Thursday, July 27, 2006

Red Oak and Cherry Brisket

Q: Jeff this is probably a stupid question, but I am planning to smoke some ribs Sunday with some red oak and cherry from my wood pile. Should I have flames or should the wood smolder? I have a hard time keeping the flames down with the damper open more than a third.

A: It really depends on how big your smoker is.. some smokers are so large that only real live flames will give you the heat you need to maintain 225 in the smoke chamber. For smaller smokers, I recommend only live coals with pieces of raw wood for smoke.

The only thing I can tell you is to make sure you have plenty of airflow to prevent creosote. Red oak is a really good wood and so is cherry so it should go fine.

I do recommend pre-heating the wood if possible. I stack my wood on top of the firebox and it is almost smoking by the time I put it into the firebox. That helps a little.

The way I define small smoker vs. larg smoker is in whether it is mounted on a trailer or not. If it is small enough to roll around on its' wheels or by hand then it is considered a small smoker. If it is mounted on a trailer to be pulled behind a truck then it is considered a large smoker.

Visit and for hundreds of great tutorials and guides on smoking meat.

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