Hickory and oak sawdust ... how to best use

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by oldairforceguy, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. I ran across a place that does a lot of woodwork in oak and hickory and they have sawdust by the huge bags-full free for the taking. My question is this: Is it feasible to use sawdust (not the fine dust, but fairly coarse) in a smoker in place of chips - or with chips? I remember, years ago, the place in my hometown where they smoked Lebanon Bologna would use sawdust on a low, low set of glowing wood coals to do their smoking.

    I am hoping someone will tell me how to use them in a small smoker. If I can, I am going to be one incredibly happy newbie smoker.

    [​IMG] Roadkill beware -- I own a smoker!
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    If it is clean sawdust (no glue,chemicals,paint, etc) then you can use it however it will burn up faster than chips or chunks but if its free just fill the chip pan more often. It will also flare up easier than chips or chunks maybe put some foil over the chip pan and poke some holes for the smoke to get out of
  3. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not sure what type of smoker you're using, but I agree with piney. I use planer and joiner chips (oak) from my shop quite a bit. I dampen them for my refer conversion, and use foil pouches for my ecb. I've had good luck generating the tbs with these. You do have to take steps to keep them from burning too fast though.
  4. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    yup to what jerry says-and ya planer-jointer chips good but careful-if mixed with particalboard or melimene-good thing being a woodworker.never ending supply-just finished a brizalian cherry job-pretty oily wood-will have to do a dry run first.
  5. Thanks, everyone, for the advice on using sawdust to smoke (sounds kind of weird saying it like that - grew up in the 60's where some folks would try to smoke anything!)

    Anyway, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to make sawdust pucks - one cup of well-soaked sawdust and then wrap it in aluminum foil (tinfoil to you southern people) then poke holes in the puck before placing it in my H2O smoker. Should work quite well, don't you think?

    I solved a problem that has kept me from having flare-ups with the H2O smoker when using loose chips. I went to my local gourmet kitchen utensil store ( One Dollar for everything) and bought some of the metal pizza pans they have. They are 12 inches in diameter and sit perfectly on top of the heating element. I place a ring of soaked chips on the pizza pan above the element, then sit the water container on top of the ring. When I want to add more chips, I just open the door, throw in some chips and push them in on the pizza pan. Works pretty good.

    [​IMG] Roadkill beware - I have a smoker!
  6. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    sounds like you fingered it out........i was going to suggest wrapping abund in foil.......(tin or otherwise... =)) poke holes in it, and toss on the burner.........you mentioned a h20 smoker, but it sounds like its lectric?

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