Can you use wood chips in Pellet Smoker

Can you use wood chips in a Pellet Smoker

So, after a long time I am going to address the query that can you use wood chips in a nice pellet smoker or not. The short answer to the question is. No! you cannot use wood chips in a pellet smoker in standard conditions. Why is that? Well, that is what we are going to answer here. To answer this “why”, we need to know the anatomy and structure of wood chips and wood pellets side by side.

Anatomy of Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are made from sawdust. What manufacturer actually does is, they compress the sawdust into cylindrical shape wood pellets of about 1 inch in length and ¼ inch in diameter. This uniform size is designed to fit in any pellet smoker’s auger component. Moreover, wood pellets are designed to burn slowly and provide a uniform smoke and heat.

Anatomy of Wood Chips

On the other hand, Wood chips are pieces of hardwood that are not uniform in shape or size and rough on edges. Moreover, wood chips tend to burn very quickly and produce less smoke. This is the reason, most of times wood chips are used while wrapped in foil paper with holes to provide smoke in other types of smokers.

Wood chips ignite and burn very quickly providing a small and intense Smokey flavor for less time. Therefore, wood chips fall in a Smokey flavor category more than the heat source.

Wood Chips vs Wood Pellets

Why Wood Chips cannot be used in Pellet Smokers?

Wood chips due to their bigger and non-uniform size and shapes are not qualified to be used in pellet smokers for a couple of reasons.

  1. The wood chip’s non-uniform size and shape does not fit into the auger of pellet smoker and will possibly break it.
  2. The wood chip’s ability to burn and produce smoke for a short period of time is the second reason that they are not eligible to be used in a pellet smoker. As you cannot just stand on your pellet smoker to provide it infinite wood chips.
  3. Wood chips are always used as a second fuel or solely a smoke provider in barbecue smokers/grills. So, using only wood chips in pellet smokers anyhow might not be a good idea too. As they will not provide sufficient and consistent heat for the job.


The wood pellets can be used as an alternative to the wood chips in other type of smokers. But using wood chips in pellet smokers might need a lot of modifications in your auger component to make it deliver wood chips to the burn pot without stopping half way due to the stuck wood chips. Even If you manage to build your own DIY auger in a wide diameter that can deliver wood chips easily, it will be a hectic process of cooking food in your pellet smoker from now on.

The heat and smoke produced by wood chips is not uniform and consistent to cook food (keeping in mind that there is no other heat source and the only heat/smoke source will now be the wood chips fed to the smoker). That’s just me, you might find a better solution by doing some other trick like attaching another heat source side by side to the wood chips that will solve this problem.

Hope you like my version of handling this query; if you have some better opinion never forgets to mention in comment box.

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