How much wood to use?

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Original poster
Jun 29, 2007
I just purchased a used ECB on craigslist. I am using my good friends Jim and Debbie as guinea pigs fom my first rack of baby back ribs.
I am planning on using the 2-2-1 method (actually gonna try 3-1-1)
My question is this.
How many chunks of hickory/mesquite do I use?
do I need to add additional chunks for a 3 hour tour?

Lastly, I am gonna smoke a pork shoulder on Sunday,
How many chunks of hickory?
How often should I expec to add wood?

Thanks for your responses.
It just depends on how smokey a flavor you want. I usually add wood to my coals about every 1/2 hour or so, depending on how big the chunks are.
You dont want smoke pouring out the entire time though.
You're looking for a blueish smoke that is kinda hard to see.
Good luck on your adventure. Dont forget to post some pics.
Expect to add wood over a three hour smoke. Volume of smoke not necessarily as important as quality of smoke. It will take you awhile to learn how your unit burns through wood. The aging of the wood you use will also have an effect. Too much smoke will overpower your food. At the least take mental note. For your first few smokes I recommend the smoke log because it helps you identify things that affect your process and helps you learn your smoker.
Good thing you're practicing on friends.
Drop by Roll Call and introduce yourself.
Also a lot meats people say to discontinue smoke when the temp hits 140°
Do you have a good thermometer with a probe for when you do that Pork Shoulder. Wally World and Lowe's have them for under $20
I would say that it also depends on the type of wood and the age of it. Older dry fruitwoods burn faster than fresh hardwoods. Really in the end when you check your temps peek at the wood and see, untill you get a feel with your smoker...
Good info here...

Drop by Roll Call and introduce yourself, tell us a little about yourself and get the proper welcome... glad you joined our hideaway!
what these guys said,also mesquite burns hotter than most & you can "oversmoke"w/ mesquite as it has a lot of creosote. thats why most bbq establishments & others burn it down first & add the coals to the meat fire. i forgot this simple rule,if you have wood & heat it's smoking.
Remember, smoke is actually a type of seasoning. Most people IMO don't like thing over smoked, your goal as mentioned earlier is to have just a trickle of mice blue smoke. What I've done in the past is this; start off with smoke, then when it's in the foil, no smoke, then one more round of smoke, then in the last 20 minutes add the sauce.
Thanks for the input from all. I do have a nice remote thermometer that should do the trick.

lets get even more basic, How many chunks do I put in to start?
Do I put them in as the smoker is heating up, or after it is hot?
i'd say 3 -4 chunks of hickory or mesquite before heating (i'm assuming you're seasoning it). and get your heat up higher than you would normally cook and keep it there for a few hours adding a chunk an hour.but i'm not as sure as these folks w/ an ecb. have you seasoned it yet? we need more info.
My last smoke was my first with chunks. I used hickory from Wally World.

I soaked three chunks (one is a chunk the other two were much smaller in size) for about 15 minutes while I let the heating element and internals get hot.

I put the turkey legs, in this case, on and put the three chunks of wood down by the element. The two smaller ones I put very close to the element so they would start smoking right away. The larger chunk was off the element a bit.

After about 15 minutes I was beginning to second guess my soaking and chunk placement. But then I noticed a trace of smoke. It eventually grew to the point where smoke was coming out of the lid, but nothing overpowering. The constant smoke continued for the next 2 1/2 hours. Eventually the legs reached temperature so I took them off. The large chunk still had plenty of life left in it and probably would of gone for several more hours.

So my recommendation would be to start with 3 to 4 medium sized chunks and see how they do. Definately follow the suggestions of not getting too much smoke on the food. I never realized how bad my ribs tasted when I assaulted them with smoke for the first hour. Now I know that smaller smoke over longer time produces a better flavor. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.