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Importance of Moisture->Moisture Table

Do's and Don'ts Tips:

1.DON'T use lighter fluid to start the fire, unless you want your food to taste like a chemical.

2.DO start the fire with only a small amount of charcoal. Too much will result in too much heat.

3.DO use hardwood natural lump charcoal. Use brands that are all natural and/or no additives.

4.DON'T open the lid on the cooker constantly! Opening the cooker's lid allows more oxygen to the fire. You need to shut off the air supply to the fire when you want to bring the cooking temperature down.

5.DO use woods sparingly when cooking. View the wood as just another cooking ingredient. Remember - you can always add more wood but you can never take away what has already been added.

6.DO experiment! Every palate is different. Don't be afraid to mix different woods to find a unique flavor.

7.DO keep ingredients for rubs, sauces, and mops fresh. No ingredient should be kept for more than 6 months.

8.DO purchase meats with the bone-in. Bone acts as a heat element; it absorbs heat and then transfers it into the meat, allowing for more even cooking.

9.DO marinate meats a minimum of 6 hours. That includes use of a dry rub. This is called seasoning the meat.

10.DO soak wood chips prior to using them. This allows the chips to smolder and create smoke, not become a heat source.

11.DON'T use woods with the bark-on. The bark is like the skin of the tree - it is intended to absorb all the impurities of the tree like resin, mold, spores, larva, etc.

12.DO store all woods in a dry, cool location that is out of direct sunlight. Remember, wood needs to breathe so don't seal it in a bag or other container.

13.DON'T overuse woods that are high in lignin content (the glue that binds the wood molecules to each other), as they tend to burn hot. These include: Hickory, Mahogany, Ironwood, Locust, Oaks, Persimmon. These woods require restricted oxygen supply or higher moisture levels. You can lower the combustion level of these woods by soaking them before placing them on the fire.

14.DON'T throw away wood because it has had a color change. Be sure you can differentiate between true mold and the natural color change of wood (mold generally can wipe off or smear).

15.DO consider sanitizing wood prior to throwing it away or burning it for heat. You can easily sanitize wood by mixing 1.5 oz. of bleach to 3 gallons of water. Be sure the wood is completely covered for 2 minutes, prior to removing and allowing to drip dry.



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