Basics of Wood for Smoking

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by smlwinds, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. smlwinds

    smlwinds Newbie

    I am relatively new to this hobby but have made some great tasting pork in a cheap little smoker I have using lump hardwood charcoal and Jack Daniels wood chips. I'm currently looking into a really nice smoker and trying to learn more about fuels.

    First of all, I have a rookie question: when someone says a "wood" smoker, does that mean they are using only real wood? Does lump hardwood charcoal count as "wood" or "charcoal?" Do some people using only real wood (ie-no sort of charcoal whatsoever) in their smokers? I assume you can probably burn down chunks of real wood to make charcoal and it may be the best fuel, although I've never done this or seen it done.

    Secondly, is there any consensus on what is the "best" fuel? I am sure everyone has their opinion but I was wondering what the professional competition guys use to smoke pork. If you go to a competition, do you find some guys using charcoal, some using charcoal with wood chips, and some using only wood for smoking? Or, is there something that is generally considered the "best" for serious pork smoking?

    Lastly, I want to make my own wood chunks/chips to add to the smoker. I have access to just about every tree you could want. How do you prepare wood for use in a smoker? I assume you don't want green wood so after you cut a tree you want to dry it out. How long do you dry it? After that, is it as simple as cutting or chipping the wood and using it?
  2. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like the other Al has you covered.
  5. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    First off Welcome Aboard,,,

    I would say the "Best" fuel is the one YOU like the taste off and the one that works the best for you..

    As far as "green wood" goes..... I have seen a show where Myron Mixon goes to a peach orchard and cuts it of the trees directly and uses it, AFTER he started his fire with a whole bag of Kingsford charcoal, so I guess its what ever you like doing and using.

    I say its what ever gets the meat done and on the table. I have a off-set  fire box and right now I burn Kingsford and Lump charcoal, I also use Apple, peach, hickory, cherry chips and chunks. I say try all you can and find YOUR favorite.

Share This Page