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how to use wood chunks/chips

chad408chad408 Posts: 140
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
What is the best way to start your smoking process? I tried the other day to add some smoke to my pork loin. I was using chips. I spread the chips through out the coals then lit the coals. Seemed like before I could get the grill up to temp most of my chips were smoked out. What is the best way to do this next time?


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    if building a long-dmoking fire, i add them into the center column of charcoal, up and down throughout.  i don't spread on top, or in spirals or wheel spoke patterns, because it seems my fire ALWAYS burns downward before outward. the wood is there when i light the fire, just not right where i light it.  when at temp, i might add another chunk right to the hot spot.  and i add enough (whether chunks or chips) to provide smoke throughout most of the cook.

    don't bother soaking.  the stuff that doesn't burn until later in the cook is going to dry out anyway, and these things don't burst into flame and run away on you like in a gasser.  the egg allows them to smolder only. 

    i find no difference between a hand full of chips, or a handful of chunks.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,835
    If you did have the chips through out the lump, its probable you were getting smoke, just not seeing it. Yout method was OK.

    Early on, even without wood, the lump will give off rather dense billows of white smoke. Those are a mix that has a lot of volatile gases, water vapor, partially burnt particles, etc. As the fire develops, most of that stuff evaporates.

    At that point, any wood will disintegrating from the heat (I think the term is pyrolizing), but not burning with an open flame because there is not enough oxygen present. What visible smoke there is will thin, almost lost in the heat haze at the top vent.

    If you were to put a really large chunk of wood into the center of the lump, at the end of 10 or more hours, you would likely find something that looked like lump, but still was wood under the charcoal. That would have been smoking the whole time, but without much sign.

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