Newbie Question about wood chips

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by lion1956, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. lion1956

    lion1956 Newbie

    Brand new to smoking meat, just bought a vertical propane smoker and tried it for the first time two nights ago on a pork leg, Turned out great but my question is about the wood chips, I went thru almost two full bags in a 6 hour period and each bag cost about $8.00 so it can get expensive,  I soaked the wood for about an hour and had to keep replenishing it about every 40 minutes.  So forgive these  probably stupid questions but

    1) should I try to keep a continuous smoke for the entire smoke period?

    2) is it normal to go thru a couple bags of wood chips in each smoke

    3) are wood chunks better than wood chips?

    4) is my fire too hot, I had trouble controlling the temp, sometimes got up to 350 degrees

    5) how long should I soak the wood

    6) is there a store in Ontario, Canada that has a better, longer burning wood product or do you recommend anything else that I should try.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, just joined the forum and hoping for some help.
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    See my answers above in red. Also, as a future reference this should have been posted in a specific sub forum not the roll call section.

    Good luck. 
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello lion1956, and welcome to our forums! bmaddox gave you good answers...I'll only add a couple tips.

    Going through that many chips in a single smoke, chances are you are using more chips in the smoker at one time than is needed to accomplish the desired smoke. Next time you add chips, try adding only a single handful of chips at a time. Then you can adjust the amount you add each time as you fine tune your methods and learn the characteristics of your rig. Or, as bmaddox suggested, try substituting the chips with a couple of chunks and see how that helps.

    You don't say what kind of chip box/container you're using, but big factor in smoke production/chip consumption is oxygen supply. If too much oxygen is getting to your chips, they'll burn up much faster. Back when I was using a gas smoker, I used to address this by covering the top of the chip box with aluminum foil to try and make it air-tight, then poking only a couple of small holes in the top.

    Lastly, you asked about a better or longer-burning product. There are several different types of smoke-generating devices on the market for use in gas and electric smokers. Using one of these devices means you wouldn't have to keep adding chips every few minutes to get good smoke throughout your cook. I use one in my pellet grill called the AMNTS (a maze n tube smoker). You can do a google search for smoke generators and get info on the different types, and how/where you can buy them.

    Hope that helps...

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  4. beefy bill

    beefy bill Meat Mopper

    I have a vertical propane smoker. I fill the chip box and wrap in foil. I punch 3 pencil tip size holes in the foil. Kept the smoke much thinner. I change every 90 mins or so. I have 2 chip boxes, so I pull one out and put the other right in. Then I open the foil on the spent one, and there's still a little smoke left. I put it under the smoker and the airflow pulls it up and in. I change them when I can't see the smoke when it's in the smoker, but can still smell it. Before I started wrapping them the smoke was thick and billowing and even flaring up at times. No more flare ups now.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  5. lion1956

    lion1956 Newbie

    Thank you for all of you that responded

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