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Unread 12-09-2013, 05:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: 11-12-13
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Default Learning to burn sticks...

Still fairly new to all this, as well as the site, figured I'd post this up and see if I could get some advice.

I'm cooking on a OK Joe's offset smoker (The cheaper Lowe's version, not the old reliable ones). It does pretty well, and I've definitely made some tasty food, but I'm trying to refine and improve.

My first few cooks were almost 100% lump charcoal for fuel, with wood chips or chunks for flavor. Came out pretty darn tasty each time, but I spend the majority of my day adding more lit charcoal to the box. (Although I realize I could buy/build a charcoal box and try the minion method).

This past weekend I tried cooking with lump charcoal to start the embers, then cooked exclusively with pecan wood (small logs/large chunks) the rest of the day. What I found was - my day was infinitely better cooking with wood. Temps held more steadily, I got to hotter temps much faster, etc. It really made my day easier. However, the smoke flavor is certainly more strong with cooking with wood all day instead of mostly lump -- everyone who ate said they loved it, but I felt like the smoke flavor was too strong.

I was up before dawn lighting the fire, threw on a few racks of ribs around 6am, as well as a pork butt (8lbs). Ribs were foiled after a couple hours, then unwrapped after a couple more and finished with a little bbq sauce glaze. The Butt stayed on the cooker until it hit ~200 (around 2pm -- fire got a little hotter than I anticipated for awhile, so it cooked faster) - held it in a cooler wrapped in towels until 5pm or so, then pulled apart.

The pulled pork was phenomenal, the ribs pretty dang good too -- but everything just had a little more smoke than I'd prefer. Not bitter or ashy - just strong. Like I said, everyone seemed to be happy, and said they loved it all -- but they may have just been polite. Or I'm completely overthinking all of this.

If you've read this far...thanks. Any advice for me?
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