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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 06-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
sigpi906
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Join Date: 04-05-13
Location: Little Rock, AR
Default How do guys with these big wood-eating smokers get the "blue smoke"?

At a comp recently, I took more notice to the type of smoke coming out of people's chimineys. I also took note of the type of fuel lots of folks were using.

It seems like most of the big reverse flow trailers were just stoking their fireboxes with wood logs.... and lighting them with weed burners at that... I saw very few charcoal bags around the big smokers.

I was under the impression that just burning wood like this would lead to creosote-coated meat. (Caveat: I don't know how well any of these teams did... But I know my UDS got us a call in one category with the sweet blue smoke :) )

Anyways, am I missing something? Is the "sweet blue" just a Brethren thing? 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.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
buttburnersbbq
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I use a RF smoker and use all hickory wood without the bark . I get thin blue smoke which is a real thing . Were it looks as if there is no smoke coming out of the stack. I actually get a better sweeter flavor with the RF than my WSM . For the guys have white smoke pumping out of there rig . Sounds to me they have not mastered there rig .
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
Swine Spectator
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I get "sweet blue" on my Klose offset using sticks. I dump a chimney of lump in the firebox to get it started, but then nothing but logs after that. I just have to manage my fire properly.

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Old 06-05-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
3.2 Flu Que
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I ensure that the fire is burning nice and hot. I normally start off with one load of lump and then add a few logs. After that, I add wood as needed - usually a log or two per hour. As long as the fie is burning hot the smoke will be fresh. I find that adding chunks to charcoal causes more undesirable smoke than burning logs, as the chunks have a tendency to smolder rather than burn clean.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:38 PM   #5
BBQ Bandit
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Thin Blue Smoke is the result of a thorough combustion of fuel and plenty of airflow.
[Whether its charcoal, lump, wood splits, or pellets... a clean combustion is imperative.]
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
dwfisk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttburnersbbq View Post
I use a RF smoker and use all hickory wood without the bark . I get thin blue smoke which is a real thing . Were it looks as if there is no smoke coming out of the stack. I actually get a better sweeter flavor with the RF than my WSM . For the guys have white smoke pumping out of there rig . Sounds to me they have not mastered there rig .
^This! A small hot fire is better than a big "choked" burn. I use kiln dried hickory in my RF and I'm used to clear blue almost invisible smoke. Granted, when I add new splits I'll get a few minutes of "white-nasty" but if it goes on for more than 10 minutes it's my bad for not tending the fire. And don't beleive the BS about stick burners being fuel hogs: depending on my target temp, the weather, how full the pit is and a bunch of other variables, I rarely need more tat 2 splits every 1-1/2 to 2 hours to maintain temps.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
Mrfish
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I agree with all above. Establish a good coal bed, then let her roll adding a stick or two an hour.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
scubaquen
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Combustion is the key, when my RF is running I hardly see any smoke other then thin blue. When I do see more then normal I usually need to add another stick of Pecan. And nothing but Pecan....

Last edited by scubaquen; 06-05-2013 at 08:14 PM.. Reason: left it out
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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Ditto. My best results come from overloading the first box of sticks to create a nice thick bed of coals. If I take the time to get a solid start, the rest tends to go easy - thin and blue. Rush the start, not so much.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
boiler93
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Same as above but usually takes 45 min to an hour before Black Betty starts singing thin blue and thats when the food goes on.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:34 PM   #11
nrok2118
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Plenty of air with a hot fire is key. Sometimes you can run some nasty white stuff when getting started if your in a rush...but when I get the the Lang going its nothing but sweet blue. Anything less than that is on the operator.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:35 PM   #12
tinman
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I don't know much about it, but my neighbor gets perfect blue on his monster rig and he was telling me that the difference between nasty smoke and thin blue on his is making sure the splits are put in there with enough space around them to get lots of air flow all around them. He really did seem to space his wood out and I could see a difference when he stacked it up and clumped it up to show me.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:43 PM   #13
ddweatherholtz
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I start with a chimney of lump. And about 5 chuncks. Let the chunks burn a bit and throw on my meat. Adding about 5 chunks spread out over the coals every 45min or so. I don't have to much acccess to splits but chunks work fine for me.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
deepsouth
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good thread.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:59 PM   #15
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It aint myth it's fire proper management You don't need a high dollar pit either. well seasoned oak
and a Tx matchstick.
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