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Should I Burn Sticks?

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    Should I Burn Sticks?

    So, I've been bbqing and smokin' for good 30 years on my Weber kettle and a short time smokin' on my PBC but I am still greatly interested in stepping up to an EOS. local builder guy has a waitlist so i'm looking at December delivery if I go this route. can for sure get something sooner from a bigger manufacturer. not really worried about that so much though - I can wait for it. what I'm wondering now is do I really want to burn sticks? Am i getting sucked down the 'ol rabbit hole because y'all making burning sticks sound fun? what are the biggest drawbacks to using an offset smoker and what are the greatest benefits? am I preparig myself for more frustration and headache than i think i am?

    Have you looked into where you could be finding these sticks?

    I'm sure Pinhead John could bring some post oak up for you but really?


    • latenight71
      latenight71 commented
      Editing a comment
      nah. i heard Panhead John went charcoal. he's part of the Bronco barrel crowd these days. rolling large i hear.

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      It’s lonely at the top.

    I have a 48 in offset and I love it. I love all wood BBQ. The flavors are magnificent. That being said, I cook way more often on my PK360 grill with charcoal for weeknight meals. My offset is huge and I want more than a rack of ribs in it when I use it. Wood isn't cheap and I want a lot of meat in there if I'm burning sticks. So I am likely to fire up the offset on the weekends on a Saturday or Sunday and throw four or five pork butts on there, cooking some of them for friends.

    Drawbacks: You must have a good source(s) of splits and be willing to deal with managing a wood stack. There is no "set it and forget it." You have to spend time learning it.

    Benefits: Great flavor on big cuts like brisket and pork shoulder. Lots of time playing with fire and spending time outside.

    Good luck!


    • latenight71
      latenight71 commented
      Editing a comment
      i have some good local cook wood supply places that are affordablish. i'm no pellet burner so willing to put in the time. i agree it's best to cook large if you're cooking and about 48" is what i'm shopping. all good sounding words on these ears. gonna spin them by the wife next!

    • Loren
      Loren commented
      Editing a comment
      Perfectly summed up the benefits/downsides of an offset

    I vastly enjoy usin my stickburners, an likely always will...

    As mentioned, above, there is a definite amount of time investment, an learnin curve involved....

    It's Not Rocket Science, or a poor ol dumbarse Hillbilly like my danged self obviously couldn't do it, right? but it takes some effort, an devotion to what yer doin....


    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't see that ya live in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, but mebbe rockets figger into yer livelihood, even in SouCali...

    • RickyBobby
      RickyBobby commented
      Editing a comment
      JPL or SpaceX, maybe? Either way, cool gig! I’m with the rest here, love my stick burner but usually only use it on weekends because of the time investment.

    • latenight71
      latenight71 commented
      Editing a comment
      As much fun as it seems let it be known that i am not by any means a rocket scientist and i have only pretended to be one on maybe 2 or 3 occassions. ok, maybe 4 times, but that was it for me.

    If it makes you feel any better, I went down the COS path and bailed quick and still long for a trip down the path again with a better experience. I know it lwill ikely end up an occasional thing not feeling like tending every fire in full, but there’s a reason slinging logs hasn’t hit the wayside like using a couple oxen to pull a plow.


    • Stuey1515
      Stuey1515 commented
      Editing a comment
      glitchy you can produce edible eats off a COS, I can keep mine sitting at temps far more steady than my oven inside. Just practice mate and a welding blanket is a key part of that temp control. Ping me if you need a hand, happy to share a few years of COS pain with you hahah

      PS. Read up on MH's instructions, that's who started me from regular fail to on the path to reasonable success. Gotta learn your COS though, no shortcuts there
      Last edited by Stuey1515; April 13, 2021, 02:25 AM.

    • glitchy
      glitchy commented
      Editing a comment
      Stuey1515 Thanks for the help offer. I ended up selling the OKJ as I was neck deep with the SmokeFire at the same time and could see where I was headed with upgrades getting me spending enough to buy something better and feared it would be a rust bucket by time I got around to spending regular time with it. I got a couple decent cooks off it giving me the desire to return some day. Not sure if that will be soon or in a few years. Might depend what pops up on Marketplace.

    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      FWIW, after copious campfire cooks and FD fundraisers, I kicked up my stick burning experience a couple or 3 years ago when I plucked off of craigslist a Santa Maria grill for 50 bucks . One of my favorite cookers that still gets used regularly. It's an affordable way to start understanding fire management as it relates to cooking and has flattened the curve with learning my offset. Plus, it's just plain 'ol fun to cook on!

    All of the above! I'm retired and have a little more flexibility with my time so I've been spending a lot of time with the new offset. I did a tri tip a couple of days ago from frozen to seared in 5 hours, it was one of the best I've ever done, and I have cooked A LOT of TT's in my time.

    I think outdoor cooking is a passion, and if one has that passion then we look to explore as many of the techniques and nuances as we can reasonably accommodate. Enjoying your journey!


      I started burning sticks on a COS then got a four shelf rotisserie that was originally set up with propane.
      I jettisoned the propane part and burn plenty of sticks in it now. It's a big rig so I only fire it up for larger cooks. Before this covid thing I was catering. Hopefully that will pick back up before too long.It does lead to some long nights!


        To me, there is nothing like cooking with wood. Be it in a brick oven, an offset or anything else. There is just something primal about it. It also produces the best food, in my opinion.

        It is more work. Just prepare yourself for that, there is no way around it.

        I would make sure you can get a ready supply of wood. I cut all my own, so I always make sure that I have enough on hand. Many do not go this route, but for me, it is part of what makes it special. That being said, you can find a lot of places to get a good supply of wood to meet your needs. I frequently get mine from golf courses and landscaping companies. However, there are also options online as well.

        As Mike alluded to above, outdoor cooking is a passion and cooking with wood just makes it that much more special. I can tell you this, you will not regret the flavor and pleasure you get from cooking with just wood. It is more work, but well worth it in my eyes, for many reasons.



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