Wood chips might not be a common household item for many people but they have a variety of uses all year round. However, it’s during the fall and winter months that wood chips become more popular thanks to their versatility. From heating to protecting the garden from weather extremes, wood chips are useful for many tasks. So today we’re going to cover the top 5 best uses for wood chips around your home and garden.
Using the Right Wood Chips
Store-bought wood chips might be the most common types of wood chips as they’re easily accessible and can be more affordable depending on where you live and the retailer. But if you have a large lawn with plenty of wood then you could make your own using a chipper shredder. Finding the best wood chipper shouldn’t be difficult. There are plenty of models to choose from including gas or electric-powered models, in all different shapes and sizes for every budget. After looking around at the options, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect wood chipper with the features you need. And after investing in this useful item, you can have wood chips for all your house and garden maintenance needs all year round.
Weather-Proof your Lawn
While we enjoy watching the winter weather from inside the home with a cozy blanket and hot drink, it’s not so comforting to be outside in the harsh weather. Over the winter months, the cold and wet conditions can wreak havoc on lawns, creating unsightly puddles and mud patches. If patches of your lawn become ruined because of wet weather, you can protect them from further damage and detract from the sight by using wood chips. If patches appear dotted all over your lawn, you could use wood chips to create a pathway between them all to make it look better while providing a trail for you to access the lawn without dragging mud all over the place.
Wood chips don’t just need to be used for home maintenance or for more traditional functional purposes. They can also be used to make some tasty wood-smoked food. Whether it’s oak, apple, maple, pecan, mesquite, or hickory wood, simply strip the bark of the chips before cooking for deep, flavor enriched meat. The benefit of using wood chips over logs or chunks is that chips smoke quicker and can be used on charcoal as well as gas and electric smokers. Not all wood chips are safe to use for smoking, however, so care should be taken especially when using leftover wood chips from another job. Common wood chips used in household tasks include cedar, pine, and fir (amongst others) but these are not safe for wood smoking food. Check out a complete guide to wood smoking food to keep yourself safe.
Mulch for Flower Beds
Spreading mulch over landscaped areas, around trees, or over flower beds is beneficial for plant life as it prevents weeds from growing, retains moisture in the soil, and can help the soil from waste. Buying mulch exclusively for this purpose can be expensive, particularly if you have a large lawn or lots of flower beds to cover. However, if you have leftover wood chips from another task then this will stop them from going to waste.
In the fall and winter months, you wouldn’t be alone in wanting to use a log-burning stove or fireplace for some extra warmth. There’s something calming about sitting around a warm fire, listening to the wood crackle as the evening draws to an end. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace or log burner, use wood chips as a useful firestarter or use them to top up the fire intermittently. Selecting the right type of wood will give your fireplace a distinctive, seasonal scent which improves the cozy feeling and helps you unwind. If you don’t have space or equipment for a real fire, don’t worry, an electric fireplace can recreate the same cozy feel and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up either!
Using Wood Chips For Oven Cooking
If you want to use wood chips for cooking but don’t have an electric, charcoal, or gas smoker, you can use your oven to achieve that delicious wood-smoked flavor. After soaking your wood chips for 2 -3 hours, drain them using a sieve or colander. You’ll need to take aluminum foil and fold it into a square pouch/envelope to enclose the wood chips for the cooking process, ensuring it’s closed tight when the chips are inside. Put the pouch on the bottom shelf of the oven as it preheats then cook your food as normal. During cooking your food will naturally take on deliciously woody flavors, elevating your cooking to the next level.