Barbecue (alt.food.barbecue) Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-07-2009, 01:34 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
jj jj is offline
external usenet poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 99
Default Wood vs Charcoal?

A newbie question about wood vs charcoal. (lump not briquets)

Is the main advantage of charcoal that all the sap/creosote/"low
volatiles (aka wrong or harsh/rough smoke) have been burned off
already so these won't contact your meat and impart undesireable
flavors?

So by adding water soaked wood chips, the BBQer can better control the
timing and amount of the "right" or "smooth" smoke?

Does this mean that most/all "serious" BBQers who use wood first burn
the wood down to coals away from the meat and then transfer the coals
to the smoker?

I've got a lot of smaller mesquite cuttings and now I am thinking I'll
burn em on a scrap steel plate and then shovel the coals/embers into
the ECB.

Hey I'm learning!

JJ

  #2 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-07-2009, 02:24 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
external usenet poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 260
Default Wood vs Charcoal?

On Jul 16, 5:34*am, (jj) wrote:
A newbie question about wood vs charcoal. (lump not briquets)


Doesn't sound that newbish actually. Not many wood users here that I
can tell, I'm very much a neophyte using wood, hell, don't have the
space or wood regularly available or to make a burn barrel to burn
wood down to coals, though I'd sure like to. So take my observations
for what they are, just a fellow wood newbie.


Is the main advantage of charcoal that all the sap/creosote/"low
volatiles (aka wrong or harsh/rough smoke) have been burned off
already so these won't contact your meat and impart undesireable
flavors? *


That's one, lump's also a bit more uniform and easier to use for more
applications, e.g. grilling.


So by adding water soaked wood chips, the BBQer can better control the
timing and amount of the "right" or "smooth" smoke?


Well, it depends on the type of lump you buy, my local stuff tends to
be left a bit raw, with a bit of wood in it and it can actually
produce a bit too much smoke. No wood chunks or chips wanted.

And then there's the cut of meat you're cooking. IMO you can't
oversmoke something big like a brisket or butt, and since these two
cuts also take the heat well they're prime candidates for raw wood as
they've taken the two downsides to using raw wood, heat and smoke, out
of the equation.

Does this mean that most/all "serious" BBQers who use wood first burn
the wood down to coals away from the meat and then transfer the coals
to the smoker?


That's my impression.


I've got a lot of smaller mesquite cuttings and now I am thinking I'll
burn em on a scrap steel plate and then shovel the coals/embers into
the ECB.


Mesquite? Don't know nothing about the weed. Mebbe some Texan does.
Though as bitter as the lump can be, I have to imagine raw mesquite
could be too strong to use.

Let us know! bg

  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-07-2009, 09:02 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
external usenet poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,624
Default Wood vs Charcoal?

jj wrote:
A newbie question about wood vs charcoal. (lump not briquets)


Well, charcoal IS wood; just in a different state.

Is the main advantage of charcoal that all the sap/creosote/"low
volatiles (aka wrong or harsh/rough smoke) have been burned off
already so these won't contact your meat and impart undesireable
flavors?


That and the fact that it has more reliable burn properties in terms of
control and flare ups, etc.

So by adding water soaked wood chips, the BBQer can better control the
timing and amount of the "right" or "smooth" smoke?


HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What that does is add clouds of smoke and creosote.

Does this mean that most/all "serious" BBQers who use wood first burn
the wood down to coals away from the meat and then transfer the coals
to the smoker?


'Serious' bbqers will use whatever they want, but know how to properly deal
with the strengths and weakness of the fuel. A lot of folks will use wood
that has been burned into some sort of charcoal state. Coal is what is
pulled out of the earth.

I've got a lot of smaller mesquite cuttings and now I am thinking I'll
burn em on a scrap steel plate and then shovel the coals/embers into
the ECB.


That could work, but chances are that most of the usable btu will be burned
off. It works best with larger rounds and splits of wood.

Hey I'm learning!


That's the spirit JJ. Keep plugging away. I really suggest that you take
the time to read the FAQ:
http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq2/toc.html



--
Dave
What is best in life? "To crush your enemies, see them driven before
you, and to hear the lamentation of the women." -- Conan


  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-07-2009, 10:27 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
external usenet poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 11,293
Default Wood vs Charcoal?


