Wood Chunks in the UDS?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by hog warden, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Anybody ever use just the fist sized wood chunks in a UDS as a replacement for charcoal? As in fill the basket with chunks of pecan or hickory or oak and dump a chimney full of lit charcoal on top and go.

    Guys use wood splits in offsets. Why not whole chunks in the UDS?

    Too much smoke?
  2. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I would theorize that due to the nature of the UDS environment, it would probably be too much smoke, unless you're getting a highly efficient burn. I say this based on the fact that in my case, I started smoking as low and as high as 210, which here in nebraska, that's what my water boils at. So taking that into consideration, I say that the would would be more less smoldering during the entire cook at that temperature, which in my view would create an undo amount of unwanted smoke. However, I could be wrong. It's an interesting idea but unfortunately for me, it's not something that I'm willing to risk food over right now. I might try it in a month or so just to see what happens.
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You are correct. An all wood burn in a USD would not be a good thing. There wouldn't be enough oxygen in the drum to keep the wood burning correctly and it would just smolder.

    In an offset there is not direct heat and you try to burn a hot, small fire opposed to a large amount of fuel to try and stretch a burn for hours on end.
  4. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I would have to agree with Nutzman. I use a UDS a LOT for cooking tri-tips. Even when cooking at high temps - I use a 30 gal UDS with two chimmenys of charcoal (one on each side) - and hang a tri-tip between them trying to maintain a temp of 400 for 35 - 45 min.

    I place one big chunk of hickory on each pile and it smokes fiercly for the enitre cook. Placing your lit charcoal on a pile of chunks at a much lower temp would produce a lot more smoke - the hotter the fire, the less the smoke.

    If you try it, I would go small on the chunks and work my way up.
  5. jethro

    jethro Smoke Blower

    What those guys said.
    But I do chuck a few chunks in the chimney on top of the charcoal maybe a couple more in the basket.
  6. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    Here's my theory.

    In a big stick burner the wood is actually on fire, and the flames consume the nasty white smoke.

    If you have flaming wood in the confines of a UDS, the temps will be really high.

    In a UDS, the burning charcoal consumes most of the smoke from the smoldering wood and keeps things thin and blue.

    Just the way I see it, always open to correction.
  7. 3/3/12   gonna try small amount of soaked oak wood,2-3 inch peices to start with

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