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Lump and wood questions

After my last pork should cook I had a few questions on lump and wood.

  1. After getting my XL to 350 and waiting for the smoke to be clear, I opened the egg to remove the plate setter and add my wood chunks and my pork shoulders. When I did the sudden rush of air made the lump spark and pop. This concerned me because it is very dry in our area. Is it normal for just the lump to pop? Could it be from moisture? I was using BGE lump btw.
  2. I added my wood chunks and tried to keep them outside the hot part of the lump. With my turbo pork shoulder planned for 7+ hours I figured the fire would spread out and catch the wood and slowly release smoke. The smell was great but I didn't get much visible smoke. Was I supposed to put a few pieces in the fire?
  3. After a cook with wood chunks, do you try to fish them out for the next cook? I thought my issue with the popping from #1 was from left over wood chunks but I don't think I had any left over this time. 
XL egg owner, home brewer, jogger, coffee roaster, gamer 


  • Lump pops, some more than others. BGE/RO is about in the middle, mesquite seems to be the most sparky for me. Throw your chunks in the fire and on the outside, spread them out. I mix mine with the unlit lump. Once you close the dome, it will smoulder away, the smoke is there, even if it is not visible. 
    If doing beef with a mix of oak chunks, I do fish them out if the next cook is chicken, where I seldom use any smoke wood. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 10,992
    I throw in a  few dry  chunks when I light the egg,  some are in the fire from the start, others catch as the cook progresses. Go easy on the wood until you figure out how much you like.  

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • pretzelbpretzelb Posts: 156
    I'm new so it is all a learning experience but this cook smelled the best yet even though the smoke was not visible at all. In fact I was about to decided I didn't like cherry wood at all until I was just enthralled with the smell. I was surprised that I didn't see more visible smoke after a few hours especially the next day when I looked and saw my lump was nearly gone. The wood chunks did burn but they didn't give off visible smoke. 
    XL egg owner, home brewer, jogger, coffee roaster, gamer 
  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,315
    When the smoke is good, you won't see it. If there is white smoke billowing out, wait til it clears before you put food on.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • SGHSGH Posts: 24,013
    Im going to try to answer a few of you questions. First about the popping. There are some brands that pop and spark more than others. I use a lump from winn-dixie and it pops as you described. I dont worry about it because it is the only negative I can say about the lump. It burns hot and clean and is reasonable priced and all ways available so i endure the popping. Next you will probably never find a brand no matter how expensive that is the same every time. Others may disagree but if you burn enuff you will see some differences. Most lump is made in a kiln by the ton. It is hard to have absolute control over batches this size. Now to the wood. There really is no right or wrong way to do it. I start a small amount of lump and drop 2 fist sized chunks of wood right on the burning lump. I also drop 2 away from the fire to light later. Bring it up to temp and when the smoke clears start cooking. As far as reusing unburnt wood i just leave it in the egg for the next cook. Back to the lump. There are certain brands i have never had good luck with and i try to avoid them, but if you are getting the result you want the lump you are using i wouldt worry about the popping I will endure a little popping for a clean tasting and smelling lump. I hope this helps my friend.

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    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
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