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Customer complaint for wood too dry.

SamT1

SamT1

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I moved pastures the other day and got into some really nice “grey wood” standing dead trees that have been dead a long time. Wood is the kind of stuff people beg for for cooking wood. Customer I dropped it off to for bbq says it’s burning up over night and his pit is cold in the morning.

the pasture I was in before had lots of standing dead wood also, but I was clear cutting so I’d probably send 15-20% green wood in every load. No green wood in the new place. I’m wondering if he was chunking a couple green chunks on the smoker at night. I’ve seen him throwing them on the steak fire, he says they coal up better and stay ready a lot longer so they don’t have to babysit it on a busy night.
I guess I need to buy a moisture meter.
 
SS396driver

SS396driver

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I dont use real dry wood in my smoker . Mostly like 1/2 the dryness of seasoned wood. Burns slower therefore longer and the moisture driven out the wood acts as a humidifier inside the smoker.

I use mostly cherry . Sometimes I throw it in the woodstove if it gets to dry
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

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Depends on what kind of smoker he has...

But if he's trying to go overnight with an stick burner without tending the fire, he's not very good at smoking. Also not wanting dry wood is a dead give away that he's not very good at it either. Stick burners need to be tended to every hour at the absolute least. You should be holding temps by the size of fire you're burning not by building a HUGE fire and choking it down. This creates dirty smoke. Dirty smoke is not good BBQ.


Also...soaking wood for smoking is a complete and utter waste of time. If you have smoke rolling out of your smoker, you're not doing it right, at all. Extremely dry wood is exactly what you want in a stick burner. You don't want smoldering wood, you want hot clean burning fire the entirety of the cook. This includes when you add splits to the fire. The most smoke you want out the stack of a stick burner is very light blue whispy smoke. Most of the cook there should be no smoke just heat coming out of the stack. The faster those splits catch flame the better. if they sit there and boil water out the end grain and smoke like crazy, you're getting dirty smoke and that's NOT good BBQ. The only people that think more smoke == more better are people that have no idea what they're doing with a smoker. I'm sure this will bring out a few 'know it alls' to tell me about how everyone raves about their BBQ and they always cook with lots of wet wood and lots of smoke... It always does, I can't wait...
 
SamT1

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He loads it at 9 and expects it to be 150 in the morning. Usually works with wood that’s not bowling pin dry.
 
Marley5

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The big BQ restaurant in town uses 100% white Oak.
I ask him why not apple or Cherry ?
He said product demand requires BTU's for long periods......he does very well.
 
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SamT1

SamT1

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Well...that's just not smart IMO.

That's not how you make great Q.
His is pretty descent, above average bbq joint. Ribs are really great, play with anyone’s. But yea I prefer to eat the steak or the hamburger steak is excellent.
Either way the dude buys a cord a week so I’m gonna keep him happy. This is all mesquite wood.
Pecan would be king, but it would be quite a chore or very expensive to source a cord a week around here. Oak bbq tastes funny to me.
 
SamT1

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The big BQ restaurant in town uses 100% white Oak.
I ask him why not apple or Cherry ?
He said product demand requires BTU's for long periods......he does very well.
Yea I’d suspect sourcing a real amount of cherry or apple is horribly tough. Unless your buring 1 stick a batch in a gas smoker. That’s how most bbq joints operate.
 

U&A

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The big BQ restaurant in town uses 100% white Oak.
I ask him why not apple or Cherry ?
He said product demand requires BTU's for long periods......he does very well.
Oak is common around here for restaurants. Some also use hickory with it. Iv never seen a restaurant that is making a LOT of smoked meat use anything but that.

The small guys use things like cherry and apple.


Beef and pork take oak and hickory well. Cherry and apple is better for fish, chicken, turkey IMO


I got a propane smoker as a gift a few years ago. Hate it. Tried using charcoal for heat in it. The thing is just way to inconsistent .

I use a nice webber now. Love that thing for small smoking jobs.


Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

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His is pretty descent, above average bbq joint. Ribs are really great, play with anyone’s. But yea I prefer to eat the steak or the hamburger steak is excellent.
Either way the dude buys a cord a week so I’m gonna keep him happy. This is all mesquite wood.
Pecan would be king, but it would be quite a chore or very expensive to source a cord a week around here. Oak bbq tastes funny to me.
Yeah, at a cord a week, sell him whatever he wants.
 

sb47

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I moved pastures the other day and got into some really nice “grey wood” standing dead trees that have been dead a long time. Wood is the kind of stuff people beg for for cooking wood. Customer I dropped it off to for bbq says it’s burning up over night and his pit is cold in the morning.

