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Wood Chips For Smoking

jamesm May 29, 2009 07:00 AM

I managed to get my hands on a new Brinkmann combo smoker grill for 50 bucks and can't wait to try it out. Any ideas where I can get wood chips in the Queen West, Parkdale area? I'm also looking for a decent meat thermometer too. Thanks in advance!

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  1. DockPotato RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 07:10 AM

    You should find it at Canadian Tire in the fishing department at $3.99 a bag - Cherry, Maple, Hickory and Mesquite. Strangely, they have smaller bags for more money in the their BBQ section.

    1. Teep RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 07:16 AM

      That's a good price! was it a sale and where can I get one?

      Canadian Tire carries various kinds of chips if all else fails.

      1. Kagemusha RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 07:40 AM

        Though not next door, the apple orchards on the GTA's fringes usually sell apple wood--$5-8 buys a fair sized bag.

        1. c
          calikoala RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 07:40 AM

          if you have a bass pro shop around, go try the Jack Daniels wood chips. If you like Jack, you will surely like the flavor these chips impart upon whatever you smoke... WARNING!!! don't stick your nose into the bag and smell unless you want to pass out from the extremely good smell.

          5 Replies
          1. re: calikoala
            jamesm RE: calikoala May 29, 2009 07:47 AM

            Is there a Bass Pro Shop close to the Queen West neighbourhood? I have no idea what a Bass Pro Shop is.

            1. re: jamesm
              embee RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 07:49 AM

              There's only one and it's at Vaughan Mills.

              1. re: embee
                jamesm RE: embee May 29, 2009 07:51 AM

                Yeah, a little bit of a hike from Queen West. Thanks embee.

            2. re: calikoala
              Googs RE: calikoala May 30, 2009 06:02 AM

              Doesn't Crappy Tire sell Jack Daniels wood chips? They used to sell the rest of the JD line.

              1. re: calikoala
                kchurchill5 RE: calikoala May 31, 2009 06:58 AM

                JD chips are great I just used them on my pork yesterday. Great flavor.

              2. e
                ebay3392 RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 07:54 AM

                For decent thermometer, I would recommend the Maverick ET-73 DUAL PROBE thermometer...I bought mine on Ebay...most people make the mistake of relying on the thermometer on the dome or lid of their smokers...this temperature is not the same temperature at the grill level, and with hot air rising, it could be 25-50* DIFFERENT than what you are intending to cook at. I cannot stress this enough....I was turning pork shoulder, a forgiving meat to smoke into dried out shoe leather before discovering this...cooking times were way past what the recipes were intending....plus...you have dual probe, one for meat, one for smoker level..you can set Mins and Max's on this wireless unit so you dont have to sit and watch it...for instance, brisket i find less forgiving than pork and can dry out if temp spikes...I set at 225 degrees and set a min of 210 and a max of 235...unit beeps if over min and max. works up to 100' away so i can work while smoking and tending to it only when i need to with the probe in front of me. I also have played around with wood chips....mesquite good for steak grilling only imho, i like apple/ hickory / cherry for chicken, maple for pork for maple so easy to get.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ebay3392
                  jamesm RE: ebay3392 May 29, 2009 08:03 AM

                  Thanks for the advice. I'll look into a dual probe. The heat thermometer on the dome of this unit only indicates warm, ideal and hot or something like that so a termometer is a must.

                  1. re: jamesm
                    ebay3392 RE: jamesm May 30, 2009 06:11 AM

                    No problem, you have to be more precise on the cooking level...especially with those units as if the heat starts spiking or dying down you need to know...do you have a chimney charcoal starter unit? Great little invention...i always have charcoal in one and wood in another going as reserve...crumple newspaper underneath and let it go....also it rains everytime I bbq and throws curve balls at me..oh yeah, rain not a good thing, temp plummets...no reserve coals and you got a major interruption on your hands. Rain worst than snow and gale force winter winds in my opinion....bbq thru it all.

                2. c
                  camper88 RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 08:10 AM

                  The "Queen West" part of the question is the hard part of the question.

                  There's a great place up highway 400 at Langstaff road called Ontario Gas BBQ they call themselves the world's biggest bbq store) and they've got a wide selection of woods.

                  www.bbqs.com is the web site.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: camper88
                    jamesm RE: camper88 May 29, 2009 08:21 AM

                    Would a place like home hardware carry them? There's one on Ronces that is close to me. Or perhaps Healthy Butcher?

