Burn time W/ different wood

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by meat hunter, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hello all. Just did my first smoke this week with my newly completed wood smoker. My first smoke did not go as smoothly as some of the seasoned veterans on here, but I will eventually get the hang of it. I used Maple thru-out the entire smoke, but it seems, to me anyhow, that I used quite a bit. For the 4 plus hours that I had it going, I went thru approx 4, 5" dia X 12-14" long logs split into quarters. Maybe a bit more as there were several small chunks that I tossed in as well. Should I have used Oak? Would Oak have a longer burn time? Seems that the Maple, although it burned ok, it burned out, faster than I thought it should.

    Also, on my first smoke, I believe I made my intial fire too small. When you start, the fire should be somewhat big and then add splits as you go. Is that correct?

    If got more Maple than I know what to do with, but I would like be as effiecient as possible. Any help is appreciated.
  2. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey MeatHunter,

    Here is a link to a BTU table for wood
    ...it does depend on the maple species, but, for example, White Oak has 25.7 million BTU per cord, and red maple has 18.7 million per cord. Sugar maple comes in at 24 milion / cord, so it is closer.

    When we use my friend's stick burner, we always start with a chimney of charcoal, and then some Hedge wood (Osage Orange), as it burns really hot (Closest to coal of all wood species, and provides ~ 36 million BTU per cord) to get the smoker up to temp and a good bed of coals started. Then we switch to some oak or apple, or cherry as the case may be, adding splits to the bed of coals.

    Just my $.02.
  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks BBQ, much appreciated.
  4. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We use the process above...I would like to know the process that others use to get up to temp and smoking, and how much wood they use in their stick burners too. To me, 4-5 logs maybe 5" in diameter doesn't seem like a huge amount, but I would like to get input from others on this.
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good to see more folks coming over to burning sticks[​IMG]
    I have 4 different "stickers",from my little Bullet to this:

    I start ALL my wood here:

    for a heat source that looks like this:

    The gas cylinder in the smoker shot is now on the burn-barrel as gas assist.
    It takes about an hour for the wood to become embers,then my Smoker heat up in about 30 min. This gives you time to wake-up,get preps. done,organize yourself, etc.So it takes a bit...
    As for quantity of wood,well since you have a lot of Maple,use it.Add flavor woods when you need, Maple is a very good wood to use;it's plentiful, has a good sweetness to it,and seems to complement other woods(and mellows strong woods like Walnut,Mesquite).
    And , anyhow, a lot of people like to sit around a fire,drinking a cold one,talking and visiting and watching the sparks float off the flames.
    Get out there and do the stick thingy;besides it's fun...[​IMG]

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