I'd never really given much thought to the quality of the woods I've been using since I typically just went to the Home Depot and picked up the occasional bag of chips. After picking up a Masterbuilt GS40 (XL?), it's clear that bigger chunks are better for this smoker, so I went to the HD and picked up their 12lb bag of CharBroil hickory chunks assuming the best. Unfortunately, more than half of the chunks seem either rotten or look like they have water damage of some sort, and the good pieces kind of left me smelling like campfire rather than the hickory smell that I knew from previous smokes. I was worried at first thinking they might have packaged up some pine and I was cooking multiple butts for a 25 person event the next day! After calming down and assuming that CharBroil wouldn't risk their reputation doing such a thing, I started thinking about the quality of the woods I've been smoking with.
I don't know what this is, but it doesn't look like healthy wood I want to bathe my butts in for hours at a time.
This looks like mold or some other kind of contamination. These pieces were noticeably less dense.
'Good' chunks on the left. Rotten, moldy, bark, or otherwise undesirable to burn on the right. So much for $12.95 for 12 lbs of hickory chunks.
This realization brought me to the Naked Whiz review site where the bag was on the 'not so great' list. I checked out some of the other recommended sources and I'm pretty much left with Chigger Creek from bbqfans.com. The price seems fair at $2.32/lb for quality wood (I haven't ordered it yet, I'm just going off the Naked Whiz review). Some of the sellers on Ebay seem promising, although there are so many. Does anyone have any Ebay sellers they deal with that are trustworthy and affordable? Is there one online source that is the forum-agreed upon 'best' for ordering smoking wood?
I've searched through multiple pages of posts and I'm not sure if there's a consensus or not.
thanks for any input :-)