Grilling with Wood
Over the Labor Day Weekend, I was looking for a new way to cook a Tri-Tips roast. In the BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen, which is a very good book by the way, he has a section on using wood to cook as the primary heat source, instead of charcoal.
I decided to cook the roast indirectly using hickory wood chunks surrounding a drippan. I figure from the size of the meat, 3 pound, about 1.5 to 2 hours would be needed to get it to an internal heat of 160 degrees.
I started the wood chunks in a chimney, got them heated up, and put them in my Webber kettle. Put the meat on the grill, opened all the vents, top and bottom, full, and set back drinking beer, while watching the UK-UL football game.
After an hour, I opened the lid to check on things, and found that the wood was gone, burnt away. I finished the roast on my gas grill, as my wife and kids were pretty tired of waiting.
I went back and reread the BBQ Bible regarding cooking with wood. I couldn't find any reasons why it didn't work. So I have a few questions that I hope someone can answer;
Has anybody cooked with wood chunks the way I tried?
Should I have soaked the chunks first, similar to the way I do for smoking?
Did I not use enough? Since they burned fast, maybe I needed more chunks than I thought.
I was hoping to get a "smoke" flavor in the meat, without the time it would take in my smoker. Was my approach incorrect, and should I stick to charcoal or a smoker in the future?
Thanks in advance.