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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-02-2012, 10:24 AM   #16
columbia1
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I had that problem once this year at a comp, in about 10 minutes the whole tops of my chicken were covered in black soot, turned out to be a new batch of apple wood I just received. The wood was dry but it just did not want to burn right, I 86ed the whole batch. Problem solved.(it also had a funky smell, perfumey)
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Unread 12-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #17
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I had that issue with some oak at a comp as well, same thing lots of smoke and smelled perfumey as you described. But I am still having this issue even with some apple I got from a friends tree. Hence my confusion.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nucornhusker View Post
I've had black "gunk" drip from the top of my cooker before, it's not that. It's a fine black powder.

The food isn't covered with it, but it looks like it was "lightly seasoned" with it.
Sometimes if tending the fire too aggressively - will jostle sparking embers and ash rising into the smoking chamber.
Tend not to just chuck a split into the fire causing a dance of sparks.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #19
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husker...not sure, but if it's not soot, I would think it almost had to be ash??....but can't explain the black powder part. I was having an ash problem and then found that the bottom of my cook chamber had pulled away from the firebox and I could actually see the wood lying on the grates. I sealed with refractory cement and problem solved.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #20
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agree with bandit also. I had to start using a "lighter touch" when adding wood.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 02:07 PM   #21
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One word: DRAFT

A stick burner HAS to have a strong draft.

Compare it to the fireplace in your living room. If you were to close off the damper and light a big fire, what is going to happen?

Everything in your living room will get covered in soot/ashes, and your house will fill with smoke.

Same thing happens in the cook chamber if the air flow is weak.

The biggest contributor I found to poor draft is a leaky firebox. (assuming exhaust vent is open 100% of course).

Fire needs oxygen to survive, and like everything else, it will pull air from any source it can find.

If the firebox is not sealed well, then the fire can pull smoke from the gaps around the lid, between the firebox and the cook chamber or anywhere else it finds an air gap.

So now you have a fire going strong, and smoke (TBS or otherwise) coming from the exhaust.....however if the fire is ALSO pulling air from around the fire box, the air flow (draft) through the cook chamber will be low. If the draft is weak, soot & ashes will land on your food as it lazily drifts by.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #22
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I cooked some chickens last night to show you the problem I'm having and they were perfect. So now I'm even more confused.

Guess is just need to cook even more (if that's possible).
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Unread 12-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirPorkaLot View Post
One word: DRAFT

A stick burner HAS to have a strong draft.

Compare it to the fireplace in your living room. If you were to close off the damper and light a big fire, what is going to happen?

Everything in your living room will get covered in soot/ashes, and your house will fill with smoke.

Same thing happens in the cook chamber if the air flow is weak.

The biggest contributor I found to poor draft is a leaky firebox. (assuming exhaust vent is open 100% of course).

Fire needs oxygen to survive, and like everything else, it will pull air from any source it can find.

If the firebox is not sealed well, then the fire can pull smoke from the gaps around the lid, between the firebox and the cook chamber or anywhere else it finds an air gap.

So now you have a fire going strong, and smoke (TBS or otherwise) coming from the exhaust.....however if the fire is ALSO pulling air from around the fire box, the air flow (draft) through the cook chamber will be low. If the draft is weak, soot & ashes will land on your food as it lazily drifts by.
Thank you SPL! I think you may have found my problem. My firebox is draftier than I would like it to be. This is probably the issue.

Thank you so much. Off to get some high-temp silicon I guess.
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