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Adding wood during LONG brisket smoke

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a WSM 18.5.  I sometimes smoke brisket in LONG overnight smokes -- like starting at midnight and going 14 hours at 225. It occurred to me that during the first part of the smoke, when I'm asleep, once the wood chunks burn off there's no "thin blue smoke" until I wake up in the morning and add more chunks. I've always thought that it was most important to get smoke into the meat during the first part of the smoke, so by not being available to add chunks for the first few hours, I fear I'm depriving the meat of smoke at the time when it's most necessary.

So...what do others do in this situation? How do you keep the thin blue smoke going during long overnight cooks? Do I need to get out of bed every couple of hours and throw a few chunks of wood on to the coals? Do I start with a bunch of chunks at midnight and let them burn off, and then replace them when I get out of bed in the morning?

Advice and help appreciated!

post #2 of 7
I have seen some make an open ended ring in their charcole basket for the long cooks. They will have wood chunks mixed in around the ring. They light one end of the ring and let it ride.....

Others use one of Todd's pellet smokers.....

http://www.amazenproducts.com/
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Interesting. Thanks!
 

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalQ View Post

Do I need to get out of bed every couple of hours and throw a few chunks of wood on to the coals?

I don't have the same set-up, but that is what I do.  I use my cell-phone alarm to wake me up at the proper time.

Advice that I have heard is that you should smoke for roughly the first half of the total expected time.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad of four View Post

Advice that I have heard is that you should smoke for roughly the first half of the total expected time.

 

I've heard the same thing. Thanks!

post #6 of 7

For long smokes I fill the ring up with charcoal, mix in several wood chunks , dig out the middle to allow for some lit coals and put a dozen or so lit coals in the hole to get things going. If I want smoke right away I toss another chunk on top of the lit ones and away we go.....This setup provides thin blue smoke for many hours without having to open the smoker. I am firm believer in just leaving the smoker closed the whole time during the smoke. The heat, smoke, rub and meat take care of the rest.

 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon555 View Post

For long smokes I fill the ring up with charcoal, mix in several wood chunks , dig out the middle to allow for some lit coals and put a dozen or so lit coals in the hole to get things going. If I want smoke right away I toss another chunk on top of the lit ones and away we go.....This setup provides thin blue smoke for many hours without having to open the smoker. I am firm believer in just leaving the smoker closed the whole time during the smoke. The heat, smoke, rub and meat take care of the rest.

 

Solid advice. Thanks!

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