Just Ordered This Bad Boy, General Questions on Stick Burners

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smokefever, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Hey everyone, been a while since I've posted on here. Things have been pretty crazy (in a good way). As you all know, I have been cooking on the Vision Pro C Series Kama do grill. I started cooking for friends and word of mouth has spread like wildfire. I already have requests to do a few large parties (100+ppl) this summer and since I only have the kamado, a decision had to be made.
    I've done quite a bit of research online and decided to have a comp rig built for me. It will be ready in 4 weeks and I went with a builder located by Newport News VA. Here is the link to the base model I ordered off of.....

    http://www.custompitsva.com/a1-competetion-smoker

    In addition to what is pictured, it will have a warmer, a firewood storage box, water pan/baffle, split doors, propane storage and a propane fryer. Since my only experience is with using charcoal, I do have questions about fuel for this cooker. Can/should I use all smoking wood (apple, pecan, hickory etc)?? Or use Oak and add in chunks of flavor wood??
     
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Very nice pit...congrats on the new rig!  

    For lots of pitmasters, oak IS a flavor wood, depending on which variety of oak you use.  In many parts of Texas, for example, oak(usually either red or white oak) is one of the main woods they use.  I'd say you can burn whatever hardwood you like...and you can certainly mix different woods based on availability and your own requirements.  You might also take at look at this old thread to learn more about woods you're not familiar with.  There are a few hardwoods that don't make good smoking woods, so its good to know which is which.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/50439/woods-for-smoking

    With any big stick burner, there will probably be a learning curve on what kind of (and how much) wood to burn.  Just experiment with different woods to you land on the flavor profile and temperature control you're looking for.

    Good luck and happy smoking!

    Red
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  3. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    I knew I could count on you Red, thanks for the quick reply. There's definitely going to be a learning curve, hopefully it doesn't take too long to figure out. I guess where I was getting at with the wood question is if I used strictly apple or peach etc would it give off too much smoke? I like using oak because it's very subtle and usually will add in a chunk of fruit wood on top of it. I'll do some experimenting the weekend I pick it up and I'm sure I'll be posting about it on here. Thanks for the link!
     
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    OK gotcha.  Fruit woods are pretty mild, and as long as you maintain good fire management it shouldn't over smoke anything.  The best reason I can think of to mix fruit wood with oak is cost and availability.  There's often a more abundant supply of oak and/or hickory in many parts of the country than fruit woods, so burning fruit wood can be more expensive to burn than oak or hickory.  But if I had a regular, affordable supply of apple or peach wood, I wouldn't worry about burning that wood all by itself.

    Red
     
  5. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Nice pit! that machine will make you some serious Q! Red is right when you first get a stick burner there is some learning curve to your pit. there is a couple threads about stick burning and fire management you should check out. search for "stick burning 101" and "fire management".

    as far as wood. i recently bought a RF stick burner (almost went with custom pits) and i have been using red oak in mine exclusively. i use a little kingsford  briquettes to start my fire. i use an electric starter on he the briquettes and then dump 2/3 chimney into the charcoal basket i keep in the firebox and put splits on top the rest of the smoke. you could use a pencil torch or weed burner if you like. I will say that in my expericcne with my stick burner the charocal basket has made it not only easier to start and put hot coals into my firebox it also allows me to keep a small hot fire that you want in a stick burner. i bought mine off amazon for $50. just search amazon charcoal baskets and you can get the size you would like that fits your pit and it will make tending the fire easier.(just my 2 cents)

    for the flavor i found red oak to taste great one everything i do. i will probably get some apple or pecan to burn and i think Red is right fruit wood is usually mild and sweet so alone or mixed with oak/hickory will produce a great flavor. just depends on what you are smoking and what you are looking for.

    Congrats again on the new pit.

    Happy Smoking.

    phatbac (Aaron)
     
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Really nice looking smoker. I know you'll enjoy that. I start my fire with a load of RO lump and add oak splits for cooking heat. For flavor I use fruit wood chunks for about the first hour or two, but I always use oak for the main fuel.

    Good luck with it, Joe.
     
  7. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Yea I think that's what I'm leaning towards, using oak for heat and adding fruit wood for the flavor. Hardest part is going to be waiting 4 weeks for the pit to be built. I'll definitely check out the basket for firebox, thanks for the info!

    I use RO lump right now in my ceramic grill so I'll probably do the same thing. I just bought a bunch of splits from fruitawoodchunks.com, I got some sugar maple, apple and pecan. I think that sounds like the best plan, using oak for heat and throwing a cpl splits of the other wood in there
     
  8. Congrats on the new pit and all the fun you will have with it! It sounds like you are doing pretty well with what you are doing now. You may not even want to change things up since you already have a pretty good following from what you said.

    On the other hand it is always fun to try new things so you may as well go for it. Apple and cherry are great to use. Only used peach once but it was really good as well.
     
  9. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Brett, I was pretty surprised at how fast I got my following after only smoking baby back a and some pulled pork for friends. I don't plan on changing things up if I can help it, I feel like I have a pretty good process. I know it's going to be different going to a stick burner, but I love a challenge and can't wait to get started!
     
  10. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

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    That's a really nice offset your getting :Looks-Great:


    Running an offset is going to be a lot more work than smoking with your Vision.
    But the good trade off is you will have a lot more cooking space.
    I like using cherry for smoking.
     
  11. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Yea, I cannot WAIT til it's done. I've outgrown the Vision so fast it's crazy. I'm already gonna have to spend all next weekend smoking since the cooking space is drastically smaller on the Vision. I've used Cherry as well, I typically reserve that for game such as Venison.
     

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