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Marshal Bill from Ottawa

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

As asked, I am checking in.  Never smoked meat before, and just came in from slicing an old maple log into quarter inch slices.  My plan was to get enough sawdust.  This may, in retrospect not be such a great idea.  Not that it takes a lot of time, it does not, but there may be a little bar oil in the mix, and I see a little bit of black mould (spalt).  Do you think it would burn off or would it contaminate the meat even after it was down to coals? 

      second, is this the right place on this huge web site to ask such a question?  Was I right to start a new thread here?  If not, where should I have "checked in", and where should I have asked this question?


Marshal Bill From Ottawa.

post #2 of 12

There is no such thing as a bad question here. I myself would think the oil is not a good thing. If it was a cooking oil might be different, but bar oil could leave a bad taste and bad smoke. The log pieces should work, but would avoid the sawdust. Glad you joined the group and good luck. Keep smoking.

post #3 of 12

Good afternoon and welcome. What type smoker do you have, Why sawdust? 


Gary S

post #4 of 12
Welcome, glad ya joined us !
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I wanted to throw a handful or two of sawdust onto the coals from time to time to make more or less smoke.  (remember, first time...need to find the limits.)   As far as what I am smoking in, it looks like an R2D2  with several levels.  Its old, and the pans are rusted, but I got it to work. Hopefully the water pan will keep it cool enough...  Probably 20 years old or more...and the label says "H2", and that's it.  But it works well.  I ran out of time to actually put meat into it.  But I got it to smoke nicely at about 200 to 240.  At least according to the ancient thermometer on the top.  Smells nice, the way it should.

     Good idea about the cooking oil as bar oil.  I did that for butchering a few years ago...worked really well.  I'll get a second chain saw, they are super cheap right now and do that rather than trying to clean this one up. 

      The dried maple just burns away into ash.   The damp spaulted maple just stinks.  Well, its how you learn!  (well, how I learn anyway, lol!) .  Since I have about 5 dead maples around the property,  it seems a shame to waste it, but of course that is lumbering, not smoking, so it may be beyond the perview of this forum.  I may actually have to get a couple of those dirty bags of charcoal the wife refuses to allow into the trunk of the car.  (Personally, I thought this smoking thing was to be MORE self sufficient, not car dependent.  Thats why...grin!)

post #6 of 12

Does your smoker look something like this?


post #7 of 12

the maple will smoke, but it needs to season up, just like firewood. Green wood is not good for smoking food

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yes.  But bright red and in pretty good shape considering its age.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I don't cut down green wood.  Got plenty of seasoned firewood though.  I'll just have to figure out how to change it from wood to charcoal. Without bringing the temp up to cooking levels.  How hard can it be!  (imagine, learning new skills at the age of 57) 

post #10 of 12

I was hoping that... Yeah, this is good stuff. I'm right behind you in age and I really enjoy tinkering with the smoker, cooking up some good food and figuring out the smoking woods, etc. Any orchards in the area? Wouldn't hurt to ask what they do with the wood from the trees they have to cut down or whatever. Can't beat apple or cherry wood. 

post #11 of 12

Use a few wood chunks after your coals are good and gray, The sawdust will burn up almost instantly .


Gary S

post #12 of 12

If you cut the maple into pieces about the size of a soda can and not thin slices they should last longer. I have never heard of using sawdust in a smoker. I started with a smoker like the one you have and used charcoal and small wood chucks (store bought kind). It worked will but I had to go bigger.

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