Wood chips give foods an appetizing wood-smoked aroma and flavor. Good chip choices include mesquite, hickory, oak, and sweet fruitwoods, such as apple, cherry, and peach. Supermarkets that stock charcoal usually carry wood chips as well, or order from websites.
For large meat cuts and whole birds that take longer to cook, use wood chunks, which last longer than chips.
Soak chips or chunks in enough water to cover for at least 1 hour before using. For long cooking times, soak enough wood to add more to the grill as necessary.
When using a charcoal grill, sprinkle drained chips on the coals. For a gas grill, place chips in a metal box, disposable foil pan, or wrap in heavy foil with holes poked in the top for steam to escape.
If you have fresh herbs in your garden, use them to flavor the smoke. Add a generous handful to the coals when you put the food on the rack.