Author Topic: Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?  (Read 1462 times)


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Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?
« on: February 15, 2017, 10:48:48 AM »
I have read on several threads about using foil to wrap your wood.  I haven't seen a thread directed specifically at that technique.  I understand that the purpose of using this technique is to reduce the amount of oxygen available.  Reduced oxygen prevents the wood from combustion, and promotes smoldering of the wood thus increasing the time of smoke production.

My #3 should arrive tomorrow and I am thinking of adding several tests using foil covering the wood.   Would like any suggestions any of you might have.  I am one who likely enjoys more smoke flavor [Hickory] than the average guy.  So, after reading lots of posts here, I am just thinking I will want to find some ways to increase the smoking time in my #3.  Of course, I haven't used it yet, so I understand some experimentation will be necessary to get the taste I want. 

I just ordered some hickory and sugar maple from the folks at G&H Products [SMOKINLICIOUS].       

I have lots of scrap cherry, oak, maple and alder.   Also, a couple of 40 gallon bags of mixtures of residue from my jointer, planer, drum sanders and saw.  Has anyone tried using this kind of waste wood in a Smokin-It smoker?  I live in Oklahoma City.  Our relative humidity hangs around the 50% range.  I just ordered a moisture tester from Amazon ... however, my guess is the moisture content of this scrap wood is somewhere between 10 and 20%.

Some questions I have about wrapping wood are the following: 
a.  How tight do you wrap the foil around the wood ... is it loose or fairly tight.
b.  How much of the wood do you cover with the foil wrap ... 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 etc.
c.  Has anyone tried enclosing the whole piece of wood in a loose wrap [like a tent] then punching holes in the wrap.

Any suggestions would be welcome.   I have to admit that this is about like being a kid and tearing the ends of the wrapping on a Christmas present when I was a kid.

Claire and Walt's Underwater Adventures and Photography.
Oklahoma City

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Re: Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 11:09:22 AM »
From past conversations on the topic, everyone reports a little different areas as their hot spots in the wood box.  When you do your burn in you will get to see which chunks turn to complete ash while others stay a solid charcoal chunk.  One can use a combination of methods to control combustion, foil boat, wood placement in the box or even setting temperature of the first phase of the smoke a little lower.  I have found that for my smoker just laying a piece of foil over most of the holes in the bottom of the smoke box and using the chip screen that I have no combustion issues with even 0% moisture wood.  Almost all of my wood is tree trimmings that have been stored long enough to be dry.  I save all me table saw waste from cutting hardwood for my cheese smoking.  As for tenting, yes, I've used that technique as well with a piece of foil under and over the wood and it works.  Just play with your smoker and try a few different things until you land on what is working well for your smoker.  The folks that buy the brand of wood you ordered don't seem to use anything because the moisture content is high enough to prevent combustion.
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Re: Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 02:20:28 PM »

I tried tenting and wrapping with foil up until I ordered a box of wood from Smokinlicious.  I stopped messing with it once I switched from the bone dry bags of wood.  Now I just weigh out what I want and put it in the smoke box.

I was amazed at how much of a difference it made by using wood with the proper moisture content.

Use the included wood to season your new #3, then bust out the Smokinlicious for that 1st smoke.

These smokers are super easy to get great results once you have the proper supplies on hand.  I have truly embraced the "Lazy-Q" philosophy.  Great results are very simple if you let them be.
Travis from North Central Oklahoma
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Re: Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 06:45:50 PM »
I've never been a big fan of foil wrapping my wood. Too much of a hassle for my Lazy-Q lifestyle. ;)

If I am using low moisture content wood I ramp up my smoker (30-45 minutes at 150, then up to my smoking temp) and that has resolved all of my combustion (AKA belch) issues. I never really had that many issues with it even with lower moisture wood. But, the ramp-up process resolved it for me.

Like many others, since moving to Smokinlicious wood, I don't have to ramp-up, but I usually still do unless I am in a hurry.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.


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Re: Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 10:25:01 AM »
I use smokinlicious wood and still put a layer of foil just on the bottom of the wood chunks. Ditto about testing your smoke box to determine where the hot and cool spots are. On mine, the very front of the box is a cooler spot that doesn't work well.
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Re: Using foil to wrap your wood techniques?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2017, 12:05:04 PM »
I put a piece of heavy aluminum foil on the bottom of the wood box and then don't punch out the holes the full size.  I'll use the same piece of foil until it gets messed up enough that it's no longer functional.  This lets me control any combustion and still be lazy.
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