the pasture I was in before had lots of standing dead wood also, but I was clear cutting so I’d probably send 15-20% green wood in every load. No green wood in the new place. I’m wondering if he was chunking a couple green chunks on the smoker at night. I’ve seen him throwing them on the steak fire, he says they coal up better and stay ready a lot longer so they don’t have to babysit it on a busy night.
I guess I need to buy a moisture meter.
Take it from me a guy that lives in Houston, home of the largest most famous bbq cook off competition in the world. There is a bbq joint on almost every street corner in the state. As Texans, we know bbq.
The best bbq joints don't put wood directly into the bbq pit. They have a fire pit out back and burn there wood down to coals then transfer the coals to the bbq pit.
NEVER EVER put ANY mesquite directly into your bbq pit, Mesquite is a grilling wood, it MUST be burned down to coals before it's moved to your bbq pit.
I've been selling wood to competition cooking teams and bbq joints for over a decade and I get all kinds of request, and complements. All bbq pits run differently depending on size design, Also wind direction and air temps plays a big role in how a pit functions. bbq pits like a fireplace or stove has a draft and that draft will change with wind direction changes. The size of the firebox and the size of the wood you use in it also plays a big role in how it will operate. Unlike charcoal when cooking with wood your always going to get more heat and cool spikes no mater what kind of pit or wood you use. People don't understand the drafting effect that wind plays in how a pit operates. Shifting winds makes it harder to maintain an even temp for a given amount of wood you load in the fire box. Everyone has to experiment through trial and error in order to get the best fire possible, from the pit they are using.
The ideal fire will put out a almost clear smoke that is almost invisible. What smoke you see coming out the stack should be a clear bluish smoke that is almost invisible. You should see little smoke and what smoke you do see should look more like just a shimmering heat wave with almost no smoke at all. That means your fire is burning the most efficient it can. The dryer the wood the cleaner the smoke will be. If you have white smoke coming out the stack, your fire is burning too cool and that white smoke is un burned fuel and will create more creosote witch will make your meat bitter. Meat will only absorb so much smoke before it seals and covers the outside bark with creosote. Cooking with strait wood does require more attention and more frequent loading of wood.Adding ANY green wood to make it burn longer will simply create more creosote and white smoke and more creosote. Learning to get the fire rite is the key to good bbq vs great bbq. Making great bbq is an art and the key is keeping and maintaining the correct fire. People are lazy and want to overload the firebox so they can sleep all night. Thats there biggest mistake, because it creates that white creosote smoke you need to avoid.
The key is the fire and the size of the wood you feed compared to the size of the firebox it needs to maintain that clear blue almost invisible smoke. When you add a new piece of wood to the firebox you will always get some white smoke for a few min till the dry wood starts burning properly. People think by adding more wood it will burn longer, and it will, but it's not gonna burn efficiently and make too much white smoke. Making great bbq requires constant attention to the fire and how it's burning. Some pits work better and will hold heat longer and the fire will burn longer depending on design. Laze cookers never have great bbq, it's the ones that have taken there time and done there experiments to make there pit run it's optimal. Many of the great cookers have two fire pits and start the wood in a separate fire pit and once the fire burns down to coals and will then transfer the coals to the pit. They almost never throw a raw piece of wood directly into the firebox on the pit to avoid any white smoke. The proper fire is an art and must be learned through trial and error.
A proper fire will only burn right for a shorter time. People confuse a bbq fire with a fire for the house stove. Thats where they are making there mistakes. All the champion teams I have worked with swear by this method. They also don't cook with one type of wood. They mix different types of wood. They use a combination of wood types of wood, They may use some different oaks, pecan, hickory, mesquite to create a different flavor profile. They almost never use one type of wood exclusively. Different wood types add different flavors, just like different rubs do.
Explain to them these techniques and I guaranty there bbq will not just be good, it will be great. Enplane that it's the art of the fire that is the key and to stop being laze when they are cooking.
The last thing is a good pit needs to be used on a regular bassos. A pit will go stale if you only use it once a month. It you haven't used it lately they need to run a fire for a few hours and give it a good cleaning before they start cooking.
 
cuinrearview

cuinrearview

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Soaking wood before you cook with it makes it smell like an old house fire. It stinks like chit.
Only people that don't know what they are doing do that.
Lol, sounds like you know from experience. I don't have that issue in my WSM but I've never used a stick burner.
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

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Lol, sounds like you know from experience. I don't have that issue in my WSM but I've never used a stick burner.
I don't think it smells any worse personally, but all it does is delay the wood from burning properly. The fire evaporates all the water out and then it starts burning like it would have if you would have just left the wood dry. So it does't accomplish anything useful. Save your time soaking them and just toss them on.
 
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