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adauria

When to Add Smoke Wood

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So for a low and slow cook, I know you want the wood smoking around the time you put the meat on and for a bit after that. With my old Weber Smokey Mountain, I would just add the wood to the coals a couple of minutes before adding the meat. With my Kamado Joe, however, it's not so easy to add the wood just before the meat, since by the time I add the meat I've got the hot deflector plates and grill grates in place. I mean, I could try to find a place to put them down while they're hot, add the wood, and reassemble, but that would also throw my temperature off a good bit too, I'm sure. 

 

For my rib cook today (first low and slow), I tried to estimate how far the lit charcoal would spread out by the time I put the meat on, and placed the wood chunks there. It ended up going off a little early, but still seems to have provided enough smoke, maybe. I'll let you know after I taste them tonight.

 

In any case, wondering what the best method is for adding wood for a low and slow on the KJ without burning the wood too early. Thanks!

 

-Andrew

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Honestly, I haven’t found that it matters much if you set your vents right. 

 

If if you open your vents all the way after lighting, your wood can ignite and burn before the grill is up to temp if your wood was too close to where you started the fire. It’s because there is abundant oxygen to combust. 

 

I only open my vents about 25% when doing a low and slow smoke. The fire build slowly and gradually usually giving me a mature fire and heat soaked cooker by the time I’m up to target temp. My wood never ignites because I never really give it enough oxygen too. I also place the wood an inch or so from where my coals started. 

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14 hours ago, BrianAZ said:

I only open my vents about 25% when doing a low and slow smoke. The fire build slowly and gradually usually giving me a mature fire and heat soaked cooker by the time I’m up to target temp. My wood never ignites because I never really give it enough oxygen too. I also place the wood an inch or so from where my coals started. 

 

Thanks. That's about how I did it... took a solid hour to get to temp and stay there. Wood did start smoking well before it was stable and I added meat, but still, plenty of hickory flavor in the meat. 

 

-Andrew

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I let the coals start for about 10 min then spread a few chunks of wood around the un lit coals then add plates and grills then get it stabilized . If you get it stabilized then remove plates to add wood then add grates and plates you will see a temp rise due to length of time grill is open. Sounds like you were close to what you need. Look at John Setzler's smoke what you need to know . I don't think there is a must follow rules for the grill. Every cook i've had is slightly different Glad you ribs came out good. 

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I let the coals start for about 10 min then spread a few chunks of wood around the un lit coals then add plates and grills then get it stabilized . If you get it stabilized then remove plates to add wood then add grates and plates you will see a temp rise due to length of time grill is open. Sounds like you were close to what you need. Look at John Setzler's smoke what you need to know . I don't think there is a must follow rules for the grill. Every cook i've had is slightly different Glad you ribs came out good. 

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2 hours ago, adauria said:

 

Thanks. That's about how I did it... took a solid hour to get to temp and stay there. Wood did start smoking well before it was stable and I added meat, but still, plenty of hickory flavor in the meat. 

 

-Andrew


even if you don’t add wood, the charcoal itself will smoke until the fire is stable. Smell is a better guide if your wood is smoldering and temp jumps indicate it has ignited. 

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Oh for sure... I could very much tell the difference between charcoal smoke and hickory.

 

Thanks again folks!

 

-Andrew

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I always bury 3 or 4 chunks of wood around the bowl about 3-4” from the center, sometimes a few closer to the sides, and use a single alcohol soaked cotton ball in the center. Top and bottom vents wide open with the lid closed after 10-15 minutes the dome temp is usually around 290-300. I’ll put the deflector and grates in and the temp drops to 150-175. After another 10-15 minutes temp is back around 275 or so and I’ll close the bottom vent at least 1/2 way, maybe more, and the top vent all the way with the daisy wheel fully open (I have the original version. 30 minutes from lighting I have the temp I’m looking for and thin blue smoke. I’ve found sometimes unburned pieces of wood chunks. This process works for me low and slow, which for me is usually 265, or hot and fast. 

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