too much smoke

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too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:08 am

Can you have too much smoke? A few times I have smoked meats, I have noticed a very bitter bad tatse...almost taste like lighter fluid, but I do not use lighter fluid. I have a brinkman smoke and pit off set smoker. Thanks.
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Re: too much smoke

Postby Txbbqman_1 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:16 am

what kind of wood are you using? This might help us answer the question better.
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Re: too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:17 am

sorry...using oak.....
Txbbqman_1 wrote:what kind of wood are you using? This might help us answer the question better.
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Re: too much smoke

Postby Txbbqman_1 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:24 am

Ok, there are different types of smoke, you can have billowing white smoke, black smoke, and almost transparent smoke.

The only one you really want to cook with is the transparent smoke, you should just barely be able to see it, you should smell it more than see it, if that makes sense.

Black Smoke = very very bad stay away from that.

Billowing white smoke can leave an off taste to the meat, not sure I would call it bitter, but my taste buds are different than yours so maybe that is the problem.

I guess the answer to your question is yes you can have too much smoke, if it is billowing white you need to let it settle down before you get the meat in there
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Re: too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:27 am

Txbbqman_1 wrote:Ok, there are different types of smoke, you can have billowing white smoke, black smoke, and almost transparent smoke.

The only one you really want to cook with is the transparent smoke, you should just barely be able to see it, you should smell it more than see it, if that makes sense.

Black Smoke = very very bad stay away from that.

Billowing white smoke can leave an off taste to the meat, not sure I would call it bitter, but my taste buds are different than yours so maybe that is the problem.

I guess the answer to your question is yes you can have too much smoke, if it is billowing white you need to let it settle down before you get the meat in there


ok, never do I get black smoke, but I guess I do get a heavy white smoke...how baout adding raw charcoal to my fire, what are the thoughts about that.....
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Re: too much smoke

Postby Txbbqman_1 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:54 am

you could start your fire with charcoal and then add wood later. The key is to get the wood burnt, if the wood is just smoldering it is gonna produce the white smoke, good air flow will help it burn...make sure all your vents are set so you get good flow. once it burns down and you have good hot embers the smoke will thin out. Now if you have to add wood, you are gonna get some white smoke until it gets to the ember stage, this is not necessarily a bad thing as it is gonna happen, and there is really only one way to stop it and that is to use a pre burn barrel, which I do not personally like, I have one but have only used it once because it used way too much fuel for my liking.

Also, I am sure you have thought about this, but make sure the pit is clean. Good Food comes from clean pits
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Re: too much smoke

Postby simon » Wed May 19, 2010 10:08 am

what Brad said.

Just start with fruit wood apple, cherry or what ya can get. It produces not such a strong smoke flavor. But the key is to get an nearly invisible, slightly blue smoke.
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Re: too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 10:11 am

Txbbqman_1 wrote:you could start your fire with charcoal and then add wood later. The key is to get the wood burnt, if the wood is just smoldering it is gonna produce the white smoke, good air flow will help it burn...make sure all your vents are set so you get good flow. once it burns down and you have good hot embers the smoke will thin out. Now if you have to add wood, you are gonna get some white smoke until it gets to the ember stage, this is not necessarily a bad thing as it is gonna happen, and there is really only one way to stop it and that is to use a pre burn barrel, which I do not personally like, I have one but have only used it once because it used way too much fuel for my liking.

Also, I am sure you have thought about this, but make sure the pit is clean. Good Food comes from clean pits


I actually do start with coal, I start it in a chimney starter, when it is good and hot, I put it in my offset box and add my wood....I then add wood as needed when I notice my temp dropping.....
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Re: too much smoke

Postby Gomeat » Wed May 19, 2010 10:20 am

Tx BBQ has got it right. Blue almost invisible smoke is the good stuff and it comes from a good airflow. If you try to choke the fire down to smolder in order to get more smoke you will get the formation of carbon molecules like creosote. This produces the "tastes like lighter fluid" effect. I've used light fluid for 30 years and no one has ever said that about my food, it comes from the smouldering wood, not the fluid.

So get some good air flow, nice clean blue smoke and you should be fine. And don't forget the wood should be aged just a little, not too green. Maybe one season old but still firm and hard.
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Re: too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 10:24 am

Gomeat wrote:Tx BBQ has got it right. Blue almost invisible smoke is the good stuff and it comes from a good airflow. If you try to choke the fire down to smolder in order to get more smoke you will get the formation of carbon molecules like creosote. This produces the "tastes like lighter fluid" effect. I've used light fluid for 30 years and no one has ever said that about my food, it comes from the smouldering wood, not the fluid.

So get some good air flow, nice clean blue smoke and you should be fine. And don't forget the wood should be aged just a little, not too green. Maybe one season old but still firm and hard.


ok will do, the only problem I run inot is when I open up the vent on my offsetbox, I get too much heat, temp gets over 350, so do I close it but not all the way?
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Re: too much smoke

Postby tex_toby » Wed May 19, 2010 10:25 am

Everybody has different tastes. What may be over-smoked for you may be fine for somebody else. You have to cook what YOU like. As already mentioned, try using fruit woods. The smoke flavor is much more light. Maybe that is your ticket. I smoke with oak and pecan often and have never over-smoked anything - to my tastes. Let us know what you try!

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Re: too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 10:27 am

tex_toby wrote:Everybody has different tastes. What may be over-smoked for you may be fine for somebody else. You have to cook what YOU like. As already mentioned, try using fruit woods. The smoke flavor is much more light. Maybe that is your ticket. I smoke with oak and pecan often and have never over-smoked anything - to my tastes. Let us know what you try!

tex :texas:


will do and thanks, I will say this my dad can eat cardbaord if he had to and that bad tatse is too nasty for even him.
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Re: too much smoke

Postby roaniecowpony » Wed May 19, 2010 11:22 am

I've read that the backyard sized offset smokers like mine (20 x 36) will work better and easier with charcoal for the heat and small amounts of wood for smoke. That's the way I've been using my new offset for the last couple weeks, over about 6 cooks now. 'seems to be working for me.

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Re: too much smoke

Postby kp33 » Wed May 19, 2010 11:39 am

roaniecowpony wrote:I've read that the backyard sized offset smokers like mine (20 x 36) will work better and easier with charcoal for the heat and small amounts of wood for smoke. That's the way I've been using my new offset for the last couple weeks, over about 6 cooks now. 'seems to be working for me.

Chuck


are you adding raw charcoal when heat is needed?
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Re: too much smoke

Postby roaniecowpony » Wed May 19, 2010 11:47 am

Yes.
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