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First time on the BGE, mixed result

I used my new BGE for the first time yesterday and cooked 2 spatchcock chickens on direct heat rubbed with Dizzy Pig Shaking the Tree.  The chicken was moist and overall I was thought it was great but the hickory smoke flavor from the chunks I tossed in was overpowering.  Was hickory a bad choice or did I toss in too many chunks?  I didnt count, but I probably threw in 5-7 decent size hickory chunks.  How do you know how many wood chunks to use?

I am planning a 5 hour cook of beef back ribs and pork baby back ribs today.  How much hickory should I use?  

Comments

  • Chris_WangChris_Wang Posts: 1,106
    edited January 26
    Hickory a very strong wood. One chunk for chicken would probably suffice, unless you absolutely love smoky flavor. How much wood to use is preference... For chicken, I like to add a chunk or couple handfuls of chips of apple or peach wood.

    If hickory is all you have, try mixing just 2-3 chunks throughout your lump for the beef ribs today.

    Locust Grove, GA

    ATL Sports Homer

     

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,012
    I used to use hickory when I started but have found it is way too strong.  Now I use mostly Apple, Cherry, or Pecan.  As @chris_wang said, you also need to use a lot less wood unless you really like smoke.  I generally use 1 or 2 chunks but this is a personal preference.

    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,176
    @ATLjack-first up welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  As mentioned above, smoke woods and quantity of smoke is a personal preference so eggsperiment and you will find what works for you.  Poultry takes smoke very easily thus most use a lighter smoking wood.  Many use cherry, light and a very impressive color.  
    Ask away on the forum as you will get many answers-and most will be a different approach to your question.  All will work-sorting out your preferences is part of the fun!
    Louisville
  • I agree with Shiff completely, I use apple, cherry, and pecan for everything. I like apple for chicken, and cherry for beef.
    Cherry Hill, NJ
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 720
    edited January 26
    +1 on chunks.

    Lump affects this too, did you get a free bag of bge branded lump? I find that stuff to be very smokey.

    Have fun!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,075
    5-7 chunks is a lot of wood, especially for chicken.  Like others mentioned for yardbird I like to use fruitwoods.  Cherry is really good. 

    For beef I really like oak.  If you can find some oak chunks I would give those a shot for your beef ribs.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 661
    One more thing to consider- how long did you let the lump burn before you put the meat on? The smoke will go from white/gray to clear- the clear is what you want. I also wait a bit after adding the chunks (10 min or so)
    Greensboro, NC
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 4,840
    edited January 26
    Welcome aboard. Depending on the lump used, BGE or Royal Oak for example, you might want to try chicken with no smoke wood whatsoever. Kamados are such efficient smokers the residual lump smoke is often enough. Cherry and pecan help the colour, apple is my favourite only because in my neighbourhood it is free from folks trimming trees.  
    @Wolfpack - good point on making sure the VOCs are gone, but I always mix the smoke wood in with the lump, the fire will find it. I think newbies tend to light too large a fire. I start my fire in the front on the top (Thank you Stike) sometimes less is better. Totally backwards for anyone coming from a Weber kettle with briquettes. 
    Delta B.C., Canuckistan - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • dweebs0rdweebs0r Posts: 465
    5-7 chunks is a lot of wood for a even huge brisket especially if using hickory (one of the stronger smoke woods).  I agree with the other posters.  I use fruit woods for chicken, pork and fish.  Hickory and mesquite (in small amounts) for beef (burgers, steaks, brisket). 

    Too much smoke or dirty smoke and the food tastes like an ash tray.
    -Jody Newell (LBGE, Mini "soon")
    Location:  Munford, TN  Homepage:  Shadow photo shadow.gif
  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 843
    +1 on not using any smoking wood with chicken. And always wait for the clear smoke.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • canmancanman Posts: 27

    I prefer mine very smoky so I use mostly hickory. On fish and chicken most fruit trees work very well. They have a sweeter, more suttle flavor.

    Enjoy the ride.

    Tullahoma, Tennessee.
  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 258
    edited January 26

    My go to for spatchcock is 350 raised indirect with two golf ball size pieces of cherry wood skin side up till its done, I believe you had way to many chunks. I'm sure you will figure it out, good luck and happy egging!

