Hello, new SM066 owner here. Just completed my first smoke. It was brisket and it came out wonderful. I used 2 ounces of wood and want to move up. I read where it is best to move up 1 ounce at time. My question is, does anyone who is smoking with two chunks of wood, burn one chunk for an hour or two and then add the second chunk or is it best do both chunks from the start. Why is one way better than the other?
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Conventional wisdom says meat will only absorb the smokiness until it reaches a temp of 140 degrees (which is also why the smoke ring only penetrates a few millimeters). Just a guess here but if you want maximum flavor the meat needs to be bathed in the smoke before it hits 140 so I don't know what you would achieve by adding more wood at a later time. I did that very early on, having come from an offset stick burner. What I ended up with was a bitter sticky mess, not edible. A waste. A stick burner is quite different. The smoke is subtle because the wood burns, not smolder.
Oldsarge is right, I think. For brisket in my Amerique, I usually do overnight cooks, which at low temp (185) prolongs the time the meat is below 140 when it stops absorbing smoke flavor. So I use about 3 - 3.5 oz of wood, usually in 2 - 3 pieces so the wood starts smoldering fast and keeps it up for a good several hours. I find it really helps to weigh your wood pieces and pay attention to their size and how fast they will burn during a long smoke. Oldsarge is also correct that too much wood in a CS electric smoker can bring disaster if you try to apply more smoke after the meat is 140F.
Thanks for the responses. I had never heard the distinction made between burning vs smoldering. It helps to understand that difference between stick vs electric smokers. I'm better prepared use my cookshack.
Meathead's article is interesting in itself, but is almost dismissive, and even denigrating, of electric smokers: "...inferior for most foods because it lacks the complexity that the combustion gases from wood or charcoal produce. " I disagree strongly. My AQ produces BBQ that rivals any I've had anywhere else in smoke flavor, I also disagree that the type of wood is not very important. I's not about the "flavor" it imparts, but about the flavor of the meat it produces, which in my mind is a separate thing. I think I'll stick to my: beef = pecan or white oak; pork = peach or apple; fish = alder (for salmon) or apple.
I'm happy with mine!
Meathead has good info regarding grilling and Q but he really does not fully appreciate all that a quality electric smoker can accomplish.
Thanks, Dave, for cleaning up stuff we can't even see!
Your are welcome Jay. Any time I see an inordinate amount of space between the end of a post and the nearly invisible time of the post, I drag the cursor slowly back and forth. It changes when it hits. Folks are clicking the 'A' down arrow to select a color that blends in or disappears into the background.