Starting a wood fire

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Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
I just recently got a Oklahoma Joe Highland smoker. Need some tips on getting the fire started with wood. Any and all tips are greatly appreciated.
Most guys with your smoker get a charcoal fire going to get a coal bed then add wood for the smoke.

If your going to use just wood, then a weed burner or propane torch will get it started quick.

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What is best to do weed burner or charcoal bed? Looking for best taste
Many of us stick burners use charcoal for the heat and then wood for the smoke. In any case just make sure that the smoke has died down from starting your fire such that it is thin and blue. Heavy smoke ( green wood; wet wood; charcoal not started properly; etc.) is not what you want.

I usually build a coal pile and then put some wood on top, or in the middle. Using my weed burner I get that charcoal going and then it takes about 30 - 45 minutes to get the wood burning; get the smoker up to temp and get that smoke down to cooking level.

You can pick up a cheap weed burner that uses the small propane cylinders at Lowes or Home Depot for  less than $20. I use it for everything that needs flame.......
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What is best to do weed burner or charcoal bed? Looking for best taste
Your not going to notice any taste difference either way.

The reason I use a charcoal bed then switch to wood is because wood costs more than charcoal around here.

If you have a cheap source of wood then I would use just wood & start it with a weed burner.

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Get yourself a weed burner from like Harbor Freight, Lowes.
A tank of propane lasts a long time. And if you got dry wood the fire is up and burning in a few minutes. You still will need to let your smoker come up to temp.
I just use a charcoal chimney about half full of briquets filled the rest of the way with lump. When that's burning to the top dump it in the firebox and lay a couple of sticks on top. Let them burn with the door open til they're red hot coals. Close the door and add wood from there on.
I'm with Al
But for long term, install a pipe burner (loglighter) you can find parts during trash day, (gas grill)
Slipaway, I can't speak for all stickburners but I never use charcoal for the heat source. provided

I just switched to straight stick burner. Used charcoal for a while. It seems a little harder but I'm also using a COS right now. I do notice a difference in the meat. Not huge, but it's there. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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