Thinking about trying stick burning

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 2, 2007
Lakewood, CO
I'm wondering what kind of techniques you stick burners out there use when it comes to stick burner smoking, I'm really unfamiliar with the concept and would love to give it a try. I'm not sure how expensive it will be as I live in an agricultural area near the beach there's not really a high demand for wood of the fire making variety. All in all, I'd like to try it and maybe become proficient enough to show off for my friends.
brennan,when i do sticksi usually start off w/ 2-3 and add 1 when i see the temp start to drop off a bit or about every couple of hours (it's really a matter of watching the coals).since i have mesquite or hickory to use & it's a stronger flavor than fruitwoods i use my old wood stove to pre-burn sticks & then transfer the coals to the cooker. with that new pit you'll probably have to cut the sticks in 1/2 if it's the same size sfb as i have. you can usually get bundles of sticks @ lowe's or home depot here so maybe the same there. good luck.
I'm not familiar with that type of smoker but I'm guessing it will need to have some mods done to it. Probably will need to lower the stack to grate level and put in a deflector plate for sure. I use only wood also and after I get my coals built up and barrel to temp I preheat a couple of splits at a time inside my firebox before putting them on the coals. Like gypsy said you will have to cut your splits down some for the firebox. Look under wood smokers section and check out the thread for burn barrel its a sticky.
Burnin wood was the only choice for me. I never even considered any of the easier methods. But thats just me. Need the challenge.

I start with a pile of lit charcoal. I find that the Sams brand work well for this. They are bigger and last longer. Then some twigs to start the blaze to which I add a couple of logs. When they have caught fire, down come both lids to let things heat up. Keep vents wide open as much as
possible. The temp will probably get way too high but thats ok cause I dont put the food on till it comes down to where I want it. This can take about an hour but it is the best way to keep temps stabilized. After that I add a log when ever temp starts to drop even a little. The size of log will depend a lot on the weather conditions. Youll get the hang of it.

At first finding wood can be tricky but soon youll have more than you can burn. Have fun and master the fire. Nothing compares.
Thanks everybody for the tips!

I saw that thread on the barrel smoker...only problem I have nowhere and no way to make, store, or use something like that...granted I would love one. I was thinking of using one of my neighbors fire pits to get the splits going
He likes sharing with me. Now, I CAN get a lot of chunk wood, but I'm assuming that will burn too fast. I'll just keep my eye out for burnin wood at the stores.

As far as my smoker goes, I'm already planning on the chimney expansion mod, but am wondering if I'll need to put in a baffle to prevent hot spots?
We've only been stick burners since the spring. It is an art and a science and definitely requires a commitment to a fair amount of wood. I figure we use about 40 sticks of wood during a competion. A stick is about the diameter of a pop or soda can (midwest or north east) and 18-24 inches long.

cooking meat on wood rocks!
thats a lot o wood. I'm not planning on anything near competetion style yet. (would love to participate in a competetion or 2 though). I just wanna practice in my lil CG smokin pro and show off for my friends. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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