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Interesting Smoke Question

Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
edited 2:43AM in EggHead Forum
How often does everyone use chips or chunks during a cook? Of course discounting any slow-cooking barbecue. Shoulders, briskets, etc.[p]I'm talking chicken breasts, shrimp, steaks, scallops, squid (NB) =), etc.[p]Reason for asking is that when I first got the Egg I thought that EVERYTHING had to have non-lump wood in there. Why else would they sell it so close to the cooker in the store? =) Quickly found that smoke penetration on things like chicken with no skin, most fish/shellfish and a few others was way more than even I liked. And since I don't have a sweet tooth this is a kid that, no joke, used to get beef jerky and nuts in his Easter basket as a kiddlin'.[p]I personally still find that the lump ads a definate smoke flavor to most 'quick burn' things that you cook. Just wondering everyone else's experience, opinions and practice on this matter.


  • Smokin' ToddSmokin' Todd Posts: 1,104
    Seattle Todd,
    I use wood chunks through out the entire the BBQ bible, SMOKE AND SPICE, puts it..."Cooking with smoke".
    I see that many on here only use a few chunks in the beginning, but I keep filling that baby with mucho fresh chunks. Not only does the meat taste extremely smokey, I like the atmosphere of a constant bellowing of smoke.

  • Seattle Todd,[p] I think that how much you smoke the food is a personal decision, as is any that deals with what you like to eat. If you don't like so much smoke flavor for things like scallops and shrimp, jsut throw a couple chips on at the beginning. If you want more smoke for, say, a butt, then throw some chunks on and keep adding them. I find that I vary the amount of wood depending on what I'm cooking. Also since the smoke seems to be absorbed most in the early part of cooking, I vary the temperature and that can control the flavor just as much as wood chips/chunks. I, too, find that just using the lump gives a subtle flavor. This is most in evident in cooking breads. The beauty of the BGE is its versatility. For someone like me that likes to screw around with recipes, it makes for a lot of fun![p]MikeO
  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    Seattle Todd,
    Like booze but unlike sex, a little smoke is great but a lot of it ain't necessarily all it's cracked up to be.[p]Generally, as David Rosengarten says, it all a matter of taste. Some like a really heavy smoke flavor and some don't. I'm kind of a middle of the roader. Good oak lump will provide good smoke flavor in and of itself. Pecan chips will provide some good smoke for chicken and poultry. Beef and ribs can stand a few chunks of mesquite or hickory.[p]Then there's the cooking time. For low and slow cooks, I like to restrain myself on adding the wood since they're obviously exposed to the smoke for a longer time. For shorter cooks, some wood to generate a lot of smoke over a short period of time may be just the ticket. Whatever I use (if any), I soak them and put them on the coals when they reach the target temp.[p]I have found that when using chunks, 4 or 5 will last for 4 hours or so. This weekend I'm planning a 4 hour cook for baby backs, indirect at 300F, with some hickory. This should produce some nice, medium-smoked delicacies for the tummy.[p]JimW

  • Dr. ChickenDr. Chicken Posts: 620
    Seattle Todd,
    I've toned down my use of woods fer smokin' too! I'll still add pecan wood to chicken, turkey and some pork cuts, but mainly I like the hickory and white oak when I can find it! White oak with steaks, is a treat! Hickory on those same steaks, can be over powering! It depends on what we are in the mood for. I'd say at least 1/3 of our cookin' is done without wood chunks or chips! It just tastes better that way! IMHO![p]Dr. Chicken

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    JimW,[p]Smoke is a flavoring to the meal and should be considered as a spice that longer exposure times produce a stronger flavor. The lump that you use will produce a flavor without adding any smoking wood.[p]Nice post. Thanks.[p]Spin

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