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Too many wood chunks?

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    Too many wood chunks?

    It seems to be generally accepted that the best BBQ is produced from a stick burner which is using wood as a fuel and producing smoke the entire cook. I use either a Backwoods Chubby or a 22 Kettle with the SnS.

    I have seen where folks say to use X ounces of wood chunks with charcoal during a cook. Using this amount on a slow cook would tend to stop producing smoke after a few hours. Assuming you are producing clean smoke the entire cook, why wouldn't I want to add (or keep adding) enough wood chunks to produce smoke the entire cook? Wouldn't that come closest to producing the flavor of a stick burner?

    I have thought about this when cooking and would appreciate any thoughts.

    I think the thought behind x-ounces is mainly for newbies so they don't overdo it, since you can always add more next time if it wasn't enough for your tastes. Sometimes that x-ounces is just enough for some folks so they go by it for life. Especially if someone were to upgrade to a charcoal cooker from pellets, that's a steep difference in smoke flavor so going light at first may be wise. In a stickburner though, there's massive airflow (should be anyway) so all wood the whole time is different there than say in a kamado with a lot of wood chunks on the charcoal.

    Me, nah. I personally don't and won't measure. I usually add 3-4 half-fist sized chunks for a long cook such as brisket or pork butt (is that considered measuring? Well maybe). Stagger them across the top in my SnS which burns as a snake method, and there's light smoke the whole cook.


    • jlazar
      jlazar commented
      Editing a comment
      I think you hit it with airflow. Had not thought about that. Thanks.

    Yeah, wood in a stick burner burns, wood in charcoal or lump smolders.


      I don't ever measure the wood I am adding to my charcoal. Like Huskee said, I just throw about 3-4 fist size chunks. When cooking with charcoal, it is more about the smoke you are making in the first few hours of the cook. Charcoal is for heat, for the most part. When I am using my kamados, I add wood. When I am cooking with my PBCs I never add smoking wood as there is a lot of other flavoring going on with the meat dripping onto the fire and what not. Plus, I feel like Kingsford has its own unique flavor.


        [QUOTE=jlazar;n1014595]It seems to be generally accepted that the best BBQ is produced from a stick burner which is using wood as a fuel and producing smoke the entire cook.

        I wonder about this statement. Competitive cooks do every single little thing to get an advantage over one another. From what I have seen, most use charcoal, not sticks. Maybe I have had limited exposure as a judge. I do look around at competitions, I see a lot of charcoal. Lots of drums and cabinets, just a few kamados and pellets and offsets. I have also been told by one cook that pecan is the chunk of choice, btw, he was adamant about that. I haven't polled about that. The cooks are also looking for a flavor profile that fits for what they are doing, and cookers that can do it in the timeframe they need, doesn't bind for what you want at home yourself.



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