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post #41 of 49
Originally Posted by ShawnWatson View Post

I was doing the coal bed thing for awhile and it worked well for the first hour or so.  Then they would start dying down and I had to transition to straight wood and that caused problems and I still had five hours to go 102.gif .  I bet that problem goes away with some decent wood to burn.

And yeah, my grate is wide enough for the coals to fall through so I was taking a long screwdriver through the damper and clearing a trough.  That definitely helped but I could surely use a better grate or something.

If I was able to get my mitts on a pile of pecan wood from the orchard, is there anything I can do at home to make sure it burns well, "seasoned"?

I just use charcoal to initially get the wood burning. After that it's all wood unless you get distracted and lose your fire.
I would love to have a supply of Pecan!!!
post #42 of 49
Lesson: Today I'm doing a butt and ribs. I am smoking around 275. I have noticed that it's almost impossible to keep temps that high with using only cherry splits. Oak and/or maple are the best way to go with cherry chunks added.

Oak and maple also burns more thoroughly and leaves a better bed of coals whereas cherry splits tend to burn out and smother prior to burning to coals.
Edited by TheBig1 - 8/28/16 at 12:06pm
post #43 of 49
I'm not a scientist by any means, but just from my experience, I don't use fruit wood for heat. I probably use oak about 75% and pecan 25% for cooking heat and cherry and apple for flavor. I have some pear that I have found to be somewhat like apple but very mild, however it burns very hot. So, I save it for chicken or other times when I need extra heat.

Good luck with it. Joe. grilling_smilie.gif
post #44 of 49
Well Joe, aren't you just the scientist. Lol

Sorry Joe, I'm pretty lit up. It's 10 am somewhere. Lol
Edited by TheBig1 - 8/28/16 at 3:56pm
post #45 of 49

according to the BTU scale  on wood, hardwoods like  white oak has a BTU per cord of 26  vs cherry which has a BTU  of 18.5  hickory had a BTU  per cord  of around 30  as do most hard maples.  fruit woods are good for short cooks  but long ones  a nice hardwood  is best for  long even heat 

post #46 of 49
Originally Posted by cksteele View Post

according to the BTU scale  on wood, hardwoods like  white oak has a BTU per cord of 26  vs cherry which has a BTU  of 18.5  hickory had a BTU  per cord  of around 30  as do most hard maples.  fruit woods are good for short cooks  but long ones  a nice hardwood  is best for  long even heat 

Honestly, I never knew that.
post #47 of 49
post #48 of 49
Welcome to the best information hub on smokers/cookers anywhere!

I use what I can get my hands on, most of the time I get truckloads of free oak, usually more than I can use in a while. I typically run smokes at least twice a month, always have a reason to have friends over for a Sunday game and beer.. :o)

To be honest, I have several resources for wood at really cheap prices, may times free. First place I go to is a tree trimming company my boys occasionally work for. Tree trimming companies have to get rid of the wood they cut. Many times, they take it to the dump, which means they have to pay to get rid of it. This is where the magic happens. I tell them if they have the wood type and size profile I need, they usually respond with a confirmation they will have what I need available. I then let them dump a stack on my driveway every so often and I split it myself and rack it. I have two 8-ft wood racks in my back yard and cycle in wet wood while burning the seasoned wood so I always have a supply ready to smoke with. FREE WOOD ROCKS! For my smaller electric smoker (when I need near total hands-free or just really small batch cooks), I have a barrel trash can that I keep my small smoking chunks in. When I need to fill this, I rent a small splitter and spend a day just making small chunks for this smoker.

On facebook, there are groups like yard sale groups and man cave groups, may times tree trimming companies offer a free drop off of wood to your driveway if you're close to a job, this way they don't have to pay to take it to the dump, unless of course they take it home and split it themselves and sell it on Craigslist or something similar. Be careful though. Sometimes they cut these monster oak trees and dump huge wood pucks that are so big, you cannot split without renting a jumbo splitter and they're usually really really hard wood. Many times, those large chunks do not burn as well as the logs up to 12" or 14" in diameter, properly split. I won't take the huge pucks anmore, unless I am doing a big fire for the boy scout camping trips (I was a leader for 10 years) At that cost/time to split the huge pucks, just buy a truckload of pre-split wood for $100 from someone on CL. It usually costs me about $50 to $75 for a splitter rental anyway, depending on which size i have to get. Second thing to be careful of: If they're dumping free wood in your yard, do not leave it there for days. You don't want moldy wood and I have seen where the termites find the wood within a week or two and start eating it. If it is too close to your house, when you remove the food source, they look for another one. You don't want that food source to end up being your house!

Hope this helps. Good luck!
post #49 of 49
I also just started using only wood with my new reverse flow smoker, my issue is mainly controlling the smoke. I normally keep the stack full open or 3/4 open and the fb damper full open. It seems like to much smoke, this is b4 I add any Wood for flavor. The wood is seasoned oak & hickory. Don't feel alone in the struggle, and don't give up.lots of people here willing to help
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