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Have some hickory logs, what to do with them?

dutchiedutchie Posts: 14
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum

Hey all

I've been eggin' for about a year now. I was given an XL for a wedding gift last May (I've got an amazing friend).  I've been reading the forum for about two years now, and have done quite well with all the advice I've read on here, so thank you to all. I've had success with pizza's, ribs, steaks, etc.... my in-law's just got me a Digi-q for my 30th bday, so next up is some butts and a brisket.  Also, I recently starting using Maple-Leaf Charcoal after reading the high ranking it got on Naked Whiz's charcoal site, as conveniently I found a Home-Hardware around the corner from me that sells it, I love the lump.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I have a friend who is an arborist, and recently gave me some shag-bark hickory logs, about 8in in diameter.  I made some chunks out of the logs and used them for my recent attempt at some baby backs.  I found the smoke didn't have the same aroma as I got from store bought hickory chips, so I'm wondering, do I need to let the wood season for some time before I can reap their benefits?  Or does shagbark hickory in general not produce the same kind of smoke?     

"Oh how lovely cooks the meat"- Frankie Lane

Caledonia, Ontario

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    try the bark itself.  sweeter smoke than anything i have found.  i don't even bother with the chunks anymore.

    no, green wood causes no problems, neither does bark.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    Feel free to ship me some - will be glad to run a series of test cooks and report back over the next few months....   Just kidding.

    I was out of state visiting family recently - was planning on visiting some of the local apple and peach orchards to see if I could scavage some of their trimmings.   Rained the whole time - didnt make it out.

    Cookin in Texas
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,035
    as long as the wood is dry (does not sizzle when it gets hot) it should provide a descent smoke.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    I have played with green wood - little different flavor than dry of the same species - but I think I am ok with green wood.
    Cookin in Texas
  • dutchiedutchie Posts: 14

    Thanks for the replys guys.  When I used it the first time I knocked all the bark off, so maybe I will try keeping it on. 

    On the comment about using dry wood, does that mean soaking the chunks should not be done?

    I've stopped by a few apple orchards as well, but I was told not to use the wood from orchards due to the harmful side effects of pesticide use overtime, not sure if there is any truth to that or not.

    "Oh how lovely cooks the meat"- Frankie Lane

    Caledonia, Ontario

  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    To soak or not soak is often discussed.   Before the Egg I used a sidebox smoker, always soaked.   Started out soaking on the Egg, but then quit -- can't tell that much difference.

    I think it has to do with the controlled air flow - soaking does not help.   I have quit any soaking with one exception.

    If after getting heat up - you are going to be putting chips on top of the charcoal, then having to assemble and load - if the chips are soaked some - it will delay the smoke for 5 or 10 minutes.   Let you load everything without getting a face full of smoke.

    Most of the time I use chunks mixed throughout the charcoal and do not soak them.

    Cookin in Texas
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Dry chips and chunks do not burn in an egg because it is otherwise airtight. They cant burst into flame and run away from you. No need to soak. Unless (as RRP mentions in a tip) you want to kill a too-hot fire.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • dutchiedutchie Posts: 14
    Again, thanks for the help guys.....I'm curious about one more thing, when I used the chunks, I had them mixed in with the lump when I started the fire, and waited for the "blue" smoke before I put the meat on and definitely got a face full of smoke.  I assume waiting for the "blue" smoke only refers to letting the VOC's burn off the lump?

    "Oh how lovely cooks the meat"- Frankie Lane

    Caledonia, Ontario

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    forget colors and all that. just smell it.  if it smells good, it'll taste good

    true, that thin wisps of blue smoke are perhaps best.  but i never sweat the issue if it smells good
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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