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Unread 01-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
JD McGee
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Question A simple question for the pellet pooper people...

I have been looking into these lately and am liking a lot of the features from various makes and models...but...can you get enough smoke cooking at 325-350 degrees from ANY of them?
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Unread 01-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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Honestly, JD, after a year with my Traeger I'd say "no". The higher the heat, the less the smoke, and mine doesn't smoke all that much to start with. You know what, though - the food comes out GREAT so...?
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Unread 01-22-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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I guess it depends on what you consider enough smoke The pellets burn very efficiently even at 250, so at 325-350 the smoke flavor will be very light, especially if compared to a stick or charcoal smoker.

I don't cook at 325 in my FEC, but I have never received a comment card telling me that I didn't have enough smoke flavor (not that that really means anything )
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Unread 01-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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There's barely any smoke flavor at normal temps.

Compared to what your used too I should add. :)
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Unread 01-22-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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I'd have to agree with everyone here. Ive cooked in the 350 range on my pellet smoker for fun. While the meat turned out really good, there was zero smoke flavor. Lower the temprature, the more smoke. At least it seems that way to me.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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The higher the heat, the less smoke on my Memphis Pro... but when I want more smoke at 325 to 350, I place a foil pouch of pellets directly on the cooking grate.
Usually foods I am smoking at 350 aren't going to smoke for hours... so the pouch adds just enough "umph" for me.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #7
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I would echo all the comments so far. Not much smoke to start with, and even less so at 325-350. I really like Jeanie's idea and will have to give that a try. I will tell you that the food does turn out tasting great with a subtle smoke flavor and the convection action really speeds up the cooks.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 12:17 AM   #8
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just as everyone here has said here,little smoke at higher temps but I kinda like it like that.... food is pretty darn tasty!
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Unread 01-23-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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JD check your PMs

We get all the flavor we need at 275
At 350 you will have to work the smoke doctor
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Unread 01-23-2012, 01:31 AM   #10
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I've got a MAK and love it for everything except the smoke. I can make awesome smoked salmon at 170 degrees (4-5 hours) but once it gets over 200 or so the smoke really tapers off but the flavor is great.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 02:13 AM   #11
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On my older Traeger 075 I set the controler at 180* for an hour or twol before I ramp it up to 225*. Iff you want more smole take some foil & cromble it int a loose ball that will almost block the exhaust on the inside of the stack. Just remember to take it out before you crank it up.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 02:26 AM   #12
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The Achilles Heel of pellet poopers is smoke flavor at high temps. It's just not there. Some resort to Smoke Daddys. I resort to placing wood chunks on the fire pot diffuser plate.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 02:42 AM   #13
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I either put chunks on the firepot, or tun a small 4x4 SS tin with lit lump and small chunks in it...

or run for an hour or 3 at 180, then crank it up to 325. longer times at lower temps give u more smoke.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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I see where Thom sent you a PM -- maybe he got you the answer you sought. Here's the scoop:

NEITHER a stick burner NOR a pellet cooker will produce gobs of smoke at high temps because combustion is being aided there by air induction. You can produce gobs of smoke on a charcoaler at those temps by inducing chips or chunks into the embers.

The myth that pellet cookers don't produce smoke is often passed on in this forum by folks who don't know the machinery, haven't taken time to learn it, and/or haven't adapted their methods and recipes. Fact: I can over smoke food on both of my pellet cookers (Memphis and Traeger).

On most pellet units, optimal smoke production occurs below 250 or so. Thus, to get more smokiness you'll need a period of the cook which is devoted to this range. Further, you'll need to experiment with different pellet brands and types to find the ones that best suit your taste and type of cooking. There are major differences.

Finally, if your taste is heavy, heavy creosote-belching where smoke is the dominant and sometimes only flavor in your cook, don't cook on pellets -- when used properly, pellet cookers produce adequate, controlled smoke flavor that can combine well with the meat, the spices and the sauce to produce great food.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 01:41 PM   #15
JD McGee
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Thanks for the input folks...I get plenty of smoke from my WSM's at high heat...my comp game plan is geared toward 325-350 cooking temps for my big meats...just curious if I could use a pellet pooper to achieve the same results in the same time. Thom...I will call you later...
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