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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 06-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #16
charrederhead
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Join Date: 06-29-12
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That's (lots of of air/better combustion) why it's easier (and quicker) for me to get the TBS on my Cimarron offset than my WSM. Offsets are cool.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #17
Mark Warren
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This thread is starting to piss me off. I always thought I wanted a nice vertical smoker like the Pitmaker BBQ Vault. I don't have a whole lot of room and I would need to keep it in the garage when not in use. But after reading this thread I am now very interested in looking into a high quality stick burner that won't take up much more than 6 feet or so in my garage. I know I am opening a Hornets nest asking about brand preference, I also do not want to high jack this thread, so if anyone can PM me with their favorite brand and why I would be grateful.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:41 PM   #18
NorthwestBBQ
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Thin Blue

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Old 06-06-2013, 07:18 AM   #19
Lake Dogs
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> I was under the impression that just burning wood like this would lead to creosote-coated meat.

Wrong impression. As said by many, "Thin Blue Smoke is the result of a thorough combustion of fuel and plenty of airflow.". Allow me to say it the other way: Billowy White smoke is the result of smothering the fire and/or less air flow. Can be the result of either just starting a fire (it's not up to temps yet), or smothering a fire with too much wood, or smothering/cooling the fire with wet wood (refer to soaking wood chips/chunks), or just not getting enough air to the beast.


> Is the "sweet blue" just a Brethren thing?

Nope.

> Or do these fools just not know any better? I mean I saw $5-15K rigs pumping
> out plumes of the white smoke... Maybe I'm the fool for even asking the
> question... there's a village missing an idiot somewhere.

I think some competitors do this early on just for sport; to see who's lookin'. Knowing they'd never put meat on like that. Others, perhaps they dont know. Just because they compete doesn't mean that they make great BBQ. However, I'm sure most that do make great BBQ really understand sweet blue...



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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
jamus34
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I have a WSM however here is a question that is in line to this discussion.

Would I be better off starting the fire (Using Minion method) using briqs or lump?

My current supply of cooking wood is KBB, King Comp, Royal Oak and chunks of oak, cherry and applewood.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #21
scubaquen
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During my RF build I fired it up to check things out, knowing the air flow was key. In this picture it is running at 235 and smoke is barely visible. Just gotta play with it and get to know your pit.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:52 AM   #22
Mahoney86
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thin blue, pretty much invisible smoke on my Lang 84, chugging along at 250*
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:12 AM   #23
42BBQ
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Small hot fire, exhaust wide open, pre-heat splits on firebox. Fire management was the hardest thing for me to learn in BBQ. One more thing, don't fight your pit. Every pit has a sweet spot where a clean fire, with thin blue smoke, equals a specific temp. For mine it's 300. If I try to cook at 225 on my stickburner I'll have dirty smoke and fluctuating temps. If I cook at 300 it stays much more consistent and produces almost invisible smoke. Know Thy Pit.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:14 AM   #24
va_connoisseur
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I start with a chimney of hot coals and add one stick per 60-90 minutes after that. Air flow is the key. Also, when I add a stick, I keep the firebox door open for a few minutes to ensure adequate air flow to the new wood. Also, I put the wood on the firebox before adding to the firebox. This warms it up.

A small, hot fire will get you thin blue smoke every time
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #25
BBQ Bandit
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Here's a classic picture that defines the predicament...
If its white - it aint right.
If its blue - its time to Que.

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Old 06-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #26
Lake Dogs
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Back to the op, to me, the absolute best smell on earth is the smell in-the-air at about 6am - 7:30am at a large BBQ contest. Sweet blue in the air, with nearly done BBQ flavors mixed in. It's heavenly. Of course, there's always one or two jokers who let the fire go out and they're loading up on wood and billowing out the smoke... :-)
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Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:47 AM   #27
Hdhillin
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Great information here from all of you. I thank you too.....
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #28
BenRias
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I didn't even know blue smoke was a thing! I'll have to check my Weber kettle next bbq.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #29
DownHomeQue
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I have a 250 gallon offset and use just wood.. with about a 1/4 bag of charcoal to start... and mine puts out thin blue smoke.. damn near invisible.. just cooking with wood.. small clean fire..
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #30
Yendor
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This past weekend I had my first stick burn experience. I had loaded up my basket with coals and a stick of apple, well, my pit wandered up to 350° and i fought it back to 300°. This burned through my coals and wood quickly, but the blue smoke was rolling. I didn't want to throw coals on (it was a 10 hour butt cook) so I threw a stick on top of the coals and the blue smoke rolled. I did that one more time with 2 smaller sticks (these were limb cuts) to finish off the cook, it ran around 300° the rest of the day.

The FIL was over and he helped pull the super tender butt and he mentioned that there was not fat in it (he butchers pigs for a living) and that I must have rendered it out. Then he mumbled for a while as he ate the awesome bark. He was beside himself. We all loved it. I will be doing my cooks this way from now on. You never stop learning.
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