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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 11-13-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
MIKEMAC
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Default Achieving thin blue smoke

When I first put my wood chips in, I get a slightly dense, but not overly dense, white smoke. After 10 minutes or so it does thin out and turn to a blue tint. Am I doing this correctly. Also, I have a chip tray that I can dump every time if necessary. Should I dump it or put the new chips on top of the ashes? I am smoking at 240 degrees.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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Sounds normal to me. You could try chunks instead of chips. Personally if I have a quick smoke I try to get some white smoke going, and be more focused on TBS for longer cooks.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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Are you soaking your chips in water first? Your chips need to be dry to achieve blue smoke. I prefer chunks over chips but then I've never used an electric smoker so I don't know if that is an option for you.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 10:48 AM   #4
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I am not soaking my chips in water. I started out doing that but learned that it was not necessary. I am not sure if I can use chunks or not. The directions with the smoker were to use chips and not chunks, but who knows they also said to soak your chips and smoke your butt to 165 degrees and then eat it. The latter didn't turn out so well...
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Unread 11-13-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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If you have a way of warming them up that can help as well. Not sure how it works with chips, but works well with chunks and splits.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Sounds normal to me. You could try chunks instead of chips. Personally if I have a quick smoke I try to get some white smoke going, and be more focused on TBS for longer cooks.

I've got about 12 bags of chips: cherry, apple, peach, & hickory. Got most as gifts, but use chunks.

So after I use these up, no mo chips. If they're a gift, I'm takin em back to the store.

They just burn up too quickly, and don't emit enough smoke.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 12:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcg View Post
I've got about 12 bags of chips: cherry, apple, peach, & hickory. Got most as gifts, but use chunks.

So after I use these up, no mo chips. If they're a gift, I'm takin em back to the store.

They just burn up too quickly, and don't emit enough smoke.
I would return them too and get chunks.

Depends on how much is used and how fast they're burned. They'll produce too much smoke too fast and it can ruin what you're cooking if you're not careful.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 09:27 AM   #8
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Good point. If you're using charcoal as your base heat then soak them. An hour of good smoke will usual be enough. However if it's wood for heat then heat the chunks first. I just put a few on top of the fire box. A stick burner uses a mild wood not something strong like hickory or mesquite.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 10:24 AM   #9
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I don't soak anymore and never get that thick white smoke. Dry chunks now and I will never go back.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 11:10 AM   #10
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Sounds about right for a MES. Back when mine was working I started with chips but soon moved to smaller chunks. What I used a lot were trimmings from cherry, apple and maple trees, about the size of a roll of quarters or so. They seemed to work the best in there. Some of the trimmings I had to cut in half lentgh-wise otherwise they'd be too big, but figure on about 3 inches long and about the width of a quarter. Those seemed to produce good blue smoke a lot better than the shavings, which I often found smoked hot and heavy for 30 minutes or so, then gave about 5 minutes of blue then needed replacing.

The cuts I could put a couple in and let it go for and hour or two. Another trick that I learned, especially when your smoking on the cold side, or when it's warm out and the element doesn't come on very often and it's hard to get any smoke, is to add just one charcoal briquette at the beginning to get things going and you'll have much better consistent smoke.
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