How Do I Start My Wood or Charcoal Fire?


fire starting teepeeFire is the cornerstone of any smoking experience. The burning wood pro­vides the heat that cooks the meat and the smoke that flavors it. Building your fire correctly is an important step in making excellent barbecue, and there are several methods you can use to start a fire.

1. Tee-pee Method with Kindling

The traditional method of fire building is known as the tee-pee method. This simple combination of kindling and wood is useful for pit smokers and campfires alike. The idea is simple; a vertical cone of wood surrounds a pile of kindling. The vertical shape of the tee-pee allows the fire to naturally grow upward. This method is effective because it allows for a high level of airflow to feed the flames.

To start a fire with the tee-pee method you begin with two balled-up sheets of newspaper. Next, you will take the smallest kindling available and build a tripod over the newspaper. From there you will build a tee-pee shape by carefully adding more kindling to the tripod. As you add more wood, slowly begin mixing in larger pieces of wood. Light the newspaper and allow the kindling to catch fire. Eventually, the kindling will form coals large enough to add logs and build a sustainable fire from the burning wood. Continue reading

Can I Use Old Dead Limbs for Smoking?


barbecue fireCherry, ash, hickory, mesquite, apple, oak, peach and pecan—the list of woods you can use for smoking goes on and on. The fact that there is such a wide range of woods suitable for smoking means that, if you’re lucky, you might just have a tree on your property that will work perfectly the next time you plan on making a deliciously smoky brisket or pork butt. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to use any old wood branches you get out of your yard as it’s important to make sure the wood is in proper condition before putting it in your smoker. While there are better wood sources available, if you want to take the risk go ahead.

In this sense, you might be wondering whether those limbs you trimmed out of your apple, oak or other tree a few years ago are still suitable. To answer this question, it’s necessary to look in greater detail at the characteristics that make a piece of wood good for smoking. Continue reading

Understanding BTU Content in Smoking Woods


stacked wood burningThe key to understanding the BTU content in wood is all about understanding density.

Remember the old trick question, “Which weighs more: one ton of bricks or one ton of feathers”? The answer, of course, is that they weigh the same, one ton is one ton. But it would take a lot more feathers to create one ton of weight than it would bricks because of the difference in density between the two objects.

The same is true for wood. Generally speaking, one pound of wood is going to produce the same BTU content regardless of what type of firewood it is. But the way that it will burn will be vastly different depending on the type of wood because of density. Continue reading

Which Wood for Smoking Meat?


ham-knife-eat-food-deliciousIf you love the taste of smoked meat, sooner or later, you’ll probably want to try making it yourself. However, the world of smoking can seem pretty daunting at first. Maybe you’re still at “square one” wondering “What’s the best wood for smoking?” Well, we’ve got some tips for you.

Best Woods for Beginning Smokers

If you’re new to barbecuing and smoking meat, a few safe bets are:
* Oak
* Cherry
Continue reading

What Wood Not to Use for Smoking


wood-burning fireChoosing the right wood for smoking is something that a lot of people obsess about when they are learning how to smoke foods. However, it is equally important to know which wood to avoid. As they say at Bon Appétit, “some woods just aren’t meant to smoke food.” The following tips provide information about wood to avoid when smoking food.


Avoid wood from conifers such as pine, redwood, fir, spruce, cypress, or cedar. These trees contain high levels of sap and turpenes, which results in a funny taste and can make people sick. Cedar planks are popular for cooking salmon, but don’t burn the wood for smoke. Continue reading

Tips for Smoking Meats


wood for smokingSmoking meats are considered a scrumptious art form for many smoke-masters. There are unlimited ways to change the flavor and tenderness of smoked meats. The results are based on the smoker, temperature, length of cooking time, type of wood for smoking, meat, and seasoning. Smokers are designed to cook at a lower temperature for long periods of time. The result is a tender flavorful cut of meat that is sure to delight your taste buds. The temperature and length of time that smoked meats are cooked vary considerably. or more details, see this very detailed Smoking Times and Temperatures Chart.

It may seem complicated and overwhelming to begin smoking as a hobbyist. Although, it can be simple when you break down the steps and materials. Starting with the type of smoker, there are numerous types of smokers that you should consider. Electric smokers can be a great asset if you do not want to keep charcoal or propane on hand. Some electric smokers will load smaller amounts of wood at a time. Since electric smokers do not have the wood directly on the fire, pre-soaking is not recommended and a simple water spray is best. Continue reading

At Your Home or Restaurant, How You Stack Your Firewood is Important

Restaurants cooking with wood know that properly stacked firewood burns better

Properly stacked firewood burns better

Here at Wisconsin Firewood Co., we love a good barbecue, especially when the weather’s getting cooler and the meat is slowly cooked over wood. Our fellow barbecue enthusiasts will be excited to learn that they no longer have fire up their backyard grill or embark on a long journey to a rural smokehouse in order to sink their teeth into tender, wood-smoked meat.

Appreciation for wood-fueled grilling or barbecue is migrating from the country and small towns into major metropolitan areas, and restaurants cooking with wood are popping up throughout the Midwest. Here is a list of fine restaurants in Wisconsin that will leave your mouth watering uncontrollably. Continue reading

How To Start A Wood Fire


burning wood wood fireThe economy is having problems. The cost of living is almost more than the average family can handle. During the winter months, your budget is stretched even further with the costs of heating your home. Escalating electric and gas prices have people looking for alternatives to staying warm. Enter the cozy wood fire. No longer simply for ambiance, fireplaces and wood stoves are becoming the main source of heat again for many people looking to save money while keeping a warm home. As an added bonus, if the power goes out in a storm and you are burning wood, you still have heat, light and a way to cook. Wisconsin Firewood can help clear the confusion. Continue reading

What Is A Cord Of Wood?


cord of woodPortions are without a doubt the most important thing when ordering firewood, so understanding the terminology we use is paramount in your buying experience. A cord of wood measures 4’x4’x8′ (4 feet x 4 feet x 8 feet). This means it has a volume of 128 cubic feet from edge to edge of a loose pile. The amount of solid wood however varies depending on how it is stacked, and the size of the pieces. For our firewood it averages about 85 cubic feet of solid wood.
Continue reading