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Any experience mixing green wood into BGE lump?

edited 10:31PM in EggHead Forum
Hello to all on the forum. I am looking for confirmation of concept here. I am about to purchase an egg, but have one very nagging question... When smoking (which is my primary interest) is it possible to get that really rich, deep, smokey flavor? I understand that the unit is VERY controllable, and as such it probably makes good smoke. However, I am accustomed to smoking with green wood such as apple, alder, etc. I was thinking that it might be a good/great idea to add lots of green wood to the BGE lump so that I am assured of attaining the smokey flavor I looking for. Has anyone tried adding a significant amount of green wood to their lumps in order to enhance the smoking operation of the unit? Is this a reasonable idea? Or is it unnecessary? I was thinking something on the order of 50% charcoal/50% green apple wood. Maybe even 40% charcoal/60% green apple wood. Has anyone out there tried this? Any helpful hints/suggestions/experiences? Thanks in advance for your assistance.[p]Regards
John E. Franklin


  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    On The Verge,
    First of all, Welcome.
    The concept is worth a try. NatureBoy has done an all-wood cook just to try it, but not green wood.[p]Most of us here use smoking woods that are dried at least six months to a year. In a BGE, there is enough smoke generated by two chunks of smoking wood. The other point that is often debated here is the smoke absorption of the meat being smoked. Most of the smoke flavor is added to the meat in the first hour of a slow and low cook.[p]As far as temperature control goes, 200 degrees seems to be the lowest maintainable temperature. This is not ever a problem except if you are going for smoking to preserve the rather than smoking it to cook it. [p]The biggest benefit that the BGE gives you is a true long low and slow cook. People here regularly smoke Boston Butt’s for Pulled Pork at 225 for over 24 hours on the same load of charcoal. The thing is that you do not even have to open the BGE during that time. There is amazing moister retention with the BGE.
    The smoke flavor is unparallel to anything found commercially. I smoked a turkey breast the other week with only two small chunks of Pecan. When I cut the turkey in the house, the whole smelled like pecan smoke and the meat was heavily smoked.[p]Get the BGE, you will not regret it,

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    <p />Howdy John,
    RhumAndJerk summed it up nicely. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the smoke flavor you are able to achieve....with just a few chunks of wood. Once the meat temp passes 140 or so, the smoke absorption after that point is very little. But during the first hour or two of your cook, the meat will absorb smoke well. Poultry and fish are VERY easy to oversmoke...even with just a few big chunks of wood right in the fire. As Mike mentioned, I cooked a Sirloin Ti p roast with all wood. . It was not green, but the results were VERY smoky. Almost too smoky too eat alone. I ended up cubing it and using it in a pot of chili, which was wonderfully smoky! These pictures are from that cook.[p]Sprinter comes to mind as one who LOVES heavy smoke flavor, and he has no problem satisfying his need for smoke with several chunks of wood interspersed through the lump pile. I doubt he has ever used the proportions you speak of (50/50 or evn 40/60). But everyones taste is different.[p]A warm welcome to the forum! I am sure you are making the right choice.
    Happy Holidays!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • On The Verge,[p]The comments below summed up smoking (actually BBQing) on the BGE very well. I might add that if you are smoking to preserve, (to make smoked sausage for example) the temps you must maintain over long periods of time are in the 130-140 F. range or even lower. [p]That is almost impossible with an BGE. And even if you could do that the smoke would have a putrid or acrid flavor and your meat would be blackened. That's because you would have to close the vent on the EGG entirely for periods of time, thereby the fire would be starving for oxygen producing the kind of smoke you would not want. Acceptable smoke results from a bit of a hotter fire, (above 190 F). In the BGE at that temp (200 F +) you are not smoking to preserve but BBQing to cook.[p]A smoker (used to make preserved meats) has a much larger chamber. Therefore the meat being smoked is far enough away from the fire to permit a hotter fire (achieved by allowing more oxygen into the chamber) while still not driving the chamber temp. above 140 F. And because the fire has plenty of oxygen it will not produce the stinky smoke that would contaminate your meat.[p] At least that is the theory behind all this. I found this out when I had planned to smoke on the BGE and found out that was impossible for the reason given. So now I BBQ fresh sausage at 200, which gives me plenty of smoke flavor, but I do that just before we are ready to eat the sausage. If you care for more smoke flavor in the EGG as the others said, just add a bit of water soaked wood to your cook (hickory, oak, maple or whatever you like).[p]Hope this helps.[p]Anthony

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Anthony Up North,
    I printed your explanation. It is a good one! Whenever I have tried smoking wood in a less than healthy fire, I have been disappointed with the stale smoke flavor. You have explained it well.[p]Great words sir.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Nature Boy,
    That is what is so wonderful about this Forum. We all know somthing, but none of us know everything. It is the latter, when we need help, that we find it here. You all have helped me more than you will ever know.[p]Merry Christmas![p]Anthony

  • On The Verge,
    The responses you've gotten are right on target! 'Course, you're getting it from some of the greatest cooks here on the forum! I'm glad they are on my side!!! :-)))
    If I might add my $.02 worth here! Useing green wood, will only destroy the flavor you're looking for! I too like a heavy smoke flavor! But the acids and creosote present in the green wood and its smoke, will taint the meat to an extreme level. I still cook with a couple of "iron bottom" type cookers (all metal) along with 3 Eggs! I can overload the smoke flavor on meat cooked in the "iron bottoms", so I wrap the meat in foil early on during the cooking process to prevent that problem! I just finished (earlier this week) a cook for work that included 122+ lbs of turkey, 60lbs of pork butts and 60lbs of brisket! Everything was wonderful, but the Egg gave us meat that was far more moist and tender than the "iron bottoms"!
    End result, Go for the BGE! You won't be sorry and neither will your family or guests when they sit down to eat! They will find it hard to get that "ear to ear" grin wiped off your face![p]BTW, Welcome to the forum! This is the source to find out the best way to cook things! Less than 30 days after you get your Egg home, you'll wonder "Why didn't I do this before?"[p]Have a great Christmas![p]Dr. Chicken

  • Dr. Chicken, et al... I've been checking my email all day hoping for a response (I thought the replys would come straight to my inbox!!!). Then decided to check the forum again, and wow, was I surprised by all the great answers.[p]I think you all have answered my question quite nicely. I guess I had a misconception about the amount of smoke required to flavor the meat. You see (please don't hold this against me), I've been using an electric Brinkmann for many years, and have become quite fed up with all the babying it requires to get a decent finished product. Practially speaking, there is no way to control the heat and smoke on the Brinkmann that I've been using. It requires constant tending, and lots of green wood to attain the smokey flavor I was after. I guess this is due to the high rate at which the smoke escapes from the unit. Temps would fluctuate beween 120 and 325 degrees because I could not control the oxygen input on this unit.[p]It sounds like I won't have any of those problems with the BGE. My biggest complaint about my Brinkmann is that I have to commit the day to tending it, and I'd like to get away from that.[p]Thanks to everyone for all the helpful feedback. I really appreciate it. Happy holidays to all.[p]John E. Franklin
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