use smoking wood for heat?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by westcoastjeff, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. I have smoked only a few things so far on my Brinkman offset and am really in the early learning stage.  Thanks to the info from this site and the host, I smoked two turkeys on Thanksgiving that turned out very good.  Longest thing I smoked so far. After 7.5 hours they looked like the dryest toughest birds I have ever seen, but after an hour of foil-wrapped relaxing (the birds -not me) I was relieved to carve the tenderest and best tasting turkeys the 15 of us ever had.  It was hard to say a proper grace because all I could think about was how thankful I was that they did not taste anything like they looked!  Thanks for the advice.  BTW, smoking the birds can make you a hero with your wife for another reason: it frees up the oven for all the craziness that is required to prepare the rest of the food for 15 people.

    I was wondering if any of you have figured out how to use smoking wood for the heat source.  I can't control what kind of wood is in the hardwood charcoal except for mesquite but I have a half cord of pecan -so about a month ago I tried smoking by burning the pecan wood in a nearby weber until it did not flame and transferring it to the fire box.  Even though there was nearly the same flame produced as using charcoal and wet chunks, the flavor was harsh, not sweet.  I know there is a method for making charcoal using two nested modifed steel drums but I was hoping for something easier.
     
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    Now there are alot of folks here that use wood for the heat source for there smokers. We all them stick burners. You really can't use them for a heat source in a weber to say or any other grills for it burns to hot for one. Can you swing into Roll Call and introduce yourself and your equipment  and then we can give oyu the big howdy that we like to give to new members.
     
  3. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You need to be able to get some throughput to handle using raw seasoned wood for heat and smoke.  I have several stickburners that do it well.

    On my own webers I pull the charcoal from my stickburners and use it.

    Webers make to much creosote using real wood, not enough airflow.
     
  4. Thanks for the explanation. Here is a photo of the stuff I used a month ago. The weber (you really can't throw one away no matter how old) is attempting to make[​IMG]  charcoal from the pecan and the coals are to get the thing started.

    So is it realistic to mount a bigger fire box on there and a larger diameter and higher chimney to get the airflow for sticks?
     
  5. I just "Toured the Rig". All I can say is WOW!!! Ok, DAMN too!! Very nice sir! [​IMG]

    It pays to look at the links in people's signatures.
     
     
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your smoker looks similar in size to mine.

    What I have learned is to make the splits very small and maintain a small fire.

    My splits are about 9" long and about 1-1/2 x 1-1/2" .

    I will start a fire and use a few full splits to start a decent coal base, then add the smaller splits every half hour or so alternating the position, if the temp starts to drop I'll add 2 splits.

    In my opinion the smaller the better, because you can always add more than one.

    Charcoal is easy to make I have been making some lump from Beetle Infested Ash, if you go that route, here's a link to my web page on that subject.

    Charcoal Retort
     
  7. Thanks all. Bbally I had a rig just like yours before I got the Brinkmann.  Squib, good info there on burning sticks, I will experiment.  Your charcoal info is very useful. Different and easier than the set up I read about.  I can get mesquite charcoal that works great but I don't want everything to taste like that. I can buy hardwood charcoal but I don't know what's in there. I think I will give it a go.  I would like to retain the flavor of pecan somehow. I will research, make, test and report the results.

    I hear "reverse flow" and see some chimneys modified to draw from the bottom on this site, but if I don't know the purpose of these modifications and start tweeking I am likely to create a frankenstein. Is there a place you folks learned the basics about the mechanics of how the smokers work?
     

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