Normally we use charcoal in the BBQ

I want to use wood for BBQ and this may generate a lot of smoke. One way to handle it, is to first make charcoal from wood, and then use this charcoal to BBQ.

But is there any design for a BBQ that removes the smoke, so we can BBQ while burning wood?

  • Is your goal actually to barbecue food (long slow cooking method) or are you trying to grill? If its the former then you are looking for a low and steady heat source and this can be obtained (avoiding copious smoke) by burning wood at a smoulder. If its the latter, then I would say your best option for smoke control would be to just cook outside and let it happen. – Kaya Jun 23 '13 at 15:11
  • Coal? Do you mean charcoal, partially burnt wood? Coal smoke can often by toxic. Charcoal is safe for cooking on, if not a little boring – TFD Jun 23 '13 at 19:19
  • You cannot just use any piece of wood. Some wood gives off toxic smoke. Just be careful not too use any kind of wood. – Neil Meyer Jun 24 '13 at 12:28
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    @Neil Meyer - What wood would that be? – TFD Jun 24 '13 at 21:34
  • Rhododendron is toxic – Kaushik Jun 28 '15 at 19:53

I've never used wood myself, but I found this link that seems pretty good. It describes the different types of woods and how much smoke they produce or what flavour they add to the meats.

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The best BBQ's are wood fired, you get real wood smoke flavour. Anything else is just a just outside hotplate/grill, and might as well be electric

Using charcoal is easy and safe. A simple hack is to use some small pieces of strong smoke flavour generating wood on top of your charcoal when you are actually cooking

Smoke is all part of the BBQ experience, and after a little practice at fire lighting techniques, shouldn't become a big issue. Join the local Scout group as leader, and they will teach you how to make good cooking fires :-)

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  • Yes you are right. – DataMiner Jun 23 '13 at 21:15
  • It is even more easy if you use firelighters – Neil Meyer Jun 24 '13 at 12:29
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    @Neil Meyer - no way, who want petro-chemical smells in their BBQ? – TFD Jun 24 '13 at 21:34

Interesting question. I recently converted an old propane barbeque to a wood fire one. After removing the propane burners, etc. I cut a hole in the center big enough to fit the chimney of a rocket stove (home made) and attached it underneath. It easily reaches temperatures of 550 F and did splendid on the steak & potato test as well.

The stove's chimney is clean (no smoke) and only used a couple of handfuls of kindling size spruce to complete the task. Have made refinements and now have maxed about 750 F.

The only fly in the ointment is a fairly constant attention to the fire, not a bother if you are sitting nearby with an appropriate beverage :)

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    Rocket stove chimney straight to grill, or are you hitting a "pizza stone" or the old LP grill lava rocks before the grill surface? – Ecnerwal May 13 '15 at 1:50

I use a Webber kettle for both grilling and barbecue. I use lump charcoal (not briquetes, but it also personal preference). When I want to add smoke to the barbecue, I'll buy shredded wood chips in whatever flavor/species is necessary. Soak the chips for a good half hour before lighting the fire, fill the "fire basket" half-way with coals and light it up. When it is ready to cook, I pull the fire basket all the way to one side of the kettle, put the meat on the far side of the grate. I also mostly close the air-holes. This causes the oxygen in the grill to lower a bit so the fire burns slower. The last thing I do when putting down the meat is that I add a handful of charcoal to the fire basket and a handful of the soaked chips.

I then check the meat every half-hour and add a handful of both charcoal and chips until the meat is finished. If it is a large cut of meat like a pork shoulder or beef roast, I also use a mop sauce to keep the meat moist and to build up a layer of bark on the outside of the roast.

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  • "Layer of bark"? – TFD Jun 25 '13 at 22:39
  • @TFD, good question, edited. – Pulsehead Jun 26 '13 at 0:41

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