Getting wood ready to burn in a wood fired smoker or a “stickburner” as we call them, is a really good trick to know and it is as simple as placing several sticks of wood on top of your firebox.
When you need to add a stick you simply take one off with a pair of gloves or tongs and place the already hot and possibly smoking piece of wood into the firebox. It will burst into flames almost immediately and give you a lot cleaner smoke right from the start.
I like to have an assortment of small and medium sized sticks so I can choose one or the other depending on what I need when the time comes to add some wood to the fire.
Note: Do not leave the smoker unattended in this manner since the wood can very likely burst into flames right on top of the firebox. That is not a bad thing if you are watching it but left alone it could be unsafe especially if you have little ones around who might find it quite interesting.