Wood Question (on a Lang)

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by zotie, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. So I've been smoking now for about a year on a Weber 22.5 with a smokenator in it.  It does a great job and I've cranked out a lot of butts, briskets and ribs, all be it very few at a time.

    I grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA and around Santa Maria Style pits.  Prior to the Weber I cooked everything exclusively on a 48" x 24" Santa Maria style pit that I fabricated.  Everything was done on red oak, so I have a good idea about fire management and wood.  But I got bit by the smoking bug and everything now comes through the Weber. 

    Since volume was an issue I started looking into RF offsets, and I settled in on a Lang. Was going to go with a 48" model patio deluxe.  As luck would have it I found a 36" standard, the other day in my area for $500.  In all honesty it just needs some TLC and a high temp paint job and it will be back up in tip top shape.  So I got the Weber as a cheap investment in smoking to see if I would like it, I figured I would do the same now and swoop this go easy on the pocket book (and under the spousal radar) and see how I like Lang's and if I need a bigger model flip this and upgrade in a year or two.

    So my real question is about the wood.  I have access to a lot of white and red oak as well as apple wood.  I have the dimensions down for how big the wood needs to be and all that jazz.  I also hopefully am understanding correctly that I should be using the white Oak to get a good bed of coals going, and then use the apple wood (or hickory or whatever other wood) as the actually smoke for flavor wood. 

    So the question is:  How much flavoring wood should I be using and for how long?  What do you guys do?  With the weber all the research that I did was to weight your chunks out (16oz for brisket & butts, 10oz for ribs) and add it in 4oz/30min intervals until you run out then move back to briquets to maintain temp after that.  So with wood being the fire source I was a little worried about over smoking on a 12+ hour smoke on something like a whole packer or a large shoulder. I was looking to see if you guys had some recommendations or guidelines on timing and how much to use.   Start with one and then switch to another, do a blend?   Do you have to start a separate fire and and throw hot coals on at a certain point to add less wood smoke?  Does anyone use charcoal, and then logs on top of that for flavor? Also since this is my first smoking stick burner, how big of a fire am I wanting to build to maintain 225F in the chamber?  I'm assuming as big as I can muster and then control the chamber with the pinwheel vents. I watched the lang video's but I was looking for some more in depth info. In terms of wood flavor.

    Any tricks for the lang?

    Sorry if that was long winded, just wanted to be as specific as possible.

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  2. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    After about the first 4 to 5 hours, the meat isn't going to take a lot more smoke from the wood so just run it like you would your Weber for the first several hours and don't worry about it after that. If you are concerned, you can always wrap with foil half way through, but try it with wood the whole smoke then judge. I usually throw a chimney of charcoal in and put wood on top, after the white smoke gets thin and the temp stabilizes, then put the meat on. Keep us posted on your progress!
  3. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I start my firebox with a chimney of lump then throw 5/6 splits on top. Let the heavy white smoke subside and temp come up then throw meat on. I will maintain my temps thru the whole smoke by throwing a couple splits on every hour or so and use wood the whole time.
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I use whatever wood I want the flavor of the entire smoke I get the wood free so I use it. Course I can't get apple down here [​IMG]  I light 4-5 splits with a propane wood burner let it burn down a bit then it's 1-2 splits every 30-40 minutes. For the Lang 36 I think you want splits about 14" long and about as big around as a magnum beer can you will add them more often but will do better keeping the thin blue smoke going.
  5. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Apple chunks at the home depot once in a while ;-)
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I have a Lang 84 that's a bunch of chunks [​IMG]
  7. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    some chunks thrown in with some good old black jack :biggrin:

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