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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
Fatalis
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Default Sweet blue question

Okay so I am having trouble with my big chief smoker, I am messing around with it making sure I have good air flow but the smoke just always smells plain bad. After reading and watching some videos they say that at first there is thick white smoke and then proceeds to blue. So am I just not waiting long enough? I let them smoke for about 45 minutes and the thick smoke goes away and is left with no smoke.

Is this period of no smoke really blue smoke? I mean I cannot see it or smell it, or is the wood just done?


I really think my big chief is too hot.....maybe I have one that is malfunctioning?


Im running out of ideas. I used my 2 grills as smokers before and the entire backyard would smell like sweet blue it was wonderful. So this is pretty frustrating that Im having problems with my first smoker
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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To me, clear smoke that you can't see is perfection. That's what I aim for when I cook BBQ.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
Lake Dogs
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+1 it's very, very, very thin, to the point where it's clear. My guess is that IS your sweet blue.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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But it takes 45 mins to get there and it doesn't even smell good. I go outside and try to smell it and it smells like a burnt shoe.


What does your wood look like when you switch it out? Is it complete ash, black?
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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Yep, sweet blue will show up even when it's "invisible" but you have to get the right angle of light on it. It's thin, and wispy, and almost invisible. It takes my WSM anywhere from half an hour to an hour to get my fire burning that clean. Depending on air intakes, fuel amount, etc. etc.

When it's invisible, that's when it's blue. The reason thin blue smoke is so hard to do more than talk about is by the time you can see it, where you REALLY want it, a camera is hard pressed to capture it.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
Fatalis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzybadger View Post
Yep, sweet blue will show up even when it's "invisible" but you have to get the right angle of light on it. It's thin, and wispy, and almost invisible. It takes my WSM anywhere from half an hour to an hour to get my fire burning that clean. Depending on air intakes, fuel amount, etc. etc.

When it's invisible, that's when it's blue. The reason thin blue smoke is so hard to do more than talk about is by the time you can see it, where you REALLY want it, a camera is hard pressed to capture it.

Well....what if it ain't smokin at all when its invisible? How do you tell if your wood is done if you cannot see or smell it?
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatalis View Post
But it takes 45 mins to get there and it doesn't even smell good. I go outside and try to smell it and it smells like a burnt shoe.


What does your wood look like when you switch it out? Is it complete ash, black?
What kind of wood are you smoking with?

Sweet blue looks like:
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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I am doing hickory wood.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:20 PM   #9
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45 minutes.... Is it moist or wet? Moldy perhaps? The dryer the better. If it can be warmed before putting on the fire, that's good too. I actually use the warmer on mine to warm the wood before putting it on the fire. It really helps go from white to sweet blue very fast. Also, is it a split or a chunk? To a degree, the smaller the better. If a split (which I use), smaller/thinner splits are better.

Also, you may be smothering your fire. When putting new wood on, do it one piece at a time.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:24 PM   #10
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The Big Chief is an electric smoker, isn't it? I'm not sure that it is possible to get sweet blue smoke from an electric. The heat is provided by the electric heating element and the smoke if from sawdust, chips or chunks that smolder, but don't burn cleanly. Sweet blue is from a wood fire that is burning cleanly. More than likely when you smoke is gone it is because the wood is gone.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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Just had some smoked trout, tasted like a smoked shoe.

Probably from all the white smoke that I had. I was trying to turn that white into blue but didn't work out. Either because it takes 45 minutes for the wood to stop smoking white and turn into invisible blue that doesn't smell or because after 45 minutes the wood is done.


The wood is dryer then bones. Kind of bumming me out I hope I can get some blue out of it next time, will try some more methods.

And yes it is a electric smoker, mom and dad was really excited to get me this for Christmas, 2 other relatives have it and has worked awesomely for them. So I think it makes them a little sad that its not working out yet. I hope I can get it right though.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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It's very easy to over smoke with an electric because the wood is smoldering. I have a Cookshack Electric that does't get used any more, but when I did use it I would use one piece of wood about the size of a golf ball and it was more than enough smoke for a brisket. Try backing way off on the amount of wood and don't worry about the color of the smoke. Unless the wood in there combusts and is burning with flames you won't get blue smoke.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #13
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I tried an electric smoker and had the same issues you are having... Everything i read said it is impossible to get tbs or a smoke ring with an electric... I made some decent food with mine but gave up on it in a very short time..... Mine was a cheaper mastetbuilt though.... Hope you get yours figured out!
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #14
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This is the closest example I can provide, most definitely not an electric smoker but shows the general idea.







When no smoke is visible like yours, place your hand over the exhaust of your cooker for a few seconds, smell your hand, it should have a smokey smell.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:50 PM   #15
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Good example, Terry!
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