Often, when cooking with a smoker, you need to cook or smoke your food for hours at a time. This includes meats such as brisket and ribs. However, this can be difficult if you’re unsure how to maximize the performance of your cooking wood and ensure the fire burns efficiently for as long as required. Here are five ways to make your firewood burn longer.
#1 Pace Your Firewood
The absolute first step is learning how to best build your fire and keep it from burning out. While it may seem easy to just toss in a few logs and light them up, you want to start small and add on over time. While you may think adding a lot of fuel will mean a longer-lasting fire, you’ll actually just be making a bigger, more intense fire. Instead, gradually adding cooking wood as necessary will maintain a strong and steady heat for consistent, well-cooked results.
#2 Know the Types of Wood
The type of wood you use can alter the flavor profile of your meat and affect how much heat is produced . For example, post oak cooking wood is one of the most popular types because of its high BTU (the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.) . This quality ensures that oak cooking wood burns for longer than other types, providing long-lasting and consistent heat with less maintenance.
#3 Season Your Wood
Well-seasoned wood lights easier and burns with less smoke than uncured wood. Seasoning your wood is one of the best ways to make your firewood burn more efficiently , but it does require some long-term planning. Wood requires six months to a year for the sun and wind to adequately season it, depending on the climate where you live.
#4 Improve Airflow
Oxygen is crucial for maintaining a healthy fire. Good, consistent airflow will ensure your cooking wood burns hot and clean. So when you close the lid, ensure your grill’s intake is clear of debris and dust so that the airflow doesn’t become obstructed.
#5 Keep Your Grill Clean
Always keep your grill clean and clear of ash, soot, and debris from previous cooking wood. Ash and soot buildups can smother the flames of your cooking wood and hinder the efficiency of how well the heat transfers. The ash and soot can also clog up air intake and make it difficult for your fire to get the oxygen it needs.