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10+ hour low & slow - how to disperse wood chunks for smoking?

MikeGMikeG Posts: 174
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum

I'll start a fire only in the center of the firebox. 

Without wishing to drastically oversmoke things, how do you like to disperse the wood chunks in the firebox?  All of it on top or buried?  All near the center or dispersed from the center so that you always have a new chunk in position to catch the flame as it moves outward from the center?

 

Comments

  • I layer mine in with the charcoal.  A little on top and a little in the middle and a little on top.
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,598
    I spread some out evenly (like 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock and sometimes right in the center) towards the bottom and then put a little on top.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • MikeGMikeG Posts: 174
    Thanks.  My cook could well be 15 hours.  How much of that should I target to generate smoke? 
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 781
    I like to have enough wood to smoke for at least four hours, I don't think that going longer makes the smoke penetrate the meat any further.

    Gerhard
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,595
    I like to have enough wood to smoke for at least four hours, I don't think that going longer makes the smoke penetrate the meat any further. Gerhard
    Agreed. I think the smoke is important for the beginning only. It will penetrate the meat enough, and once all burned the lump will be good enough for smoke. For me, I usually soak (even though I know not necessary) a cereal bowl full of wood chips and disperse in lump and seems to do the trick just fine.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited February 2012
    just weighing in, because this comes up all the time...
    smoke will add flavor at any time during the cook.  beginning, middle, and end, or any one of those alone.

    it doesn't 'penetrate' meat in any real sense.  the smoke ring WILL penetrate during the early part of the cook, but it is flavorless, and has nothing to do with whether smoke itself is getting into the meat.

    the pink ring forms when nitrites in the smoke become nitric acid, and literally 'cure' (like bacon) the outer surface.  this nitric acid will wick into the meat until the meat reaches 140.  the chemical process doesn't take place at that temp.  and that temp is exterior (where the chemical reaction is), not the interior temp of the meat.

    if you like a smoke ring, put the meat on cold (no need to warm up a butt like a roast anyway), keep teps as low as you can, and make sure there's smoke early in the cook.

    but independent of the smoke ring, you can add smoke flavor whenever you want.  but it only really lands ON meat.  it can't flavor the interior (unless, like PP, you mix it together)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i find my fire burns downward.  i add lump, some chunks or chips, a little more lump, more wood, and so on.  as the fire burns down, it finds new wood.

    have never had a fire grow horizontally, unless the lump was light and all of it burned. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,386
    The ribs will only take smoke up to 140* so the colder you have them when they go on, the longer you have to build a nice smoke ring.  I use both chunks and chips distributed throughout the lump.  Remember that just because you don't see heavy smoke, it doesn't mean that wood isn't still smoking.

    Mike

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,386
    Yeah......what stike said.  :D

    Mike

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ah. but the ribs take smoke all day long.  smoke RING is what stops. :)>-
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • MikeGMikeG Posts: 174
    i find my fire burns downward.  i add lump, some chunks or chips, a little more lump, more wood, and so on.  as the fire burns down, it finds new wood.

    have never had a fire grow horizontally, unless the lump was light and all of it burned. 




    Interesting.  This next cook I'm doing is 2 ea  8lb butts and 2 ea 2 lb beef boneless chuck roasts.  12 lbs meat.  As a newbie, my intent is to fill the firebox using larger chunks at the bottom to shield the air holes in the grate.   Should one pile the lump into a cone-ish shape, or simply fill the firebox evenly edge to edge?

    Many thanks for the assistance.

     

  • bge30plusbge30plus Posts: 80
    edited February 2012
    On long cooks I fill my pan to the top with lump and like stike said as I add lump I add dry layered with the lump. I do not use chunks at all on long cooks. I found that I can manage the temp better. I also like to use different type of woods. But never more than 2 different. One time I mixed peach, pecan, apple and hickory. Bad mistake. So now it's only 2.
    Living the good life in MACDonna
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