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Using Wood When Smoking?

bbqdivabbqdiva Posts: 192
edited 4:12AM in EggHead Forum
Thanks all you Eggheads, for your "Wasting Charcoal" advice. I decided to go the route of removing the used stuff to a bucket and using it for short cooks (which I did yesterday) and it works fantastic. I hesitate to think how much lump I've thrown out over the past three years :P[p]Now, I would like to get some advice concerning wood chips and smoking. I've learned just about everything I know about BBQ from the net or a book here and there. There's a lot of "advice" about how to use wood, I just thought I'd ask you seem to know what you're doing....on most days, lol.[p]Also, my neighbors are buying an Egg this week and have asked me to teach them how to cook some things. I want to make sure I give them good advice :-)[p]1. Do I need to soak the chips in water before using?[p]2. How much or many wood chips are needed?[p]3. Do I keep adding chips throughout the cook or only in the
beginning?[p]4. My neighbor gave me some pear wood, it has bark on it. Can I use
wood with bark?[p]5. What color should the smoke and how much smoke should there be?[p][p]Thanks bunches,[p]Tish


  • ShoeShoe Posts: 67
    I like the smoke flavor best when the bulk of the first white smoke has burned off, and you are down to the later lighter blue smoke. I usually use chunks, get the fire going good, add the unsoaked chunks to the area of burning coals, assemble all the hardware in the egg (platesetter if going indirect, etc.), get the temperature stable where I want to cook, and let it smoke for 10 or 15 minutes.[p]The white smoke will begin to clear some then, and turn lighter and bluer. At that point I'll add the meat.[p]I never go back and add more wood. Some people distribute chunks throughout the lump so they burn hours later during a low & slow, I don't do that either.[p]Sometimes when adding a lot of chunks, I'll burn them down some in a chimney starter and then dump them in the egg and start cooking. When I do that, I know it is time to add the chunks to the egg when the flames are dying down in the chimney, about half of their peak height.[p]I think if you burn off the white smoke some amount of residual bark is OK. I use applewood with bark.[p]I used to use a handfull of mesquite chips in a weber kettle for some cooks. Those I would soak. I like the unsoaked chunks burned down some better, though.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    bbqdiva,[p]1. Use Chunks not chips.. They last longer don't need to be soaked and provide smoke flavor throughout the cook.[p]2. Depends on how much smoke you want.. I usually mix 3 or 4 good sized chunks into the lump.[p]3. Don't need to with Chunks.[p]4. Yes, as long as your neighbor is not one of the million or so Lawn Doctor Customers. Pesticides stay in the bark.[p]5. Clear or very light blue like the lump.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,946
    bbqdiva,[p]It depends some on how I'm cooking. For low-n-slo, I use several chunks, one or two on top, and one or two a few inches down. That assumes I have some. In northern Indiana few people BBQ year round, and chunks disappear about the same time lump gets scarce. If I'm planning on doing several faster cooks, I mix smaller pieces of lump/used lump, and mix dry chips throughout. The chips don't seem to produce as much smoke, but they're there mixed in and ready to go for the next session.[p]gdenby[p]

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    <p />bbqdiva,[p]1. I don't soak wood.[p]2. I mix chips within the lump, about a handful or so, then add larger pieces wagon wheel style on two levels. Maybe "chunks" is too general of a term as the ones I buy are 3" to 4" square and I find this size is too big for my Eggs. I cut them down into "splits".[p]3. Mostly just at the beginning. The exceptions for me are smoking bacon or salmon, I add as needed.[p]4. I remove bark if I can.[p]5. Smoke should be very light gray or blue and just barely sneaking out of the top vent. This happens to be one of my pet peeves and I have a series of photos on a Intro to Q page, the link is below ..... Look in the TIPS section.[p]~thirdeye~

    [ul][li]Click Here[/ul]
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • ab ovoab ovo Posts: 67
    This is a little OT. I followed your link to your website. I like your website and was interested in your smoked Salmon. I don't believe you specified if you use direct or indirect when cooking it. Which one is it?[p]Thanks[p]ab ovo

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