One of the oldest traditions to preserve foods is smoking the desired food, particularly meat. With the advancements and revolutionary changes in the old traditions and techniques and variations in the taste buds, smoking is being penetrated into different food to enhance the smoky flavor of the foods. Each and every type of food demands a particular type of wood for smoking. So, Let’s explore smoker pellets vs wood chips.

Smoke pellets


Wood Chips

For smoking food, there are a number of woods used for this purpose. This article is based on the discussions on the two most used forms of food i.e. smoker pellets and wood chips. Also, this article will explain the differences between smoker pellets and wood chips. We will compare both of the woods for better and productive understanding.

Differences Between Smoker Pellets And Wood Chips

Hardwood is used in the manufacturing of smoker pellets and wood chips. A very important difference that is to be noted is the time of processing they undergo. Smoker pellets are made by compressing the hardwood sawdust. Sawdust undergoes a drying procedure so it loses excess moisture and becomes consistent.

After this, it is compressed by applying pressure and ultimately it acquires its pellet shape. The sawdust, while passing through the pressing process is also exposed to heat that heats it up. On heating, the main component of wood i.e. lignin is released and it binds the sawdust firmly together. When the pellets are removed from the heat, they are soft. However, on cooling, they become hard and acquire the desired form. The length and diameter of the pellets are determined by the manufacturers. These are the reasons that come forward when we are supposed to smoke the meat.

Wood chips require less processing as compared to smoker pellets. Wood chips are the tiny parts of the wood. They are found in indefinite shapes. Their average diameter is about an inch or two. The wood is then passed to the drying process so it loses moisture at a certain level. However, some amount of moisture is necessary to burn and produce sufficient smoke and flavor. After the drying process, the wood is passed to a chipper to attain a chip shape before packaging.

Now, let’s move to some specific points and discuss the differences of both; the smoker pellets and wood chips. Following are some points which elaborate the differences among them.

What are the pros of smoke pellets and wood chips?

Following are the pros of smoke pellets and wood chips

Smoke pellets


Smoking pellets are known well and are popular as they burn at a very slow rate. They burn extremely slow in comparison with wood chips and so they cause to increase the temperature. Smoke pellets are also preferable as they produce more smoke as compared to wood chips which are very good for cooking and smoking large cut meat. As it produces higher smoke, so the food to be cooked is cooked in time before the smoke pellets all burn out.

Wood Chips


Wood chips burn up rapidly and provides a specific quantity of smoke. However, if the fire is low, it enhances the fire by adding wood chips into the fire. They are found good for putting moderate smoke without disturbing the cooking temperature. Wood chips are not preferable as they are not able to produce higher smokes and one can not use them to do time-taking cooking’s by using wood chips. It is a total waste of time and money to use wood chips for food that demands long time periods. In order to increase the smoke, one has to add high amounts of wood chips into the griller yet it runs out quickly and of no use.

What are the cons of smoke pellets and wood chips?

Following are the cons of smoke pellets and wood chips

Smoke Pellets And Wood Chips


When smoker pellets and wood chips, are compared to wood chunks and sawdust, we came to know that both, the smoke pellets and wood chips burn more quickly as compared to them. Hence, the smoke pellets and wood chips produce less smoke. From this, we get a disadvantage that smoke pellets and wood chips are not suitable for smoking foods with long cooking times. They both are suitable only for those foods which demand less cooking time. Some brands use smoke pellets in the charcoal briquettes. However, it produces some bad and unpleasant flavors in the foods. As wood chips burn up so quickly, their uncontrolled burning gives a bitter taste to the food


Is smoker pellet expensive or wood chips?

If we compare smoke pellets and wood chips from an expenditure point of view, we find out that the smoke pellets are less expensive as compared to wood chips. However, there is a drawback that the smoke pellets are sold in larger quantities. If you will buy smoke pellets, this will ultimately result higher in your initial outlay.

When to use smoke pellets and wood chips?

Smoke pellets are used when someone is going to grill the food or cooking food that has less cooking time like chicken or turkey breasts. As these food items demand more heat and smoke but for a relatively very short period. Whereas, wood chips are used for cooking food items that do not demand high heat and have relatively very short cooking times.


At the end of the smoker pellets vs wood chips article, it is to be clear that smoke pellets are useful from each and every point of view. Smoke pellets are very much suitable for smoking foods, especially for smoking meats. It is suitable for both hot as well as cold smoking. It does not produce any kind of odor and smell in the food which is smoked by using it. As it is made up of few kinds of wood. Moreover, it takes a bit of time to burn up in comparison with wood chips. A person can use smoke pellets in grilling and smoking.

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