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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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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
Federalist2266
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Default BGE vs. Offset vs. WSM vs Other for Smokiness

Hi all. Brand new to the forum and first post. I have a Big Green Egg that I've been using as a smoker/grill for a couple of years. I love it.

But I find my BBQ to be different from what I view to be great BBQQ in two ways: (1) my meat usually doesn't have as much smoke flavor, and (2) my meat usually doesn't have the quality bark I'm looking for. I'm pretty sure I'm getting the most out of my BGE, so let's assume that my technique on the BGE isn't the issue.

So I've been wondering if an offset smoker, or even a WSM, would be better for smoke and bark. What do you think?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:40 PM   #2
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Tell us more about what you are doing when you cook in the Egg. You have full control over the smoke. You can add more chips/chunks if you want more smoke.

Also, I've never had an issue getting good bark on my Eggs.

But, to answer the question, an offset burning straight wood will give you the most smoke flavor. A WSM is similar to the Egg in that you control the amount of smoke by the amount of chips/chunks that you add.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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My BGE cooks follow one of two paths. Either I go low and slow, 250* for however long it takes, or I go "turbo" at 350* for as long as it takes and then 30 mins or so over direct heat. I use plenty of smoking wood (always chunks) mixed throughout my lump, and there is always unburned smoking wood in the cooker when I'm done.

As you know, the BGE is a very efficient cooker, meaning it requires very little fire to hold a low temp of 250*. I think the minimal fire results in less smoke and a thinner bark. I actually get a little more smokiness from the turbo cooks, presumably because there is more fire.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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After years of smoking on BGEs I liked my BBQ, but never loved my BBQ. It was always missing the smoke flavor I love. Like you said, there would always be unburnt wood chunks due to the efficiency of the BGE.

Adding wood can be a major PITA if you are using the plate setter. However, there are some good mods that can make life easier. What size BGE do you have? Have you ever seen the Woo Ring? It allows you to lift up the platesetter and grill grate at the same time do you can add more wood directly on top of the hot fire if your wish.

http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/lar...green-egg.html

I finally bought a stick burner so I could make BBQ the way I love it. That said, if you can only have one piece of cooking equipment, I would choose the Egg.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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I prefer an offset buring nothing but wood.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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I agree the BGE is the best one-stop-shop piece of equipment, and I'll never get rid of it. My BGE is a large. I've heard of the WOO Ring, but don't have one. Does your stick burner spit out better BBQ?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Welome to thec orum. There are plenty of folks to help you get the most out of your BGE (I don't have one) but I just wanted to say hi & welcome.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:23 PM   #8
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I own a wsm and can tell you I have been able to dial in smoke up and down with relative ease. For me, certain woods to produce a lot more intense smoke flavor - I have found hickory for example to be way stronger than the fruit woods and I typically use it sparingly.
I personally have never been a big bark person and the rubs I make or use aren't overly loaded with sugar. I use all my smokers without a water pan (wsm, uds, pbc, akorn, kettle) and have never had an issue developing a crust so to speak. Having the least experience on kamado type cookers, they don't circulate as much air which might contribute to higher moisture in the cook chamber. Again - I'm only guessing here and I'm sure other egg owners will lend their experiences for forming a good bark.
I would say experiment with your egg and see if you can get what you're looking for.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #9
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Welcome to the BBQ-Brethren.

What meats are you smoking and what wood do you use? I find that different woods work out best with various meats. Some provide a stronger smoke flavor than others.

I can't speak to the BGE, but I suppose one characteristic is that once set up, it takes very little tending. If you want something purpose built for smoking that does that, look at the WSM. If you like DIY, than make a UDS. If you want something that gets you more involved, look at an offset that can burn wood.

Or figure out why you are not getting the results you want with the BGE.

Good luck!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Federalist2266 View Post
I agree the BGE is the best one-stop-shop piece of equipment, and I'll never get rid of it. My BGE is a large. I've heard of the WOO Ring, but don't have one. Does your stick burner spit out better BBQ?
No doubt it makes better BBQ. It's night and day. I love an all wood fire.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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Welcome. I cook on a UDS and a horizontal 55gal drum smoker/grill. Only reason I mention it is I believe it's similar in cooking on an offset. While the drum doesn't have an offset on it, I cook indirect inside it using a coal basket off to one side with meat on the other. I think I get the best BBQ on that with the UDS being a very close second. What I like about cooking on it is it's a one stop shop to glance at the meat and add wood or coal. My UDS(with two grates in it) is a pain in the ass to add wood or coal during a cook. I also have an Akorn but I don't use it for smoking- just roasting, grilling and pizza. I think an offset burning only wood would give the best "true BBQ" flavor. That said, I believe you can turn out some damn good Q on just about any cooker if you learn how to use it to it's fullest capacity. My old drum smoker is proof enough for me!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PekingPorker View Post
No doubt it makes better BBQ. It's night and day. I love an all wood fire.
I wondered about that as well. To answer that question, I found a New Braunfels Black Diamond on Craigslist for $40 and added it to my collection. I figured at $40 it would not cost me too much to try and if I liked it, it would be a decent offset to keep. I've done one cook on it and it did not disappoint. In fact tonight's dinner included brisket from that cook. But I have to cook on it a few more times and cook a few more things before I decide how it compares to my WSMs. I have a couple years practice with them. It will be a fun and delicious adventure.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:37 PM   #13
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Yeah, the stick burner definitely has a learning curve. It took me 3 months of cooking every single weekend before I really learned how to control the fire and keep a clear or thin light blue smokestack without having massive temperature fluctuations. But hey, that's one of the most fun parts of being a stick burner
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:02 PM   #14
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I have an Akorn and a Char Griller Smokin pro.. Both cheap cookers in their field..IMO the one thing the smokin pro kicks the Kamado in the behind in is appearance, I know it doesnt figure in taste, but with all us being our own worst critics it matters when you pull that piece off and your pre determined mindset of taste.. As far as smoke taste its always there in the Akorn, I may be the one person in the Kamado world that uses chips..

But I find myself using the Akorn more and more.. Its easy.. But with that being said I have been dinking with mods to the smokin pro as their is something about tending a fire and cooking with wood..
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:47 PM   #15
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I have had a large BGE for about ten years now. I think I get plenty of smoke flavor when doing Butts and ribs. It might depend on your source of fuel. The type of lump, the amount of wood chunks and type of wood you add to the fire. Attached in the pic is a Butt I did.
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