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Thread: Burying wood chunks under Charcoal in WSM difference in smoke and flavor?

  1. #11
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    Harry has showed different placement and amount of wood over years. So do other interweb people.

    I cooked some chicken once....that came out way too smoky. My son said he smelled like smoke after eating it..... Every now and then you got to step off the edge of cliff to know where it is. I done that with salt in rub too....

    When it comes to some things, less is more. Smoke is one of those things imo. Just like Harry says. Clean hot coals, trace of smoke. Avoid the acrid white smoke at all costs, especially when outside of meat is wet. And dont let smoke overpower meat
    Last edited by MartinB; 01-11-2019 at 11:15 AM.

  2. #12
    TVWBB Diamond Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    I've done both. If I'm doing a really long brisket cook I might do both at the same time. A few chunks buried and few chunks on top. I agree with Martin that Harry has shown different placements over the years. The buried chunks just happens to be what he's doing now along with Hot and Fast.
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Slow N Sear 2.0, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

  3. #13
    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    Timothy is right. The meat can accept smoke flavor during the entire cook. Which is the reason why BBQ can be over-smoked.

    He is right to state that this doesn't apply to the smoke ring. If you believe Greg Blonder, then you can develop the smoke ring until the meat reaches 170F (140F according to others). If you believe myoglobin is responsible for the smoke ring, then you have to ask at what temperature does the tertiary structure of myoglobin thermally denature. And the answer is between 86 and 158 F internally in the meat. What that means to me is that the meat can accept gases that create the smoke ring, but as it cooks, it loses it ability to do so. That ability ends somewhere between 140 and 170 internally....I guess.

    Oh, and I add my wood chunks to the bottom against the grate. Make smoke ring first. Add smoke flavor later, if at all necessary.
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  4. #14
    TVWBB Diamond Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    Donna,
    If the temperature of the smoke ring stops at 140 or 170 and you are measuring temperature in the center of the meat, surely the temperature at the surface where the smoke ring is forming, must be higher? So that early period has to be pretty crucial regardless of the temp it stops.
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Slow N Sear 2.0, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

  5. #15
    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin Dorsey View Post
    Donna,
    If the temperature of the smoke ring stops at 140 or 170 and you are measuring temperature in the center of the meat, surely the temperature at the surface where the smoke ring is forming, must be higher? So that early period has to be pretty crucial regardless of the temp it stops.
    Oh absolutely Dustin. That is very clever of you to pick up on that. It does matter a whole lot. As such, it is important to get the carbon monoxide and nitric oxide gases going from the beginning. Kingsford happens to produce a lot of it so that kinda explains why Harry always get these crazy looking smoke rings in his classes. Just keep in mind you might be compromising your smoke ring should you use lump or pellets.
    22", 18", 18", 18", 14", copper kettle

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    Thanks. This is great.

  7. #17
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    I have been throwing the wood on top of the fire all along. Last weekend I put a few chunks on first against the grate because of this thread. I think you get more smoke flavor buried,and I will probably do it that way from now on. I used about the same amount of wood i usually do,but the smoke taste was stronger than usual.
    Throwing it on top,it probably gets more air and burns. Where with it buried it probably smolders putting out more smoke. I bet burying it will give you more consistent results as long as the wood chunks actually get burnt. ( I use a temp controller,so the fuel by the fan burns first. It isn't unusual for me to have a lot of unburnt fuel)(the side opposite the fan). I know it was just one try,but i am certain I could tell the difference.

  8. #18
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    For what its worth Ill add my 2 cents. I usually bury a couple chunks and recently have been adding a couple small chunks to the charcoal chimney. Using the Minion method and having wood chunks fully burning and producing good clean smoke right from the go has been great for me. Give it a shot next time.

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