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Unread 10-23-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
Oldyote
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Default Ceramic Smokers and Weighing Out Wood.

A couple of months ago I was looking at a pork shoulder recipe and the author had suggested using a pound of wood. While I've seen plenty of suggestions for what kind of wood to use this was the first time I'd seen a specific weight suggested.

The next time I made ribs I decided to try weighing it out. So I weighed out exactly 16 oz. It actually looked like more than what I would have probably used but I was also thinking I wasn't getting as much smoke flavor as I would like so that was ok.

The ribs turned out great but still lacking in as much smoke flavor as I would like. Since that time I've seen a few posts about ceramics not giving as good of smoke flavor as other smokers. I have been of the opinion that it is not that ceramics don't allow for good smoke flavor, but more likely that the right method is not being used.

Well for the Man Sized Meat Throwdown I decided to make some ribs using Oakridge BBQ Competition Rub and a mix of Habanero Death Dust. I finished with a blend of Blues Hog Original and Tennessee Red. The blend of spices and heat from the Death Dust along with the sweet from the BH was really terrific. I've tried a variety of different rubs but this blend has been for me the best combination I've found. Next time I'm going to amp up the Death Dust, but I'm kind of strange.

Anyway, back on topic. I decided to weigh out my wood again and used a mix of Apple and Hickory. In this case I used 24 oz (about 12 oz for each wood). I thought it was perfect. The smoke came through but didn't overpower. I'm going to start keeping a record of the kind of wood and how much by weight I use. Maybe I just got lucky, but I was really happy with how it turned out.

Anyone else weight out wood before the smoke? I've gotten away from using any kind of chips and now only use wood chunks.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Using a few pounds of wood is that really smoking , heck I use over that much for kindling
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Unread 10-23-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jestridge View Post
Using a few pounds of wood is that really smoking , heck I use over that much for kindling

Well if you are talking about a stick burner I guess a couple of pounds wouldn't' get you very far. In a ceramic you don't need much.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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Not having a ceramic cooker, I have to ask about how the fuel burns. Is it the same as say in a WSM/UDS/kettle where only a bit of the fuel is let and the burn works through the unlit fuel? If so, my more important question is whether all your wood is getting burned during the disappointing cooks or even this cook and when the wood is being burned during the cook?
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Unread 10-23-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Not having a ceramic cooker, I have to ask about how the fuel burns. Is it the same as say in a WSM/UDS/kettle where only a bit of the fuel is let and the burn works through the unlit fuel? If so, my more important question is whether all your wood is getting burned during the disappointing cooks or even this cook and when the wood is being burned during the cook?
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I would say it is the same (how the fuel burns). The more disappointing cooks I've had have been with pork shoulders not picking up a lot of smoke flavor. Depending on the temps outside I've had times where I've had lump left over and times where I've used almost every piece. In the past I would mix the lump with a few chunks of wood but only start the lump with a few hot coals in the dead center. Then I would put about a fist size piece in the middle and let it all come up to temp. The fire then seems to spread from the inside out as it burns.

I've now started to light the egg with an electric starter in the middle. When the center lights I close the lid and when it hits about 300 I throw in the wood chunks and stir it all up. I'm hoping that more of the wood is coming into contact with the hot lump and giving a more even burn through lump and wood. Probably not the most scientific method but I was happy with the result. With this cook I could only find two chunks (partially burned) out of the 10 or 12 total pieces I started with.
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