10 Best Wood Chips for an Electric Smoker

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 24, 2021

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All electric smokers look the same at first look. Where there’s a heating element at the bottom, then there’s a grease pan and a tray for wood chips.

When the heating element starts to heat up, the wood chips start producing smoke. Thus, the best wood chips for an electric smoker are those that are capable of producing strong and heavy smoke flavor for your grill.

It’s unfortunate that some people tend to ignore the wood chips but they are just as important accessories as the smoker itself! In fact, the flavor and taste of your meat will pretty much depend on the wood chips you’ve used.


The way in which an electric smoker works is pretty basic. When you turn the device on, the heating element will be activated and it will heat the smoker wood chips for your meat to be cooked.

Wood chips are very important because they are the ones that provide the smoke in the smoker’s chamber.

What to Know About the Best Wood Chips for Electric Smokers

These days, it’s not really that difficult to look for places where you can buy smoker wood chips.

They are easily available in various specialized stores, including stores that don’t sell smokers. Although the chips are mainly used for smoking, they are also used for several other purposes.

Since wood chips are an important aspect of your electric smoker, you need to choose carefully the store where you will buy them. Look for a store that has proper storage for the smoker wood chips because chips that are not stored properly will not provide you with a good amount of smoke and won’t produce the right flavor that you expect from your meat. This is why it’s a good idea to purchase them from stores that have a reputation for selling good quality merchandise. If possible, buy the chips from the same store where you have bought your electric smoker.

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Going to an actual physical store just to buy the electric smoker wood chips might be time-consuming for most people. In this case, it may be best to purchase them online. Online stores like Amazon sell different kinds of wood chips. Home Depot also carries some of the best wood chips for electric smokers like the Masterbuilt.

The Best Wood Chips for Smoking

Electric smoker wood chips are available in different types. If you need your meat to have a specific taste, then you can use a particular chip to achieve this. Also, not all of them produce the same smoke. You can choose to smoke your meat with either strong or mild flavor, depending on your personal preferences. Basically, the taste of your meat will pretty much depend on the type of wood chips that you use. For a list of the best smoker wood chips, check out below.

Maple Wood Chips

Wood chips made from maple wood are known for their ability to provide a sweet taste, similar to maple syrup. So if you’re someone who’s fond of the maple syrup, then you’ll surely love the taste that the maple wood chips will provide to your meat. This is great for smoking chicken meat and other poultry meat, where the meat is light. Of course, you can also use this in other meat, such as ham! The sweet flavor will surely make your ham even more flavorful.

Pecan Chips

Pecan is sometimes called hickory because it’s a variety of hickory and this is why it produces similar smoke. However, the smoke that the pecan wood chips produce is not really as strong as that of the hickory. While hickory gives your meat a strong flavor, the pecan has a slightly weaker taste, which is why it’s possible to use these chips for almost all kinds of meat.

Apple Wood Chips

The apple wood chips are among the most popular types of wood chips in the market. In fact, it’s a must-have for everyone who owns an electric smoker. These chips provide a mild taste but you can also taste a bit of sweet flavor in the meat. However, when it comes to using apple wood chips, there’s a possibility that the chicken meat could turn dark brown, although this is really something that you don’t need to worry about.

Alder Smoking Chips

Alder is a tree that’s commonly found in the Northwest region of North America, which is why the Alder wooden chips are common in this area. These chips can go well with fish and other seafood meat. They can also work well with light meat, such as chicken and other poultry.

Peach Wood Chips

Peach wood chips produce a somewhat strong flavor and using them to smoke your meat is like adding peach tea to your food. This is why it works especially well with poultry. If you’re someone who loves the fruity taste of peach, then you should choose these chips to smoke your meat.

Cherry Wood Chips

Cherry has a distinct taste that’s both sweet and sour. Thus, the wood chips made from cherry can produce similar taste to your meat. The cherry wood chips are among the most favored food chips in the market since they go well with almost all kinds of meat. They provide mild flavor and will not alter the taste of the meat, which is important when preparing certain dishes.

Oak Smoking Chips

Oak is a common wooden material for furniture. However, when it comes to wood chips, oak is not really that common. Yet, oak is actually great for smoking meat. These wood chips are highly recommended for smoking dark colored meat such as beef and lamb. You can also use these wood chips to smoke poultry. However, you can taste the smoke more since it has the tendency to overpower the taste of the meat.

Mesquite Wood Chips

Mesquite is another popular material used for wood chips. It’s especially ideal for grilling but you need to learn how to properly work with it since it has the tendency to burn fast. This is the reason why it’s not really recommended for longer grilling or smoking processes. In addition, the mesquite wood chips give off a strong flavor so if you want to use it for your electric smoker, then use it only during fast smoking.

Other Good Wood Chips

Aside from the wood chips mentioned above, there are several other wood chips that you can use for your electric smoker. The ones above are just some of the most popular ones. There are also smoking chips that are made from avocado, wood, beech, olive, willow, persimmon, carrotwood, bay, chestnut, guava, fig etc. Feel free to experiment with any wood chips to give your meat a distinct flavor.

But remember that not all wood chips are good. There are also those that are of bad quality and are not ideal for grilling or smoking.

What Woods You Shouldn’t Use

It’s also important that you know which woods to avoid when smoking your meat. Pine, cyprus, fir, and any type of evergreen tree are not really ideal because the sap of these trees is not good for smoking. They might just give your meat an awful taste!

Redwood and cedar are also not recommended. Avoid using scrap lumber or wood that has been treated and painted since it has toxins that could get into your meat.


As you see, you have lots of choices when it comes to the best wood chips for electric smokers (Masterbuilt has some great options). These options will give your smoked meat a different flavor. Choosing the right one will depend mainly on the type of meat that you will smoke and the kind of flavor and taste that you want to get.

Remember that regardless of the type of wood chips that you use, the best ones are those that will match your personal taste and preferences. To find the right one, it may be a good idea to experiment by trying a number of wood chips. You can perhaps try 2-4 different varieties and choose the one that gives the best taste to your meat.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.