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Wood chips or chunks?

I bought some apple and hickory chips from Menards and some mesquite and hickory chunks from Hy Vee

A friend who smokes on a small weber wraps the chips in a foil pouch after soaking

Making my first butt today and threw some handfuls in with the lump and a couple of pouches on top, gonna try the chunk next time

Comments

  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 726
    If you are doing a butt, you should have gone with the chunks; you want the long smoke time. I use chips with something on the egg for an hour or less. I also sometimes augment chunks with chips for a long cook, but rarely. 

    Watch out for the mesquite; it's strong. I never use it. (And watch out for the Texans who probably disagree.)
    *******
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • I am a fan of chunks over chips because I feel that they don't burn up as quickly.  However, it's much easier to add chips with a platesetter in if you need more smoke.  It really comes down to preference.
    Large BGE
    GR
  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 528
    For a quick cook, i.e., seafood, grilled chicken or steaks where I want a little smoke flavor, a handful of chips are fine.  However for low and slow, I definitely prefer chunks and will place them amongst the lump when loading the Egg just as vidalia1 mentions. 

    LBGE

    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • I'm in the chunk camp also.  Use the big chunks for low n slow and the smaller chunks for quicker cooks.  Mesquite is OK sometimes, just don't have to use much.  Like it when doing turkey breast when sliced for sammies especially.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    No soak, no foil.

    Chips = smaller amount of smoke, not lasting as long

    Chunks = more smoke for longer

    Cookin in Texas
  • Thanks for the info, going to have to find some more chunks.

    Any recommendations where to find them?  I live in Dubuque IA
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Chunks here -- directly on top of the lump -- usually pecan -- gets me little over two hours of good smoke, and after two hours the meat is sealed anyhow....
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,019
    Sorry, but I've tried this and he's right, except for the smoke ring part...you don't need wood for that, but it helps.


    • stikestike Posts: 15,597
      uh oh...
      myth alert! (sorry to be the dinkus) :)

      food will accept smoke at any time in the cook. ...but it doesn't really absorb it at all. nitric acid (from the smoke) can wick into the meat a little (it's what makes the smoke ring), but all the flavor is (GASP!) on the outside. it's a persistent myth, and it's probably tiring to read old stike blathering on about it again.

      you can cook ribs for the entire cook without smoke, and then smoke away for the last couple hours. you'll have the flavor, just no smoke ring. smoke ring stops forming when the surface of the meat hits 140 or so (not the internal temp, but the temp where the ring forms)
      ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante

    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Dust9000Dust9000 Posts: 25

    Chunks mixed in throughout the coals for long smokes.  

    I only use the chips in the foil when I want to add smoke for a single cook.  that way I just pull the foil package out and my next cook does not have any wood in the coals.  (next cook may not need thick smoke).

    From Texas and some use mesquite wood, but I do not reccomend it for smoking (pecan and oak recommended).  Use Mesquite for a fast cook (fajitas).  get some mesquite wood and burn it to coals and then cook your fajitas over hot mesquite coals.  People use it down here since it is prevalent and cheap.  damn mesquite trees.

     

  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 2,874
    When comparing the difference, make sure you are comparing the same amount of wood.  A handfull of chips is not the same as a couple of chunks.  I find that chips (a large amount equal to a couple of chunks) spread throughout the lump, will give me longer, more continuous smoke through the long cook.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,579
    jlsm said:
    If you are doing a butt, you should have gone with the chunks; you want the long smoke time. I use chips with something on the egg for an hour or less. I also sometimes augment chunks with chips for a long cook, but rarely. 

    Watch out for the mesquite; it's strong. I never use it. (And watch out for the Texans who probably disagree.)
    Not Texan, but I do like a touch of mesquite. I find the best way to get it is to buy a 10# bag of mesquite lump and mix a few pieces in with RO/BGE/OO or whatever you use. It is strong and this gives just the right amount of flavour for my taste. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • BigGreenBBQBigGreenBBQ Posts: 109
    I likw wood pellets... they are cheap and easy to find plus they last forever.
  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 528
    Thanks for the info, going to have to find some more chunks.

    Any recommendations where to find them?  I live in Dubuque IA
    Not sure what's around you, but the Ace Hardware close to me carries an excellent selection of wood chunks and chips.

    LBGE

    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • AcnAcn Posts: 431
    KennyLee said:



    Thanks for the info, going to have to find some more chunks.

    Any recommendations where to find them?  I live in Dubuque IA

    Not sure what's around you, but the Ace Hardware close to me carries an excellent selection of wood chunks and chips.


    I've seen oak, hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry and pecan chunks at my local Home Depot.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • I would definitely use chunks. I cooked 30lbs of Pork shoulder roast last weekend for 17 hours. I soak the chunks and then place them throughout the charcoal when the temp is ready to start the smoak. Also, I like using fruit flavors for pork: cherry or apple or a mix. It is a milder flavor. I like hickory in chicken or beef. Hope that helps.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    I always mix chips through the lump and a few chunks on top.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Hickory wood chunks for me. I do a lot of long and slow smoking on my egg, and the chunks seem to last during the entire smokes.  Never had a whole lot of luck having the chips last during the smokes.
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