Question re foiling small oak wood chunks

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ttosmoker, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. I apologize in advance as I know I am posting this in the wrong section, but since I will be smoking a Boston Butt tomorrow it is somewhat on-topic!  I would appreciate anyone letting me know the correct section or a mod moving this to a more appropriate section.  I didn't see any other section that seemed appropriate.

    Anyway, I really want to use oak for smoking my Boston Butt tomorrow, but the oak chunks I have are smaller than I want (maybe 1x2 inches instead of the fist-sized I usually use - they are great for grilling!).  I think putting them on the charcoal as-is will make them burn up too fast, and I'd rather leave the fire alone in my WSM than exposing the fire to air to replenish the oak every 45 minutes to an hour.

    Here's my question:  If I take 3 of the small oak chunks, which together would be about fist-sized, put them together in aluminum foil, and poke 3-4 holes in the foil, would they last longer?  Hopefully 2-3 hours?  Would they provide enough smoke when combined with 2 fist-sized hickory chunks, which I do have?  I'm ok with replenishing every few hours when I check the water pan.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Obviously smaller chunks will get burned up sooner. Big deal. Add some more. It ain't gold. I use varying sizes all the time.
  3. True.  My main concern though is that the oak will burn up so fast that I will need to open the firebox more often than I want to.  In my experience, just leaving the WSM alone without opening the box produces even, consistent, and sustainable temperatures.   Plus I don't want to fiddle with the thing that often.  I guess my question is more about how can I make several small chunks burn like one big chunk.

    After giving it more thought, I think tomorrow I am just going to carefully stack 3 small oak chunks so they look like one big chunk, and check as often as I normally would.  But I would appreciate any suggestions.
  4. Alot of time people no longer see smoke so they go and open smoker to find small wiffs of smoke and the wood still there. Big thing to remember, if you smell wood burning, your still smoking.
  5. ellymae

    ellymae OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Place miltiple chunks throughout your charcoal - that way it will keep burning. Good luck!
  6. Ellymae --

    Thank you!  This is just the solution I was looking for, and it makes perfect sense.  I wish I had gotten your reply before I started, but I think my method worked ok too, as the stacked oak seemingly burned up at about the 150* internal mark, judging by smell.  I will definitely try yours the next time.

    Gawd this WSM is great.  Always in the 225-250* range through morning shade, direct high-noon sun, and evening shade.  11.5 hours and counting with just a small top-off of fuel.  Can't wait to try it, but I have to since I'm going to take it all the way to 205* and cooler it for a couple of hours.

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