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Old 02-22-2010, 10:37 AM   #201
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Well the only way I could think of to use the chips is to make a foil bomb out of them. Otherwise they get totally lost in the fire. But even then the foil bomb did not seem to produce the amount of smoke I like. Then again I am mainly a stick burner in my offset.
Oh I think I gotcha. I followed the directions on the package which said to soak for 20-30 min in water. They produced a nice smoke. I can see if they were dry and put on the coals they would just go up in flames.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:46 AM   #202
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Oh I think I gotcha. I followed the directions on the package which said to soak for 20-30 min in water. They produced a nice smoke. I can see if they were dry and put on the coals they would just go up in flames.
Well.... that's a whole other discussion. Many people have many different views on soaking.

Soaking chips, wood, etc does not produce more smoke IME. It does produce steam though. However, I am by no means a pitmaster.

If you want more smoke flavor, I would use chunks or since you have an offset use 8-10" sticks. If you need some links to get chunks/wood let me know.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #203
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Oh I think I gotcha. I followed the directions on the package which said to soak for 20-30 min in water. They produced a nice smoke. I can see if they were dry and put on the coals they would just go up in flames.
Right. But the problem with chips on natural fuel (lump charcoal, briquette, wood) BBQ's is that, unless you have a very small cooker, they don't smoke for very long before they burn up, even in a foil bomb. In my experience, chips work better in eclectics and gas (propane) fired BBQs, depending on the design of the unit, either open tray, foil bomb, or in a cast iron smoker box, or even a cast iron pan directly over a burner if the grill is big enough.

Chunk tends to work better in natural fuel cookers, giving you a much longer smoke time, in my experience.


YMMV.

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Old 02-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #204
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

I am also a stick burner with my Lang, but I have a smaller offset that I use occasionally. If I wanted to use wood chips, I would use lump charcoal in the fire box (possibly a natural brickett like Kingsfors) and then scatter the chips on the coals periodically. THe other option would be to get a cast iron wood chip box, place the chips in that and set the box on the coals.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:56 AM   #205
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

You have to use chunks in the smoker, not chips. Use chips if you want smoke when you are grilling.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:57 AM   #206
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Well.... that's a whole other discussion. Many people have many different views on soaking.

Soaking chips, wood, etc does not produce more smoke IME. It does produce steam though. However, I am by no means a pitmaster.
*chuckle*

I had actually made similar comments in my post, but decided to delete them rather than open up that debate.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:05 AM   #207
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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I am also a stick burner with my Lang, but I have a smaller offset that I use occasionally. If I wanted to use wood chips, I would use lump charcoal in the fire box (possibly a natural brickett like Kingsfors) and then scatter the chips on the coals periodically. THe other option would be to get a cast iron wood chip box, place the chips in that and set the box on the coals.

That is exactly what I did. I was using natural lump mesquite. Seemed that the soaked chips did what they were supposed to. Maybe it wasn't very long and I just don't know the difference.


What are these sticks you all are talking about? I don't think I have seen anything like that here locally.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:09 AM   #208
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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THe other option would be to get a cast iron wood chip box, place the chips in that and set the box on the coals.
The inside will eventually catch on fire and burn just like chips any other way tried.

Rather than use soaked chips, make chips from green wood.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #209
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

"stcks" are actually logs (at least for me) vs a charcoal burner like Brent has or a gas/electric like others have.

I don't remember if I posted a picture of mine in this thread, so at the risk of duplicating, here it is...



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Old 02-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #210
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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The inside will eventually catch on fire and burn just like chips any other way tried.

Rather than use soaked chips, make chips from green wood.
Good point...
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:16 AM   #211
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Nice smoker Steve. One day oh one day. I get whatcha mean now by sticks. I think yall would call the lump mesquite charcoal I was using sticks. LOL

And I guess if the chips aren't worth anything it doesn't really matter as they cost less than $10 total.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:20 AM   #212
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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That is exactly what I did. I was using natural lump mesquite. Seemed that the soaked chips did what they were supposed to. Maybe it wasn't very long and I just don't know the difference.
Hard to say if it made a difference or not, since you were the only one sampling the end result.

When you're working with a strong wood like mesquite, especially in lump form, where you are going to have flavor infusion from the smoke/burn the whole time (up until the point is reached where the meat will no longer absorb). Apple is very mild, and while there is something to be said for mixing wood types to mellow the stronger woods, I don't know how much you are truly going to get out of 15-20 minutes worth of apple chips over a long mesquite cook.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:10 PM   #213
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Nice smoker Steve. One day oh one day. I get whatcha mean now by sticks. I think yall would call the lump mesquite charcoal I was using sticks. LOL

And I guess if the chips aren't worth anything it doesn't really matter as they cost less than $10 total.
Steve has it right. Sticks = logs of wood. It's just a term thrown about, sorry for the confusion. Don't get me wrong chips are nice in say a gas grill to add a nice hint of flavor to a piece of meat, but in an offset smoker I think it would get lost. I understand you to have an offset smoker.


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Hard to say if it made a difference or not, since you were the only one sampling the end result.