                    1. re: jamesm
                      camper88 RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 09:30 AM

                      Very likely you could get wood chips at Home Hardware. I'd call first. Or check Craigslist and see if anyone's selling them in the area. There may be a guy with a woodchipper who's doing it, I've seen that before.

                      1. re: jamesm
                        goodcookiedrift RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 10:59 AM

                        Hey dude, Home Hardware on Roncesvalles carries chunks and chips. I used to buy there until i started stick burning.

                    2. m
                      msprnt RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 12:46 PM

                      not to take away from the original post, but what about cedar planks?.... for salmon?...

                      i've seen them at loblaws, but are they always there?..... and is there a "better" place to get them?

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: msprnt
                        jayt90 RE: msprnt May 29, 2009 01:52 PM

                        Softwoods like cedar, fir, or pine are not usually recommended for long slow smoking, as there is a build up of resinous or turpentine-like smoke transferred to the meat over several hours.
                        A quick grill/bake of salmon is fine on cedar, as it finished in 20 minutes or less. And you should get the softwood planks at a grocery or a specialist, so that the planks are not adulterated. They will be cheaper in the big box stores.

                        1. re: jayt90
                          embee RE: jayt90 May 29, 2009 04:03 PM

                          While I'm certainly aware of the "no softwoods" dictum, I've used cedar for many years.

                          I think of cedar "planking" as a form of vapour flavouring, rather than as an actual smoking method. However, I use cedar shavings in the wood mixture when I'm smoking a pastrami - a few oz by volume. The unadulterated version of this is sold - rather unappealingly - in pet shops as "hamster litter".

                          The price of cedar planks in food and BBQ stores is outrageous, especially since cedar is noted for its natural resistance to insects and rot, and doesn't ever need to be treated. However, I second the comment to avoid cedar sold as building supply wood, since you can't assume its safety.

                          1. re: embee
                            goodcookiedrift RE: embee Jun 1, 2009 11:51 AM

                            Honestly the cedar planks you buy at the grocery store are just planed and re-packaged cedar planks meant for building. They're not specially treated nor are they specifically cut for food planks.

                            Just ensure if you are using cedar from a lumber yard it doesn't have any impurities on it (like ink stamping).

                            1. re: goodcookiedrift
                              jayt90 RE: goodcookiedrift Jun 1, 2009 12:01 PM

                              The dedicated planks in the supermarkets or specialty stores promise pure cedar. If you go to a lumber yard the cedar may have been treated with insecticides or fungus (rot) inhibitors. Unless labeled pure by the manufacturer, the lumber yard product is suspect.

                              1. re: jayt90
                                kchurchill5 RE: jayt90 Jun 1, 2009 12:55 PM

                                Mine are 100% un treated cedar and I have been using them for 10 years. I love them. Just know the lumber yard. I get a 8' and cut in 4 pieces.

                        2. re: msprnt
                          Tatai RE: msprnt May 30, 2009 06:45 AM

                          Costco is now selling cedar planks. A package of 6, good size, too: 7" x 16". Can't remember the price, but it was not outrageous.

                          1. re: Tatai
                            jayt90 RE: Tatai May 30, 2009 07:37 AM

                            I think $11., and nicely finished, too.

                            1. re: jayt90
                              msprnt RE: jayt90 Jun 1, 2009 09:22 AM

                              whoa, that's perfect!! .. i hope 16" is big enough ..... i'm planning to do whole fillets of 9 lb salmon .....

                              1. re: msprnt
                                kchurchill5 RE: msprnt Jun 1, 2009 12:57 PM

                                I takes 2 of mine for my 10 lb. I usually have 1 or 2 that are longer.

                        3. i
                          insideman RE: jamesm May 29, 2009 02:13 PM

                          nikolau at queen and bathurst has a wide selection of wood chips ie cherry, alder, apple, hickory, mesquite.

                          1. Davwud RE: jamesm Jun 1, 2009 05:23 AM

                            Every Home Hardware or Crappy Tire I've been to has chips. Some have chunks.


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Davwud
                              jamesm RE: Davwud Jun 1, 2009 06:32 AM

                              Thanks for the replies. Ended up grabbing some at Home Hardware on Ronces and my pal brought over some from Canadian Tire. Healthy Butcher does not carry them but said they were considering it for the future. In other news smoked meat is really, really good.

                              1. re: jamesm
                                garlicandwingnut RE: jamesm Jun 1, 2009 02:26 PM

                                Is Nikolau still at 629 Queen West?
                                They used to have wood chips including the good ones from Cook Shack.

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