How much wood?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by danbono, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    HI All

    My first try at smoking going with this unit:

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_332739-4260...rrentURL=/pl__0__s?Ntt=master+forge&facetInfo=

    I just placed an order for wood chunks: 3/4 Hickory and 1/4 Apple. Chunks are 2-3" wide x 2-3 across. For ribs and brisket i was thinking of going with a 3-1 ratio. Will 4 chucks be to much or too little wood, with this Electric unit.. Brisket will be 4-6 lbs, ribs 2 slabs of Baby Back's.

    Thanks Dan
     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dan, morning...  My suggestion... do not use more than 1 chunk at a time.... If your heat source is hot enough, 2 chunks will burst into flame and you will have a fire.... It takes 2 pieces of wood to have a fire.... 1 chunk will smolder nicely.....  You do not need a lot of smoke... too much smoke tastes bad on food..... thin blue smoke is the goal to attain great tasting food...  Dave
     
  3. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    The best way to ruin a good piece of meat is ... too much smoke.  I use 1 chunk at a time in my electric.
     
  4. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Thanks for the fast replies and information. I will start out with 1 chunk and take it from there..Don't really won't to over smoke on my 1st try.:)

    Thanks Dan
     
  5. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All

    Should I leave the wood chunk whole, or break IT in half to better distribute the smoke? I have Hickory and Apple wood. May be half Apple half Hickory?

    My 1st smoke may be this weekend, if the weather cooperates. My local supermarkets only carry brisket/flats around 4-6 lbs. I'm figuring on

    1 1/2 hrs per lb. total of 6 hrs. in the smoker. Any tips/suggestions? I want to get it right the first time

    Last question,if I do ribs  and brisket same time,using 2 grill racks,won't the drippings from one fall on the other. Would that cause a problem?

     Sooo many questions.:)

    Thanks Dan
     
  6. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    Not sure if you misinterpreted - one chunk at a time should be smoldering, it doesnt matter how big it is.  When that chunk is burned up, put in the next chunk.  So no, do not split it in half and put in 2 smaller chunks at the same time.

    Now, if you want to alternate hickory and apple, that would be fine, in fact I often do just that.

    The chunks I use are usually between 1/4 and 1/2 the size of a baseball, but occasionally bigger or smaller depending on where the hatchet hits & how much I'm rushing  :)

    fyi, that is what works for me in my electric smoker, YMMV - you'll get used to what your smoker likes. Be prepared to use smaller or larger chunks as dictated by your smoker.  Just remember, the food will still taste great if you didnt have enough smoke, but if it tastes like creosote the dog wont even eat it.  Dont be too quick to throw in more wood.

    Other suggestions:  Brisket & ribs is the best meal in the world, there is a TON of info on cooking them here on SMF, search & read, ask specific questions, & you'll do fine!
     
  7. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Thanks for the fast reply. "Just remember, the food will still taste great if you didnt have enough smoke, but if it tastes like creosote the dog wont even eat it. Dont be too quick to throw in more wood".                                                                                                                                                              What did you mean by this? TOO much smoke?

    Thanks DanB
     
  8. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    TBS = Thin Blue Smoke = good, will make a great meal. 

    BWS = Billowing White Smoke =  very bad, will make the meat inedible.

    Yes, too much smoke is a bad thing! You want a very gentle, hard-to-see smoke, ie you want TBS.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  9. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All My chunks are 2-3"  wide and 2-3" across.I'll start with one and see how long it lasts. I shouldn't be smoking for the whole 6 hours , maybe only for the first 3 hrs?

    Thanks Dan
     
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member


     It will be up to you but...If I have meat in the Smoker, I'm runnin' Smoke! The only time I don't add wood is when my ribs are Foiled...Good luck...JJ
     
  11. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All I only had to add 2 chunks/hickory. The brisket had smoke for 4 hrs and the ribs had smoke for 3 hrs..I could really taste the hickory in the ribs, any more would have been way too much.The brisket also had the hickory tatse to it but, not as strong as the ribs.Next time I just might try Apple which I have.

    The ribs were a great success.The brisket had good tatse but was way too dry,more like jerky.

    Thanks Dan
     
  12. jimf

    jimf Meat Mopper


    Be sure to use a internal probe thermometer.  That way you can pull the brisket when it reaches the temp you are looking for, preventing it to over cooking and drying out
     
  13. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jim F I will order a Maverick 732. That should fill my needs..

    DanB
     

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