Newbie: All-wood vs. mostly wood vs. some wood

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tommy rylander, May 13, 2016.

  1. Hi. I recently built a UDS, and most of the tutorials i have seen show people using mostly briquettes in the charcoal basket "studded" with large chunks of hardwood (so, mostly charcoal). I did pulled pork on my first smoke, and was not all that impressed by the authenticity of the smoke flavor i achieved.

    I had always imagined myself using a smoker that burned nearly entirely hardwood like you see many people do in restaurants and TV shows, but I have some lingering questions about it:

    1. Alton Brown and other sources had always taught me that putting unburned wood in the same vessel as your food puts off dangerous and untasty chemicals, and that wood should be burned for a few minutes before adding food in order to get rid of these compounds. Shouldn't the same be true of smokers?

    2. Do any of you use all- or mostly-wood in your UDS or other smoker? What is your method of putting it in and lighting it?

    3. How do these different choices affect taste, cooking times, and temperatures?

    Thank you.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  3. The big difference with a UDS being that I don't have any access to the fire once I start smoking (without taking the lid off, taking off the meat and the grate, and smoking my eyebrows off).

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