Kamado grills are instantly recognizable—you can’t miss a big green egg in someone’s backyard! Surprisingly, its shape isn’t the only thing that makes a kamado grill unique. You should use specific wood when smoking on a big green egg. Using whatever you have available might alter your food’s flavor or create tons of smoke. Read more to learn about the best wood for a Kamado grill, so you’re prepared for the next cookout!
What to Know About Using Chips and Pellets
Some pitmasters use woodchips on their kamado grill. Users spread these over the charcoal and soak them overnight in hopes of obtaining a long-term smoke. However, using these small pieces of wood isn’t necessarily the best idea. It turns out, chips can do more harm than good.
The Disadvantages of Using Chips
Kamado grills are all about temperature control. The last thing you want is for your temperatures to be all over the place, leading to unevenly cooked meats. For this reason, using woodchips or pellets on a big green egg isn’t the best decision. Woodchips burn too quickly, even when people soak them overnight. This soaking process produces more steam than smoke, which creates less flavorful food. Furthermore, when a kamado grill burns too quickly, there’s an increased chance of cracking.
Woodchips are also incredibly thin, meaning you’ll have to replace them more frequently on the grill. You won’t run into this problem when using other wood because chunks are thicker and won’t burn as fast.
What About Pellets?
You can also use pellets for a kamado grill. However, like wood chips, they aren’t the best option. For starters, pellets can quickly go bad. The last thing you want is for your BBQ to be affected because of bad wood. Also, it’s best to put pellets in a Tube Smoker to get the highest-quality burn. This requires a little more effort than just lighting the charcoal and getting that smell you want.
By now, you should know that woodchips and pellets aren’t the best wood for a big green egg. It’s important not to use something too small that’ll burn fast and turn into ash way sooner than expected.
Using Too Much Wood is Also a Problem
So, you know not to use too little wood, but is there a thing as using too much? The answer is yes! Continue reading to learn why grilling with too much wood in a big green egg can cause headaches during your next smoke out.
Using too much wood affects the quality of your smoke. How? For starters, using too much wood doesn’t give your fire the space to breathe. This leads to unclean burns and a bitter/smokey taste. If there’s anyone in the household that’s not a fan of the smokey taste, they’ll be very unhappy.
12-16-inch wood doesn’t work for kamado grills, either. The wood is too large and once again, doesn’t give the fire room to breathe. It’ll capture too much heat and absorb too much smoke.
In addition, using too much wood alters your ability to control the temperature. Since you’ll be dealing with different moisture contents, different densities and different size chunks, it’ll be nearly impossible to control the temperature of the kamado grill.
When using kamado grill wood, it’s best to mix it in with the charcoal. Placing the wood underneath the charcoal will create a clean burn, but it’ll take longer to smoke. Instead, evenly distribute the wood with the charcoal to get the most balanced outcome.
You might be tempted to throw a bunch of wood on your big green egg. Yet, it’s best to follow the “less is more” rule. Too much wood could lead to things quickly spiraling out of control.
The Perfect Size
So far, we’ve learned that using too little or too much wood will affect the quality of your food. So, what’s the perfect amount? Using 6–8-inch pieces of wood will help you achieve the best smoke possible. Continue reading to discover why!
Our 6-8-inch wood is perfect for portable pizza ovens and is the perfect substitution for wood chunks on a kamado grill. This size is ideal because they’re similar in size to wood chunks. Instead of having to buy full-sized firewood and cutting them yourself, why not get the perfect split by purchasing this size?
If you spread this size out strategically over the coal bed, you’ll get a nice even burn. Make sure to space things out, so everything is balanced. Consider getting 2-3 pieces of this wood for your next smoking journey!
Tips for Using a Kamado Grill
Now we know that 6-8-inch wood is the ideal wood for a big green egg. We’d be remiss if we didn’t overview a few basic kamado grilling tips so that you can perfect or start smoking today!
Not Preheating Long Enough
Kamado grills suck up heat. For this reason, they need to preheat for a while before using them. Wait about 10-15 minutes before placing your meat on the big green egg. It’s smarter to wait even longer if you’re cooking a pizza. Putting food on the grill right away will make it hard to reach the ideal temperature.
Controlling the Temperature
Again, Kamado Joes are all about controlling the temperature. If you overshoot where you want to be, the food you prepare will not taste right. Additionally, it’ll take a while for your kamado grill to cool down. So, it’s important to keep an eye on the cooker as often as possible. Start cooking at a lower temperature and allow the grill to slowly build up where you want it to be.
Maintaining the Grill
You should service your kamado grill and take care of it, so it lasts well into the future. Ignoring regular maintenance may lead to cracking or less-quality burns. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, seek help from a pitmaster.
Get High-Quality Cooking Wood Today!
After the start of this blog, you might’ve been wondering, “Can I use wood for my Kamado Joe?” It turns out, not only can you use wood on a kamado grill, but it’s integral to the smoking process. You need the perfect amount to get an even smoke and the most flavorful food possible. Consider using our cherry wood for smoking to get an even better taste.
Are you having trouble finding good cooking wood near you? Look no further than Hot Box Cooking Wood to fulfill your needs. Visit our shop page at the link below to view our full selection of premium 6- and 8-inch cooking wood.