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where do I put wood chunks?

JeffJeff Posts: 75
edited 5:25AM in EggHead Forum
I'm going to do my first long cook tomorrow for some butts and bought some big maple chunks but where do I put them - on top of the lump or push them into the lump and should they go all over or in certain places? Also - I'm soaking the chunks so hopefully that's not bad to do. [p]thanks!


  • wrobswrobs Posts: 109
    Hey jeff,
    I spread my chunks out with some on top and some mixed in the lump. Start your fire on the top of the lump for low and slow... it will burn down into the pile.
    I don't soak my chunks but you'll probably get different opinions on that...
    Good luck and let us know how it turns out... post some pics if you can.

  • jeff,
    No need to soak them or it will just delay the smoke.The eggs controlled airflow will keep the chunks from bursting into flame.
    Once the fire is stable, I will set two fist sized chunks on top of the coals and add the plate setter. It will smoke like crazy at first but but the time it's back up to temp the smoke will have cleaned up and you'll be good to go. You want to let the wood smoke for 10 minutes or so to 'bur off the bad stuff' or else your meat will taste like - well - bad char smoke instead of yummy wood smoke.[p]Some folks distribute chunks throughout the lump for add smoke durning the whole cook. I have yet to try that.[p]Good luck, any smoke is better than no smoke, but BAD smoke is worse than no smoke.

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,673
    that's scary, your post right before mine. After traffic dies down on 35 I'll stop over. T ACGP, Inc.
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    First, Welcome! There is really no need to soak the wood for cooking in the egg. The BGE is so airtight that you could use dry small chips and they would still only smolder. This is how I do it, I put some chunks throughout the lump, so that they will smoke throughout most of the cook. Just before putting the meat on(5 mins),I add some wood directly on the lit lump. Most of your smoke flavor will be picked up in the earliest part of the cook. Maple is a very mild wood,so it will be hard to overdo it. Enjoy!

  • JeffJeff Posts: 75
    tjv,[p]guess we'll be starting them tonight based on the response to your post.[p]jeff
  • jeff,[p]I put about four chunks through out the lump. Buried with just the top sticking out. I light my XL near the front and as the fire migrates it'll catch those pieces of wood at different times. General consensus is smoke stops permeating after meat hits 140 F. Don't know if this is true but I do like the smell of apple/maple/alder/hickory. even if it doesn't have an effect on outcome after 140.[p]PS Don't have to soak. Egg smokes different than other cookers which need soaked wood to work properly.[p]Mike
  • jeff,[p]If it were me and it will be in about a week. I'd start them tonight about NOW PM CST, for an estimated finish of 4PM CST tomorrow.[p]Happy cooking

  • Mike in Abita ,
    Here's my hangup on placing chunks throughout the coals. I may need to be corrected but hear me out....
    I've been told you should let the wood smoke for 5-10 minutes to let the VOC's burn off else the meat will pick up a nasty flavor.
    Seems true in that if you light lump and add meat without waiting for things to burn clean the food tastes bad.[p]Anyhooo...say you have wood down in the lump pile...By the time it starts smoking the meat will already be on so, aren't the initial VOC's a concern still?[p]I've never tried it, and maybe they go away just because the temp in there is so hot. I need edumacation :)

  • BYCBYC Posts: 358
    hayhonker,[p]I actuallly thought the smoke from wood chunks was considered the good smoke when blended with the blue smoke. I've done it every way imaginable and find that the only really bad smoke is that initial 45 minutes of startup smoke. In all the competitions we do we even add a chunk or two before retiring and we usually win, place or show.[p]
  • hayhonker,[p]I need all the edjmoocation I can get. I haven't noticed any nasty tasting pork off my egg yet. I try not to burn bark. The only nasties I've had so far has been from a not clean burning RO lump and chicken. No wood on this cook. I do see your point, and will try that next Friday. I'll let you know the results.[p]Mike
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    If that were true, than you would have to light every bit of the lump to burn off the VOCs. I believe it's the ambient temperture that burns off those nasty VOCs from the surface of your cooking material. My two cents. Hey, when are you heading south to visit us?

  • wrobswrobs Posts: 109
    Hey hayhonker,
    Y'know, I used to think the same thing until it occurred to me that the same thing is happening with all the unlit lump! I mean, don't we fire up the egg for lo and slo and let the VOC's burn off before we put the meat on... but what about the rest of the lump that we depend on eventually burning to carry us through the night?
    Maybe its one of those oxy(gen) moron things... LOL
    Anyway, I have done lo and slo both ways and seem to get more smoke flavor with the chunks spread out... might be my imagination.

  • wrobs,
    Well consider me edumacated now!
    Thank you. and you Big'Un, and BYC. That makes complete sense to me now. Why didn't I think of those unburned lump chunks.
    I will forever be a noob as long as guys like you are here to help :)[p]Todd, I can't wait to get back to your neck of the woods. I'm spending next week in Mass where the temps will be 12 at night. TWELVE!!! dang. Need some warm Southern hospitality soon my friend. Maybe Florida Fest 08?

  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    We've already got reservations for Fla. I should have some time off after that fest, maybe yall can stop & stay in Ga. on your way back.

  • hayhonker,[p]I, too, believe that I have resorted to not soaking my chunks.[p]When you put on a soaked chunk it spews out the bad smoke, therefore I have stopped doing it.[p]This is just my stance.[p]Greg
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