Where to buy wood and charcoal?

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by suyasmoke, May 5, 2016.

  1. suyasmoke

    suyasmoke Newbie

    Hey all,

    Where do you guys buy your wood and charcoal from? At the moment i buy most from amazon. But would actually prefer to pick wood up myself. I'm based in Romford, Essex, so ideally somewhere close by, but don't mind a drive.

    Many thanks

  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am lucky enough to work in an estate where oak trees are regularly maintained and so I get hold of a regular supply of logs free of charge. For the other woods it depends on the quantity you need. For smaller quantities you can buy online from people James at Smokewood Shack but you will probably be able to buy a quantity of a common wood like apple or oak more cost effectively (usually by the trailer load) from a local wood fuel supplier.

    The charcoal briquettes I buy online as they are not usually available through local stores. The important thing is to get good quality briquettes that produce no smell when they burn and burn long and slow. My briquette of choice are the Heat Beads which give a very long heat profile or the Weber Premium Briquettes. I also like the Big K restaurant quality briquettes (not the ones from the supermarkets) but these need to be broken into smaller pieces before use in a Kettle BBQ. The quality briquettes may appear to cost more up front but as you use so much less of them they actually work out cheaper overall. 1.5 Kg of Heat Beads can give up to 8 hours cooking time.


    The Heat Beads or Weber Premium I usually buy from Wow BBQ and if you buy 5 or 6 bags the next day delivery is free


    For the BigK you should bee looking for this type and not the supermarket bags.

    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  3. Hello.  Wade has you sorted with smokewood.  It also depends on what wood/chips you are looking for.  I like to use some wood/chips that smokewood has a hard time sourcing because of the price he has to pay.  Maybe if you got a bit more specific we could offer better advice.  For me; I find that buying on-line from reputable dealers are the way to go.  Far more choice and delivered to your door.

    IF you would prefer to see the wood first, I would suggest contacting local tree trimming and landscaping companies.  You will have to store the wood and "cure" the wood but what you see is what you get.  If you have the ability to store and cure the wood properly you could probably save some money.  Keep Smokin!

  4. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hiya SuyaSmoke,

    If you know a reputable tree surgeon who is happy to pass you on some wood that is your best bet, instead of paying him in cash why not barter some bacon  or BBQ instead.  Like Danny mentions as long as you look after it by keeping it covered and allowing air to circulate through it you should not have a problem, the easiest way is to buy your wood in a builders bag, then burn holes all around the bag with a blowtorch, this will allow air to circulate, put the bag on a pallet and cover the top with a plastic sheet. To speed up the drying process split the logs into smaller pieces.  

    Unfortunately there are a few con men out there selling anything they can get their hands on for a quick buck so I would stay away from those, as you don't know what wood you are getting and it is most likely unseasoned. 
  5. suyasmoke

    suyasmoke Newbie

    Thanks for the responses 

    I'm looking for mainly Oak and any unusual woods. i always like trying different woods. On amazon its difficult to find wood chunks, mainly wood chips on there. @smokewood  i just had a look at your website, i will order from you.

    Warm regards

  6. red robbo 69

    red robbo 69 Fire Starter

    Hi SuyaSmoke. +1 with Wade for Heat Beads. If you're in a hurry and you're near a Range you can buy them there. The Range now also sell wood chunks. Both are a bit more expensive than buying online, but useful in a pinch. As for Weber briquettes, I'd avoid unless you can get the old style long lasting briquettes in the white bags. The new briquettes don't burn evenly and aren't great for low and slow imo. 

  7. suyasmoke

    suyasmoke Newbie

    Cheers, I will definetly check out the heat beads
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The ones in the white bags are the ones I have used from Weber but they don't seem to be selling them any more. That is a pity as they were very good. Even the other online suppliers seem to have run out too  . Shame on you Weber !
  9. suyasmoke

    suyasmoke Newbie

    Hi @wade,

    I have noticed the Heat Beads come in two different packaging, white or red. Are there any difference between the two?

    Warm regards

  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The 4 Kg packs usually come in predominantly white sacks

    Whereas the 7 Kg bags are buff with a white top seal

    Both contain exactly the same briquettes however they have stopped importing the 7 kg sacks into the UK. If you see any then they are stocks from 2 years ago.

    The reason for stopping the 7 Kg sack was the cost and convenience of shipping. The 7 kg sacks used to be shipped from Australia loose on a pallet whereas the 4 Kg sacks are packed 4 in a box and then the boxes shipped on a pallet. You will often find resellers trying to sell them in quantities of 4 x 4 kg as they want to just ship you the box that they arrive in from Australia.
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  11. suyasmoke

    suyasmoke Newbie

    What i bought from Range was a red sack, 4kg in size. Maybe its just a rebranding 

  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes these look like the new packaging. I see that they also now do an "easy lite" version too but they look way too easy to light - just one match. I have not tried these but they say that they must be used immediately on opening so there must be something quite volatile in with them to get them to light like they do in the video. Hopefully whatever it is does not smell of paraffin!. If I can find a bag I will buy one just to see what they are like - they may use something odourless.


    Best to stick with the original ones for now though I think.
  13. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    i know it's probably not top notch stuff but noticed these in B & M this morning   5 KG lumpwood for only £ 2.99 seemed pretty large lumps of charcoal in there - not all shavings....

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