on it will smoke and have chars in the tray for up to 2 hours. (perhaps its just that the smoke isnt escaping so it is just full of smoke...)
  2. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  3. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Travisty, first off there are no dumb questions on here. If there's somethin ya don't know, don't be afraid to ask and we'll help ya out the best we can. I had a Big Chief smoker back in the day, been a while but I'll throw in my 2 cents here for ya.

    Understand that IMHO, this is a personal preference on how many times to refill your chip tray... Due to the more ya refill your tray the more smoke taste will be in your food. Reason I say personal preference is some folks like a strong smoke flavor on their food and others like a hint of smoke... and others somewhere in between !!

    Also keep in mind that your food will "accept or soak in" more smoke at the start of your cook and taper off towards the end. Some folks say toward the end that the meat won't take anymore smoke, while others say it will still soak up a little at the end.

    Also if ya want to look up an amazin tube smoker or AMNPS, they supplement the smoke so ya don't have to babysit.... They are sold thru a link on this site I believe and supplement smoke for quite some time... May be an option for ya. Hope any of this helps ya.

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
    travisty likes this.

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