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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-08-2011, 11:07 PM   #31
Capozzoli
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All wood here.

I keep several variates on hand. I have friends in landscaping and construction so I always seem to get it for free.

I make a fire in a patio fire bowl and refuel with wood that is started. Not very efficient I know.

With my double drum smoker I refuel by throwing logs on raw. Just one log at a time so it does not smother the fire. Works great.

When finished cooking I extinguish and pull from the fire bowl, grill, or smokers anything that is black and solid then store it in a can. Best damn lump you can get.
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Unread 07-08-2011, 11:20 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post
I'm gonna split the thread here. This is a good topic for everyone.


Ohhh Steve!! Ab-so-tively not!!! First, in my little world, when I say all wood, I probably mean 90%. I always start with a chimney of either lump or kingsford. (A full one always for the Klose, but maybe a heavy half for the Bandera.). When I dump the chimney, I add a log or a few big chunks of heat wood(as opposed to flavor wood, cherry, apple, mulberry). I use this to get the pit up to temp, clean my grates, and start preheating wood on top of the fireboxes.

From that point on, I will just add wood, that is unless my coal bed disappears, i will add a small amount of lump right on top to get enough coalsa going to cleanly ignite another log or a few more chunks.

Adding lump is safe, its just preburned wood, and wont cause an offtaste the way charcoal can if ya just dump that in unlit. All the impurities are allready burned out of lump.

Always preheat the wood before adding it. I 'm not saying to maintain a seperate fire and preburn, I mean to just make that wood as hot as ya can on top of the firebox, just short of igniting. I always jkeep logs on top ready to go. As soon as ya dump a hot log in, it ignites with clean smoke.

As far as overpowering, a small fire is the key, keep the top chimney wide open. I use the oak or hickory as my heat source and find that it wont overpower. Will add other woods for flavor, such as cherry, apple, mulberry, pecan, pear, etc...

The bandera doesnt take well to large logs, I even prefer large chunks, about fist sized, or split logs about 7-8 inchs long, no more than 2-3 inchs wide. The MUST be put on a good coalbed. The klose can handle fatter logs, but i still keep them in the 7-8 inch length and split them into no larger than 4-6 inchs wides. I'm a big fan of the "wheel". Cut off wheels, 2-3 inchs wide and split them into what ever size ya want. Big fat logs may look cool in the firebox, and work great on 15 foot mobile rigs, but they wont burn clean enough for us. Keep the wood in the form of small splits and chunks.

IMO, I see absolutely nothing wrong with using lump as your heat source, or even kingsford, and adding wood for flavor. Is much easier than maintaing logs, burns more evenly and takes less babysitting. Eiyther way, with the Bandera 45 minutees is about as long as it will go unattedned regardless of log or lump. But like Mark says, that bagged fuel costs money. Not that I get my wood for free, but a pickup bed of cherry and oak costs me 50-60 bucks. Thats the dollar equivalent of of 4to6-20lb bags of lump, which at the rate I cook, would be about a months worth. The side of house is loaded with a variety of cooking woods.. I just keep a few bags of lump on hand for coal beds.

You've been using lump and chunk???.. go all chunk, add a few splits to the chunks..... thats the way I used to do it... 4-5 fist szied chunks or thin splits of hickory or oak will maintain 250. If you see the coal bed getting a little small, add a handfull of lump just to replenish it in time for that next batch of logs.

When you can maintain sweet blue, clear smoke using all wood, you know you have arrived!! :P

We had a pretty good thread on this also in the yahoo forum, i will try to dig it up.

That post right there is gold! I wish I had found it about 3 months ago. It's helpful now, but would have saved me a lot more trial and error in May.

Thanks for the great info, BBQChef33!
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Unread 07-09-2011, 02:14 AM   #33
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Unread 07-09-2011, 07:00 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boshizzle View Post
That post right there is gold! I wish I had found it about 3 months ago. It's helpful now, but would have saved me a lot more trial and error in May.

Thanks for the great info, BBQChef33!
Yup. Phil's the one who got me inspired to go with wood and not be afraid! Read posts like this thread and his take on convection cooking and it taught me a TON!

Thanks Phil. And (if it's never been said before....) THANKS for starting this place! It has quite literally changed my life and my cooking skills!

All wood cooking is both an art and a challenge, but it's farkin cool as he!!
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Unread 07-09-2011, 07:35 AM   #35
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My my how things have changed. I only see Phil cooking on a pellet popper and a 22 wsm lately hahahahhahahahahahahahahaha
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Unread 07-09-2011, 10:07 AM   #36
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Good thread. New smoker myself and have been trying all three, mostly wood. Has anyone ever tried sassafras?
I heat w/ wood and sell some on the side so I have the saw and splitter. Those not wanting to get a chainsaw you might check w/ local firewood sellers and tell them exactly what your looking for. When cutting firewood not everything is exactly 16, 20, 24" long you end up w/ odd sizes many sell these odd sizes as chimera wood by the bag or truck load. These pieces are usually small chunks that they can't sell as firewood.
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