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question on wood and when to place in egg

EggHead09EggHead09 Posts: 52
edited 4:59PM in EggHead Forum
through what reading I have done I know that the wood can be directly placed on the fire and does not need to be smoked. Everybody talks about wood chunks. I am asuming that these are different than the chips you buy in a bag. If that be the case where can I buy them and how much do you add to your BGE and when do you add them in the process of your cook. Currently I have chips. Do those work or should I just scrap them. I am want to use this for making homemade smoked baked beans and also I am wanting to do a long smoke on a standard sized pork butt on a different occasion...Any advice?! Thanks...



  • AnnaGAnnaG Posts: 1,104
    Hello Matt,

    I have bought chunks at some of the same places that I buy chips. Our grocery store even carries Hickory chunks. I tend to bury some chunks throughout the lump, so I will get smoke throughout the cook...

    HTH... :)
  • EggHead09EggHead09 Posts: 52
    So you place it in the egg when actually getting ready to light lump...that's good to know!!!!
  • AnnaGAnnaG Posts: 1,104
    Yep, I bury them in the lump, then light things up. If I need initial smoke, I will throw some chips on the top after lighting the egg and getting things stabilized... :)
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    Some place it in lump, some on lump as soon as you light, some right before the meat. You have to decide how much smoke flavor you actually want. I love a lot of smoke. I use chunks and I put them on top of fire right when I put my meat on. Probably 3 or 4 almost fist size. As far as chips, they are fine although I would go to chunks if I could. Most grocery stores will have some type of wood and I see alot of chunks. I have a great guy I work with thats best friend owns a cabinet shop so I have endless supply. If I were using chips I would go with a handfull down in the lump and then I would throw a couple handfulls right on the fire when I went on with the butt. Its hard for me to tell ya how much smoke you like. Trial and error. Good luck with it.
  • fsmithfsmith Posts: 43
    I typically throw up to a half-dozen good size chunks depending on what I'm cooking. Varies between cherry, mesquite and hickory. I don't usually put any in the lump only on top. For quick cooks, i.e. burgers, steaks etc. I'll use a handful or two of soaked chips. Jack Daniels oak barrels being one of my favorites for this.

    I've heard that after a certain temp the meat won't take on any more smoke so I use it sooner rather than later in a long cook.

    I always soak it while I'm bringing the egg up to temp and stabilizing. Just before the meat goes on I throw the chunks in, it really smokes for the first hour or so. I've already burned off the VOC's from the lump so this smoke is all the damp chunks.


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    wood is good. chips chunks, sawdust....

    it all works.

    you'll have folks debating chunks vs chips. but i've used all of them and seen no difference. actually had better luck continuous smoke by using more chips (small chunks, really) rather than fewer chunks.

    did a 24 hour cook this weekend, building the fire by keeping the wood in the middle interspersed as i added lump from the bottom up. lump (but no wood) around the perimeter to fill it up.

    no need to soak, because the wood can't burst into flame and burn away prematurely in the egg (it's relatively airtight). they will simply smolder
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    smoke will flavor meat at any time. it's the smoke RING which will not form after the outer surface of the meat (where the smoke ring appears) reaches 140.

    but it will still "accept" smoke and smoke flavor
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    I mix chips throughout the charcoal then I breakdown large chunks into splits and arrange them like this. If I'm making a long burning fire, I'll just repeat this at a higher level. If you don't want to fool with the hatchet work, wood dealers like Smoke In The Ozarks and others sell boxes of splits that are sized for ceramic cookers. Look close, I put a quarter on one of the splits for reference.


    On my site, link is below, check out the Introduction to Barbecue article. I go into great detail about smoke because the proper understanding of it's potential is very important.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • fsmithfsmith Posts: 43
    Thanks for the clarifications. I won't waste any more time soaking the wood from here on out. And it's good to know that there's no real cut-off on temp for meat taking smoke, I like my butts with a lot of smoke flavor.

    I'll start mixing my chunks with the lump as I build.

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