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Wood chips for smoking and BBQ - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

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  • Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

    A question for all our smoking experts out there. We have access to fruit woods of all types and various hard and soft woods. We cannot get wood chips for smoking and barbequing. Can someone advise on a method of making our own or point me in the direction of a tutorial online. I am sure it is not as simple as going out with an axe and lopping bits off.

    Many thanks ........

    inishta

  • #2
    Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

    Inishta,

    Here, it's easy; there it might not be. Commercial tree cutting operations here use a gas powered device called a chipper to coarsely chop up limbs (at least if I don't get there first), and the size is just about right for smoking or BBQ. Alternately, for smoking at least, you can use chain saw dust. It's finer than what comes out of a chipper, but it does work.

    Jim
    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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    • #3
      Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

      I recently saw a picture of a well known pizza place in Naples, and they had a pile of wood chips under the oven where you would expect the logs to be. I did a google search for wood chip fuel, and it's quite standard in Europe, used the way that wood pellets are here. It seems that after they get the fire going, they keep it fueled and flaming by shoveling in wood chips.

      As Jim points out, tons of wood chips go to the landfill in North America every day. If there was a process to dry and de-leaf them, it might be a good source of fuel not only for smokers but for ovens and stoves.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

        You can de-junk a pile of chips in front of a fan to blow all the light stuff like leaves. Seperate the chaff.

        --mr.jim
        --mr.jim
        ---------------------------------------------------------------
        The real art of conversation is not only to say the correct thing at the right time, but also to leave
        unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
        ---------------------------------------------------------------

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        • #5
          Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

          Thanks all for the input. Sun-dried chips. So all I have to do is get an axe, take some branches, de-bark and lop off lots of bits. I will then dry these in the mediterranean sun and be 'good to go' as our US friends would say.

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          • #6
            Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

            Just noticed this post....I've used wood chips for years in the BBQ for smoked flavor. I find mesquite and hickory at Wal-Mart or Home Depot but have also found apple and alder at other places.

            Remember to soak them chips well before using and they'll last longer and provide more smoke. I'll soak for 2 to 12 hours.

            I custom built a stainless steel tube with holes in it so it would smoke more than burn. I but it low in the grill above the burners of my gas Weber.

            In the WFO the woods does the smoky trick!
            sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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            • #7
              Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

              Oh by the way I've seen both fine chips and big chunks used. I use the finer chips in my tube but the wet chunks should work on or near a fire.
              sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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              • #8
                Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                If you use chunks you shouldn't have to soak them. I have a competitive BBQ team and we debated this once and finally took a chunk a bit smaller than a tennis ball and soaked it for about 12 hours. We cut into it and the water probably penetrated less than 1/8th of an inch. It "steamed" a bit when we put it in the smoker, but no really difference. I do agree about soaking chips though.

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                • #9
                  Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                  Good info on chunks.

                  I think the trick is to get it to smoke more than burn if you can
                  sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                    XJ,

                    Ever use chainsaw dust? I've got tons of the stuff. Could it be used green, do you think?

                    Jim
                    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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                    • #11
                      Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                      Sorry Jim, it's too fine for smoking in the BBQ, maybe try some your pipe!

                      They do make some sawdust woodstoves I believe. It's fed into the woodstove....maybe that's a pellet stove though.

                      My Mom used to tell the story about trying to feed sawdust to the horse
                      ...just when they got it to eat the sawdust the damn thing died!

                      and watch that chainsaw, I've got 26 stitches, but that's another story.
                      sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                        and I do think you can use green wood though for smoking...try some apple branches.
                        sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                          XJ,

                          I was afraid you'd say that. Guess I'll just keep composting the stuff. I believe that in the interior of British Columbia (logging country) there are sawdust home heating systems, but I'm not sure how they work. Maybe a member from out that way could comment.

                          Jim
                          "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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                          • #14
                            Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                            Hi CJ..............sawdust burners have been used for a long time in the furniture industry in the UK to deal with waste. I assume that the same is true in Canada and the US. The offcuts are fed through a Hogger system to grind them and then stored in silos. There are also workshop sized stoves that may suit you. They are generally hopper fed. I'll see if I can scare up a link for you.

                            Just a word about composting dust. There are certain woods, like mahogony that are toxic in compost and could do more damage to plants than good......

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                            • #15
                              Re: Wood chips for smoking and BBQ

                              Hi CJ.................here's a link to a UK supplier. I'm sure you would be able to find someone in Canada. You've got a lot of forests there.

                              Greenheart workshop stoves - sawdust stove UK

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