I receive many questions about using smoker woodchips in electric smokers. I use my Brinkmann Gourmet electric smoker every so often, and after wrapping the chips or wood chunks in foil for several years, I came up with something better.
This method of using woodchips in my Brinkmann electric smoker is also cheap, ecologically friendly, green…call it what you want. It basically recycles trash into something useful, plus keeps you from wasting aluminum foil every time you add wood to the smoker.
All it amounts to is using a tin can as a wood chip container. I think I used a 15 ounce pork & beans can, and it fits perfectly between the electric element coils. When I opened the can up, I went about 3/4 of the way around the top, leaving the lid partially attached to the can. I fill the can with dry woodchips, straight from the bag. Then the lid is bent down to close it up some. Bending the lid down is important, because if left open, the smoldering chips can get too much air and burst into flames, which in turn causes the temperature of the smoker to skyrocket. Keeping the can's lid closed keeps the wood smoldering.
Next the woodchip can goes into the electric smoker. I use a long pair of tongs, placing the can upright on the lava rock, in between the element coils. The can doesn't have to touch the coils since the can will pick up enough heat to get the woodchips smoldering. Again, be sure the lid is bent down.
That's all there is to it. As the can heats up, the wood chips begin to smolder, flavoring up that pork roast, or brisket, or whole chicken you're aching to eat. One thing about it, when the wood begins to smoke, it can go pretty fast. If you're not watching all the time, you might miss seeing it smoke and think it didn't work, so remove the can after an hour or so to check. Refill the can as many times as you see fit for what you're smoking.
Using woodchips in an electric smoker can be done several ways. You can toss them in loose, wrap them up in foil, use a store bought wood chip pan... Or you can be a cheapskate like me and dig an old can out of the trash and use it.