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May 30, 2012 08:43 AM

Where to Find Wood Chunks for Smoking


I'm purchasing a Smokenator to convert my 22" Weber kettle grill into a smoker, to try my hand at some ribs and brisket this summer. The go-to smoking wood is apple, hickory, oak, etc., but ideally it is in chunks, not chips.

I can find wood chips at home and garden stores in LA, but not chunks of wood. Any idea of where I should look?


Smokily yours,

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    1. One of the apple vendors at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market on Saturday sells apple wood chunks. It's $5/bag but I'm not sure how it weighs.

      2 Replies
        1. re: TonyC

          I bought a bag of that this past weekend. Usually you want your smoke wood to be somewhat aged if not kiln dried. His chunks (as you can see in the picture of your link) are fresh cut.

      1. Southbay firewood carries several varieties of chunks.

        Also the woodpile next to JNJ BBQ on Adams often has small pieces, but usually only oak.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dclay

          OOh! Oak is my preference, and I don't live that far from JNJ.

          Thanks for the leads, all!

        2. I would suggest doing a web search for "firewood in Los Angeles" and then making some calls to see if they have the kind of wood chunks that you want.

          1. I've seen chunks as well as chips in the home and garden stores etc...

            3 Replies
            1. re: JAB

              If the smoke wood has a lot of exterior bark like in the photo linked above, I'm a little worried (maybe unnecessarily paranoid) about pesticides potentially being smoked into my meats. So I try and make sure if possible that it comes from an organic source. Sometimes tricky at a home or garden supply, but worth the try. At the very least, it's always good to soak or rinse off your smoking wood

              1. re: LATrapp

                I understand from reading copious amount of BBQ related material that you don't want to use the bark, because it contains resins that impart bitterness and other nastiness.

                1. re: EarlyBird

                  I 've used the bark off my own 'Shaggy-Bark' hickory trees, and it does put off a very strong and somewhat bitter flavor. I like it but dial it back when serving others.