quantity of wood needed?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 7, 2007
NW burbs of Chicago
I think this is where this post should be. If not the admins will move it right?

I smoked a 2 x 1.5 lb pork tenderloins tonight for about 2 1/2 hours and it took 1/4 - 1/3 of a bag of Royal Oak Natural charcoal and almost a 10 lb bag of hickory chunks. Does that sound right or do i have a leak somewhere? I did notice that my smoker does not seal good when you close the lid to the bottom.

couple of questions for you first

what kind of smoker do you have?
how smokey did that loin taste? cuz that was alot of wood to go through

my smoker doesnt seal all that well either, but it is designed that way, all my smoke comes out at the lid,

i use propane to start my coals now, but i go through roughly the same amount of charcoil depending on the weather outside
Beerivour -

I'm wondering if maybe the stack vent was not open enough and that's why so much smoke came out the lid? Just guessing - seems more should leave the stack than the lid...


How do you whistle on a forum?
Hey Beer, ya, need some more details but a 1/4 bag isint bad for 2+ hours
Did you lite all the coals at once? minion? but 10* of hickory!!! that must have been some billowing smoke
give some more details and u are sure to get the answers you need....good luck and keep at it
I have an offset smoker. Char griller w/ sfb. My temps for the 1st hour were pretty constant @ 230º w/ opening and closing the damper by the fire little by little. I started with a pile of RO and started it with newspaper under it. After about 25 minutes i added about 6-8 chunks of hickory for some flavor. I added more hickory to keep the smoke going. The temps died down for alittle, so I put more RO in it which brought the temp up. Then the smoke died down so i added more hickory chunks. Here is a pic of the chunks i used. They are sold at a local home store, Menards.
The picture is not that good. I had to compress it.

I read that natural wood charcoal burns hotter, does that mean it burns faster? Is it because the chunks i have are 3" x 3" x 3" they burn faster than logs. I did have to prop open my firebox door open about an 1" to get the heat back up cause the temp was dropping.
more replys came in before i could reply to the first response.....lol
In the beginning everything was wide open. When it started to get too hot i closed the damper by the sfb. After awhile I did have both the chimmney and the damper by the sfb completely closed for a good time and the temp stayed constant, 230º. When the stack vent was completely open i sat in all the smoke that came out. I was down wind and in heaven. My shirt smells awesome now lol.
When i noticed that the smoke died down out of the stack i added more hickory. In the beginning i lit about a chimmney starter of Royal Oak. Then added when my thermometer said things were getting colder.
You want to have your exhaust vent open at all times. Shutting it down like that is a sure way to get a creosote build up on your meat. Control your temp with the intake on the firebox. If you have a big temp spike open the lid and let the heat out if you have to, but don't close down that exhaust. Shut it down a little if you feel you must, but not over about half-way ever!

Also, in regards to your smoke dying down, did you maintain a thick smoke the whole time? You want a thin, blue, almost invisible smoke at the exhaust. I thick white billowing smoke is bad news. That pesky creosote again.

I also agree with the 10 lbs. of hickory being quite a bit for a 2 ½ hr. tenderloin smoke, but smoke flavor preferences do vary.
the charcoal useage sounds about on the money but 10# of chunks seems a little extreme. i have a similar unit [brinkman smoke-n-pit] and more smoke comes out the sides than the stack, but it usually billows smoke for a little bit then settles down to the thin blue streak so many strive for.

you could try leaving a little area on the grate towards your smoke chamber open and set a couple of chunks so they just smolder instead of burning up right away on the coals.

i have 8" billets that i split into 8ths and then make them about 6" long on the chop saw then split down the 8th to about 1/4", then stick them in a bucket of water for a few hours and thats about all i use on a 6 hour rib smoke
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