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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 09-17-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
deguerre
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Default As seen on Raichlen's Barbecue University

OK, I was watching his show this morning and he lit a chimney of wood chunks instead of briquettes or lump for his fire, letting them get to the orange glowing stage before putting in the kettle. I had a major DUH! experience. When he placed the chunks in the kettle he added some additional wood for smoke. Anybody else try this? It seems like it's making your kettle a stick burner. He did mention that it burned out faster than charcoal but for a fast cook...

Anybody done this? If so, what were your results? I know I'm trying it.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:09 PM   #2
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The thought had crossed my mind before but, I never followed up on it.
Since I got 3 bags of mesquite chunks on sale this morning, I'll give it a try too.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
deguerre
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Funny, I bought a bag of hickory chunks yesterday on a whim and now I know why.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
OK, I was watching his show this morning and he lit a chimney of wood chunks instead of briquettes or lump for his fire, letting them get to the orange glowing stage before putting in the kettle. I had a major DUH! experience. When he placed the chunks in the kettle he added some additional wood for smoke. Anybody else try this? It seems like it's making your kettle a stick burner. He did mention that it burned out faster than charcoal but for a fast cook...

Anybody done this? If so, what were your results? I know I'm trying it.
Only for seasoning a smoker. I have thought about it but in my mind too expensive for an occasional cook. Then again, I am cheap.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #5
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I've done it before on my kettle for steaks, its absolutely awesome for high heat cooks. I use the big bags of mesquite by char-broil that home depot sells for about $6, I think their about 13 or 15 lbs, so not a terrible price.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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All you have to do is stack the fist size chunks like you would charcoal, lite the wood chunks and once all chunks catch fire and turn black you are good to go, I have been doing this for years, i personally cannot believe the prices people pay for lump charcoal when all you have to do is use wood chunks. Like i said just wait till all chunks lite on fire and turn black and you are good to go. You do not have to wait for the wood chunks to ash all over, no chemicals that need to burn off like using lump or briquettes. Good luck to all who try.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zin View Post
All you have to do is stack the fist size chunks like you would charcoal, lite the wood chunks and once all chunks catch fire and turn black you are good to go, I have been doing this for years, i personally cannot believe the prices people pay for lump charcoal when all you have to do is use wood chunks. Like i said just wait till all chunks lite on fire and turn black and you are good to go. You do not have to wait for the wood chunks to ash all over, no chemicals that need to burn off like using lump or briquettes. Good luck to all who try.
I will have to try it.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONESY View Post
I've done it before on my kettle for steaks, its absolutely awesome for high heat cooks. I use the big bags of mesquite by char-broil that home depot sells for about $6, I think their about 13 or 15 lbs, so not a terrible price.
Same here. I did it one time. Afterwords, I did a cost-benefit analysis, and didn't do it again. It would be different if I lived in the country, surrounded by hardwood trees. Wood chunks in the burbs ain't cheap.

If Raichlen did it, I know I don't want to do it. He drives me nuts. I bet he uses a new cooking grate on every single cook.

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Old 09-17-2011, 04:37 PM   #9
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I did it once on the kettle. Had to use a hot pad to hold the plastic handle. Damn it was HOT, HOT, HOT. But, 4-5 min and food was off and I shut her down. My therm was reading dashes so I have no idea on the grate temp. The one benefit I found later was that my grate was super clean. All the crap that had built up on the bottom that my grill brush didn't take off was burned off quite nicely.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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I've got to give this a try. I've put chunks in the chimney with charcoal, but never by themselves.

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Old 09-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #11
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So what is the relative cost/lb of wood chunks vs. lump charcoal? If wood chunks are cheaper I'd definitely go this route. Off the top of my head I'd think it would be $1-$2/lb either way.

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Old 09-17-2011, 06:07 PM   #12
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Those lamb chops he was cooking looked freakin' awesome.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:01 PM   #13
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I've done it with oak chunks and later added fruit wood. It burns hot and if ash is an issue for you, it's a VERY good idea.

Put a couple of chunks of lump on the bottom of the chimney and it starts fine.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
Guamaque
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I do this all the time with regular wood chunks that I cut. It would be expensive if you were using high end mesquite chunks.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #15
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I'm back from this afternoon's cook And I must say I'm impressed.
Started with about 1/2 - 3/4 chimney of Frontier mesquite chunks and lit them with my weed burner. Both vents on the 22" OTS were WFO.
The chunks were in 2 char-basket fuel holders when i put the heat to 'em.
When they were burning good I put the lid of the OTS on and the temp ran right up to 450* and held there.
I closed the bottom vent to about 1/8" and waited for the temp to come down to about 325.
First to go on were 5 Johnsonville brats in the middle of the grate with fuel holders on each side.
The temp lowered even further to 250* and held there.
About 30 minutes later I put supper on ( a healthy pork steak) about 3/4 inch thick.
Seared the pork on both sides then moved it to the middle of the grate with the brats to cook.
At this time the mesquite was burning down so I added 2 chuncks of lump to each holder. The temp soon raised to 275*.
The meat sat there and cooked for another 45 minutes while more beverages were consumed.

Long story short... It was a good cook, the brats & pork steak turned out great, but, the chunks of mesquite didn't last very long.
If I ever want to get rid of some wood chunks quickly, I'll do it again.
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