I'm new to the bbq game, and have a question about making charcoal.
See, I have a ton of juniper wood laying around in brush piles. So, I had a fire, and collected the charcoal as it burned, stuffed it into hole in a ground, then snuffed it out by depriving it of oxygen by putting a big brick over top the hole.
Then, I slow roasted a pork shoulder...I didn't want to use up all my kingsford brickettes on this thing, so I started adding the juniper charcoal. I also added some mesquite and alder chips for smoke
The result was fan-freaking-tastic. Melt in your mouth, beautifully spiced, stringy, tough and dry on the outside, juicy on the inside, and just everything I want out of bbq.
So...my question is: I see recommendations here against using any kind of soft wood for smoking....but I take it they simply mean the raw dried wood? This charcoal was amazing, and did not create any bitter taste, so I'm assuming that the chemicals that would produce such an off flavor were driven off when I turned it into charcoal.