Acutally, you can do it either way. However, I suspect most of us use the combination of charcoal and wood chunks. To use the larger cuts of wood, you really need a primary fire and then the smoking fire. By that, I mean to establish a small fire on the side (SoFlaQuer has a great explanation of this along with pix. .... do the search button for "Burn Barrel." There's a sticky on it.) This is true wood smoking and is the way (a very long time ago) we all used to do BBQ. But now, it's less work and simpler to just get your charcoal going and put a few (ususlly soaked in water) chunks of your chosen wood on top for the smoke flavor.
Also, welcome to the forum! Keep us posted often and send pictures when you can.
Welcome to SMF, scorpia. You say that your oak is split for fire place use. I'm assuming that this from an 18 log split into quarters? If you plan on using the wood for flavor, you may want to split each quarter section in half lengthwise again. You want to use just enough wood to produce a thin blue/gray smoke. If you have a bellowing white cloud coming out of your smoke stack, you have too much wood on the fire. It will take some playing with the wood and fire to figure out just how much is enough.
Best of luck and keep us posted on how you're doing.
hey dutch...I'm seeing what you're saying...I had to split the oak down more anyway to get it burning good...and the smoke coming out of the stack was billowing white...way too much smoke, even though it did my heart good to see my smoker was doing a good job of smoking...but...sunday I took what I'd learned from this forum and tried to get a good fire going and learning to maintain the temp in the cooker, when I had the temp too high and closed off the air intake to the firebox the smoke went down to lightly wafting a little smoke(not billowing)...I'm still messing up aren't I??? shoutd I go to charcoat as the main heat and spice it up with the oak???still learning...But I'm going to get this...well gotta go take the second day of the e-course, thank-you for your reply...buddy b...
Scorpio it dont matter how it looks but how it cooks, thats a nice set up and it will cook as good as any around. Im very lucky to have the one ive got I have full acess to a metal shop thanks to a very good friend, thank you for the compliment. And happy smoking.
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