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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 10-30-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
mattdean1003
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Default I finally got thin blue smoke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Video for proof!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPTWOuyNf_Y
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
sliding_billy
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What did you different than before?
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
SmittyJonz
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Most of the time I have White Smoke during first 3-4 hrs of a cook - esp on Charcoal - but it is lighter than the Start up Smoke.
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
Lake Dogs
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Yep, that's it. Many times it's SO thin that it's tough to get a picture... Many think they aren't getting smoke at all, and that's a shame, because that is when you're getting "the goooood stuff".
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Nice clean fire, there!
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #6
Fwismoker
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Amazing Ribs had a great article about smoke and wood...good info regarding size of particles etc...

Blue smoke
Blue smoke is the holy grail of low and slow pitmasters. Dr. Blonder explains that the color depends on the particle size and how it scatters and reflects light to our eyes. Pale blue smoke particles are the smallest, under a micron in size, about the size of the wavelength of light. Pure white smoke consists of larger particles, a few microns in size, and they scatter all wavelengths in all directions. Gray and black smoke contains particles large enough to actually absorb some of the light and colors.

Black and gray smoke happen when the fire is starving for oxygen, and they can make bitter, sooty food tasting like an ash tray. Billowing white smoke is common when you just start the fire, and when the fuel needs lots of oxygen. If it doesn't get enough and if the fuel is not emitting gases for secondary combustion, the fuel smolders and produces white smoke.

If you are cooking hot and fast, white smoke is a great way to get some smoke flavor on the food in a hurry. But white smoke usually has a lot of contaminants from an incomplete secondary combustion and prolonged exposure to white smoke can still make good food, but not as good a blue smoke.

Sterling Ball, a champion pitmaster who owns a guitar string business, describes the art of making blue smoke as similar to tuning a guitar. "You need control of your tools, the pit, fuel, oxygen, fire, heat, and practice." Here are some tips on how to get blue smoke for long cooks.

Keep your pit clean. Carbon buildup, soot, and sticky grease on the inside can create off flavors and drip on the food. Often that "flavorful" grease is creosote. Many competition pitmasters power wash after a cookoff.

Use dry wood. Some pitmasters will even put the wood on top of their smoker to drive off any remaining water. Some remove the bark from their wood.

Use large chunks or logs. Don't use chips or pellets. You need something to burn down to embers.

Build a small hot fire. You want to see flame. Hot fires burn off the impurities that are created in an incomplete secondary combustion. That means that you need a lot of oxygen so you want your exhaust vent open all the way. The hot air rising through the chimney will draw in air through the intake vent. You will probably want it open wide or close to it. Low smoldering wood creates dirty smoke. Don't let your embers sit in ash. Keep them on a grate above the bottom of the firebox. Knock ash off occasionally and if necessary, remove it.

This is why high quality offset smokers, the ones that look like a big barrel on its side with a small barrel attached, are so popular with experienced pitmasters. But there is a big difference between the cheap offsets at the hardware stores and the serious pits made for competition teams and caterers. Cheapo Offset Smokers (COS) include Brinkmann Pitmaster, Brinkmann Smoke'N Pit Professional (a.k.a. SNPP), Char-Broil Silver Smoker, Char-Broil American Gourmet, and especially the Char-Griller Smokin Pro. They are nothing but headaches. Serious Offset Pits (EOS) include Horizon, Jambo, Klose, Lang, Meadow Creek, Peoria, Pitmaker, and Yoder. They are superb cooking tools.

Allow the pit to warm up. Start the fire at least an hour before the food goes on. Adjust your airflow and get the temp, fire, and smoke stabilized. Warm the walls of the cooker. It is harder to get blue smoke in cold weather.

Start the fuel on the side. If you can't get the cooker to cooperate, or if you have temp yo-yoing up and down, start your fuel on the side and add only hot coals. If you are cooking with wood, start burning it on the side and add only glowing embers. If you are using charcoal, use briquets. I use a wheel barrow. Lump is not often completely carbonized and can create more smoke than briqs. Remember, properly burning charcoal doesn't produce much smoke.

Use good thermometers. Digitals are the best.

Practice. Do dry runs without food until you can anticipate when more fuel is needed, how to adjust the airflow, and how to react when the smoke starts going bad.

Cook indirect. If the meat drips on the fire, water and fat will burn and make dirty smoke. These drippings can create flavor, especially for short fast cooks, but for long low and slow cooks, they can create dark smoke. Use your senses. It's hard to see the color of the smoke at night, but the smell should be sweet, with meat and spice fragrances dominating. The smoke aromas should be faint and seductive, perhaps like vanilla, not like a bonfire smell.
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
CtTradArcher
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Perfect! Nothing better than meat smoked with wood only and only TBS...
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Unread 10-30-2013, 10:58 AM   #8
Porcine Perfection
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I am also of the belief that TBS is only truly visible when the sun is in the position it was in your video.
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Unread 10-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
DownHomeQue
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Thin Blue Smoke is a beautiful thing especially on an offset smoker! Congrats looks like you are rolling right along!
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Unread 10-30-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
mattdean1003
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Thanks brethren. I used smaller splits and kept the fire closer to the intake on my firebox. I think it also helped using 100 percent dry wood. The butt had a DEEP smoke ring and was the most tender I've ever cooked. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of the outcome.
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Unread 10-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #11
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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This is the end of the beginning. No stopping you now .
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