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Newbie with question.. Smoke when to add? Soak or not?

edited 5:43AM in EggHead Forum
Okay, just got my egg yesterday (not only new to egg but smoking too). Fired it up today and made a juicy spatchcock chicken. [p]Now when exactly should I add the smoke chunks? How long after adding the smoke chunks should I wait to put food on? And does it matter if the smoke chunks are soaked or not.... or does the different ways give diferent effects?[p]Thanks [p][p]


  • Nardi,
    Add the chunks 15 minutes before the cook. Make sure the smoke thins before putting the chicken on grill.
    No need to soak the chunks it will not make any matter in the end.

  • Mike in MNMike in MN Posts: 546
    It's a personal thing whether to soak or not, wine or water, how much and what, chips or chunks.[p]If you lined up 10 of us, and asked this same question, you would get 10 different answers. You'd get 10 different tasting results, and 9 out of the 10 would be great, one of us would have had a bad night. (In regards to cooking...I always say "sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.")[p]So, in general I add the smoking wood to the fire just before I add the meat to the grill...close the lid, and hopefully leave the lid closed until the cook has been completed. The meat absorbs the bulk of the smoke in the beginning, that's why I would put the meat on as cold as possible. Smoke towards the end of the cook can cause a bitterness (it makes some of us burp) I never add smoking woods past the initial startup.[p]How much and what.......Get yourself a bunch of different types and varieties and start experimenting. [p]On a long pork butt cook, I would use as much as I could hold cupped in my 2 hands ... about a quart's worth. I'd use a handful of apple, maple, a little hickory, cherry, and maybe just a little mesquite....Some of it would be chips, some would be chunks. Most of it would be fairly dry, because I only add a little water to my mixing bowl (old plastic cottage cheese container) just before it goes on the fire...of which the fire is barely going, and adding the damp wood almost extinguishes the fire. That gives it a real slow temp rise up to the 225 I'm shooting for. In fact, it may take 30-45 minutes to get up to the 225. The smoke comes out thick. When I can make the smoke come out around the dome's gasket seal, I know we are smokin, baby![p]Mike in MN

  • Mike in MNMike in MN Posts: 546
    Nardi,[p]As a followup, some meats don't need any additional smoking woods added beyond what a good lump will produce. I like the results with the Maple Leaf charcoal on its own. Has a nice subtle smoke flavor. I don't add much smoke to chicken or beef roasts......(Smoked chicken for sandwich meat or for use in a pasta is another story) [p]Like I said, you line 10 of us up here, and you will get 10 different answers! [p]Try different things and keep a log. I have a log of almost every cook. Next time you are going to smoke some salmon, you can go back to your previous attempts and see what happened. I log times, temps, seasonings, direct/indirect, drip pan, smoking woods, weather conditions, and of course results and what I would have done differently. On occasion I get to add a highlighter with a note that says "This one worked!!"[p]Mike in MN
  • Mike in MN,
    No argument here. It all comes down to preference.
    In my experience the wood needs to burn off some of it's bitterness before benefiting the cook. That means putting on the chunks, allowing them to char and the smoke to thin before putting on the meat. Aint failed me yet.
    Burpin? It's always comin out both ends no matter what time of day it is.[p][p]

  • Mike in MN,
    Sounds like you either have a bad band (won't seal) or you need a new gasket. You shouldn't have any smoke coming out around the gasket seal. Call BGE and ask for John.[p]BBS

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    In some cases you may be correct, but I'm not so sure that's the case with Mike's Egg, Stringer. I have a good seal on my large, but when I pour the smoke to it, or excess steam is coming out of the food, some of it escapes in one or two spots. Ok, I'm sure somebody will argue that's not a good seal, but other than heavy smoke escaping sometimes, I don't have any problems with temp control, excess lump usage, or dampering off the fire. If I had any problems with the aforementioned three items, I would definitely look into replacing the gasket. Otherwise, it's a non-issue IMHO.[p]Best Regards,

  • Mike in MNMike in MN Posts: 546
    Naw, the seal is just fine. When I REALLY have the smoke cranking in the beginning of my cook, I know I'm in hog heaven when I get a little wisp of leakage....I have my dual remote probes gumming up the perfect seal, so there will be an ever so slight leakage...nothing to worry about. Everything is matched and sealed just fine![p]I just tested it this past weekend with a 22 hour pork shoulder cook.....and I guarantee you, everything came out fine! Real fine. In fact we just had a beauty of a supper...just sammiches, cole slaw, and beans..... No problem. ;>[p]Mike in MN

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