The smoke from wood chips adds a natural aroma and flavor to food that is hard to duplicate. But just because they're usually used outdoors in a barbecue or smoker doesn't mean you have to miss out if you only have an oven. If you use them in the right way, you can give your foods a smoky flavor without making your entire home smell like a smokehouse. You can buy ready-filled bags of wood chips to use in the oven or you can make your own.
Soak the wood chips in a bowl of water for 2 to 3 hours. Drain the chips in a colander or sieve.
Tear off a large rectangular piece of aluminum foil. The sheet of foil should be large enough to hold your wood chips when it is folded over itself twice. Heavy-duty foil works best because it is thick and durable.
Fold the aluminum foil in half so that it makes a square shape. If the square of foil is too large to fit in your oven, fold it again to form a smaller but thicker square.
Fold three of the four edges of the aluminum foil square up to create a pocket. Do not fold the fourth side of the square because you will need the opening to put the wood chips inside. When you have finished, you will have a shallow pocket for your wood chips.
Fill the pouch with wood chips and seal the last edge of the aluminum foil packet.
Poke several small holes in the top of the packet using the tines of a fork.
Place the foil packet on the lowest rack while you heat the oven.
Wait for the packet of wood chips to begin smoking before adding the food. It will usually take 10 to 20 minutes before the wood chips achieve their maximum smoking output.
Put the food in the oven when the wood chips are actively smoking. Cook your food as you normally would. There is no need to adjust the time or temperature.
Try different varieties of wood chips to change the flavor of your food, such as hickory, mesquite, apple wood and alder.
Do not place the aluminum foil pouch directly on top of the gas output.
Ginger Kelly has been an accomplished professional writer since 1997. She began her career writing for school newsletters and newspapers, then moved on to community newspapers. Kelly has written various articles on a variety of topics ranging from parenting to health care. She is a paralegal graduate of Blackstone College.