I'm Stoked!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by macdad, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    I had to share my excitement with someone. I just figured out how to run my chargriller w/ SFB on only wood. Cherry to be exact. I was about to give up on the idea. I tried previously with some oak, but I don't think it was seasoned long enough. I am so excited... This will save a lot of money since wood is cheaper than charcoal.
  2. nate_46

    nate_46 Meat Mopper

    Thats great!! Would you give us some pointers, maybe you have thought of something that we haven't. I would love to hear about it.[​IMG]
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We need more stickburners;WOOD ROCKS!!!
  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love burning just wood in my Horizon which is all I use. Do ya notice any changes in flavor changing from charcoal to wood? I like the taste a lot more.
  5. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    nate_46, I will refrain from giving any pointers until I can repeat the process. It seemed like I just need more wood coals, though. Maybe I have been relying too heavily on the charcoal to supply the heat for ignition. I will be smoking some pork shoulders this weekend, so I will see if I can duplicate my experience.

    bbqfans, I got the wood from the guy you told me about. I think I got about 85% cherry in the load I bought. Cherry definitely has a great flavor. I think I am hooked.

    RickW, I did notice a change in flavor, but I think it was mostly the difference between Oak and Cherry. I make sure I get all the charcoal burning before adding it. I tried once without and the meat tasted like charcoal. Yuck! It did seem like I got great smoke penetration, and I barely had a wisp of blue smoke for almost the entire smoke. It was burning real clean.
  6. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    Smoked 2 pork butts today and used charcoal until 9:00 AM (started at 6:00 AM). I used wood exclusively until 6:00 PM. The only problem is that it seems I had to chunks of wood every 15-20 minutes, otherwise my coals would burn too low and I would be SOL. I tried a larger diameter chunk of wood at 5:00 PM. It was too big, but, before I realized my mistake, all my coals were out. I lost my fire at 6. The butts were at 179, so in the oven they went. Overall, I am happy with my experience today, and I learned a little more about my smoker!
  7. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    Well, I pulled the pork last night, and it was dry and tougher than normal. I have a question for the masters of smoke. In order to maintain a fire, I had to run the smoker temp higher than normal. The temperature would occasionally spike to 250, but it averaged 235-240. Is this the cause of my dry pork? This was also the first time I smoked partial pork shoulders. I usually do a whole shoulder, but these were sliced as roasts. Does this make a difference?
  8. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My target temp is 240 so no it's not the temps. Could be a bad piece of meat.

    Walk us through your method of smoking, do you foil? If not do you spritz?
  9. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    Normally, I smoke to 150-160 internal temp, foil and throw in the oven. The smoke flavor is never enough for me.

    This time, I wanted to do the whole smoke without foiling. I spritzed with apple juice every hour, from the second hour on, 'til I pulled them. I foiled at 180 and finished them off in the oven, because I lost my fire (and patience :) ).
  10. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well first off patience is where it's at, you must give it time to get good results. I too did this early on and it showed. Ya can't rush good bbq, that's just the way it is.

    I foil at 160-165 and also add some of my spritz in when I foil. One more thing I do is; I do not buy my meat from the big box stores. I don't buy anything that has been cryovaced as I don't care for the solution it is packed in. I don't think the meat has a very good flavor at all.
  11. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    RickW, at that temperature, do you hear an occasional sizzle coming from your smoker? I tested my thermometers in boiling water and they are good.

    I will have to try again with a whole shoulder. Maybe I will save the bargain roasts for sausage, since the kielbasa I made from this pork was good. Thanks for your support, RickW.
  12. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just came back in and I can say no; I don't hear any noise other than the fire popping and crackling. Not sure that would matter much anyway.

    I still think it could have been a bad piece of meat.
  13. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    Smoked another pork shoulder yesterday. It came out real moist. I still averaged 230-240 for the entire smoke. I foiled the shoulder at 165 and threw it in the oven. It came out moist and smokier than ever before.

    What I have learned about using only wood in the chargriller... I use charcoal to get the fire going, then add wood to get my bed of coals. It seems like around the 5 hour mark, it starts to crash. I think this is when all the charcoal is completely burned out. At this point, I have to add smaller diameter sticks to keep it burning.

    I can't seem to get a good enough bed of coals to add pieces that will burn for 30 minutes. No matter what I do, I have to add wood every 15 minutes. If I add larger pieces that burn longer, they don't burn down to coals before my coals burn up. Is this due to the size and design of the chargriller or just my inexperience? With larger stick burners, can the time between wood additions be stretched to 30-60 minutes?

    Any input would be appreciated.
  14. bcfishman

    bcfishman Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I am an advocate of using wood only in my SFB as well. I have a smaller New Braunfels offset. I like using the wood because I dont pay for it and have plenty of wood most of the time.

    A great way to go (if you have plenty of wood) is to preburn the wood. I use a little outdoor firepit or an old charcoal grill to keep wood going. Then when you need to add wood, you take one of the pieces that is burning well, and stick it in. You can also put some of the coals in there to help regulate the temps. I have started using some charcoal lately because of time constraints and errands I have had to run, but definitely prefer the wood only method. I like the flavor better.
  15. macdad

    macdad Fire Starter

    BCFishman, I definitely like cooking with wood only for the flavor and cost. However, I don't get my wood for free. When you preburn, do you go through a lot more wood? I am thinking my next step is to cut some smaller chunks and pre-burning some wood in my chimney starter.

Share This Page