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Chunk Wood vs Wood Chips

mustgrillmustgrill Posts: 141
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum
I the BGE has anyone tried wood chunks? I have several bags of different chunk about 2 to 3 inch in size. Will it burn proper? Any help would be nice?
Located in Western North Carolina


  • I use chunks all the time....they're great. Depending on what I'm cooking and for how long, i use anywhere from 1-6 or so chunks spread throughout the lump so i'll get good smoke for the duration as the fire burns.
  • From what I've read on the forum, it appears the majority of eggers use chunks.  I believe the Whiz reccomends chunks as well. 

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 10,558

    Originally posted by Stike a while ago-FYI-<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    “frankly, wood is wood. i use chips, chunks, barked, no bark, etc.

    chips and chunks don't do anything better than the other, unless you use one like you'd use the other. meaning, use chips like chips and chunks like chunks. people win contests with either, so it doesn't affect the food. you just gotta use them "corrrectly". In the BGE chips can be mixed throughout the lump to maximize smoke during a lo and slo. your fire crawls around, so you want chips where the fire will be. you won't use up all the chips because the fire won't use up all the lump. don't screw with wet chips. in a ggasser, you wet chips to keep them from burning outright, and flaming. they can't do that in the egg. you can have a raging fire, and toss in wood, and it WILL NOT CATCH FIRE as long as the lid is shut and the airflow is dialed in. open the lid, and the wood WILL burst in to flame. shut it, and it goes out. it WILL smoke though. and that's what you want.

    chunks are fine too. you strategically put them around the lump, and maybe push one into your fire right at the start, just to make sure.

    put in as many chips/chunks as you want. smoke flavor is added as long as there is smoke. that means, if you had a butt going 20 hours, and the smoke only showed up for the last hour, it'll still smell like (and taste like) smoke. it's the smoke RING that only forms in the first hour or so. and the smoke ring is color, not flavor. so don't worry about when smoke kicks in. if you like a lot, add a lot of chips or chunks.

    chunks vs. chips is the same as "ford vs. chevy". much ado about nothing.

    oh, as for high temp cooks. i like to toss a couple chips in sometimes when a steak is finishing. did it last night, actually. and again, no worry about flames. i tossed the wood in, shut the lid, and got some decent smoke. only when the lid was opened did it catch fire. i flipped the steak, then shut the dome, and the chips went out. that's nice to know. flames are actually bad for steak. they look pretty, but flamed is less desirable than direct heat from the lump. flame isn't as hot, either."

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 17,633

    I like chips (VERY LITTLE) on chicken and turkey. I like chunks for meat stuff. To be sure, you are not talking of just using chunks and not lump: correct..... Also, I never wet them.

    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,535
    I generally use chips for quick fast cooks and chunks for low and slow. But not always. Depends on what I have on hand. Really wood is wood, both work.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    as griff says.  wood is wood.  people make the maistake of assuming chips burn more quickly.  but that is only because they are smaller. one chip doesn't equate to one chunk. 

    i use whatever i have available, i just use it differently.  it is not possible to tell the difference in the finished meat, and neither provides 'more smoke' or 'longer smoke'. 

    as an exaggerated example to proved the point, if i had five good-sized chunks equally spaced around the top of the lump, they would provide far less smoke than a handful of chips (or twigs, etc.) buried in the center in a vertical column mixed among the lump. 

    as long as the fire finds the wood, it doesn't matter what shape the wood is in.  and the nature of the egg is such that chips cannot burn like they do in a metal (gas) grill.  there is no spare oxygen for them to fully combust. they'll smolder even when touching lit lump. no flames.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Good responses thanx, I am going to cook a brisket this weekend 11 to 12 pound for approx 15hrs or so. So I guess at these replies 4 (2 to 3 inch) chunks should be enough?  
    Located in Western North Carolina
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 1,561
    edited February 2012
    Good responses thanx, I am going to cook a brisket this weekend 11 to 12 pound for approx 15hrs or so. So I guess at these replies 4 (2 to 3 inch) chunks should be enough?  
    Totally up to you.  I build my low and slow fire from the ground up in layers, with three chunks per layer.  Prolly three layers, total.  Someone said the meat only "takes smoke" before it hits ~145* so maybe more at the top, if you subscribe to that belief.

    EDIT - saving a post - +1 Stike two posts down
    Large BGE and Medium BGE-- Greensboro!

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    depends where you put them
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    smoke will flavor meat at any time.  there is a persistent myth that meat only takes smoke until 140.  it is not at all correct.

    the pink-colored smoke RING, a byproduct of smoking, stops forming at 140 (surface temp of meat, not internal temp).  but even after that stops forming, the smoke will continue to flavor the meat
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanx for all the good info. Even though I am learning about the BGE from more larger smokers, I am doing very good using the advise here. So chunks it is on lng cooks. Thanx so much.

    Located in Western North Carolina
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Chips or chunks. Doesnt matter at all
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • XLentEGGXLentEGG Posts: 420
    Putting meat straight from the fridge to the Egg seems to give me a nicer smoke ring. Also look up the term "Invisible Smoke" or "clear smoke"Just because you can't see the smoke does not mean that it is gone.
    More meat please !! :-)
  • Couple of years ago I smoked a frozen butt along with some others. Beautiful smoke ring and the smokiest butt I ever did. Did a frozen turkey a couple of Christmases too and it was incredible as well.


    Caledon, ON


  • How much longer does frozen stuff take?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    You wont notice a difference
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,860
    How do you apply rub (or anything else) to a frozen butt?
    Winston-Salem, NC 
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't believe the idea is that they go on solid, with a frozen exterior.  more about not worrying if it is completely thawed.  it's ok to be mostly frozen when it goes on.

    the rub will stick in that case
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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