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Old 06-25-2008, 02:09 PM   #21
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Cured Almond wood produces a sweet smoke...Green wood I would becareful with..might be a bit bitter...
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:27 PM   #22
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This is definitely very very dry almond wood.

What do you mean when you say sweet, i.e., the meat actually has a sweet taste after being smoked?

In your opinion what would this wood be best used with?
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:22 PM   #23
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Sweet as opposed to some of the more distinct flavored woods like Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan..."Delicate' might be a better word...Sweet as opposed to bitter.

Almond wood would be good for all meats...Beef, Pork, Chicken, etc.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:33 PM   #24
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Kitchenelf posted a link for what woods go with what foods some time ago.

As for using cedar - cedar is usually used for "planking" for salmon, but it works with other fish like trout. Instead of the cedar being used for the fire source, it is usually used as a plank, like a shingle, on which the food is cooked. But, it can also be used as the fire source - but most people object to the bitter resinous flavor. I did find a rather interesting use for red cedar - out of necessity one weekend ... marinate a steak in peach or apricot brandy for about an hour and grill over red cedar coals ... interesting combination of sweet and bitter flavors.

I really wish I could find the site I found 3-4 years ago on the temperatures produced by different woods - and how to mix them for different flavors and temps. If I remember correctly - mesquite burns the hottest .... but I can't remember what the temps for the other woods were. I know that the pitmaster at a place here in town told me a few of his secrets ... one of them was to use "some" mesquite to up the temp when he was using oak or hickory ... and he used pecan and other fruit woods for flavor.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:52 PM   #25
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Thumbs up Mesquite Charcoal

Randal, that mesquite charcoal burns HOT AND FAST. I use it to grill steaks with. Look for the Cowboy charcoal at Home Depot. It seems to be a summer thing with them. I could not find it there until May. Also for smoke wood, they had bags of Hickory chunks. Almond is a good wood for smoking, don't try walnut as that is very overpowering in my experience. Also since you are new at this, as i was last year, may i recommend watching the temperature closely the first couple of times you use this.

A good way is to sit outside, enjoy the GREAT California Sun, read a good book,and drink some really good beer. Makes the time go by faster and the food taste better.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:09 PM   #26
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Well I finally got around to doing the baby back ribs. Here is where I am in the process.

I lit the lump charcoal (using one of the large weber paper starter stands) and after it was white I put in in the firebox. The vent was full open on the firebox and in the cooker section as instructed.

The temperature never got above 200, but I started the ribs anyway.

They seem to be cooking nicely, but I've had to add three more handfuls of charcoal to keep the temperature at 200 degrees.

OK, I'm still trying for 225 degrees, but guess the next step is to add maybe two handfuls of charcoal??

I did put in a little mesquite wood chunks, but they seemed to burn up quickly.

I am enjoying doing this, so I don't care if it takes all night.

Sure would like to get this temperature right without overdoing it like I did the first time with wood.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:14 PM   #27
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Another point: I have both the firebox and smoker air vents open all the way.

I was thinking about closing the fire box box vents, but that seems counter intuitive to raise the temperature.

So what should I be doing next to get the temperature up to 225?
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:12 PM   #28
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OK, I lit another weber container of normal charcoal and after it was hot I added it to the lump charcoal.

Bango, right up to 250 degrees.

So doing this smoking thing is a learning process with the equipment you have.

Cheers.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal View Post
OK, I lit another weber container of normal charcoal and after it was hot I added it to the lump charcoal.

Bango, right up to 250 degrees.

So doing this smoking thing is a learning process with the equipment you have.

Cheers.
BRAVO !! Way to go Randal...I came here to tell you to do just that...More fire is needed....Now that you are running 250* you can let her go, or if you want too... close down the intake vents on the fire box a little to get the temperature down to 225* You and your cooker are getting aquainted!!

Have Fun!!
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:34 AM   #30
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Man, did I learn a lot today.

And the ribs, well they were the best that I have ever cooked.

Smoking is so much better than indirect.

And like everyone says, you just have to get acquainted with your rig.
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