currently have a home made off set smoker that i currently use just wood to fuel. obviously im burning thru a ton of wood for a 10-12hr smoke.
should i move to using a charcole with sticks on top? ive never used charcole ever
I would stick what you know best. If you have a good source of inexpensive hardwoods, I'd stay with wood, even if it means frequent fire tending. Charcoal briquettes will burn slower and not as hot as hardwood lump does, so as a fuel extender briquettes may be your best option just to reduce the frequency of fire tending, but your chamber temps may drop a bit once your wood is gone and burning briqs only. Many will start their fire with briqs, then stay with wood. You may want to experiment with a few smokes and find out what will work best for your smoker and your preferences. If you use briqs be sure your have plenty of ash space under the fire grate, or be ready and able to gently remove ash every few hours (prevent airborne ash occurring and entering the smoke chamber...having the extra ash space and leaving it alone throughout the smoke is best)...tbriqs produce a lot of ash compared to wood or lump charcoal.