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wood/ lump charcoal

 
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DBA1954





Joined: 13 Aug 2013
Posts: 148


Location: Orchard Park NY

Post Post subject: wood/ lump charcoal  Reply with quote

Ok, I've never cooked on a stick burner but I am considering going for it. I have a cookshack which is totally different. In my area BBQ wood is expensive. I had always been told that once a piece of meat like a brisket or Butt reached > 145 it doesn't really take on much additional smoke flavor. I was wondering if you could burn the stick wood until it gets to 145f product temp and then use lump charcoal to maintain temps while bringing it to final temp? Is this a stupid approach?
Post Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Eddie Z





Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Posts: 163


Location: romeoville il

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It's not a bad idea especially if you are wrapping your meat at that temp.
Post Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:17 pm 
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DBA1954





Joined: 13 Aug 2013
Posts: 148


Location: Orchard Park NY

Post Post subject: wood/ lump charcoal Reply with quote

well, that creates more questions. On a cookshack I don't usually foil. On a packer or a butt , only foil when done and put in a cooler to rest. On a flat I'll foil after it passes the plateau in the 165 range. Cookshack is a sealed unit that holds moisture very well. I should expect to start foiling more with wood ?
Post Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:29 pm 
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Eddie Z





Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Posts: 163


Location: romeoville il

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I'm not an expert but here is my take on smoke. If you notice smoke rings are not always the same thickness. How much smoke meat will absorb will depend on how deep the smoke can penetrate. When smoking with wood, you want to have a light blue smoke from the vent. Wrapping prevents taking on any additional smoke and helps maintain moisture in the meat. This may also speed up the cooking time. Hope this helps answer your question.
Post Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:18 pm 
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

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There is no "stupid approach" to bbq -- it's really what works for you and what you think is the best method of fire management. Most of us are just fumbling along trying to figure things out for ourselves but this forum is a big help from the guys with a lot of smoking experience - they explain what they learned along the way so you don't waste your time.

Sometimes, I use all wood and other times lump only. Normally, I start with a bed of lump with 2 or 3 sticks and add wood as needed. One difficulty with the lang 36 is the fire box door is rather small. By that I mean I used to start with lump in a Weber starter chimney but there's no way to dump the hot coals into the fire box on top of a bed of coals -- I've used a pan, a shovel etc. Now I no longer mess with the Weber chimney. I use a weed burner to ignite the lump and the wood. It's much faster and easier than the chimney.

Your method of starting with wood and ending with lump would work for me -- I'd just shovel the coals onto the bed as needed. I'm cooking chicken today and will try it but adding wood is a bit easier.

Wood (mesquite, oak, pecan and camp fire wood) is readily available in Tucson, AZ. There's a large wood lot just north of town. It's about $10 for all you can jamb in a milk carton or post office plastic container. I don't worry about the price as I'm just glad to be able to obtain the above types of wood.

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:56 pm 
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DBA1954





Joined: 13 Aug 2013
Posts: 148


Location: Orchard Park NY

Post Post subject: wood / lump charcoal Reply with quote

maybe ask the same question differently ... if you had 3/4 cord cherry, 3/4 cord maple and 1/2 cord hickory .... (which I now have) how would you approach fire management, would lump charcoal have a place ? And I only smoke every other weekend so this is a lot of wood I suspect.
Post Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:58 pm 
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

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I'm just an amateur here compared to some of the listers on this forum and am learning with every cook because I keep a detailed record of each cook and the results and adjust accordingly on the next cook.

On another post I mentioned to a lister that I cooked a roast a couple of months ago using all pecan sticks -- the neighbors liked it but I thought I was eating a pecan tree!! I want to taste the meat and not have the smoke over power the meat.

I'm not recommending anything and the following is just my way. I only use the hardwoods for the smoke flavor I'm searching for. In other words, I use primarily lump charcoal for the heat source and add the hardwood between say 95 and 145 degrees internal for the smoke flavor. After 145 degrees the meat won't take any more smoke. Experiment and check the smoke ring on your meat and adjust your wood accordingly.

To answer your question, I also smoke about every other weekend and if I had your wood inventory it would last me a life time -- I buy my wood (mesquite, pecan and oak) in Tucson by the plastic post office container or milk box size!! I then cut the pieces in half and split the pieces. Which wood I use depends on what I'm cooking. I go to the wood lot about every 6 weeks. A 20lbs bag of lump charcoal, depending on the duration of what I'm cooking , lasts  maybe 2 cooks -- I buy 2 bags at a time and more if it's on sale.

Other listers on this forum might have other ideas. Listen to what they say and if it makes sense try it. If it works then fine -- if not dump it and move on until you're satified with your results.


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Wood River BBQ Team
Post Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:46 pm 
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