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best place to buy wood chips for smoking?

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Friend's of mine just bought a smoker and plan on using it as often as possible this summer.I've seen wood chips around but always in small quantities and the prices wern't great either.Are there any smoking connesseurs who can lead me in the right direction.Also different flavour varieties would be a plus.Thanks!

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  1. I found that Canadian Tire often has the best selection regarding wood chips, although in small (2lbs or so???) quantities. Price is around 4 to 5$ per bag. Otherwise, you could look for some specialty BBQ places, but the amount of smoking I do does not warrant an in-depth look to find the cheaper alternatives.

    Selection can be better in stores outside of Montreal (e.g. Blainville vs Villeray/St-Michel).

    6 Replies
    1. re: sir_jiffy

      I second Canadian Tire, but I wonder if they have them this time of year.

      1. re: SnackHappy

        If Canadian Tire has them, its likely they're in the back storeroom, but you can ask and the service person will usually take a look.

        There are flavored varieties out there; I've seen red and white wine infused, Tobasco wood chips (apparently made from their aging barrels), Jack Daniels, Budweiser, etc etc. But I never tried them.
        If you want, you can soak your chips in any of this stuff (red wine/tobasco/Bud etc) and experiment.

        I stick to mostly to cherry, apple, and hickory along with with maple lump. I find mesquite a bit harsh for smoking (although I often times grill on mesquite embers).

        Hogg usually has a good selection, but somewhat pricier. Wallmart might be the cheapest, but it does go on sale @ Canadian Tire. You can also find them at the big Ronas or Renos. Wood chips are becoming more commonplace these days, but I still grab several bags at a time, not wanting to run out then having to go to 3 or 4 places before I find them.

        1. re: porker

          an ontario friend simply went to a saw mill and they gave him bags and bags

          1. re: BarackHObama

            Just be careful what they're processing.
            Oak, birch, and maple are good. Spruce, white pine, cedar not so much.

            You might keep an eye out in your neighborhood when the city or private contractors prune trees. I'm still working on about 6 bushels of apple wood from 2 years ago. They were cutting down some very old apple trees and I put some limbs in the trunk. Cut in 6" lengths and split into pieces.
            My buddy has plenty of swamp in his back yard. With it, quite a few dead trees including some shagback hickory. Every summer, I ask him when we'll get some...every summer he says in the springtime...

          2. re: porker

            Canadian Tirelire in Blainville have them out, I dont know if they are already putting out their spring/summer display though. They had a couple of grills on display, which I found a little odd for this time of year.

          3. re: SnackHappy

            I know that Home Depot still has some at this point of the year, albeit with a smaller selection.

        2. Someone told me Baron Sport. But I have yet to see if for myself. I am looking for the Smokehouse woodchips.

          1. Barbecues Galore online has the largest selection of specialty chips I've seen.They are Canadian and deliver promptly. www.barbecuesgalore.ca

            1. Unless he/she really want to use chips, I would highly recommend using chunks instead. I bought mine at smokinlicious.com as they sell high quality smoke wood and have a good variety too. They do sell chips as well. As for Montreal, I've seen chips at Canadian Tire, Rona, Home-Dépôtt, Réno-Dépôt.

              Just out of curiousity, what kind of smoker is it?

              11 Replies
              1. re: Simon Patrice

                I know your question is to the OP, but...
                I have an offset smoker where I can put anything in the firebox. I prefer lump maple (as the heat source) with water-soaked woodchips (usually a mix of cherry or apple and hickory). I fInd they give consistant and more smoke than chunks.
                I also have a propane fired vertical smoker which does well for low/consistant temp smoking (I do bacon in this). Theres a woodchip box which kinda rules out using chunks.
                However, I love using chunks when grilling on my Weber.
                Maybe I'm missing something on the chunks for smoking? Please lemme know, TNX.

                1. re: porker

                  Smoking on a Weber kettle, I've tried both chunks and chips. I had lots of flare ups with the chips. With the chunks, no more flare-ups and it was also easier for me to get thin blue smoke instead of big puffs of white smoke. I use lump charcoal and cherry wood chunks.

                  This is all to be taken with a grain of salt as I just started smoking meat last summer.

                  1. re: Simon Patrice

                    Love the Weber kettle, but I use mine just for grilling. Perhaps chunks are nicely suited for it, with the excellent airflow control.
                    With the off-set, its a trade off between airflow and temperature. I have more success with soaked chips.

                2. re: Simon Patrice

                  I'm not sure of the make.They recently bought it at Canadian tire for 80$.They were thinking of making one out of a terra cotta pot but for 80 bucks it was just such a good price not to bother.It's basically a charcoal grill that you add another tier to with 2 grill racks and a couple of hooks for hanging sausage.Anyways were pretty new to smoking but like I said we'll hopefully be doing it a lot so trying chunks a couple of times sounds like a good suggestion.

                  1. re: chloeaardse

                    Is this the smoker?
                    http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse...

                    1. re: porker

                      Yes that's exactly it.Do you have the same one?Or is there something I should know about it?

                      1. re: chloeaardse

                        No, I have a Charbroil offset like this

                        http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...

                        but its almost 20 years old and looks more like this

                        http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...

                        Still works great.

                        I also have a propane-fired Grill Pro vertical like this

                        http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...

                        I started smoking before the widespread advent of this internet thing. It was plenty of trial and error. Mostly error at first...

                        One thing I learned early is that you can easily over-smoke. Sometimes (it all depends on what you're doing) a light smoke is better than a full-on, loooong smoke.

                        I use the off-set for the heavy lifting - smoking whole pork legs, full briskets, ribs. The vertical is for a lighter touch - bacon, fish, sometimes sausage.

                        Also, smoking isn't an exact science. Variables like temp (external/internal), wind, types of fuel, types of smoke, size of meat (or fish or whatever), hangovers, all come into play.

                        I'd also suggest taking notes as you go along. If your finished product is fantastic, you'll want to repeat it. If its crap, you'll want to change things. If its good, but can be better, you'll wanna tweak it.

                        Notes help alot when its 6 weeks later and you're scratching your head.

                        Maybe log onto some BBQ or smoke forums and get tips from those guys

                        (I learned the 3-2-1 method for ribs on a forum *years* ago - smoke 3 hours, wrap in foil in smoker 2 hours, unwrap in smoker for 1 hour and tweaked it to my liking: I finish on the grill with sauce

                        )

                        Soon enough, you'll be making your own Montreal smoked meat;

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794033

                        bacon, hams, killer ribs, etc etc.

                        1. re: porker

                          Thanks you've been really helpful.I'm gonna pass this thread on to my friends,I'm sure they'll appreciate it as well.Especially the 3-2-1 method.I'm sure we'll start with a nice rack of ribs.

                          1. re: Regina Margherita

                            Speaking of planks...
                            I like to top a salmon filet with brown sugar, place on a cedar plank, set over live charcoal and cover. The salmon actually bakes but picks up hints of grill smoke and cedar aroma. But cedar planks can be expensive:
                            http://www.google.com/products/catalo...

                            You might want to check your local hardware for bundles of cedar shims like this
                            http://www.surpluslumber.com/images/r...
                            $5 for 50 or so. OK, they're not all perfect, out of the bundle, you might get 35 good ones. OK, single use and you gotta soak them a bit. But hey, 35 good ones for $5 is 7 for a buck, or less than 20c each...

                  2. re: Simon Patrice

                    where do you buy your wood chunks in Montreal?

                    1. re: benila

                      Walmart ! Yep it sounds weird but they have excellent chips especially the whisky barrel chips (oak).