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My first use of my 008 was ribs, which were excellent. However, I used three small pieces of wood from the starter pack, and after the four hours, one piece was nothing but ash, one was about half gone, and the third was just blackened.

I am about to start a large brisket (14 lbs) which means possibly as much as 20 hours. It would seem (logically) that the wood will be long since gone, and the smoke will have long since stopped. I have read that the smoke is no longer effetive after the meat is about 140 (or so I recall) so do I just forget about it, or do I use some good fireplace gloves and add some wood?

Ben in Pittsburgh
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I pretty much fill the wood box. Maybe 10oz of hickory or a mixture of oak and hickory. I've never had a shortage of smoke on my briskets, but the smoke coming out of the smoker will diminish(but not stop completly) after about 10 hours or so.

Don't use 10oz of mesquite though. Way too much.
Thanks for the help. I ended up putting four small pieces of wood in, half pecan and half hickory. Couldn't find a small scale, so I had to fake it a bit -- figure it is a bit more than 4 oz., but there is a lot of meat in there, so we shall see.

These forums are great for those of us starting out in the smoking world. Couldn't do it without the help from so many Q'ers out there.

Will report on the results sometime tomorrow.

Ben in Pittsburgh
It's all personal preference. Yes, the theory is the smoke will stop penetrating around 140 (I still haven't found proof) but the outside will ALWAYS continue to take on more. That's why people have creosote buildup from too much smoke.

You can always experiment. I don't recommend the 10 oz that Todd does for the average user on their first try. We get lots of "over smoked" comments from 3 or 4 oz, so if you go that route, just be careful. Start with 2, then 4, then 6, etc.

You can also add wood in during the smoke, just be careful that the firebox will be very hot.
I agree with Smokin'. I was a little vague in my response. Brisket will take a lot of smoke is what I was trying to say. I like a lot of smoke on a brisket, more so than any other meat I cook, so I indulge myself and load it up. But I would suggest that you know your wood and tastes before doing that. 10oz of mesquite would likely kill me, and even though I like hickory, 10oz would be pretty strong there as well. The oak is hard to over use so I go with a mixture of it and hickory, but your tastes may and will vary. Also, I usually do two briskets at a time, or a combo of brisket and shoulders, so in addition to a full wood box, I also have a pretty full smoker.
Some woods burn hot and fast and others burn slow. My favorite combination for brisket is a 50/50 mix of mesquite and white oak. The mesquite gives a lot of strong smoke in the beginning and white oak is great for long smokes. This wood combination gives a killer flavor to brisket. I have found that white oak is a great mellowing wood, which is good for a strong wood like mesquite.

There is a difference between red oak and white oak. Both are good and I would consider them medium in smoke, but red oak is stronger than white oak.

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