  • portaporta Posts: 88
    WAYYYY to much Hickory! Hickory is usually stronger than all the other "Fruit" wood. When doing chicken 1 is plenty. When you move up to a Boston Butt or Brisket feel free to throw in those 5 - 7 chunks. :)
    68% of statistics are made up on the spot.
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,332
    I agree with the above posters.  Hickory is way too strong for my taste on poultry.  I always use apple, peach or cherry.  Cherry will give you a nice dark color on you bird.

    Mike

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • RickyBobbyRickyBobby Posts: 376
    Myself & my family aren't big fans of too much smoke. I have come to a point where I very rarely add wood for smoke, even on my low and slows. I have found that my Lump charcoal generally produces enough smoke flavor for our likings. I also like using Rockwood Lump because it seems to not overpower the food with smoke.
    My PitMaster IQ120 FREAKIN ROCKS!!!!!!!
  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 362
    @ATLJACK....Welcome and +1 to all the above posts. I am new, but I found out quick that hickory is strong and the fruit woods are smoother flavored. Experience is a good teacher.....but it sure is good having all these great folks to guide us.

    Enjoy your BGE.

    Donnie

    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • ATLJackATLJack Posts: 6
    Lesson learned.  Thanks everyone.

    I've got 2 racks of ribs on it now, cant wait for dinner!


  • henapplehenapple Posts: 9,560
    I'm a Tennessee hickory man...just use a little. Low and slow I use the most. Experiment and find what you like.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • FATC1TYFATC1TY Posts: 17
    You'll learn with time what you like. Without a doubt though, using good lump will lend a good smokey grill flavor to your food, so fear not on coming up short on the flavor from the fire.

    I like hickory, and have found that I generally like to mix it in with other woods to lend some help.

    Just always keep in mind that poultry will need to be lighter, beef or pork, probably heavier.

    Cherry is a good all around. Apple is right up next to it. Peach is subtle and sweet. Pecan is a great wood for poultry, IMO. I like a little apple and pecan together myself for the chickens.
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,812
    I don't use any wood for poultry. I use cherry for most cooks.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,581
    Wait until you do something with mesquite.  We have a couple of recipes for strong smoke (smoked turkey thighs is one), and holy cow the set up is agonizing.  Wear a gas mask if you are going to get thoroughly mesquite gassed. 
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • WoodsDogWoodsDog Posts: 39
    I'm in the camp of no smoke wood unless I'm doing long smokes (butts, ribs, briskets).   For poultry, no way am I putting in smoke wood, the flavor is too over powering for my liking. As others have said, lump by itself is usually just enough.

    I've also noticed that food that has been refrigerated really brings out the smoke.  Most of my leftovers will have a stronger smokey taste that comes from the lump (it's all I use).  For instance, I do chicken wings and chicken breasts, and wait a day for leftovers, and the smokey taste comes out.

    As others have said, please let the lump burn to clean smoke.  Makes a HUGE difference.
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,332
    Wait until you do something with mesquite.  We have a couple of recipes for strong smoke (smoked turkey thighs is one), and holy cow the set up is agonizing.  Wear a gas mask if you are going to get thoroughly mesquite gassed. 
    I'm sorry Doc, but to me mesquite isn't fit for a campfire!  I have a good friend in Texas that gave me a bag of dried chunks and after my initial cook I chucked it in the dumpster at work.  I realize everyone has different tastes, but DAMN!!

    Mike

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 4,543
    BOWHUNR said:
    Wait until you do something with mesquite.  We have a couple of recipes for strong smoke (smoked turkey thighs is one), and holy cow the set up is agonizing.  Wear a gas mask if you are going to get thoroughly mesquite gassed. 
    I'm sorry Doc, but to me mesquite isn't fit for a campfire!  I have a good friend in Texas that gave me a bag of dried chunks and after my initial cook I chucked it in the dumpster at work.  I realize everyone has different tastes, but DAMN!!

    Mike
    I can't stand mesquite.  There is some guy at work that thinks he's the king of BBQ, and cooks on pure mesquite.  You can eat his bbq and you will smell like it for hours just from eating it.   :-&

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