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How many/much wood chips for smoking?

I have seen several options on the forum as to how much wood in chunks or chips one should use to get the right flavor. I have used hickory often and in chunks, but my last "cook" seemed too bitter, and I am wondering what you eggsperts think as to how to measure the amount. Should one use chips, or chunks? I have noticed that the chunks seem to still be there after the cook, some haven't even burned. Is this good or bad? I know that "low and slow" creates a smokier flavor, but how do you control what you get, or is it tracking your methods over time that really tells the story?
Thanks in advance!!!!!

Comments

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Daddy,[p]It is best to apply the smoke flavoring very early in the cook, even while the Egg is coming up to cooking temp. Cool meat allows the smoke to penetrate better. At around 140°F, the smoke no longer penetrates the meal and gathers on the surface.[p]For chips, 3/4-1 cup well soaked and well drained will produce 30-40 minutes of heavy smoke if piled directly on the fire. This will cause the temp to drop and I do not adjust the vents when this happens. Once the chips are used up, the temp will again rise.[p]I tend to view smoking as a separate step when doing a cook. I find it easier to judge the end result against the type(s) and amounts of wood used for the cook.[p]Spin

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,508
    Daddy, Personally I use chunks, and find that one or 2 about half the size of my fist to be perfect for most cooks. Like Spin says, early in the cook is the time to do it. [p]Once I get a good clump of lump burning well, I plunge the wood chunks right into the hottest part of the coals. This seems to give the cleanest, least bitter smoke. If I want a longer smoke, I will bury a chunk or two a few inches away from the fire, so that as the fire migrates, the wood burns. If you have chunks leftover, they were probably not placed optimally.[p]Just one opinion. Hope it helps a tad.
    NB

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  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    Daddy,
    Generally speaking, use chunks for the low and slow cooks. Soaked chips are great for the quicker ones, one or two hours. I don't use any when I'm searing steaks or burgers or cooking pizza.[p]Hickory is good for beef and ribs. When I'm doing poultry or fish, I use a fruitwood such as cherry or apple. Alder is good too for fish. Some, including me, find that mesquite is a bit strong for almost anything.
    JimW

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