View Full Version : Help with soot....

02-04-2017, 05:41 PM
I've been having problem for a while with soot or black film mainly on chicken or Mac cheese or beans, just when I think I have it figured out there is again.I use oak and black cherry that been seasoned for few years.Ive tried with both vents wide open and 3/4 closed cooking at temps 250 to 300.stack wide open and clear smoke.I took some pics show what I'm dealing with.thanks for your help.

02-04-2017, 06:25 PM
I'm a rookie on stick burning. I'd hazard a guess that you are having air low issues. You say you have a clean burning fire but maybe your wood is smoldering a bit because you don't have a large enough coal bed for the sticks you are using? Maybe try running a smaller and hotter fire to see if the problem goes away. Check your stack make sure it is clear. Past that, I will have to defer to the stick burning gurus - they will be along shortly I'm sure. Good luck sir.

02-04-2017, 06:28 PM
How long do you wait for the fire to settle down after lighting before the food goes on?

02-04-2017, 06:29 PM
I looked down it few days ago all clear.i don't know how hotter i can run it with vents wide open.

02-04-2017, 06:39 PM
sorry boss- told you I was a rookie. Change woods, go to a smaller fire, make sure the coal bed is established, your splits are warmed and light readily. Past that, I really don't know. You have a reverse flow- do you have to have a certain amount of nose tilt to promote good air flow? (honest question)

02-04-2017, 06:43 PM
Is it coming from the racks or top of the cook chamber? Lots of guys power wash the inside of their cookers and I'm thinking maybe that's one of the reasons.

02-04-2017, 07:17 PM
Get temp to 300 takes 30 45 mins.then add food.

It not dripping from anything I don't pressure washing just steam clean here and there.when I foil top beans or mac cheese it's great if there opening in foil it will work it way in.

02-04-2017, 07:26 PM
nose tilt to promote good air flow?
This I have heard, and it looks like your nose is down a bit.
Smoke could be getting stalled in there.

02-04-2017, 07:33 PM
I had level on it nose level to just nose up hard tell cause drive slants down.but I'll look into that again.

02-04-2017, 07:34 PM
That pic of whole smoker wasn't from today just a general pic of smoker not in use.

02-04-2017, 07:41 PM
How does the food taste, any bitterness? If the food is good don't worry about it. Also I have noticed the more humid the cook chamber sometimes the more black on the food.

02-04-2017, 07:46 PM
No bitterness or bad taste, just looks nasty.i want golden brown chicken and get black film,if I set pan bean in refrigerator black film where pan sat.just frustrating.

02-04-2017, 07:52 PM
No bitterness or bad taste, just looks nasty.i want golden brown chicken and get black film,if I set pan bean in refrigerator black film where pan sat.just frustrating.

When ever I cook in aluminum pans I put the dirty pans in a new clean pan. I buy my pans in bulk packages at Costco so I don't mind sacrificing a pan so not to deal with the smokey/dirty pan, also it makes the pan sturdier.

02-04-2017, 08:48 PM
It could several things.But to me it's either air flow or not completely seasoned wood.Try cracking your fire box door an inch or so for better air flow,this will give more complete combustion with less smoldering.And only build the fire as big as needed to reach the temp you want,that way you don't have to choke it back .

02-04-2017, 09:34 PM
Show us a picture of the intake.. the stack is sized just fine.... I'm like cats 49er... could be the wood... but would like to see the intake....

BBQ Freak
02-04-2017, 09:41 PM
try skinner splits of wood that would make it burn cleaner and catch fire easier . keep stack wide open and build your fire burning clean all the time before the fire goes out between splits .

02-04-2017, 10:06 PM
I would say it has something to do with airflow...and smoke not exiting or wood not burning properly. It does look like soot and think of it being a fireplace that happens when you have a poor fire or draft.

02-04-2017, 10:29 PM
Hope you see them sliders on each side of firebox 3 to 4 inch's wide.

02-04-2017, 10:30 PM
The splits r 2x14 some little longer.

02-04-2017, 10:42 PM
I think it an airflow issue..... not enough intake...

02-04-2017, 10:55 PM
You would know better than me,but I have no problem get it hot.it has bigger intakes than what lang offers on there pits.

02-04-2017, 11:03 PM
Certainly wouldnt encourage you to eat food looking like that. Sorry. Its not good for you. The smoker should generate a clean smoke that doesnt turn the food black like that. Continue investigating and you will solve it!

02-04-2017, 11:07 PM
I usually add split oak and cherry at same time, could that be an issue?

02-04-2017, 11:59 PM
I think you probably have too much airflow, which is making the fire too hot. The fire starts to make that dry dark soot when it gets real hot. I know it sounds weird, Ive had the same problem and solved it by having a good coal bed and limiting the airflow. Read the link for more details on my experience: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=237760

Edit: just saw that you have tried to run with 1/4 intakes. Try limiting the intake even more. I know it sounds crazy, but once you've run wide open and still get black soot, then you've got nothing to lose.

(My experience is that you you only need more intake when you get a bunch of white billowy smoke. You dont have that. So i dont think your problem is too little airflow.)

Jersey BBQ
02-05-2017, 06:57 AM
I recently read an old thread concerning this exact issue with a smoker very similar to yours. I ended up sending a PM to the OP to see how he ever ended up solving the issue. He stopped warming his wood and problem went away. I don't know why- Or if it was his wood supply or what but wanted to mention that. Good luck -