Can You Burn Wood in a Weber Grill? [And How To Start A Wood Fire]

  • By: Brendan

One of the burning questions I’ve been receiving lately from readers is can you burn wood in a Weber grill?

Can You Burn Wood in a Weber Grill

And the answer is a resounding “YES”! You can burn wood and charcoal in your Weber grill, and in fact, doing so is a very effective way of transferring both heat and flavor to your food.


Can You Burn Wood in a Weber Grill?

You can burn wood in Weber gas and charcoal grill to enhance the flavor of your meat. Using wood chips or wood chunks in a Weber grill is a very simple and highly rewarding process.

The smoke from the wood doesn’t just smell better than charcoal but makes the meat taste completely different.

You can use any type of wood in your Weber grill such as wood chips, softwoods, and hardwoods, but the more popular types of wood grilling aficionados swear by including apple, pecan, hickory, and cherry, each of which that are better than others for certain types of meats.

For example, hickory offers a strong and hearty flavor, making it a versatile choice for beef, chicken, ribs, pork, lamb, turkey, and veggies. For fish, pecan, cherry and apple are ideal choices of wood.


Wood Chunks vs. Chips

Wood Chips and Wood Chunks

Just like the name would suggest, wood chips are very thin and small pieces of wood, some of which measure less than 0.025 inches thick.

Wood chunks are larger pieces of wood that can measure up to 4 inches. You can easily tell the difference between the two by inspecting the thickness.

So, which one is better to use with a Weber grill? Well, just because wood chips and wood chunks are made from the same source material, doesn’t mean that they offer the same level of performance when added to a Weber grill.

Most avid grillers choose wood chunks over wood chips and here’s why! Since wood chunks are larger than wood chips, they burn longer, so you don’t continuously have to add wood to your Weber grill.

Adding to this, Wood chunks produce more smoke, resulting in better flavor, and best of all you may be able to reuse them, but wood chips will almost burn to ash after the first burn.


How to Start a Wood Fire on a Weber Grill?

First things first—make sure you’re using wood chunks and chips rather than wood logs, as the latter is too big, hence will take longer to burn.

Next, add kindling (small pieces of wood to start a fire) to the bottom of the grill with the wood chunks. Lastly, use a lighter to fire up the charcoal and wood chunks.


How to Grill with Wood on a Weber Charcoal Grill?

The process of adding wood to your Weber grill varies between wood chunks and wood chips. Let’s start with wood chips, if your Weber grill is equipped with a smoker box, then you can simply add the chips to the box.

If your Weber grill didn’t come with a smoker box, you can buy one separately for under $20.

Before you add wood chips to the smoker box, you should soak them in water for approximately 30 minutes, or else they will light on fire and produce more flame than flavor.

Next, fire up your grill and set it to the highest temperature and preheat the grill for 10 – 15 minutes, and brush the grates with a stainless-steel grill brush.

With long-handled tongs, grab some of the soaked wood chips, let the excess water drain off, and drop them into the smoker box. Check the recipe and add wood chips to the smoker box appropriately.

Place the smoker box on the hot grill, and close the lid until you notice smoke pouring out of the grill. At this point, lower the heat of the burner to medium or low under the smoker box.

If you’re using a charcoal Weber grill, simply move some of the coals under the smoker box to the side.

Grilling with Wood Chunks on Weber Grill

Wood chunks are great at producing heat and flavor, and the process of using them in a Weber grill is a bit different than wood chips.

Before using wood chunks in a Weber grill, you have to decide whether you want direct or indirect heat. If you’re using a Weber charcoal grill, place about five chunks of wood over the charcoal, and roughly three chunks of wood in each burner box if you’re using a Weber gas grill.


Can You Grill Using Firewood?

Absolutely yes—hint – maybe that’s why it’s aptly named firewood. However, it’s important to remember that not all firewood is created equal, and some can make your meat bitter and in worse cases make you sick.

You should also never cook over wood that’s been painted, treated or stained, because it may emit unsafe fumes into your food.

There are several types of wood that are good for use on the grill such as nut woods and fruit woods but do not use pine, redwood, fir, cedar, and cypress as they contain terpenes and sap, which can give the meat a bad flavor.


Is Wood Better than Charcoal for Grilling?

Well, that depends on who you ask, but here’s the lowdown!  My take is when compared to charcoal, wood offers a better flavor, but on the downside does burn faster than charcoal, so you’ll have to replenish your wood chips often.

Adding to this, charcoal is also less expensive than wood, where you can buy a big bag of briquettes for just under $20.

Plus, charcoal provides easy control of direct and indirect heat, which is great for cooking larger cuts of meat that call for longer cook times.

Grilling with wood opens up a world of tantalizing flavors, but you want to choose meats that can benefit from these succulent flavors like chicken, beef, and pork.

However, this flavor comes at a price, given that wood chips take longer to heat up, therefore your food takes longer to cook.

For best results, you can have the best of both worlds—meaning combining wood and charcoal together.


Which are the Best Weber Grills for Burning Wood?

You can actually use any Weber Charcoal grill for burning wood instead of charcoal as fuel, but I recommend buying a larger grill such as the Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill.

You can buy a smoker box, load your wood chips in it and place it on the grill. Speaking of which, when choosing the most flavorful wood chips, you’ll be spoilt for choice, owing to the plethora of options available, but here are some of my favorites.

  • Camerons Store Wood Smoking Chips
  • Zorestar Wood Chips Variety Pack
  • Western BBQ Smoking Wood Chips Variety Pack

Will Burning Wood on Weber Grill Cause Damage to the Grill?

Burning wood, even for longer periods doesn’t cause any damage to your Weber grill. Weber grills are built tough and are designed to resist very high temperatures, allowing you to burn wood as well as charcoal in your Weber grill.


Precautions to take while burning wood on a Weber Grill

  1. Always wear gloves when handling wood or coals on a grill.
  2. Soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes to avoid flare-ups.
  3. Use a smoker box with wood chips instead of sprinkling the wood chips across the grill surface.

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