Cheap wood chunks & free sawdust

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smokinal, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have been buying wood splits in bags here for years. They are all hardwood. This bag is a mixture of red oak, hickory, and pecan. They sell these at the grocery stores & big box stores around here in the winter for $5.49 per bag. In the spring if they have any left it goes for $2-$3 per bag. I usually buy a few bags in the spring & I have wood all year. Here's the bag I buy.

    I'm going to cut up these 2 red oak splits today.

    Get out the chop saw.

    These are the different sizes I cut them into. Thin for the Smoke Vault, thicker for the 14.5 WSM, and the large one will be used in the 18.5 & 22.5 WSM's.

    This is what I cut today from those 2 splits.

    These larger ones are in my shed for storage.

    Here's where I store the splits.

    The best part is when I empty out the dust bag, I have free sawdust for the Amazen.

    Cool huh?

    Thanks for looking, hope you can take advantage of this.

    flyfish likes this.
  2. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thats a great idea Al! I should start doing this because I'm always unhappy with the size and lack of consistency when I buy bags of chunks from lowes or home depot.  Quick question?  In the WSM 18 would you use just one of the splits?  Does it affect the cooking temp much with that big piece of wood sitting on the coals?
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I usually put 2 of them in the ring, 1 on each side.

    Then fill the middle with charcoal, leaving a hole at one end.

    I put 12 -14 lit coals at the end in the hole & it will burn down the middle from one end to the other.

    The fire is always in contact with the wood, so you get nice TBS, but not any real burning wood to raise the temp.

    Hope this helps, I was trying to find a photo of this but I couldn't.

    Next time I use the WSM I'll take some photo's of how I set it up.

  4. gnappi

    gnappi Fire Starter

    I was going to make a similar post, you beat me to it... good on ya.

    Gads, you make BIG chunks, I've only ever made mine 1/2 of that. They smoke fast and stay smoldering long enough. Is there a reason for such large chunks?

    I've been buying that type of wood for years at Home Depot for my fire pit, and am just getting back into smoking and I plan on using it also, but it does have some issues... sometimes.

    Some pieces are way too wide for my (smaller than yours) chop saw, and they have to be split vertically so a nice axe with a handy wood splitting wedge /maul nearby is nice because some of the pieces come from the base of the tree where it tapers out really wide.and get gnarly grain that's tough to split.

    Since it's mixed species wood, you never know what wood you're using. I'm not a Forrester or Arborist so I'm at the mercy of chance.

    Wood in some bundles has begun to rot, for a fire pit fireplace or chiminea it's no problem, you can use that up there, but it pays to peer into the bag and see if there's any wood turning moldy or black.

    Here's a pic of the stuff regularly available in the cooler months in south Florida.

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


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