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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 07-17-2013, 12:40 PM   #1
hominamad
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Default Brisket wood question - oak?

For traditional, Texas-style brisket, I understand that most people like to cook with oak. My question is - is this wood meant to impart flavor or is it mainly used as a heat source?

I guess my real question is.... if I'm cooking a brisket on a WSM or kettle, would it be weird to use coal as the source but then use oak chunks solely for flavor? Or is oak not really meant to be used that way? When doing beef I usually use hickory which I like a lot, but was thinking of trying out oak for a change. Not sure if this is generally used as a "flavor wood".

Thanks~!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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It depends on your cooker. If you have an off set stick burner, you are using the wood as your heat source and smoke flavor (after you have already gotten a bed of coals) When you are using a charcoal smoker like a WSM or a kettle the wood is used to flavor and charcoal is used as your head source.

I have used oak with brisket and it is very good. However i prefer pecan wood for the flavor on briskets.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Yes, oak has a great flavor. I love to use oak. You are talking about charcoal, yes?
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
Big Johnson
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I use a kettle at times and when I do I use charcoal as my heat source and then add Oak chunks during the cook! I like the mild smoke flavor Oak gives.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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Sorry, yes charcoal. I usually put a few wood chunks on top of the coals, but have mainly used things like hickory, cherry, pecan, etc to impart flavor. Now I want to know if oak can also be used that way (for flavor) or if it is generally only used as a heat source when using a stick burner?

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hominamad View Post
Sorry, yes charcoal. I usually put a few wood chunks on top of the coals, but have mainly used things like hickory, cherry, pecan, etc to impart flavor. Now I want to know if oak can also be used that way (for flavor) or if it is generally only used as a heat source when using a stick burner?

Thanks!
You can use any type of hardwood for smoke flavor in a charcoal cooker such as a WSM or Kettle.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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You're right - there's obviously a portion of the heat coming from the wood (it's on fire just like the coals, obv.) but it's pretty much just for flavor. I keep a few types of wood on hand, depending on what I am making - apple and hickory for most, but I use oak whenever doing beef - it's just one of those preferences I have.

Pork and chicken were MADE to have flavor added, and rubs/sauces/wood is a huge part of the flavor, but I prefer beef to be simple and taste like beef. Oak wood gives a nice smoke flavor without being overpowering or being too much influence on the beef flavor.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:03 PM   #8
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You can use oak for flavor too and goes very well with brisket. My personal go to wood is pecan though.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Johnson View Post
I use a kettle at times and when I do I use charcoal as my heat source and then add Oak chunks during the cook! I like the mild smoke flavor Oak gives.
I have a 500 gallon Reverse flow and I use nothing but Oak unless I'm able to get Pecan.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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Pin oak, a member of the white oak family, is my favorite wood for beef. I mix unsoaked chunks into my lump charcoal for the great flavor. It is used in many of the great BBQ joints in Texas where beef is king.

I believe than pin oak grows in parts of New York, but may be tough to procure. White oak is a good substitute and should be easy to find.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #11
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In answer to your question YES.
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