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Exactly How Much Wood???

I was talking to the proprietor at my favorite BBQ place today. We were discussing Hickory and he tells me he uses pretty much straight Hickory with just enough charcoal to keep things going. I am wondering just how much wood could be added to a BGE low and slow cook? At some point it look like things would not go right. Would the wood would burn up too quickly to complete the cook? Would the temperature fluctuate too much? Would the fire maybe just go out? How much wood has anyone used in a cook and had it turn out OK?


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,565
    I've put in a big branch, about a foot long and maybe a little thicker than 2.5". At the end of a 6 hour cook, it was almost charcoal.

    Was this fellow using an Egg, or any other ceramic cooker?

    My Egg experience is that a large amount of wood just makes huge amounts of nasty smoke if the air flow is kept low. If the air flow is high enough the wood can get to flaming, the temp goes so high anything will be burnt to a crisp.

    Offset and pit smokers work really differently from kamados. The oldest pits I've seen never have wood added to the smoking chamber. Wood is burnt separate till its just hot coals. Most of the more modern pits I've seen only get a few pieces of wood to offset the the coals as they burn away. I've seen one commercial pit that uses gas flames to reduce the wood to coals before cooking.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 9,430
    Its like comparing apples to oranges since you're talking about different types of cookers. The heat and air flow differently in cookers depending on where the heat source is. Forgot where exactly it was, but one of the Central TX bbq joints (Blacks or Smitty's?) the brick pit had the fire outside the pit as in the fire was burning, flaming biggish logs of wood (not all coals yet) but the intake of the pit was open and drew the heat in because of the way the air flowed through the pit. 

    If you are going to experiment with an all-wood fire, be careful because an all-wood fire can get really hot. I loaded up my tandoor (almost to the top) last year and lit it up for sh!ts and grins. Crazy hot fire, next thing I knew, it was all broken and i had to do a major repair job. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Im thinking a cold smoke for about 4 hours in my Bradley then transfer it over to the egg for the lump .long haul. This maybe a good option.
    Jefferson .GA.  
    Been egging since 1985 on a medium egg
  • KeeferKeefer Posts: 120
    The fellow I was talking to has several stationary pits as well as some that are on wheels. They are not kamato type cookers at all. I think some of them do have a separate area to burn the wood dwn to coals. I have no desire for an all wood fire. I just wondered what the consequences were if you had too much wood in with the lump. Sounds like the answer may be either a bad taste if the temp is kept low or an inferno if the vents are opened up too much.
  • LuvfltLuvflt Posts: 63
    I'm not an expert but I have been told that when you use wood it does not burn as consistantly as the lump and may not burn as long as the lump. I would think if you used the lump to make it through the cooking process then the wood you would use would be for the smoke flavor only.
    Palm City, FL
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