Wood opinion for offset smoker

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by boisblancboy, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Hey guys. I've been smoking meet now on my masterbuilt vertical propane smoker now for a few years. I feel I'm having great success but being that smoker wasn't the most expensive and its thin metal construction I know it won't last forever. With that being said since my knowledge has grown I'm thinking of transitioning to an offset pit smoker. But before I commit I want your opinions on weather I have the right wood in my local area.

    I've used mostly apple for my propane smoker as it goes through so little wood but I don't have the apple wood in abundance that i could constantly fire the offset with it.

    I do have Maple " also used for making maple syrup", red oak, white birch, hop horn beam, beech, and Ash. Those what I have easy access to and no worries on ever running out.

    I mostly like smoking beef briskets the most with the occasional chicken, pork and fish. With my wood options and meat do you guys with much more experience feel I have the correct wood switch to an offset and product some good meat?

    Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all.
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only woods you've listed that I'm familiar with the maple and oak, you'll like the oak with brisket and poultry. Maple for the pork.
  3. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Of the woods you have listed, maple and red oak would be fine. I'm not familiar with a few of the other woods you have listed. The maple is a milder wood and would be good for chicken, the oak would be good for brisket.
    In my area I use cherry,oak and hickory most of the time to smoke with.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use mostly oak for cooking and the fruit woods for flavor. The fruit chunks can be ordered on line. This is not a bad way to go as you don't need nearly as much flavor wood as cooking wood. You won't be disappointed with the oak.

    Go ahead and get your offset. It will give you a much superior smoke flavor than the propane.
  5. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I'm in the same boat, bois. I have to buy Hickory and Mesquite. Maple and Oak are plentiful around here. I use both, but Oak is the King. Apple is hard to come by. Lots of orchards around but also lots of smokers looking for wood :biggrin:
    There's a big learning curve with an offset stick Burner, but I have a feeling you can handle it.
    Keep that propane cooker. I use mine with a mailbox for cold smoking. Haven't had the gas hooked up this year at all.

  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use hickory & oak, because it's easy to get around here.

    I also use citrus wood, which is abundant here.

    The maple & oak in your area would be a very good choice.

  7. Thanks a lot guys. Makes me want an offset even more now knowing my local wood supply will do just fine!

    I'll probably end up going with one of the COS's, even though they aren't that great. I can't really bring myself to spending close to $1,000 for a nice one yet. All the reviews and reading I've done I'll probably get an Oklahoma Joe Longhorn. They seem to be near the top of the cheap offsets and with a few mods, which I will have fun doing, should work fine for my dozen or so cooks in a year if that.
  8. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    You don't have to break the bank. I only spent $300 for my CharGriller "Competition Pro" and the only "mods" I've done is to put in some baffling and replace the factory therm on the door.
    Be sure to use a high temp sealer like Permatex red during assembly.
    You're going to have fun with this 😊
  9. Thanks Smokey! Yeah I figured for sure to replace and possibly move the factory therm down to grate level, some baffling and seal the door the best I can.

    Smokey, can you hold your temp pretty consistent?

    I just can't help but want an offset, I love playing with fire and good meet. I have a wood stove for full time heating and love it, just can't help but burn wood.
  10. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    If you can call a 15 to 20 degree range consistent, yeah.That's pretty normal with a stick burner. On a nice day in the 80's I'm happy to keep it between 260 and 280. Hot sun makes it run hotter, shade cooler. You're probably used to that somewhat with your gasser. I smoked a Pastrami yesterday for a few hrs before putting it in a Sous Vide. 40 degrees outside with a stiff wind and I couldn't get it to go above 170. When the wind died it shot up to 220. I'm sure the high$ ones do better, but for me it's part of the game.
  11. Sounds perfect to me. Here it gets pretty cold and I do a lot of my cookin during the winter as it is my slow time. So even if temps run a little in the cook chamber that's ok, can't burn the meat that way and I've got time to spare.
  12. I have a lot of citrus (orange/lemon) that I use and it's great. However, I rarely use oak, unless I go and buy some; you just don't see people taking out oaks in my neck of the woods. I use black acacia; it's in the mesquite family, similar flavor but lighter. It burns hot, lasts quite a long time, and the smoke gives a great flavor, especially on ribs. Other woods that I use are bradford pear and avocado. 

    However, since you're in Michigan, oak, hickory, maple, cherry, apple etc are all great. 

  13. Thanks Tyler. So glad I have the correct wood in my area to do the job. Just makes me want to get the offset sooner!
  14. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Red oak is my primary wood. To me it is the best wood you can use in a stick burner. It burns hot and long and consistent and has a great mellow smoke flavor. I also use maple and can get apple wood regularly. Problem with maple is it is ashy. You will get a lot of ash with it. When I open up the fire box door you get ash floating around.

    Birch will burn fast with not much heat benefit. I don't think it is even considered a smoking wood. Sold and used as campfire wood around here along with popal.

    You are fortunate to be able to get the red oak.
  15. I'm new here, living in Manila, Philippines. I'm planning on having a steel smoker fabricated, the vertical kind like a Pitmaker BBQ Vault. The offset design also looks good, but I think I'll go with the vault type. Hope I can still post here.

    Shipping and cost make it impractical to import anything here. That includes wood.

    I've rummaged through the hardware stores that import wood chips and chunks, but they are limited (at least 1/2 dozen on these forums in direct competition) and expensive ($10-12 a bag). They don't have oak/hickory/mesquite trees here, or apple, etc.

    What they do have is mahogany, acacia, and mango trees. They might have avocado, too, but I've never seen it.  I'm still looking, but that's what I've come up with. Some of it you can get delivered if you buy 300Kg, most you have to go out to the province to pickup. I've found a supplier of coconut husks and coconut charcoal, which is what the locals use, and you can get that a lot of places. But this post is about wood.

    Finally, to top it all off, because of massive deforestation, in 2011, a logging ban was instituted for natural and residual forests. What wood you can get comes from farms. Some are about 50-60km away and some are 200 km or more. Oh, and then you have to remember that there are 7000+ islands in the Philippines, making logistics even more difficult. 

    You gotta be crazy to smoke meat here. Gotta go, arranging for delivery of 300KG of mahogany. :)

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