Originally Posted by Fatalis
Hey guys Im pretty new and I been smoking allot in 2012, I have a grill that I use and I used it as a smoker as well. Getting blue smoke was pretty easy but now for Christmas I got a Big Chief smoker.
For some reason this big chief is only producing white smoke. The wood chips should last a hour but the really thin chips burnt black in 25 minutes. I used thicker wood chips that lasted 30 minutes until black, wetted them to see if I could get any difference, I used thick wood chunks, I used one wetted large wood chunk which lasted awhile but produced thick white smoke. The smell is gagging when I am changing the wood when usually the smell of blue smoke is sweet and pleasing.
Any tips on getting that blue smoke out of the big chief?
Also, I read somewhere that getting the heat hot enough helps for blue smoke, but if it is too hot doesn't that just produce white smoke since it is burning too fast?
The "Big Chief" smoker will not produce large amounts of the thin blue you speak of because of it's limited size. The only combustible materials are your wood chips which burn from your heating element. When wood chips first ignite they will give off white smoke (normal for electric smokers) until they turn to black charcoal. At that point you will have your invisible thin blue smoke until they turn to nothing but gray/white ashes.
The other thing to look at is your wood chip container... Is it too close to the element that causes them to burn too quickly, or can it be adjusted just a little further away so that the wood chips slowly burn over a longer period of time. Try foiling the chip tray to slow down the rate of combustion.
Although the "Big Chief" can hot smoke and cook some items, it was mainly designed as a cold smoker (top vent open - slightly down) so that it does have a good airflow to reduce heat and cold smoke foods.
Keep in mind that jerky is a dried meat product and it can be cold smoked in the drying process to add flavor. But smoking the whole time may yield an over powering smoke flavor especially if you keep adding wood chips.
Never wet your wood chips, they will produce poor combustion in that small smoker.