Hot Smoke - How many wood chunks?

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Original poster
Apr 13, 2014
Huntsville, AL
Hi! I'm super excited as my WSM 14.5 will be at my door step today!..(Pics to come of this goodness)

My question is i'm looking to start off easy while i get my smoker adjusted and get comfortable with it so how much wood chunks are recommended for doing a whole chicken (6-8lbs) looking to go 300-324 temp for 1- 1 1/2 hours


Hello and welcome to the fun.  The trial and error method works well.  We will try to help you keep the errors to a minimum.  We look forward to your contributions.  I will assume you have seasoned your smoker and sealed every leak you can.  I always advise the same with this question.  Chicken leg quarters and maybe some burgers.  Easy to do and cheap to buy.  I know!  I know!  You have been reading for weeks, now have your smoker, you are ready to get started and this idiot says chicken legs and burgers??  WHAT??  The first few smokes are about learning to control temps in YOUR smoker.  Each one can be different.  The same answer applys to how much wood, each smoker can be different.  If that first smoke burns, the dog gets a good meal.  If it ain’t done, finish it in the oven.  Little money lost and with luck you still get a good meal.  TEMP CONTROL!! IS THE KEY!!  Get to know your smoker.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Hey Mounkey,

You are going to love your WSM!! Got mine a few months ago and I am so happy with my purchase! Danny is right about temp control, and can be quite challenging with a brand new WSM. I tried pork butt for my first smoke on mine...started it at 2:30am, figuring I would go back to bed after I got the temperature regulated...but never ended up getting any sleep because the temps kept bouncing up and down.

Second smoke went much easier and was able to regulate my temps much better (still not confident enough to step away for more then an hour though) LOL

As for whole chicken, I smoked some this past weekend however I smoked mine at 235 for about 3 hours (I also brined it over night and injected it)...I wanted to see how juicy and smokey I could make it with a nice slow smoke. During my smoke I used up about 4 chunks of hickory and 2 or 3 chunks of apple. It definitely had a nice smokey flavor to it.

I might try a higher temp next time to really see for myself the differences. I did miss not having a nice crisp skin...guess I could have tossed it on the grill for a bit, but we were too hungry!

Good luck with the new smoker and your first smoke!!
Congrats on the WSM! Great smoker! I love hickory on a brined and injected chicken. I dry smoke them at 275-325 with nothing on the skin but a very light dusting of rub. I take the IT of the breast meat to 172-175 which work well with the brining. Crispy skin too. Have fun! Chasing perfection is whàt keeps me smoking!

Forgot to answer your question. I use the equivalent of 4 fist sized chunks of wood. Sometimes I have to use smaller pieces grouped together to make a fist size grouping but it still works.
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