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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 06-18-2014, 10:29 PM   #1
elm
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Default HELP! Needing advice on getting more smoke on my Weber kettle...

Hello everybody! I have been wood-grilling (direct) with my Weber kettle grills for a number of years now and have just recently started longer, indirect grilling for salmon (at about 300-325 degrees)...long story, but I bought some alder chips, soaked them ahead of time like I always do with wood chips, but had a heck of a time getting them to actually smoke once on the lit coals. Is this normal for alder? I'm wondering if an alder wood CHUNK would be better for this application...

Anyway, that brings up another question...you being the experts, what is your preferred method of smoking with a Weber kettle? Chips? Chunks? And what is your preferred configuration for using them? Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Unread 06-18-2014, 10:34 PM   #2
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We pretty much run with chunks at all times here, for example i would use about a half a pound of wood for ribs, probably close to a pound for bigger cuts. You my find people saying use fist size chunks of wood which will be close to 2 to 3 oz of weight per chunk. On a kettle go lighter on the wood like for my half pound on ribs back that down to a quarter pound. For your salmon start with 1 chunk then go up from there, you can over smoke easily.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 06:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantw View Post
We pretty much run with chunks at all times here, for example i would use about a half a pound of wood for ribs, probably close to a pound for bigger cuts. You my find people saying use fist size chunks of wood which will be close to 2 to 3 oz of weight per chunk. On a kettle go lighter on the wood like for my half pound on ribs back that down to a quarter pound. For your salmon start with 1 chunk then go up from there, you can over smoke easily.
^ +1 I agree...... Wood chunks will impart much more flavor then chips. Also Alder is a milder wood which is great for seafood and other delicately flavored foods which can easily be overpowered by smoke flavors.

I would suggest that for other meats like pork and beef you use a wood with a slightly stronger flavor.... Apple, Cherry, Hickory all great woods for imparting a little more smoke flavor.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 07:28 AM   #4
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Chunks here.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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Ditto on the chunks. Pecan is also nice.
Indirect is the way to go, but remember that time is also a factor. The slower you cook, the more time for smoke to develop.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 07:53 AM   #6
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Chips are gone before you even notice they're there. Chunks, dispersed in the coals so that they ignite at staggered times, are what you need.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elm View Post
what is your preferred method of smoking with a Weber kettle? Chips? Chunks? And what is your preferred configuration for using them? Thanks in advance for your advice!
As has been said, chunks. I prefer pieces about 1x1x2.

For longer cooks I build a snake around the perimeter with the chunks imbedded every 6 inches or so (works out to about a chunk per hour). For shorter cooks (like fish) I just set up the cooker with a small indirect fire, usually with a firebrick or two and feed the chunks to the hot coals as needed.

Oh yea, IMO "soaking" does not accomplish anything.

EDIT You might find this thread helpful.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...=191640&page=2
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Unread 06-19-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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Chunks. Chips will burn away in a few minutes and would be useful for grilling when food is only on the grate for a few minutes.

If you have some cherry, try that with salmon. It pairs really well!
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Unread 06-19-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elm View Post
long story, but I bought some alder chips, soaked them ahead of time like I always do with wood chips, but had a heck of a time getting them to actually smoke once on the lit coals. Is this normal for alder?
Are you looking to see the smoke, or are you just not tasting it? You really don't want to see much smoke because that means that the fire isn't burning cleanly.

But, as mentioned, chunks will last longer and provide more flavor. You may not see smoke, but it is still there.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 10:20 AM   #10
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Use more wood I put a split on the grate and lay my coals behind it smoky goodness is never lacking
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