Flavor Pro: Using Different Fuel Types
This blog will introduce each of the different fuel types that you can use in the Flavor Drawer, tell you how much of each should be used, and give some suggestions on when to use each!
The majority of these wood products are intended to be used for indirect heating or cooking, meaning they should not be placed directly under your food. For best results they should be placed only in the Wood Product Zone furthest away from your food.
Important Note: DO NOT use instant start briquettes because they typically contain lighter fluid and DO NOT use lighter fluid to start the briquettes
You can use either Charcoal Briquettes or Lump Charcoal in the Flavor Drawer. Some people prefer to use lump charcoal because it is all natural and produces less ash but is more prone to temperature spikes.
Others usually use Charcoal Briquettes because the will provide uniform temperatures and a consistent cooking experience time after time. If you want to use Briquettes, be sure to NOT use the ones that are coated in lighter fluid.
Typically, you will be using about 2 lbs (approximately 30-40 briquettes) of charcoal in the Flavor Drawer. You never want to use more than 3 lbs (approximately 50-60 briquettes) and you should only use that much when you are setting up for high temperatures or searing.
Depending on how much you put in the Drawer, your charcoal should be lit and ready to go in 8-10 minutes.
Make sure that you do NOT use any lighter fluid with the charcoal when you are lighting it on the Flavor Pro.
Wood chips are small pieces/chips of wood that are great for quickly adding nuanced flavor to your cooks. They are readily available at most grocery stores and hardware stores and come in a lot of different flavors from hickory and mesquite to apple and pecan.
When using wood chips, you only want to use about 5 ounces of these at a time over LOW heat/flames.
You can use wood chips in the Flavor Drawer while you are cooking with gas or sparingly sprinkle over charcoal that isn’t directly under your food.
Be sure to soak your wood chips for about an hour before cooking or they’ll ignite and burn up pretty quickly.
Depending on how much you put the Drawer and how soaked they are, your chips should be lit and smoking in 4-6 minutes.
Wood chunks are the same principle as the wood chips but they come in bigger, more substantial pieces that won’t burn up as quickly and do a better job of smoldering and smoking.
They are also, readily available at most hardware and grocery stores and come in a lot of different flavors like pecan, apple, cherry, and hickory.
Just like wood chips, you can soak them in water but you don’t have to.
You’ll want to use about 16 ounces of wood chunks at a time over LOW-Med/Low heat/flames if cooking with gas or you can place a few pieces next to charcoal that isn’t directly under your food.
Depending on how many wood chunks you put in the Drawer, your chunks should be lit and smoking in 4-6 minutes.
Usually wood logs are reserved for BBQ pits or offset smokers, but not anymore! As you would expect, Logs burn longer and give off the most wood smoked flavors.
You only want to use Wood Logs for indirect cooking over Low-Med/Low flames. The flames they give off can be unpredictable and while the flavor is more intense so is the potential to burn your food.
Wood logs can sometimes be a little harder to find. A limited assortment can be found at Home Depot or your local hardware store.
Look for food grade flavored logs specifically for barbecuing. This is NOT the same kind of log you would use in a campfire or fireplace.
Wherever you source your logs, you want to make sure they are 3 inches in diameter or less and are split into pieces that are about 7 inches or about the length of your hand.
We recommend only using one 3 inches in diameter log at a time. You want to make sure you aren’t using too many logs or logs that are too big or you risk burning up your food and potentially your grill.
If loaded properly, your wood log(s) should be lit and smoking in 10-12 minutes.
If you have a pellet grill and have some pellets laying around or see an exotic “blend” of flavors at the store you want to use, you can use them in the Flavor Drawer as well.
Just like the smaller wood chips, these smaller, but dense pieces of wood can ignite and burn up quickly so only use about 8 ounces over LOW heat.
Depending on how much you put in there and since they are a little more densely packed, your pellets should be lit and smoking in 7-8 minutes.
So to recap on the cooking times:
- Gas ready in 3 minutes
- Charcoal ready in 8-10 minutes
- Chips and Chunks ready in 4-6 minutes
- Wood logs ready in 10-12 minutes
- Pellets ready in 7-8 minutes
Adding wood products to the Flavor Drawer not only gives you lots of options for cooking, it also gets you real smokehouse flavor in a gas grill! Get the Flavor Pro today to get pro-level flavor in your food.