Before I explain how to make a foil woodchip pack, I need to explain why this is important.
I often have folks ask me if they should soak the wood chips in water or not and my answer is always the same.. it's not necessary and in most cases is even counter productive.
Here's some things that I have discovered about wood chips:
- Wet wood chips will cool the coals, you don't want that in most cases.
- Wet wood chips produce a lot of steam, not so much smoke.
- Dry wood chips smoke better and produce better smoke.
- Soaked wood chips do not keep them from burning up.
Having said that, I do know that it is frustrating to throw wood chips onto the coals to produce a little smoke and they are burned up within minutes if not sooner. The answer to this problem is NOT to soak them but rather to reduce the oxygen that gets to the chips so they can produce smoke without catching on fire.
This is where wrapping the wood chips in foil comes in.
To wrap wood chips in foil, follow these instructions:
Tear off a piece of 18×18 foil (or 12×12 if you have the smaller box of foil) and lay it flat on the table or counter.
Place a handful of wood chips in the center of the foil.
Use a fork or other sharp object to poke about 4-8 small holes in the top of the foil pack to let the smoke out.
Place these foil packs right on top of the coals or even above the burner or coals on the grill.
Replace pack with a new one when the smoke stops coming out.
I like to make 8-10 of these ahead and have them ready for when I need them but they are easy and quick to make so you can easily make them up as needed if you so desire.