I have been smoking for 5 years with lump charcoal. Today I bought some seasoned oak and want to start using it in my vertical smoker and NBBD.
This is my knowledge so far:
1. The bigger the smoker the bigger log you can use
2. If you choke down the fire too much you will get lots of bad smoke.
3. You want a hot small fire vs. a big low temp fire
4. If you are burning wood you have to check on it every 45 minutes or so
I got some oak, cut it down to 10 inch splits and fired up the smoker tonight. I found the smoker on the side of the road, cleaned it up, painted it, and now I want to clean it out a bit. The inside smelled like lighter fluid when I got it. I took the fire up to 550 degrees and it was smelling good.
Problems I could use yalls help with:
1. It took a long time to get the logs to catch. I finally used lump charcoal to start the fire.
2. Should my logs be on fire or just smoking shortly after I add them to the coals?
3. Tonight it took me a long time for the big smoke to stop. I never really got the invisible smoke I am use to with the lump charcoal.
4. The smell is much stronger using oak than I am use to. I am afraid it will make a bitter taste on the meat.
5. I am not sure how small the wood I am adding needs to be. If I open the vents up too much the log lights on fire, If I close the vents down too much I get the dirty smoke.
What are your thoughts? I have a big smoke planned for saturday and I would like to use the wood I just got.