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Starting on stick burning this weekend

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    Starting on stick burning this weekend

    According, to FedEx, on Thursday, I get 55 pounds of 12" pecan splits from Fruitawood. On Friday, wife and daughter get home, and that evening I plan to calibrate my Texas Pit Crafters cooker (no sidebox -- a challenge!) for direct and indirect.

    Plan:

    Saturday, burgers direct over wood.

    Sunday, SLC's indirect over wood.

    Thoughts or suggestions on calibration and/or preparation would be appreciated.

    #2
    Have a separate firebox where you can get the wood burning. You may not need it, but it'll be nice to have in case you have too much or too little wood in the TPC and need to add or take away.

    For Saturday I'd go with a meat that better tests your skill with logs... perhaps chicken pieces.

    Regardless, keep us posted!

    Comment


    • dprice
      dprice commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm gonna have a Weber Smokey Joe for a firebox, to move embers in and out.

      Burgers are more family friendly, since wife and daughter like white meat only. (Have I established who the picky eaters in the family are? ;-)) I want to demonstrate minimal competence to myself before venturing out into low and slow!

    #3
    It makes me smile that you used FruitaWoodChunks.com, I like them a lot. My suggestion = DO IT! I think you'll like pecan, it's like a lighter hickory. Log cooking imparts a lot smoke so best not to use hickory or mesquite or even oak IMHO. Please report your results! Have fun! I'm a log smoker so I eat this up.
    Last edited by Huskee; July 30, 2014, 06:32 AM. Reason: typos from auto-correct

    Comment


    • dprice
      dprice commented
      Editing a comment
      The thought of 12" sticks, which fit my cooker well, seemed appealing as opposed to firewood that was 16-18" and unevenly split. And pecan was an easy choice -- it's what I've always used, lighter than hickory, and seemingly perfect for everything. We'll see. I'll be sure to let you all know.

    #4
    Originally posted by Aaron 'Huskee' Lyons View Post
    It makes me smile that you used FruitaWoodChunks.com, i like them a lot. My suggestion = DO IT! I think you'll like pecan, it's like a lighter hickory. Log cooking imparts a lot smoke so best not to use hickory or misquote our even oak IMHO. Please report your results! Have fun! I'm a log smoker so I eat this up.

    I forget, do you like pecan or peach the best?

    Comment


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      I though I responded to this but I don't see it here. Peach, I love it. Apricot is very very similar. The smell is like incense when burning, it's awesome. I tend to use more apple since I have lots, but I'd use peach if I had more access to it.

    • David Parrish
      David Parrish commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll have to run down some Peach chunks. May order them from the fruitawood folks.

    #5
    I'm gonna have a Weber Smokey Joe for a firebox, to move embers in and out.

    Burgers are more family friendly, since wife and daughter like white meat only. (Have I established who the picky eaters in the family are? ;-)) I want to demonstrate minimal competence to myself before venturing out into low and slow!
    Excellent plan with the Weber. White meat bone in split breast could be pretty awesome. Just take them off when they hit 160F. My picky eaters gobble it down.

    Comment


    • David Parrish
      David Parrish commented
      Editing a comment
      It's a relatively short cook, though, so you could always throw burgers on if the chicken didn't turn out.

    • dprice
      dprice commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll poll the consumers!

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      I've done boneless/skinless chick boobs via the reverse sear method and probes left in. Dry brined, turned out excellent, juicy! Sliced them for smoked fajitas since they were ragged pieces to start with. I used oak and didn't prefer it on chicken but I think pecan will be very good. Bone-in breasts will be even easier like Dave says. I've pulled breasts at 165-170 and they were still juicy, but like Dave says don't go much over 160 for best results.

      If you were to do bone-in chick pieces I recommend a wet brine. 1 gallon water, 1 C salt, 1 C sugar, 1 hour. If you're doing small amounts, cut the brine in half (1/2 gal, 1/2C salt, 1/2C sugar) but still go an hour. Pat dry thoroughly, and lightly coat skin with oil and pepper. You can omit the sugar but I think it makes smoked chicken go from good to incredible.

    #6
    I can already vouch for Meathead's assertion that locality matters more than species with respect to wood. The pecan I got from Fruitawood (in Colorado) smells nothing like the pecan I get out of my back yard in Baton Rouge. It doesn't smell bad at all, but it's definitely different. Something to keep in mind going forward ....

    Comment


      #7
      Glad I checked out this thread. I'm going to FruitaWoodChunks.com right now to see what they have. I'm curious to try different wood than is readily available around my neck of the...woods.

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        [Buddum tissss]

        I'm anxious try pear and grapevine, those are my next choices.

      #8
      Calibrated the pit last night, and I learned some things, and I have a question.

      First, since the fire is in the same chamber as the food on my cooker, I don't need a lot of wood to generate heat. I'm planning on two 12-inch splits for direct cooking, and 1 12-inch split (with one in the fire box) for indirect.

      Second, it was an hour and a half into the burn before I got blue smoke. Do y'all wait that long to put the meat on for low and slow, or do you start it before then?
      Last edited by dprice; August 2, 2014, 11:30 AM.

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Good plan dprice. I too use a sep bowl, similar in size to my Smokey Joe, to preburn my logs. When they get black and start getting the white ember specs, I move them to my old cabinet smoker and keep it sealed up so they stop burning. Then I have a stash of pre-burnt logs ready to go.

        Do you use a water pan since your heat is in the same chamber as your meat? This could help you to buffer some direct heat and keep humidity in there as well. Just a thought.

      • dprice
        dprice commented
        Editing a comment
        I have an old Magnalite 3 quart saucepan (with no handle) that I put directly above the fire, instead of under the meat, with water. It's all smokey and nasty, but it does a great job of humidifying the cooking chamber and moderating the heat. When I open the cooker, it's simmering perfectly.

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        That's what I do too, keep the water closer to the heat instead of directly under the meat.

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