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Thread: Smoker Wood

  1. #1

    Default Smoker Wood

    Just received my new SmokinTex 1400 yesterday and unpacked the unit, installed the wheels and generally familiarized myself with the unit's setup. I am planning to do the initial seasoning on Saturday and then do my first smoking (ribs) on Sunday. I am going to use the packet of cherry/apple/etc. that came with the unit. However, I've read on this thread that better wood can be obtained. I am curious to know if there are any good online stores from which forum members would recommend ordering additional wood. I'd also like to know what qualities experienced forum members use to identify good local wood purchases for smoking. (If there's any local recommendations on purchasing wood in NH, I'll take them.)

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    Default

    Hello Onivek,
    Welcome to the forum!
    Please note the large chunk woods packed with your smoker is only for the initial break-in only.
    Happy smokin!

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the response. I ordered this bundle from Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00 and was under the impression that the variety pack of wood was for smoking and not just break-in. I thought the small wood blocks were for the break-in. Can you confirm?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cedar, MN (but still not far enough from the Cities)
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    693

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    Yes, onivek, the small blocks ARE the break in wood.

    Check with local meat markets or grill and patio equipment retailers, they may carry smoking/grilling wood. Chunks are better than chips, IMO. Onot time I use chips is for a cold smoke or a very short duration smoke where I want a lot of smoke over a short period of time. Also, talk to any local apple orchards, free wood may be available for the taking. Avoid soft or pinky wood. If it looks nasty it's gonna taste the same way. In my area, Menards and Lowes carry smoking wood, chips and chunks, in the grill section. I like apple, cherry, and maple, but have also used pecan. Oak can be a harsh smoke, but a little pains well with strong meat favors like venison or elk or moose. Alder is a traditional wood for fish in the northwest. My favorites are apple for fish or pork, Apple and cherry for ribs, but I've done ribs as well as pork loins with straight cherry.
    Hope this helps!! Keep good records, watch your wood weights. 2 to 2.5 oz is a good starting point until you learn what you like. Get a good thermometer, lots of folks use a 732 Maverick. I use it and like it a lot.
    Let us know if we can help, and WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!!
    I believe in catch and release fishing. I don't want to EAT 'em all, I just want to GREET 'em all!

  5. #5

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    Thanks, bigwalleye. I will pursue some orchards for Apple wood this weekend. My Maverick thermometer arrives today, seasoning is planned for tomorrow and Friday is my plan for smoke #1. Looking forward to it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Cedar, MN (but still not far enough from the Cities)
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    You always remember your first time....

    When using apple wood, I don't care for the bark, and will try to peel it off. any branch over about an inch diameter is worth the time. Dry wood is better. Chunk it when you get it, put it in a bucket and in the garage, and it'll dry nicely, and rather quickly.

    I'm kind of a scrounger, and I'm also a wood carver, so when I find cherry for a project, I also save my scraps and cutoffs. Found a lumber yard going out of business a while back and bought 4 ea 5 foot long solid cherry newell posts, unfinished, for a buck apiece. Didn't have the heart to tell the guy i was going to chop 'em up and smoke ribs with them....point is, think outside the box as well for source wood.
    I believe in catch and release fishing. I don't want to EAT 'em all, I just want to GREET 'em all!

  7. #7

    Default

    I spent the last 24 hours scrounging through this forum looking for guidance on how much wood to place in the wood box for cooking. It seems that this is the definitive factor that establishes how well the meat cooks and how much flavor (too little or too much) is produced. I've seen references in here that range from 'numbers of pieces of wood' to ounces and I am more confused than clear. I'd be interested in hearing people's take on how many pieces and of what size are recommended.

    Being that I am a hockey guy, a reference to the number of puck or half-puck size pieces would be helpful. (i.e. put in 3 half puck size pieces of Apple wood to smoke ribs).

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Onivek,
    While size matters, as in a great many things in life, as concerns the amount and size of smoking wood, weight and density is more critical. A person's taste is also part of the mix.
    That said, I go by weight, to the point of using a postal scale. A cheap kitchen scale will yield the same results. Regardless of smoke time, meat cut or amount, I generally start with 2 to 2.5 oz of wood. Meat really only absorbs smoke for the first few hours anyway, so pouring a lot of smoke to it is going to result in a pretty harsh smoke flavor, IMO.
    While I stand by the recommendation of a scale, since it makes for repeatable results and a recipe to follow, we're talking about something like pieces totaling the size of one standard hockey puck, maybe less.
    Better to try it and decide "more smoke next time" than get a result that has so much smoke it doesn't taste good.

    Buy a cheap notebook and keep track or your results, temps, wood amounts, outdoor temp, rack position, etc.
    Remember, what you're really doing is constructing your own recipe book for exact, repeatable recipes that excite you and all the members of Casa Onivek.
    Please let us know if we can be of help. The forum exists to make us all better.
    I believe in catch and release fishing. I don't want to EAT 'em all, I just want to GREET 'em all!

  9. #9

    Default

    Terrific guidance. Thanks, BW. I am seasoning now and will start with the aforementioned 2-2.5 oz of wood to prevent overdoing it. Last night's grocery store run yielded a nice 3 lb Boston Butt for $4 and some chicken leg quarters for $6. If I ruin $10 worth of meat, it wasn't an expensive lesson.

    Back to watching the clock...

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Onivek, please share your results when done.
    I believe in catch and release fishing. I don't want to EAT 'em all, I just want to GREET 'em all!

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