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how much smoke?

500500 Posts: 2,434
edited 1:25AM in EggHead Forum
OK so I had a real good cook a few weeks ago. I did a indirect setup with the plate setter with a dome temp of 300, cooked 2 brats with two chunks of hickory. They were fantastic. Even had a smoke ring, great taste and smoke flavor. Now I want to duplicate this on Saturday but with more brats and adding a raised rig with teriyaki wings. Should I add more hickory cause I have more pieces of meat? I'm thinking yes, but I don't want to oversmoke. I thinking 40 wing pieces and 10 brats. Maybe 4 chunks instead of two? Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
"Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,566
    Hmmm, that's kind of a head scratcher. My guess is you only need enough wood to smoke for the duration of the cook. The smoke permeates the dome. If there is a good air flow, all the meat will get smoke. The hickory I have has chunks that are about 1.5" x 1.5" x 2". They last for about 2 hours in a 250 dome fire. I'd be inclined to not add more wood. I suppose during your ealier cook, 90% of the smoke went out the vent, and not onto the wood.
  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    The better question is how long do I keep the temperature low enough to let the smoke penetrate?

    Smoke penetration is a factor of surface temperature of the meat. Smoke will only penetrate up to a certain point then the meat is just cooking. You will notice this in the red ring around the edge of smoked meat. The larger the ring, the longer the meat was smoked at a lower temperature

    Another way to tell if you have enough smoking wood burning is that you should see no more than a thin blue line of smoke coming from the Chimney.

    For Pulled Pork, I rarely use more than two or three chunks of smoking wood. Even after 24 hours, sometimes there are parts of the chunks left unburned.

    Hope this helps,
  • You need to be very careful when smoking chicken as for some reason chicken is easy to over smoke, or anyway that is what I have found from my experience, good luck. Bucky Buckshot
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Actually, this is a common misconception. The smoke ring only forms at temperatures below 140 because above that, chemicals necessary for the formation of the color are destroyed. However, it is a well-documented fact (See Harold McGee's 'On Food and Cooking' for example) that smoke flavor does not stop accumulating at any temperature, nor does the smoke flavor penetrate the meat significantly. The smoke flavor is caused by the accumulation of chemicals in the smoke on the surface of the meat, and this accumulation continues as long as there is smoke present in the cooker.
    The Naked Whiz
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I would suggest that as a starting point, if you were happy with the amount of smoke flavor you got on your first cook, then you shouldn't increase the amount of smoke you use simply because you increase the amount of food. Most of the smoke passes through the cooker and exits without having done anything. If you find you want more, then you could add more, but I'd be wary of choosing the amount of smoke based on the amount of food. Let us know how it turns out, whatever you do!
    The Naked Whiz
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    I generally like a lot of smoke flavor. However, even I agree chicken is easy to oversmoke, especially with hickory. For chicken and turkey I use a pecan and cherry mixture. Of course, if you are doing brats at the same time, and you liked the hickory result on those, it makes it more difficult.

    League City, TX
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