Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Good Smoke vs Bad Smoke w/ wood chunks.

MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum

I have had my egg a few months now and i have a pretty good grasp on getting the egg going for different temp cooks.  I did have a question about the smoke when adding wood chunks. I have only recently started to add wood chunks to my cooks.

My typical procedure is to start the fire, leave the dome and vent open for 10 to 15 minutes until i get a decent fire, then close the dome and set the vents to the approximate temp settings and then adjust as required.  Once the grill has started to stabilize as the desired tempature i add the my stone to my adjustable rig to create the indirect cooking enviroment.  By this point i have the good smoke that everyone talks about.  My question is when should i add the wood chunks?  Do you need to leave the chunks burn for a while before adding the food?  What should the smoke look like when there is wood added?

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 21,760
    I add them right before putting the food on the grill.  I've heard of other people mixing wood chunks into the lump to get smoke throughout the cook. 

    In general, the smoke flavor is absorbed more when the food is cooler, which is why I add them first and don't worry about adding more after the first hour or two. 

    The chunks can cause some major flames if you're burning hot.  Over smoking can have a detrimental taste, so use sparingly until you get some feeling for how much smokey flavor tastes good to you.


    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    I have not ventured to chunks yet, started with chips!  Will be following this thread.
  • rickHPrickHP Posts: 49
    I've been mixing them in through the charcoal before lighting, per the advice of a lot of folks here. In an indirect cook with a platesetter, I'm not sure I see how you can add them much later, unless you plan to pull out a hot platesetter to put the chunks underneath. Maybe drop them down the sides? 
  • JWBurnsJWBurns Posts: 334

    I add them right before putting the food on the grill.  I've heard of other people mixing wood chunks into the lump to get smoke throughout the cook. 

    In general, the smoke flavor is absorbed more when the food is cooler, which is why I add them first and don't worry about adding more after the first hour or two. 

    The chunks can cause some major flames if you're burning hot.  Over smoking can have a detrimental taste, so use sparingly until you get some feeling for how much smokey flavor tastes good to you.


    I do the same.

    Also, stick with chunks. The chips burn way too quick to impart enough flavor in my opinion.

  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292
    If u put the chunks in right away don't they burn up before the meats on?
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,386
    If I'm going to cook for just an afternoon, like for doing ribs, I leave a hollow in the center of the lump and put 1 or 2 chunks there, or a big handful of chips. If it will be over nite, I drop a chunk on top of the bottom most lump, and more chunks above..

    I put the platesetter on from from the start. That way, the air flow that will produce the dome temperature I want is set at the start. The platesetter absorbs a lot of heat, and it can take a half hour, or more for the dome to reach the same temperature without the 'setter.

    There will be more heavy white smoke when there are chunks or chips. Even good dry wood has lots of water still in it, and that has to steam off. As with only lump, wait till the smoke is light and wispy.
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    @JWBurns. That would make since. I have not thought that there is much smoke flavor. Looks like I need to find chunks someplace.
  • Scott805Scott805 Posts: 208
    My LBGE tends to get hotter near the back, so I will use my smaller chunks and drop them in between the PS and the Egg and drop them in the back.  I drop them in when I put the meat on.  I will use my bigger chunck of wood for other cooks that do not need the PS.

    Large BGE, 2 Tier Adjustable Swing Rack System, three (3) bricks from Home Depot for raised direct - Finally have a decent table!

    Dallas, TX

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ignore everything and remember this: good smoke smells good.  bad smoke smells bad.
    don't put the food on until it smells good

    in an egg there is no difference between chips or chunks. chunks don't flare up and burn too quickly because there is no spare oxygen.  a fistful of chips will burn as long as a fistful of chunks.  and frankly, i can get more continuous smoke (throughout a 12 hour cook) from chips or bits of wood than i can from the same amount of wood all gambled in one big chunk of the same volume.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited July 2012
    ...and not to start a sh!t storm, but smoke flavor is never absorbed into the meat under any condition.  hot, cold, early in the cook, or later.  if there is smoke, no matter when, it is flavoring the meat. and it does so by landing ON the meat.  smoke does not penetrate or get absorbed.

    the smoke RING is a chemical byproduct of meat being cooked in an environment fueld by wood fire.  it has nothing to do with wood smoke FLAVOR, but since the smoke is what causes the reaction, people assume it has something to do with flavor.

    no.

    the smoke ring kicks in early in the cook, generally when the meat is cooler, and stops when that meat (at the surface, not interior) becomes about 2140.  but that doesn't mean the smoke stops flavoring the meat.

    smoke in your cooker means smoke flavor.  at any time.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Ok, I like the ease of the chips and it was all I could find. Thanks for setting me straight. I learn so much from you @Stike! Thanks for being such a vocal part of this forum! ^:)^ Oh I love a good sh!t storm, and people who aren't afraid to share their real opinion! This people you can trust all day long! =D>
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Stike makes you believe him, even if you don't believe him!!!
  • Dave in FloridaDave in Florida Posts: 1,026
    @JWBurns. That would make since. I have not thought that there is much smoke flavor. Looks like I need to find chunks someplace.
    Here is some info that might help you.

    http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Downloads_files/SmokingFlavorChart.pdf

    Here is where I get my chunks from. 

    http://www.fruitawoodchunks.com/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 11,473
    edited July 2012

    While on the stike bandwagon-below is a post of his I have kept for quite a while that gives more material to the chips/chunks discussion. (This topic surfaces about every few weeks-the search function, weak as it is should yield very similar threads):

    “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. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    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.
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Ok here is proof at Least at 250 that the chips do not burn up. I did brats at 250 for about an hour or maybe more threw the chips on when food went on. Today I went out to make sure I had the cap on since it was raining and there in the box were the lump and chips not burned. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,023
    Check with your local orchard for fruit wood to use for smoke, or your local winery for oak barrels. I save money on the fruit woods at the orchard. The local wineries are asking $200. give or take for the barrels, so I have yet to try that!
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,023
    LizzieSamps your DW looks delicious! What temp did you smoke it to?
    :D
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Thanks @Brownie!  Your compliment means so much to me.   :P
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.