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Stick burner fuel

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  • Joetee
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 349
    • Georgetown, Ky

    Stick burner fuel

    I'm having a real hard time trying to find good wood for a Lone Star side burner.

    Has anyone used lump charcoal and added wood chunks for the smoke?

    Does it burn well and long?

    Amy help would be appreciated.
  • lemayp
    Club Member
    • Jan 2016
    • 211
    • Chesapeake Va
    • Weber Smokey Joe
      Weber 22" with Slow 'N Sear
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      Maverick ET 733
      Thermapen MK4
      Favorite Beer - Bells Two Hearted

    Not necessarily for a LSG, but run charcoal in offsets all the time with wood for flavor the first few hours.


    • Joetee
      Joetee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. I'm still trying to find some but it's hard to find.
  • Dadof3Illinois
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 880
    • Southeast Illinois

    What kind of wood are you looking for? I sure would think you could find pretty much anything you wanted around your region. Have you tried the marketplace on Facebook? I find pretty much any wood I need from people selling on there.


    • Joetee
      Joetee commented
      Editing a comment
      Well I would like to find post oak, non kiln dried, splits. Same as Franklin BBQ.
      Last edited by Joetee; October 25, 2020, 04:07 PM.

    • Dadof3Illinois
      Dadof3Illinois commented
      Editing a comment
      I believe that’s just white oak....and should be fairly common? Heck come to Illinois or Indiana, we’ve got plenty. And for burning in a smoker I’m not going to pay for kiln dried lumber....just looks for some that’s seasoned for about a year.
  • Greygoose
    Club Member
    • May 2019
    • 652
    • South Shore,MA

    Seasoned red oak will work as well
    should be able to find that around your area


    • Mr. Bones
      Birthday Hat Master
      • Sep 2016
      • 9440
      • Kansas Territory
      • Grills / Smokers

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      Here's a couple places ya might check:
      Mebbe some would do better on bigger quantities...



      I'd also think they'd be bourbon barrels aplenty, in Ol Kaintuck...


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Joetee, another good place to check is Tree Services / Landscapin places...make a good connection there, an ya'll have a good, an cheap source, but lotsa times, it might not be seasoned; it varies...
        Long story short, cain't hurt none to ask...

      • Joetee
        Joetee commented
        Editing a comment
        I wish I knew how to identify seasoned oak. I found a tree trimming place that said they had some but it is mixed. They said we can pick through it but I don't know what to look for.

      • scottranda
        scottranda commented
        Editing a comment
        Joetee same here. But I’m learning! It’s fun to learn the different types! But it’s a challenge!
    • Steve B
      Club Member
      • Jun 2016
      • 3004
      • Rockland county New York
      • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
        Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

        22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

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        1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
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        food saver vacuum sealer
        TSM harvest food dehydrator

      Here you go Joetee These are a couple of pics of “ post oak “ and red oak.
      Both are basically the same except for the flavor profile.
      Red oak imparts a rich wood flavor whereas white “post oak” just gives the meat a more natural “smoked” flavor.
      Both are excellent and you won’t go wrong with either. Click image for larger version

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      Notice the bark on both. Very similar.
      but the red oak has a much more distinct red color as it gets to the middle of the point.
      And it also has a richer smell to it.

      Hope this helps you as you’re trying to acquire wood for your LSG.

      I’m always here to help anyone with an LSG. 👍👊👊


      • BFlynn
        BFlynn commented
        Editing a comment
        My limited understanding is that red oak has smaller cells than white oak, so it's not as porous, and so not useful in barrel making where you want the bourbon and wood to interact
    • Steve R.
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 2352
      • Elizabethtown, KY
      • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

      Joetee I don't know if you have a truck and/or utility trailer, but I can hook you up with all the freshly cut red oak you can possibly haul. High quality stuff. It won't be dry enough to burn until sometime next year, but I can give you enough seasoned red oak to get you started in the meantime. I'm about 90 minutes away from Georgetown.


      • Jerod Broussard
        • Jun 2014
        • 9788
        • East Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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          B & B Pellets

        Don't get hooked on a specific wood unless it is readily available. I got hooked on red oak when multiple truckloads of it was for my taking. I just had to cut it. If it was hickory I would have been just as hooked. Not so much with Chinese Tallow Tree.


        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree. I use apple because I have nine acres of it on my property.

        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          You mean to tell me that Tallow trees are now made in China??? Where will it end........
      • Grapefarmer
        Charter Member
        • Feb 2015
        • 35
        • State of Jefferson / Northern CA

        I have put cut up chunks of green wood in the oven with temp on lowest temp (175) overnight and it seasons well in one day.


        • Ground Chuck
          Club Member
          • Apr 2019
          • 146
          • Northern Kentucky

          I got my wood off of guy from Craigslist in Northern Kentucky. A heaping truck load of cherry, oak, and locust for $125. He might meet you half way if you have a truck and want his number. Otherwise, I checked around on FB as well as other Craigslist folk. Definitely wayyyyy cheaper than ordering from an online source like Fruita.


          • Dewesq55
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 1964
            • The Poconos, NEPA
            • Smoker:
              Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS) - With mods including 2 level rack system with pull-out grates
              Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
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              Gas Grill:
              BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burnerswith aftermarket rotisserie.

