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In Reply to: smoking wood posted by chas on April 12, 2017 at 19:26:47:
I predominantly cook/smoke with maple because it is extremely common where I live (New England).
I will cut my own, and I favor maple that has been cut in the spring (when the sap runs) as it can smell extremely sweet when cooked with...can actually smell the maple downwind.
I cook with a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain cooker). I fill the bottom half of the fuel chamber with tight packed wood covered by a pile of Kingsford and start fuel with a handful (ouch) of lit coals on the top (similar to the minion method).
I will be felling a maple within a week or two. I spoke of 'tight packing' the wood on the bottom of my WSM fuel pile...when I am able to cut my wood myself, I lay the tree down and cut the trunk into 2 or 3 inch discs to use those on the bottom of the fuel pile rather than 'tight packing' individual pieces.
I will add hickory chunks to the maple. If I use a 'disc' I will first add a couple of large (fist sized) chunks on top of the disc before piling the Kingsford on.
Regarding my term 'tight pack'...I try to construct the wood component of my fuel pile in such a way so that the pile of wood can not freely 'breathe', because if it 'breathes' it will burn (out of control) like a campfire...not what you want in a WSM.
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