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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 03-09-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
MariettaSmoker
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Default Stickburner question...just curious.

Im wondering, with a stick burner, if you are using just wood to cook with, wont that make a LOT of smoke? Like thick white smoke? And wont this make the food too smokey? I know on my UDS, the smoke gets a little heavy when the fire hits my wood chunks...not a lot, but you can tell a difference.

I know nothing about this so please excuse my ignorance. I DO want a stickburner, though, and figured I need to learn as much as I can as soon as I can.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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No, as long as you have a clean burning fire, you will still have sweet blue. Plenty of airflow, preheat your wood, and leave your exhaust open all the way are the keys to successful stickburning.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:17 PM   #3
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You want a small clean burning fire, which produces very little smoke. You don't want to load the thing up with wood and then control the temps downward by choking it off, that would give you the thick smoke. You want the wood fire to get all the air IT wants so it burns clean, and add a little more fuel as needed. You can even pre-heat the wood on top of the firebox to get it near combustion prior to adding it too.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardiac_cadet002 View Post
No, as long as you have a clean burning fire,
Please explain this as it pertains to a stickburner...what exactly does "clean burning" mean with all wood? gain, please excuse my ignorance, but im wanting to learn.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #5
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lots of good info on stickburning in the roadmap. Here is a good thread from said roadmap, http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7051
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:25 PM   #6
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a cleanburning fire is one that burns evenly. everything in the firebox has reached combustion temps and is burning "cleanly". There is no heavy white smoke, just a sweet blue drifting out the exhaust. I'll try and find a video and link it so you can see exactly how its supposed to be.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Clean burning means like a campfire basically. A wood fire is a chemical reaction caused when the wood is heated to a high enough temperature that it begins to break down into smaller particles, primarily gasses, and a small amount of solids. If there is enough oxygen present as the gas escapes in this heat, it will ignite causing the flame, otherwise the gases are released in the air unburned (thick smoke). So a clean burning fire is one where the majority of the gasses produced from this chemical reaction are burned up in the heat as opposed to being released into the air, and over your food.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
Clean burning means like a campfire basically. A wood fire is a chemical reaction caused when the wood is heated to a high enough temperature that it begins to break down into smaller particles, primarily gasses, and a small amount of solids. If there is enough oxygen present as the gas escapes in this heat, it will ignite causing the flame, otherwise the gases are released in the air unburned (thick smoke). So a clean burning fire is one where the majority of the gasses produced from this chemical reaction are burned up in the heat as opposed to being released into the air, and over your food.
Now that made sense to me...
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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So the key (just to make sure) is air really. You want your fire to get all the air it wants to burn. The trick is, building the proper sized clean burning fire that puts your cooker at the temp you want to cook at. That's why you hear "small clean burning fire" a lot. A small fire burning real well will heat a pit up pretty good on most units.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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sent you a pm with a link to view.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #11
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All per above is tremendous insight and advice;
fire management in a stickburner is a learned skill that takes time and patience for some- I know only from experience.
Also keep in mind each pit can be quite different so you will eventually figure out what is best for yours.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:52 PM   #12
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yeah.... Chris summed it up pretty well. just adding enough wood to keep it going is key, you really learn alot about fire management and air w/stick burners

In my stick burner, I only see blue smoke for a couple of min. after I add wood.......most of the time I dont see any smoke
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westexbbq View Post
All per above is tremendous insight and advice;
fire management in a stickburner is a learned skill that takes time and patience for some- I know only from experience.
Also keep in mind each pit can be quite different so you will eventually figure out what is best for yours.
Good advice. I prefer burning sticks. It's a form of therapy, smoke therapy is good for me.
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Unread 03-10-2010, 12:47 AM   #14
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Agree with above, the Roadmap is your friend. Actually, it's the farkin' bible. I'd be hard pressed to find a single question that isn't answered there. Sure, it takes work to read through and understand, and re-read it, and experiment. But it's well worth it.
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Unread 03-10-2010, 09:53 AM   #15
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now i will be paying closer attention to the color and amount of smoke... maybe smaller chunks of wood will help... I have seen white smoke too often
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