A freshly cut tree can contain around 50% moisture.  When heated, this moisture boils and steams.  Smoking wood should contain less than a 20% moisture content, but ideally be dehydrated to between 8 to 15%, depending on cut.  This is the range targeted by Smokai.  

Only hardwoods should be used for Smoking food; softwood, like Pine, contains too much resin should be avoided and the use of any wood that was previously pressure treated, painted, or commercially manufactured MUST be avoided as they can present a serious health risk.  

Wood used for smoking should be as fresh as possible. Wood that's been sitting around for a while, either on a warehouse shelf, or in the shed at home can become mouldy and should be avoided.  

So, which cut should you use?  It depends on your type of smoker and rate of burn.


Sawdust will burn more slowly than wood chip but faster than wood pellets.  The cut also produces less heat than woodchip or smoking pellets. 

Suitable for:  Portable Fish Smokers, Electric Smokers*, Gas Smokers*, Smoke Boxes.   

Method: Cold or Hot Smoking


Woodchip burns faster than Sawdust or smoking pellets. Because of their larger size, more air/oxygen surrounds the chips which in turns fuels the burn.  

If you soak chips in water for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the fire, you will prolong their burn slightly and they will smoulder more than flame. Soaking won't create more smoke. The water simply steams adding moisture and heat to your smoking process. 

Do not soak chips if you are using a Smoke Generator.  

Suitable for:  Smokai Smoke Generators, Electric Smokers*, Gas Smokers*, Charcoal Smokers, Smoke Boxes.    

Method: Cold or Hot Smoking


Pellets are made by compacting fine, 100% natural hardwood sawdust under extreme pressure. The resulting pellet holds a significant amount of fuel in a small area.  For this reason, smoking pellets burn hotter and more slowly than sawdust or woodchip.  

Pellets are arguably the most economical, cost effective "cut" for smoking food

Suitable for:  Smokai Smoke Generators, Wood Pellet Grills, Electric Smokers*, Gas Smokers*, Charcoal Smokers, Smoke Boxes.    

Method:  Hot or Cold Smoking   

*NOTE: None of the cuts mentioned above are suitable for Smokers which require Bisquettes as fuel.