? on adding wood chunks/chips to your cooker

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? on adding wood chunks/chips to your cooker

Postby emac » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:36 am

I'm curious to see what methods others are using when adding chips or chunks to your ceramic cooker. I have been adding a few chunks around the center of my lump, light and go. I don't think this is probably the best.

This weekend I plan to do some St. Louis style ribs. When I put my lump in I think I will layer in some chunks in the center while I load the lump, sort of build it up. Maybe I will very lightly add some chips through the lump as well. My food, while tasting good, really doesn't have smoke flavor to it most times.

After the cook I often see that several of the chunks of wood remain unburned in my cooker.

My technique needs some work and I'd like to hear what you guys are doing?

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:28 pm

Re: ? on adding wood chunks/chips to your cooker

Postby MistrTrousers » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:36 pm

I too am interested to see how people are getting better smoke rings. Please share!
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:04 pm

Re: ? on adding wood chunks/chips to your cooker

Postby PITsburgh Smokers » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi Folks,
Let me fling my 2 cents in here. I am the cook for our competition BBQ Team the "PIT"sburgh Smokers. Up until recently I have been adding wood chunks as follows:
In my green egg, I put the wood chunks near the bottom of the charcoal so the wood burns early in the cook getting into the meat early on. In my other smoker that has a charcoal pan, I typically put the chunks near the back corner where the lit coals are put into firebox. Again, this gets the smoke into the meat early on.

I recently took a competition class with the Warren County Pork Choppers, look them up if you don't know who they are. I was taught something that floored me, and then Franco when I told him. They add NO wood when cooking brisket or pork butt. I know, I know, me too. That goes against everything I have always heard. I did a brisket this weekend with nothing but Royal Oak briquettes and got a dandy smoke ring. I used this same technique in our last competition in Harrisburg first weekend in October. Based on their technique, I only add 2 or 3 small chunks when cooking ribs or chicken. I'll try to post somepics of the turnin boxes later on.

One of the demons I have been battling is, my food always tasted great the day I cooked it, but the next day, or even a few days later, the smoke taste was almost overpowering, leaning towards bitter. Ever since I started this technique, that is gone, my food tastes as good 3 days later as it does right off the grill. With that being said, keep in mind that charcoal is made of what??? Wood right, so it makes sense that you would get a smoke ring from charcoal alone. It works try it. Try cooking a brisket on just charcoal and see what you get.

When I cook ribs or chicken on my egg, I only add 2 or 3 small to med chunks. I typically put a small layer of charcoal on the fire grate, put my electric lighter ring on the bottom layer, then a light layer on top of the igniter and fire it up. Once it gets going, I pull the igniter out, add a little more charcoal, then the chunks. then slowly add the rest of my charcoal. throw on the plate setter and crack a beer and wait for it to come up.

When I cook on my other smoker, I add a few chunks just shortly before I add the meat. Just enough time to let the chunks get burnin before I add the meat.

If you have some time try this, cook a small brisket on Saturday the way you normally would, then do another one on Sunday without adding and charcoal. Then taste it on Wednesday and see if you see the difference.

That's my opinion. Remember, "Opinions are like beer, a little is always a good thing, too much and you typically get beat up!"
Enjoy & Good Luck,
PITsburgh Smokers
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: ? on adding wood chunks/chips to your cooker

Postby PITsburgh Smokers » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:33 am

I wanted to update my previous post. These are my turn in boxes from the Keystone Classic in Harrisburg from October 4, 2014. Especially look at the brisket. Take a look at the smoke ring, no added wood, charcoal only. A little hard to pick out on the pork with the sauce, but again. no wood. I added a few small chunks for the chicken & ribs, but only 2 or 3.




These are the boxes from the ancillary (fun) categories:
Deviled Eggs
Hamburger, we made smoked tacos
Dessert. We took first place with a pumpkin cheesecake


PITsburgh Smokers
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: ? on adding wood chunks/chips to your cooker

Postby emac » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:33 am

This great information. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

I wish I could have made it to Franco's when you did the brisket demonstration. I was sick with the flu that weekend. :evil:

I love brisket but haven't been too successful for some reason. I think I've watched about every youtube video out there. Somehow they always seem too dry.

I'm going to do some ribs this Sunday. First BBQ of the new year for me, looking forward to it.
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:28 pm

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