"jj" wrote in message
...
A newbie question about wood vs charcoal. (lump not briquets)

Is the main advantage of charcoal that all the sap/creosote/"low
volatiles (aka wrong or harsh/rough smoke) have been burned off
already so these won't contact your meat and impart undesireable
flavors?

So by adding water soaked wood chips, the BBQer can better control the
timing and amount of the "right" or "smooth" smoke?

Does this mean that most/all "serious" BBQers who use wood first burn
the wood down to coals away from the meat and then transfer the coals
to the smoker?

I've got a lot of smaller mesquite cuttings and now I am thinking I'll
burn em on a scrap steel plate and then shovel the coals/embers into
the ECB.

Hey I'm learning!

JJ


I use wood because I have plenty of it. I do though, burn it down to coals
first. Wood just takes longer and it a bit less convenient for most people,
compared to opening a bag of charcoal.

I never use water soaked chips. Too easy to overdose with sooty flavor and
creosote as compared to a clean burning log or coals. Even in the winter, I
grill steaks over the coals in the wood burning stove. Use chunks of wood
instead. Wood is readily available to most people if you are willing to put
a little labor into it. Any friends do woodwork? Scraps of cherry, oak,
maple, etc, are great for smoking. Check out the fruit orchards at tree
trimming time. Or the crews clearing electric lines and ask for a branch or
three.


  #5 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-07-2009, 11:12 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
jj jj is offline
external usenet poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 99
Default Wood vs Charcoal?

Thanks to everyone for their replies. Especially your inclination not
to water soak wood chips.

I think I'll do the pre burning of wood to coals outside the smoker
and avoid that harsh, bitter smoke. I think this will be a key
knowledge point for me.

JJ (eyeballing his large sage bush - thinking of adding small bits
for smoky sage flavor)


  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 17-07-2009, 03:49 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
external usenet poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 224
Default Wood vs Charcoal?


On 16-Jul-2009, "Dave Bugg" wrote:

jj wrote:
A newbie question about wood vs charcoal. (lump not briquets)


Well, charcoal IS wood; just in a different state.

Is the main advantage of charcoal that all the sap/creosote/"low
volatiles (aka wrong or harsh/rough smoke) have been burned off
already so these won't contact your meat and impart undesireable
flavors?


That and the fact that it has more reliable burn properties in terms of
control and flare ups, etc.

So by adding water soaked wood chips, the BBQer can better control the
timing and amount of the "right" or "smooth" smoke?


HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What that does is add clouds of smoke and
creosote.

Does this mean that most/all "serious" BBQers who use wood first burn
the wood down to coals away from the meat and then transfer the coals
to the smoker?


'Serious' bbqers will use whatever they want, but know how to properly
deal
with the strengths and weakness of the fuel. A lot of folks will use wood

that has been burned into some sort of charcoal state. Coal is what is
pulled out of the earth.

I've got a lot of smaller mesquite cuttings and now I am thinking I'll
burn em on a scrap steel plate and then shovel the coals/embers into
the ECB.


That could work, but chances are that most of the usable btu will be
burned
off. It works best with larger rounds and splits of wood.

Hey I'm learning!


That's the spirit JJ. Keep plugging away. I really suggest that you take

the time to read the FAQ:
http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq2/toc.html
--
Dave


I may be steriotyped for life for agreeing with Dave Bugg, but so be it.

Good post Dave.

--
Brick said that.


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gas grills vs charcoal and Lava Charcoal Rocks or tiles or flavor bars etc? markm75 General Cooking 31 14-05-2007 05:11 AM
Gas grills vs charcoal (and Lava Charcoal Rocks or tiles or flavor bars etc)? markm75 Barbecue 11 12-05-2007 06:15 PM
Caldera Del Fuego wood and charcoal smoker D. Winsor Barbecue 0 13-01-2006 01:22 AM
Wood used commercially vs charcoal Ray Steinhart Barbecue 28 23-10-2004 06:15 PM
Wood chunks or charcoal? Buck Barbecue 10 15-05-2004 02:30 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2017 FoodBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Food and drink"

 

Copyright © 2017