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Wood Chips or Chunks?

beckhbpbeckhbp Posts: 4
edited 5:38PM in EggHead Forum
Wanted to get an idea from the experts about what is better to use on the low and slow cooks?


  • bobbybbobbyb Posts: 1,349
    I use dry (unsoaked) chunks.
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    Pros and cons to both...

    People will say chunks last longer, I would argue if you throw in the same amount, you will get the same smoke time in the egg as you are smoldering...

    Chunks, throw a big one on the fire and you get a good burn time on it...but, the fire may miss the rest of them.

    chips, you can mix throughout the lump and ensure no matter where the fire burns you have smoke wood.....

    for me I use whatever is on hand/easy to get. I use a lot of shagbark, which ends up being large chips by the time I mix it into the lump....
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,980
    after stike posted about the bark it seems to be catching on in massachusetts, never seem to hear folks from bbq south mentioning shagbark. :laugh: :laugh: stuff works great and its always available within a short walk from the house :)
  • Rusty RoosterRusty Rooster Posts: 1,239
    Maybe that is because they do not really go to the deep south Fishless. I used to see a lot of them in KY but now rarely in GA. We have hickory just a different vareity so no bark to pick up and burn. ;)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,980
    ahhh....maybe theres a market :laugh: they are semi rare here too, i know of just a couple
  • jbennyjbenny Posts: 147
    What is this shagbark you speak of? The only trees I have are baby live oaks in my yard so no bark for me.
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    I get mine in CT near a friends house...though I think I finally spotted one in the woods near my house :) Any of the others around me are right in someone's front yard...been thinking maybe I'd just knock on the door and ask....
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    Speaking of...over/under on when he posts again?
  • jzccjzcc Posts: 123
    Intrigued because I'd never heard of shagbark here in TX, I googled it and found that it is a hickory tree native only to IN, KY, MI.

    I found an interesting article on it. Ever heard of hickory syrup made from the bark of shagbark? Sounds yummy, may have to order some.

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 8,935
    shagbark hickory...


    It is native to most of the eastern half of the US... not the deep south though.

    If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.    Julia Child

    Central Connecticut 

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 7,600
    Bfore I bought a BGE I did lots of searching on this site (you may want to do the same) and found the below which I saved. Don't recall the author but it made sense to me:
    "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 "crorrectly".
    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.
    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."
    So either more research or do whatever you want.
    Louisville   L & S BGEs 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,980
    one of those and a backyard griller is set for life :)
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    That may be true of a slow cook, but cooking at almost 400 you aren't so worried about whether it is going to burn, but how long it will burn. You can add more chips, but they can all catch at the same time in that environment and be too much smoke and then it will be gone soon after that. With larger chunks they will catch and smolder much longer and give off a small amount of smoke for an extended period of time. Mostly because of surface area. Remember, you can always make chips from chunks but can't make chunks from chips. ;)
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006

    Here is what looks to be a decent blog....have never tried making it though.
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    true, but if you mix those chips throughout the lump you will get the smoke as the fire moves....I prefer the chunks for the higher temps, but again with the shagbark I can still get that flavor on a burger with a higher temp...

    I just think people get all worked up over it, instead of using what is on hand...hell I get my maple and oak from my wood pile (though sugar maple would be better), use trimmings from my asian pear tree, bark from the shagbark hickory tree, crabapple from a friends yard...If I need to buy anything I try to get what is cheapest....

    I guess my point is it can all work so take what is available and don't pay an arm and a leg for it...I've seen cherry chunks going for obscene amounts, when the chips were being sold for 1/2 the price....seemed crazy.
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