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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 12-03-2016, 09:51 AM   #1
rikun
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Default Soot on a RF stick burner?

Hi,

Been struggling with my homemade stick burner, especially with fire management. It's going ok now, but I still have a few problems.

One is soot, no matter how clean fire I run, I always get a little bit of darkish brown soot on my meat. And I've tried with lots of different woods.

With chicken it's most noticeable and I can actually wipe it off from the skin with paper. However it doesn't taste bad, so I guess it's not creosote? It does taste "smoky", though.

With big meats like brisket, it really isn't that noticeable except when they weep fat.

I searched for threads with same problem, this picture shows exactly how my grates look after each cook: http://s1039.photobucket.com/user/Jg...4csm.jpeg.html

Could the soot become from grease vaporizing / burning on the RF plate? I noticed last cook there was lot of grease on top of the FB sizzling like crazy.

I guess I'll need to do a cook with 100% charcoal to verify if it's my fire or not...
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:59 AM   #2
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Everything in those pictures looks fine to me, honestly.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:30 AM   #3
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The pix look fine. Are you saying stuff is getting on the food? That's a different issue.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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Season your pit. It looks way to clean on the inside. My pellet pooper had this problem until I had a good seasoned layer on the inside.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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I think you and I have had the same problems. Grease can put out black smoke if its really hot, but it also most definitely could be caused how you are burning your wood. First, make sure its not the grease and then start thinking about how you are managing your fires.

I have the same problem when i try to run a higher cooking temp, and i think i narrowed it down to the following: you need to make sure that the majority of your heat comes from the coal bed, not from bright flames from the splits on the coal bed. That might mean you need to choke the intake down so the fire isnt raging from too much air, and you may need to throw on some lump charcoal occasionally to maintain the coal bed, I posted about my problem in this thread, in case you want a the long story. http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=237760
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:00 AM   #6
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You may have excess moisture in the chamber condensating that drips a liquid smoke onto the food
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:18 PM   #7
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pit looks fine to me and maybe a little to clean , the back is flavoring .
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikun View Post
Hi,

Been struggling with my homemade stick burner, especially with fire management. It's going ok now, but I still have a few problems.

One is soot, no matter how clean fire I run, I always get a little bit of darkish brown soot on my meat. And I've tried with lots of different woods.

With chicken it's most noticeable and I can actually wipe it off from the skin with paper. However it doesn't taste bad, so I guess it's not creosote? It does taste "smoky", though.

With big meats like brisket, it really isn't that noticeable except when they weep fat.

I searched for threads with same problem, this picture shows exactly how my grates look after each cook: http://s1039.photobucket.com/user/Jg...4csm.jpeg.html

Could the soot become from grease vaporizing / burning on the RF plate? I noticed last cook there was lot of grease on top of the FB sizzling like crazy.

I guess I'll need to do a cook with 100% charcoal to verify if it's my fire or not...
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke ninja View Post
You may have excess moisture in the chamber condensating that drips a liquid smoke onto the food
If it was burning grease it would have a bad taste i assume. You said it wiped easy and tasted smokey. That is why i believe is just smokey moisture condensating on top of the cook chamber.

I get a tiny drip where the lid meets the chamber.

Here's an example



Note the small drop of dark liquid. Seems to only be in a particular spot.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:50 PM   #9
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It could be your wood maybe not dry enough or just the type of wood you are using does not burn totally clean.It could be you don't have enough air flow through your smoker.Your exhaust could be to small or the length maybe off.There are several other thing that can cause soot such as size of splits , position in smoker, etc.I would suggest next time you cook open your fire box door a inch or two ,that will give more oxygen for a cleaner burn.Control your temp by the size of fire you have.The hotter you want to cook,the bigger the amount of flames you need.The flames is where you get your good clean heat from,the coal bed is a by product or a wood fire and will take care of it self. This work well for me and I find it easy to keep good clean smoke and manage temps rather easily.Hope this helps you.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:37 PM   #10
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Make sure you have clean smoke I don't cook on mine till temp gets up to 325 350 using hardwood oak maple whatever grab off pile and it quits dripping condensation about 45-hr then add fruitwood to get good sweet smoke my wood is split stacked seasoned year or 2 under cover in wood shed
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:50 PM   #11
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Just to clarify, the pic on the link isn't my pit, it's just 100% the same how my grates wipe.

I tested my fire today, it's not that. Did a few chicken quarterlegs on bottom rack, all other racks removed. Zero soot or black stuff on top.

So it must be the damn grates again. I've tried every god given way to get them clean, but every time I cook on them, the grease from the meat "blends" with the grates and drips on bottom grates. Should I not worry about it at all?

The grates are extremely "oily" and wet when cooking.

Also, McSpazatron might be onto something. I've previously though I need to have my splits fully engulfed in flames to be "burning clean", but I seem to have way better results when choking the intakes and maintaining bigger coal bed...
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Old 12-05-2016, 06:00 PM   #12
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i had an RF cooker and had sooting issues, turns out if i preheated the wood on the firebox i got soot. if i didnt preheat didnt get soot, it took 6 months to get it figured out. even called manufactor, salesman and others we were all happy when we figured it out.
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Old 12-05-2016, 06:20 PM   #13
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http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/2...m#post_1455767

This is a thread I started on another forum, does this soot on my chicken look like ur problem?
I noticed it worse on my top rack.it happens on Mac and cheese sausage and chicken
Don't notice to much on brisket and pork like this.the no bad taste but very frustrating.when I figure I have figured out bam happens again.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikun View Post
Just to clarify, the pic on the link isn't my pit, it's just 100% the same how my grates wipe.

I tested my fire today, it's not that. Did a few chicken quarterlegs on bottom rack, all other racks removed. Zero soot or black stuff on top.

So it must be the damn grates again. I've tried every god given way to get them clean, but every time I cook on them, the grease from the meat "blends" with the grates and drips on bottom grates. Should I not worry about it at all?

The grates are extremely "oily" and wet..
Get yourself a gallon of cheap white vinegar, and liberally use it to wipe down the grease, on the top and underside of the grate. Use paper towels for this. Do this after scraping the solids off.

Only wipe down right before you are preheat for a cook. If you wipe down with vinegar after a cook, your grates will rust by the time you end up cooking again. .

Edit: you'll probably strip any seasoning that you might have, but when you need clean, sometimes you have to do it. I've been there with overly greasy wetness. Its usually fine with briskets and such, but it can really dirty up things like chicken.
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Last edited by McSpazatron; 12-05-2016 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sackedbysapp View Post
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/2...m#post_1455767

This is a thread I started on another forum, does this soot on my chicken look like ur problem?
I noticed it worse on my top rack.it happens on Mac and cheese sausage and chicken
Don't notice to much on brisket and pork like this.the no bad taste but very frustrating.when I figure I have figured out bam happens again.
Just looked your pictures on your linked thread. That color you got in those pictures is exactly what i got when in was getting sooty smoke. It leaves a very dry, matte gray black/brown coating on the food. That is what i hope has been solved by my change in tactics (choking intake down up to the point I get white smoke, then opening up to the point the smoke stops or turns thin blue. Also not being ashamed of adding charcoal in order to maintain the coal bed.
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