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How much wood to buy for smoking?

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    How much wood to buy for smoking?

    I just bought myself my first smoker (Pit barrel cooker) and I thought I should buy some wood to get the full experience. Since Wood chips don’t last long I gather it is better to buy Wood chunks?

    I saw a UK website selling 5kg (11lbs) apple chunks, 5kg oak chunks and 5kg whisky barrel pieces all for £25 (about $40). This seems a very good deal, however, it sounds like a lot of wood (33lbs in total).

    https://woodsdirect.co.uk/collection...s/smoking-wood

    NB: the guy said I could swap the whiskey barrel wood for cherry chunks if I preferred

    I can maybe see myself using the pit barrel once every month and more often over the summer months. Would this be far too much wood or do you go through wood very quickly when smoking?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Anteater23; October 2, 2021, 06:57 PM.

    #2
    I buy Traeger pellets in 33lb bags at Costco. The downside of Costco, they do not carry PBR.

    Comment


      #3
      I don’t have a PBC but a WSM. I also don’t use mine once a month but when I do use it I typically use 3-6 chunks at a time depending on what I am smoking. I’m still using a bag of cherry chunks I bought years ago when our local grocery store (Dominicks) had a going out of business sale for like $2. My gut tells me 33lbs is a lot but it should last you a really long time.

      Comment


      • Anteater23
        Anteater23 commented
        Editing a comment
        Would you recommend the cherry chunks then instead of whiskey barrel since I’m a beginner?

      • radiodome21
        radiodome21 commented
        Editing a comment
        I like Cherry. I do have a 20lb bag of bourbon pellets for my pellet smoker but I haven’t tried them yet. I’ve used apple, cherry and pecan and would buy those again.

      #4
      The charcoal will provide all the heat for your pbc. I use one or two chunks depending on what I'm cooking. The pbc tends to run a little hotter than most and chunks can catch fire. Be careful with anything hanging, I blackened the lower half of a hanging turkey once when my wood chunks ignited.. 33lbs should last a while if you just use it for flavor at the beginning of the cook.

      Comment


      • Anteater23
        Anteater23 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi, yes that was the idea. Just add one maybe two chunks for flavour if making pulled pork or something.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        1-2 is kinda low. Aim for 2-4 at least depending on the quantity of meat.

      #5
      I can get 4 pounds locally for $7. Check your local home improvement stores and grocery stores for wood chunks and go from there. You might use 2-4 chunks per cook so plenty of cooks per bag.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • Anteater23
        Anteater23 commented
        Editing a comment
        1.5kg (just over 3lbs) of Weber Wood chunks in the UK costs £10 / $14. You guys have it good over there!

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        It is wood. It's not gonna go bad so if you have storage for it, go for it on the original 33 pounds. It. will probably be like a year or two supply you are cooking once monthly.
        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; October 2, 2021, 07:20 PM.

      • Anteater23
        Anteater23 commented
        Editing a comment
        I guess I can just put it in the garage. Thank you,

      #6
      I buy 45lb boxes from a company called Fruitawood. I have a weber smokey mountain and a weber kettle. Those boxes last me about a year, and I use a couple chunks every week or 2

      Comment


      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I am a bit shocked that I can buy wood of all things cheaper online than I can buy locally.

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup, I'm a steadfast Fruita customer, as well, Brother!

        Nuthin but praise fer em, from this end...

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones is there a difference between the wood chunks you would find at Lowe's compared to Fruita?

        I can source hickory, apple, and mesquite here but cannot get oak.

      #7
      Since you already have oak in the mix, I would swap out the whiskey barrel for cherry. Whiskey barrels are just oak and it's dubious whether they impart any whiskey flavor to your cook.

      Comment


      • Anteater23
        Anteater23 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for your recommendation. I will definitely do that if I buy these.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed, conditionally...

        I use Fruita bourbon barrel chunks, time to time, an they do seem to impart a different flavour than jus plain oak, (which I also use a lot)...

        It might be an olfactory hallucination, though...

        That bein said, given th choice betwixt it, an cherry chunks, I'd deffo go fer th barrel pieces; more universally applicable than cherry, imce.

        >>Disclaimer<< I has bout 16-20 types smokin wood, here at Th FireBase...they are an ingredient, when one smokes...
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 3, 2021, 02:34 AM.

      #8
      Yup! Cherry.

      Comment


        #9
        I love cherry, apple, oak. Like said above you don't need a lot to get smoky flavor.

        PBC, PBC, PBC!

        Comment


        • Anteater23
          Anteater23 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you. Would you buy 33lbs or is that way too much?

        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment
          That seems like a lot of wood just for smoking wood.

          But if you have a way to store it out of the weather and its a good price.........

          I just looked at the link, those are nice size chunks. I would split them down a little. I use about 4oz of wood per cook in my PBC.

        • Anteater23
          Anteater23 commented
          Editing a comment
          If that’s all you need each cook then that’s probably a 5-10yr supply! Feels really excessive but if I wanted half that amount elsewhere it would probably cost nearly as much.

        #10
        Do you have any trees in your yard that need to be trimmed? Or does a neighbor? Or does anyone have a wood-burning fireplace and have a stash of wood for the fireplace?

        If so, you might want to consider scrounging local wood. For as little as you're going to use, that might be a realistic option. A stick here and a branch there all add up over time.

        Many of the woods I've tried don't seem to create huge differences in the smoke flavor they produce on the food, so I'm not nearly as picky about the kind of wood I use in my smoker as I used to be.
        Last edited by IowaGirl; October 3, 2021, 06:42 AM.

        Comment


        • Anteater23
          Anteater23 commented
          Editing a comment
          I live in the city in UK and only have a few bushes in the garden.

        • IowaGirl
          IowaGirl commented
          Editing a comment
          Not saying you need to do this -- it's purely a suggestion. A lot of urban landscapes have bushes, shrubs, and small trees suitable for smoking wood. I have used lilac, honeysuckle, and ornamental crab apple.

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