              Charcoal Grill:
              Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill 14"

              Fireboard 2 with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan and Competition Probe Package
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              Favorite Beer:
              Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

              Favorite Spirit:
              Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

              Favorite Wine:
              Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

              Favorite Meat(s):
              Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
              Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
              Beef Ribeye steak

              Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
              Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

              Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
              Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

              Disqus ID:
              David E. Waterbury

            To answer your original question, using charcoal (I prefer lump) and chunks in an offset will definitely give you a longer cook time and excellent results. How long a cook time you get depends a lot on how thick the steel on your firebox is. Heavier steel=longer cook before needing to add fuel. Also, a temp controlled stoking fan will help you maintain even temperatures and generally maximize/optimize your fuel consumption. On my cheap offset smoker I can get a good couple of hours before needing to add fuel with my Fireboard drive and fan maintaining my cook temp. The lower my set temp, the longer burn I get. I've never tried to judge whether the longer burn time at, say 225°F is offset by the longer time needed to get the meat to doneness compared to, say 275°F.


            • jfmorris
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
              • 3098
              • Huntsville, Alabama
              • Jim Morris

                • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
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                • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
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                • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

              Joetee I use charcoal and wood chunks on my offset (24x36 cooking chamber) all the time, as it allows me to be more stable and hands off than if trying to burn just wood.

              If cooking at low and slow (225 to 250), I typically light about 1/2 of a Weber chimney, add it to the firebox, rake it all the way up against one side of the firebox, then pour in charcoal to fill the rest of the firebox to a level of several inches deep, and then put some oak/hickory/apple chunks across the top. It burns across the firebox, taking a couple of hours. Several hours later, I rake whatever is still burning off to the other side, and fill back the other way, and repeat the process. This is much more hands off than if I try to burn wood, where I just absolutely have to check and mess with the firebox every 30 minutes.

              As I tried to tell you when you were looking at new cookers, using charcoal for an offset has the advantage of being more hands off than wood, but you will use a LOT of charcoal. For a brisket or boston butt cook, I will run through 20 to 40 pounds of charcoal with my offset, depending on temperatures and how much cold meat I am putting in the firebox. I.e. 1 to 2 20 pound bags, plus a good number of wood chunks or mini-splits. This is why I use my kettle+SNS more frequently - I can cook for 12+ hours with 7-8 pounds of charcoal over there.

              I may eventually get a WSM 22 to replace the use of my offset as a smoker, reserving it for use as a charcoal grill, since it has a slide in charcoal tray for the main cooking chamber. I feel that a WSM 22 would be more efficient and hands off, and give the same flavor profile as you get from charcoal+chunks in an offset. If burning purely wood in the offset, that's another story, and another flavor profile compared to charcoal+chunks. If you are using charcoal as the primary fuel source in an offset, its not going to taste much different than a kettle+SNS or a WSM.

              What I suggest you do if you want the most bang for the buck, and want to use your offset as a true stick burner, is to call a local tree service. The guys that cut down trees often haul that wood out, sort it by species (oak, hickory, fruit), and age it on a lot, reselling it for firewood and cooking wood. I got a 1/2 cord of oak and hickory delivered for about $120 a couple of years ago, mostly for use with my fireplace and outdoor fire pit. My offset firebox is too small for use of full 18 to 24 inch logs, but if I cut them in half and split them a little more with something like a Kindling Cracker, they work quite well. I use mini splits I've cut down often in place of wood chunks when burning charcoal.
              Last edited by jfmorris; August 6, 2020, 01:35 PM.


              • Joetee
                Joetee commented
                Editing a comment
                That's exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for you input.
                Btw, smoker is ordered. Now just the waiting game.
            • Joetee
              Club Member
              • May 2017
              • 349
              • Georgetown, Ky

              Well to let you all know, I received a link from someone on here to a supplier near by.
              He had been supplying wood to bbq joints in the area for 10 years. He delivered 1/2 cord, cut, split, and stacked, for $80. Oak and Hickory mix. Nice seasoned splits.
              I also have about 2/3 cord of red oak that I picked up. It was cut but I had to split it. Wow. Hard to split uncured oak. But I think I'm in good shape for a while.
              ​​​​​​​Thank you everyone


              • mrteddyprincess
                mrteddyprincess commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like you got a good deal! Congrats! You'll get really good with a splitting maul! Embrace the job. Splitting wood by hand is really satisfying work!

              • Joetee
                Joetee commented
                Editing a comment
                Well I need to make a correction. The 1/2 cord was $135 not 80. But still, I think I did good.

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like you got a good deal - $135 is not far off from the $125 I paid here for a half cord a year or two back.
            • mrteddyprincess
              Club Member
              • Sep 2018
              • 371

              My humble opinion is that seasoned hardwood is seasoned hardwood and the subtle differences among fruits and oak, hickory, maple, mesquite, etc. are perpetuated by people who sell me wood. Franklin uses post oak because that's what he has available in his part of Texas! Use whatever hardwood you have available in KY. I just went through a cycle of a rick of wild cherry and it was amazing! My new rick is sugar maple. I can't tell a darn difference between wild cherry and sugar maple in the flavor profile. (I'm in Indiana.)

              Maybe, maybe, putting small chunks of wood when smoking chicken, fish, or pork chops might make a difference in the flavor, but for big cuts of meat like pork shoulder, brisket, loin, etc., I can't tell a difference in flavor. A stick burner burning hardwood is delicious! And I'm not sophisticated enough to be able to tell the difference among the hardwoods in a smoke.


              • ComfortablyNumb
                Club Member
                • May 2017
                • 3313
                • Northeast Washington
                • KBQ C-60
                  Thermoworks Smoke
                  Thermoworks Thermopop
                  Thermoworks Dot

                Here is a cheap way to check your wood





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