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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 07-18-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
mainesmoker
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Default Just a hardwood fire for smoking

Has anyone used just a hardwood to smoke without the charcoal.
I would think you could get a good bed of coals going and then shut it down. I was thinking of trying it when i get back home. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
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What kind of smoker? I think you've got the right idea in getting a good bed of coals, but why shut it down then? Adjust your intake and keep the fire to the minimum needed to maintain temps.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Looky here:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=88638
No need to shut the air down, just control the size of your fire. I'm on a bit of a stick burning tour lately.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
What kind of smoker? I think you've got the right idea in getting a good bed of coals, but why shut it down then? Adjust your intake and keep the fire to the minimum needed to maintain temps.
Beat me to it
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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Not trying to be too sarcastic, but do you think that way might have been the original way of building a fire and smoking meat. Smoking meat didn't begin when charcoal was invented. Just a thought. Stick burner...here's your wide open door bros!
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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That was my idea i have all kinds of different hardwood i can use (kids might get cold this winter but they will eat good). Im building a horizonal offset, i think it would do well in that.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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you will not have any problems.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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There are some outstanding cooks on here that use nothing but wood. It is pretty cool to watch the ones that have mastered it. I am not that talented. Hope some of them chime in.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 10:00 PM   #9
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It is a great way to go. You may need to work with it a bit to get fire management down, but if you have a good cheap (or free) source of wood it is definitely the way to go.


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Unread 07-18-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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Attrill, I love that pic. Looks to me the way the lighting is that it may just be about 8:00 a.m. but that beer is sitting there all but kicked. Smoke on brother.

Also looking for advice on stick burning, in particular with a UDS...impossible because of no way to feed fire?
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Unread 07-18-2010, 10:23 PM   #11
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I have found that controlling the burn down to coals to be the trick, I am still not able to get a consistent fire, hence I use charcoal. But, it works fine when I get it right.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 10:44 PM   #12
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Pretty much a unlimited supply to experiment with just need to go pick out a tree and cut it down.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 11:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42BBQ View Post
Attrill, I love that pic. Looks to me the way the lighting is that it may just be about 8:00 a.m. but that beer is sitting there all but kicked. Smoke on brother.

Also looking for advice on stick burning, in particular with a UDS...impossible because of no way to feed fire?
Thanks! Yep - around 7:30 and starting up a couple briskets at the far end from the fire. I think we ate around 9 or 10PM. After I got the briskets going I went back to bed for an hour or so, hence the beer and no coffee. I probably went back to beer around noon or 1 . Once that wood burned down to coals I threw two more sticks on and damped down the fire. I usually get 1-2 hours of smoking at 225 out of that set up.

I think offsets were made for cooking with logs and sticks. Using lump or briquettes as the main fire source makes it a lot harder to run an offset. The opposite is true with a UDS or WSM. They were built for lump or briquettes, and they are harder to run with wood. I've done a few all wood smokes on a WSM and just took sticks (about the same size in the photo) and chopped them into 2 to 3" pieces on a chop saw. Just treat them like charcoal and expect them to burn a bit hotter, and possibly out more quickly, than charcoal and you should be set.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainesmoker View Post
Pretty much a unlimited supply to experiment with just need to go pick out a tree and cut it down.
You are a lucky man! I would guess maple is fairly easy to find around you. It's a lighter wood and is really versatile for smoking. The general guidelines are to to stick to branches or trunks larger than 2" in diameter and let it dry for 6-12 months if it is green.

I would imagine you also can find some Oak, Hickory, and Black Cherry. Those are also excellent woods to smoke or grill with.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 06:04 AM   #15
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The first time I did an all wood cook, I got WAY too much smoke,,,almost a bitter taste on the meat.
Now I do it like the pic Attrill posted. Build a big fire in the pit and put the meat on after the wood has burned down to coals. I then start a separate fire to burn down the wood and add to the pit as needed. And, like Attrill, I use small splits or chunks rather than larger logs. They burn down quicker and its easier (for me, anyway) to guage how much to add each hour or so to keep the temp consistant.
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