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Wood/charcoal question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Say I'm smoking a Boston butt and putting the smoke on it. When I wrap in foil (it's no longer getting smoke), do I continue to feed my firebox with wood or charcoal?

What I have been doing is feeding it with charcoal just to save the wood that's if I have bought the wood.

post #2 of 11

Save the wood and just use charcoal.  Once you wrap, no need to smoke. 

post #3 of 11
Just depends on how much of each that you have. If you have a bunch of wood, just continue to burn it as heat. If you are limited on good smoking wood, save the wood and use charcoal. As noboundaries said, your meat will take on very little to no smoke in foil.
post #4 of 11

I run a stickburner and once I am foiled on long cooks I will burn my junk wood or I may switch to propane.

But as the others pointed out if you are running charcoal, save your wood unless you have a large supply and plan on using as fuel.

post #5 of 11

+1 for saving smoke wood and just using charcoal for after the meat is foiled.


Which makes me think, anyone ever switch to charcoal and/or just the random hardwood firewood bundles you can get from gas stations or grocery stores? Thought about that, but would be scared it would throw some funky smell or extra creosote on the pit (not necessarily the meat) even if it appeared to be burning clean.


Is that what you mean by 'junk wood' SQWIB?

post #6 of 11

I also sometimes think about just moving into the oven since it's foiled but for ribs or brisket I always like to put it back on the cooker unwrapped for 10-15 minutes just to firm up the bark. Not sure how that would turn out if I removed the foil for 10 minutes in the oven.

post #7 of 11
As far as moving to the oven, heat is heat. Smoky heat in your oven is a problem. If you just want to firm up the bark, either will work. I find it easier just to use the smoker.
post #8 of 11
Jburn what I mead by junk wood is my oddbal cuts like knots sticks round splits wood with nasties.
I save my nice splits for the cook.
I would not use firewood from places like gas stations... I picked up a few bundles to have a fire on the beach at assateague island and it was pine.I've also purchased wood that had boards mixed in.
post #9 of 11

Sela86: Once your meat product reaches 145* it won't take any more smoke whether you wrap it or not. It's not a good idea to cook with camp fire wood because soft woods like pine, fir, spruce etc contains a lot of sap & turpentine.


Here's a way that works for me because hardwood, for me, is hard to come by and very expensive. I start with a bed of lump charcoal and a couple of small pieces of campfire wood, which burns hot and fast -- this is the ONLY time I use that wood and I only use it to establish a bed of coals. Once the bed of coals are established I start the cook and add a the type of hardwood or chunks depending on the flavor I'm after. Once the meats internal hits 145*, I use only lump. That's just one way of doing a cook.

post #10 of 11

Meat not taking on smoke after 145 or any temperature for that matter is a Myth.

Meat will continue to take on smoke when not foiled but the smoke ring will stop. Not to get too far off topic but The smoke ring is aided by moisture on/in the meat and combustion from Gas or wood, this is why Electric Smokers may not produce a smoke ring.


As long as there's smoke the meat will take on some of it, that is why I practiced proper fire management as running all wood can result in a sooty result if not careful.

post #11 of 11

You're right, IF moisture is added after 140* - 145* internal, which is 160* on the surface.


The why and how of smoke rings is complex and experts don't agree. For some insight, anyone interested should refer to www.amazingribs.com and search for --"myth busting the smoke ring : no smoke necessary". Also refer to www.genuineideas.com/articlesindex/smokeringmoist.html. According to what I've read, the smoke ring stops at about 140 internal and 160* surface because the surface has dried out and surface moisture is one of the things needed to form the smoke ring. Add surface moisture and the ring will continue to form. Anyway, these articles (I'm no expert and I only know what I read) explain the situation better than I can.

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