When you're working with a strong wood like mesquite, especially in lump form, where you are going to have flavor infusion from the smoke/burn the whole time (up until the point is reached where the meat will no longer absorb). Apple is very mild, and while there is something to be said for mixing wood types to mellow the stronger woods, I don't know how much you are truly going to get out of 15-20 minutes worth of apple chips over a long mesquite cook.
There is also some discussion really whether or not lump charcoal of a particular type of wood can actually impart flavors based on the wood used. There is a very nice lump maker "Real Montana" lump charcoal and he says that you don't need any fruit woods with his lump because he is traping the flavor of the wood in his lump. However, Ro, Kingsford, etc (we'll call them national brands) have used hickory, mesquite and pecan woods in their lump for years. However people still need to add sticks for the respective flavor. What are your thoughts on lump adding particular wood flavor?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #214
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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However, Ro, Kingsford, etc (we'll call them national brands) have used hickory, mesquite and pecan woods in their lump for years. However people still need to add sticks for the respective flavor. What are your thoughts on lump adding particular wood flavor?
I use the Kingsford Competition and it's pretty neutral tasting. I have had all maple charcoal and that imparted a ton of awesome flavor, so I know it can happen.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:35 PM   #215
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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I use the Kingsford Competition and it's pretty neutral tasting. I have had all maple charcoal and that imparted a ton of awesome flavor, so I know it can happen.
I think that is what Brent uses in competition, and not only does his stuff taste real good, he wins!

(yes, there is a difference )
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:41 PM   #216
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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There is also some discussion really whether or not lump charcoal of a particular type of wood can actually impart flavors based on the wood used. There is a very nice lump maker "Real Montana" lump charcoal and he says that you don't need any fruit woods with his lump because he is traping the flavor of the wood in his lump. However, Ro, Kingsford, etc (we'll call them national brands) have used hickory, mesquite and pecan woods in their lump for years. However people still need to add sticks for the respective flavor. What are your thoughts on lump adding particular wood flavor?
I feel that any natural fuel, briquettes, lump or logs, will impart flavor into the food, how much varies by the base wood used and how it is processed and if additional near flavorless fillers are added. If you want no flavor imparted, use gas or electric and make sure the drippings don't flame up and smoke.

I have been grilling for many, many years longer than I have been BBQing and for the last decade and a half bascally the only lump I have used is Lazzari and I can say with 100% certanty, it does impart flavor into the food, both when used for grilling and when used for BBQing. Prior to that, I used K-briqs for grilling, but after grilling just one time over Lazzari, I fell instantly in love with it and how it flavored the food.

I have also tried Cowboy brand lump, but found it to be mild and inconstant (funny, just reading their review about it and their comments about finding plywood in there - first time I opened a bag of the stuff, I was like "WTF? This is fracking recycled lumber, not natural lump. How long uintil I find something with paint on it in here?").

Funny thing is, as much as I love the Lazzari mesquite lump, I really only use it for grilling now. For BBQing, I've gone over plain old blue bag K-briqs because they are the ultimate in consistency of any natural fuel, they burn at a lower temperature, and they are more mild and very neutral in flavor, allowing me to control flavors with chunks of various woods.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:11 PM   #217
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Good to see Kingsford recommended. I have similar complaint about Cowboy and won't be using that crap again either. I'll give anything a try once and see if I can find Lazzari.

I would like to thank all of you for posting. I am learning a lot from you guys. Thanks.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:13 PM   #218
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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I think that is what Brent uses in competition, and not only does his stuff taste real good, he wins!

(yes, there is a difference )
The Kingsford gives a long even smoking and it's not very hot; all good for a smoker. They do not burn or look like traditional charcoal so if I were doing open pit BBQ, that would an issue... Well at that point I would just be using split logs... The best thing about Kingsford Comp is that Costco had good price on twin packs and I bought a dozen twin packs of it. Down to 5 bags.

I preload my smoker after I clean it. I take out the charcoal needed for the chimenia and store the chimenia seperate. The tarp and overall design keep the WSM very dry inside.

Apple wood is light enough that you can use straight wood along with white ash and not wait for it to become charcoal. Either two woods as logs and you're food won't end up tasting like a campfire.

I used a lot more wood vs. charcoal when I had a horizontal barrell (Smokin' Pro). The WSM is not as friendly with logs and higher flames.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #219
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

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Good to see Kingsford recommended. I have similar complaint about Cowboy and won't be using that crap again either. I'll give anything a try once and see if I can find Lazzari.

I would like to thank all of you for posting. I am learning a lot from you guys. Thanks.
Another really good briquette which happens to burn with more of a lump flavor is Rancher Hardwoood Briquettes (top item on the page). In addition to more of a lump flavor, they burn bit longer than standard blue bag k-briqs and they burn hotter, which depending on your pit might not be a bad thing. In my weber, I don't need the extra heat, but some offset drums might.

They do take longer to set up, but once they get going, they aren't bad.

You can probably find them at Home Depot, although they might be seasonal and if so, they might not be there yet.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:31 PM   #220
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Default Re: What's in your smoker?

Cowboy is actually good for grilling. It burns pretty hot, lasts just long enough and there's not much ash. I touch of chips and you get a nice finished product. For sure it is not for the smoker.
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