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Old 06-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
Butcher
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I always thought I used a lot of charcoal. When I used a verticle smoker it seemed like I would go through 10-12 pounds of charcoal for 6-8 hours. Now I have an offset smoker and it seems like I am using a tad more than before. Is this a normal amount or am I going through more charcoal than most other people?

I have also seen an occasional picture where it looks like people have used a wood fire for smoking, is this a viable option?

 
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Hardwood is best, especially from fruit or nut trees. A little more difficult to maintain, but superior to briquettes.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:39 AM   #3
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^ +1 to this. Not only are wood chips cheaper than charcoal they taste a thousand times better. Soak some apple or cherry wood chips in water for 30-45 mins then use them. If youve soaked them long enough you can get them to smoke without lighting them on fire. Youll be converted like I was and never smoke with charcoal again!!!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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My pit is designed for cut wood,but I use a pile of charcoal toppped with chunks of wood most of the time. I have a lot of pin oaks on my property,& one ash tree that looks a lot like cottonwood. That one gives a nice light side of medium smoke. It tastes like salted spice,so I can cut the salt in the rub.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyWestBrewing View Post
^ +1 to this. Not only are wood chips cheaper than charcoal they taste a thousand times better. Soak some apple or cherry wood chips in water for 30-45 mins then use them. If youve soaked them long enough you can get them to smoke without lighting them on fire. Youll be converted like I was and never smoke with charcoal again!!!

Chips? I was talking logs.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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I use white oak logs then the last few hours start adding my soaked chips of whichever flavor I'm going for. White oak is fairly cheap and easy to get.

 
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
I always thought I used a lot of charcoal. When I used a verticle smoker it seemed like I would go through 10-12 pounds of charcoal for 6-8 hours. Now I have an offset smoker and it seems like I am using a tad more than before. Is this a normal amount or am I going through more charcoal than most other people?

I have also seen an occasional picture where it looks like people have used a wood fire for smoking, is this a viable option?
I have a Weber Smokey Mountain, which is a bullet style smoker. I like to use hardwood charcoal, I use Cowboy brand, because it is the best bang for the buck. I go through about 5-6 lbs (1/3 of a bag) for a 6-8 hr smoke session. I found loading up my charcoal basket to the max is more efficient and then when I'm done cut off all oxygen saving unspent charcoal for the next smoking.

I have used wood fire once and it was fun but needs a lot of attention. You need to burn the wood intro coals before you add it to the smoker, if not you will over smoke your meat.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:07 AM   #8
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Hi

A *lot* depends on your smoker, how much of a load you have in it, how hot you are trying to run, and how much it's snowing outside.

Well sealed gizmos like BGE's can run for a long time on very little charcoal. I figure that in about 20 years the charcoal savings will pay for it.

Bob

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:27 AM   #9
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Butcher, one thing about using your offset to burn logs (stickburner) is they require constant attention. Your fire has to be small and hot. If you load the sucker up with wood and have at it you will have to choke it off too much to maintain the temps you want, then in turn your fire burns dirty. White bitter smoke. Another thing is offsets use more fuel cause they are more inefficient than a vertical, that is something to take into consideration. Also weather plays a huge role in charcoal use with an offset. Especially if you have an inexpensive model that is made from thin steel. Wind and rain are the enemy. So to sum it up you probably are not using more charcoal per se as if you have a problem compared to others.


Home depot has their sale a couple times a year, two 13lb bag bundled for $5.88. I purchase my charcoal then for the whole year. 260lb on the cheap!! over in the BBQ forum guys buy it a pallets at a time...

 
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
Redcat
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It's 6.88 for two 13.8lb bags this week at Home Depot.

I guess that's the best I've seen this year, although I did get a 20lb for $6.99 earlier this year.

 
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