I am up in the Pacific North West where some of the wood selection is absent of some of the harder woods like Hickory, Mesquite, Oak and Pecan that most use for the bigger cuts of meat like brisket, Beef ribs and large pork items. What I have available to me up here is Alder (lots), Maple(when you find it), Cherry and some Apple (again when avail). I have use apple chunks often but I built a new smoker on a trailer that is about 44 inches long and 30 inches in diameter with a firebox close to 2ft square...needless to say bags of charcoal and apple chunks are not going to cut it...I did my first test run with some ribs, jalapeño poopers and some spare ribs and went through almost 20 pounds of charcoal for a four hour cook.
So this weekend I plan on cooking a Brisket flat, a couple of port buts, more poopers and beans. I was going to use mostly alder for the fuel and throw on a couple a cherry logs for color and what not. From what I understand Alder is a more subtle wood so I am not sure if I will get the smoke I need....then again, I plan on slow cooking the brisket (225ish) for close to 10-12 hours the first 6-7 unwrapped and by doing so hope that I can get a decent amount of smoke. I was going to use the Cherry as well but again, it is not a strong smoke but will provide decent color from what I have read but haven't used it.
So my game plan is to start off with some Alder and maybe add some mesquite chucks for the first 4-5 hours, then ad a log or two of cherry to help with color and flavor for the brisket and pork butts. Does this make sense or is there a better game plan I can employ? Thanks in advance.