The flavor will be better in secondary. You can boil them in a small amount of water to sanitize in a couple minutes. Or soak them with a couple jiggers of vodka if you don't want any liquor flavor. Put them in an airtight container with the vodka in the fridge when you pitch the yeast on the beer. That'll give it plenty of time to soak in. But the liquor qill also soak out some wood resins. so when you're ready to rack to secondary,pour chips & all through a sanitized hop sock,tie it off,& drop it in. Rack the beer onto this & let it sit for a week. Then use a shot glass to taste the oaking level. Leave it for a stronger flavor if you so desire. Time is the flavor adjuster in this case.
Everything works if ya let it-Roady(meatloaf)