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How long /when to replace the wood chunks

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello.  A total newbie here.

When do i replace the wood chunks in my propane smoker?

When there is not smoke billowing out top of the smoker?

When the wood looks like coal ?


Thanks !

post #2 of 9
pretty much when you can't see any wood color anymore. It will still smoke for a while after that but is not as much as the fresh wood. You can replace the wood or add more on top of the charred wood. But your new wood will burn faster when you just add more on top.
post #3 of 9
Let me rephrase that using wood chunks they will keep smoking for a while after the outside is charred. I thought I read wood chips. If you open your smoker and don't get blinded by the massive amount of smoke rolling out the door add more wood
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

do, what i did...

When the wood chunks looked like coals, i would switch out the oldest one with a new piece of wood.

good practice or bad ?

post #5 of 9

When they turn to coals. Tap with a pair of tongs or a fork and if they fall apart they are done. They'll continue to smoke up to that point. 

post #6 of 9
What smoker are you using? What kind of wood tray or pan?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Tray .  I have a Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Propane

post #8 of 9
I have an MB gasser also, Zed, but I filled the "wood pan" with lava rock to level with a cast iron pan to actually hold the wood.

I use chips mostly, but sometimes a chunk or two. I soak them in water for at least a half hour. I get about 1/2 to 3/4 hr to a good sized handfull.
They basically turn to ashes. It's time to add more when you stop seeing smoke (but you don't want thick billowing smoke! That's too much. "Thin Blue Smoke" is the target).
Hope this helps,
post #9 of 9

I have a Char-broil gasser and a Old Country BBQ lump/stick burner.  When I use the gasser, I have a cast iron skillet on a grate where the combo chip pan/water pan used to be.  I also have a water pan on a rack above that.


I will get my smoker up to the temp I want to cook at, then I'll put in a chunk or two of whatever wood I'm using.  You don't need to soak chunks, the water will only penetrate them very little and it's evaporated almost immediately once they hit the iron skillet.  I'll adjust my temperature as they start to get going, and let them start producing that thin blue smoke, and then put my chunk of animal or fowl in the smoker.  


Mine has a separate door for the burner so I don't lose much temp adding a chunk as it's needed when the smoke starts to dwindle.  As you cook more, you'll learn the ins and outs of your smoker, and when to add chunks.

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