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Unread 01-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
OrleansAg
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Default The "right" type of smoke

(sorry no pics)

In a smoke this weekend, I did some pork ribs after a quick salmon smoke. During the latter part of the rib smoke and before I added a turkey breast (for a neighbor since the smoker was hot)...I added some additional briquets. I don't have the specific brand, but they say natural, no filler, etc. I added them unlit to keep the temp going. After I pulled the ribs and the turkey breast it seemed like the outsides were covered with more black smoke residue and had a "creosotey" flavor/taste vs wood smoke. The meat inside was much better.

My questions are 1) does that make sense or is that normal for smoking and 2) if it's an issue is it because I put unlit briquets in and when they started up they released "bad smoke." The folks at BWS recommended natural briquets vs. lump...just not kingsford.

Thanks for any thoughts to help me keep dialing it in.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
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What was the color of the some that was coming out of the smoker? White or thin with a blue tint?
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Unread 01-28-2013, 05:50 PM   #3
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
try using K blue bag.
Could the charcoal or wood have been damp?
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Unread 01-28-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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It is likely that you added enough cold briquettes, that they intially threw off some poor smoke. You want to manage your fire so that you are never adding a lot of additional cold fuel mid-cook. Adding a little bit, more often is best.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas. I don't think it was damp or wet, it was just out the bag.

The smoke was white. When I start the fire I've been using two starter cubes in the back corner under the briquets and then letting the fire work it's way over. I add wood a little to the sides of where I light it. Should I wait until the smoke is thin blue, then add wood, then add meat?

I didn't want to let it burn almost out before I added more, but I certainly didn't trickle it in. I added a healthy couple of scoops. I dial it back and add more often if needed, since the BWS comes back to temp pretty easily.

If the fire is moving radially out from where is started, where's the best place to add more? Where it started, since it's "moved on" from that point?
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrleansAg View Post
The smoke was white.
There's your problem.

White smoke = bad

Thin blue smoke = good
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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Right. But it's white because I added too many unlit briquets? Are there other common causes...
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
It is likely that you added enough cold briquettes, that they intially threw off some poor smoke. You want to manage your fire so that you are never adding a lot of additional cold fuel mid-cook. Adding a little bit, more often is best.

^ +1 Like Landarc says, manage your fire so it is consistent... You can also preheat the briquettes by placing on top of the firebox (or cooker).
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:50 PM   #9
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If I am adding to an already lit fire, I try to add away from the lit coals and then add a few unlit on top of the your lit pile. This give the new coals a chance to "warm up" and will light easier.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Right. But it's white because I added too many unlit briquets? Are there other common causes...
The cause is that the coals are taking too long to light. As mentioned above, preheating helps prevent the white smoke. Wood that is too wet can cause white smoke and the creosote taste.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 11:40 PM   #11
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I'm sure this is a heavily debated topic, but does lump generally burn cleaner? Again the BWS guys said they use briquets. So that is what I used.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 12:15 AM   #12
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Lump has zero fillers, so it will burn cleaner yes, which means less ash.
Personally I only use lump when I'm grilling, I use briquettes when I'm smoking, unless it's in my COS then it's wood splits.

Biggest thing is making sure whatever you're putting in has a chance to 'preheat' in whatever fashion you choose, either lighting it up in a charcoal chimney, putting them to the far side of the lit coals allowing them to heat up from radiance before being ignited. Basically the longer it takes to fully ignite the more it'll smolder and the longer your meat is exposed to 'bad smoke.'
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Unread 01-29-2013, 01:13 AM   #13
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I wonder why the BWS guys don't recommend using Kingsford. A lot of folks on here use it including myself.


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Unread 01-29-2013, 05:19 AM   #14
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I never use briqs..too much ash and filler..loss of flavor also...Just my opinion...lump with split wood...or chunks..
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Unread 01-29-2013, 05:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J'ville Grill View Post
I wonder why the BWS guys don't recommend using Kingsford. A lot of folks on here use it including myself.


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Kingsford is all I ever used.....for years. It's always been consistent for me.

I'd always wait until late June when Home Depot and Lowe's have excellent prices on the 20lb bags. I'd buy 20+ bags and stack it up in my garage.

My offset CharGriller did well with it. I have noticed a change in smoke color whenever I add new briquettes to dwindling coals. I just never knew how to avoid it other than doing an initial burn in an outside fire pit and transferring the hot coals to the offset box.

Now, I'm just lazy....and addicted to kamado cooking.
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