Originally Posted by newbienick
Thank you for your response! I do have a few follow up questions, though.
1) You said that lump charcoal would give a different flavor than wood chips/pellets. I am using this for a heat source, not smoke. Am I doing this wrong?
2) Yes, I'm definitely using more wood than that. I thought that I should continuously add wood, so I keep getting rich smoke. That seems to be a mistake?
3) I cut a plum tree down last summer, and it appears to be pretty dry. Does that sound like a good wood to try next?
Thank you, again!
@Case, Hey Bro, don't want to step on your Toes, but I was up late. Saw Newbienick's follow up questions and figured, " What the Heck! " " I'll add my Pennies and Case can follow up when he has time." With all Due Respect...JJ
The three major smoke makers are: 1) The Stick Burners. All the heat and smoke come from the wood being burned. 2) The Briquette and Lump Charcoal guys. The heat comes from the charcoal with some flavor but the bulk of the smoke comes from Chunks of Smoke wood added per the desired result. Light smoke flavor using Mild Fruit and Nut Woods, added only during the first 4-6 hours. Medium smoke flavor, Fruit and Nut woods added for the duration of the time the meat is in. Or Heavy smoke, Strong woods like Hickory or Mesquite, added a varing length of time depending on the taste desired. 3) The Electric and Gas smokers where the heat source contributes nothing and all the smoke flavor come from Chips, sometimes Chunks and Pellets. Depending on wood choice and the length of time added can be from Mild to Wild, but still somewhat less intense than the first two styles of heat and smoke.
In your case, the Charcoal and Chunks are fine, you would gain nothing from the use of Chips or pellets.
Next. 3-4 chunks in a 8 hour period, with the exception of Mesquite, would give a Smoke flavor that is noticable, with a nice smokey flavor but not overwelming.
The goal is Thin Blue Smoke TBS or smelling sweet smoke even though it is hard to see. Any more than that amount of smoke can be too much. Many Newbies, including myself back in the day, watch the BBQ Shows on TV, with their dramatic, for Show productions of Smoke and are led to believe, " If it ain't White...It ain't Right! " Even erring on the side of caution with just some white smoke from the frequent addition of a strong wood like Hickory, will give a Camp Fire taste to the meat. Go to a Fruit wood and look for the TBS to flow only adding a chunk when the smoke just smells like Charcoal burning. You will soon learn the difference.
Hard Fruit Woods, including Plum, make for a great tasting, sweet and mild smoke. You will be fine with Plum, just watch for TBS. As you and your family/guests tastes for smoke develop, you can start adding back the occasional chunk of Hickory for more depth of flavor. Maybe getting to the point that, for some meats like Pork or Beef, you truely enjoy the intensity and flavor change up of modest use of 100% Hickory. Check out the link below for more on Smoke Woods. Good Luck...JJ