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Weber Smokey Mountain When To Add Wood | Explained

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Weber Smokey Mountain when to add wood

One of the best parts of great barbecue is that wood smoke flavor. The good news is you can get that same flavor at home on your Weber Smokey Mountain. You just need to know how to properly use wood.

Adding charcoal first

On the Weber Smokey Mountain, charcoal is going to be your primary cooking fuel. Therefore you are going to need more charcoal, and it will always be added first. 

Whether you are using the Minion Method or another method, you will be filling up the charcoal ring primarily with charcoal.

Adding the wood after

Wood is used for smoky flavor on the Smokey Mountain, which means you will be placing the wood on top of the charcoal so as the charcoal burns, the wood will ignite to provide smoke.

Type of wood to be adding

You can add either of wood chunks or wood chips to your Smokey Mountain. Both types of wood have their advantages, so you can use them to your own advantage. 

Wood Chunks

Wood chunks are a popular option for adding wood smoke flavor when using charcoal.

Where to put the wood chunks in a Weber smoker?

The best place to put chunks is resting on top of the charcoal you have put in the ring, closer to where you are going to put the initial load of lit charcoal. 

When it comes to getting that smoky flavor, the meat will typically pick up that flavor in the first few hours of the cook, so get that wood burning sooner rather than later.

Smoke flavor

Wood chunks are big enough to burn for a while, which means they produce more smoke and therefore more smoke flavor in your meat. Wood chunks are a great for putting on your charcoal when you are setting up to smoke because of how long they last.

Steady heat

Their size is not only good for imparting more smoke for longer, wood chunks also deliver heat for longer as well as steadier. Unlike wood chips, wood chunks take longer to burn up. They are less likely to cause temperature spikes.

Wood Chips 

Wood chips are easy to find and quite common wherever you purchase charcoal. They are versatile enough to be used whether you are grilling or smoking on your Smokey Mountain.

Using wood chips in Weber Smokey Mountain

You can add wood chips at any point during your cook through the access door on the front of your Smokey Mountain. That allows for a quick boost in wood smoke, perfect for grilling or adding even more flavor when smoking.

higher heat and harsher smoker

Wood chips burn up quickly, which can lead to temperature spikes. You also want to make sure the temperature of your Smokey Mountain is high enough, otherwise burning wood chips can produce bitter smoke at lower temperatures. 

Where do you put the wood chips in a Weber smoker?

You can add wood chips during your cook by opening the access door and putting them on top of the burning charcoal.

What wood should be added to the Weber Smokey Mountain?

These days, there are lots of options for wood used in smokers. You only want to use hardwoods when smoking. Using softwoods like pine affects the flavor negatively, and avoid chemically treated wood. 

Post oak

When you hear post oak, this is the defining wood of central Texas. That means beef, especially brisket. However, it can be used for smoking almost anything you want to throw on your Smokey Mountain. It will not overwhelm the flavor of either the meat or the seasonings you picked out.


Hickory is also one of the most common woods used in smoking. It has a stronger flavor than post oak. If you are looking for smoky flavors with your meat, hickory is a great choice.

The smoke also adds more color to the meat for a better-looking bark. Hickory has become almost synonymous with bacon, so keep that in mind.


Pecan adds more of a sweet and nutty flavor than oak or hickory, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. It works well with chicken while still having enough flavor for other meats as well.

Adding meat before or after you put wood in?

You want to add your meat after your Smokey Mountain has reached your target temperature and is holding it for 10-15 minutes. You should have wood already on the charcoal before adding your meat so the wood will be imparting flavorful smoke at the start of your cook.

However, you can add wood throughout your cook as well to add even more smoke flavor. When you add your meat is based strictly on temperature, not on when you add wood.

How much wood do I put in a Weber smoker?

Remember that most of the smoke flavor will be absorbed during the first three hours of the cook. 

Around three good chunks of your preferred wood should give you the right amount of flavor. Wood chunks work well to provide enough smoke flavor during that period, but you do not want to add so many as to overwhelm the meat and seasonings.