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jbelson
12-14-2017, 05:18 PM
So, I just got a new smoker. Old 500 Gallon propane tank, offset smoker. Split oak logs.

My last couple of cooks have given my meats a really black look. It looks burnt, but it's not. Chicken legs looked black, but skin wasn't crispy or anything. The ribs had a black color to them too, but were still tender and juicy. The texture was a little "sooty".

The first cook, the chimney looked a little thick with smoke. The next cook, it was pretty clean, very light smoke coming out.

I'm not sure what is giving everything such a black, charred look, even though it's not burnt. This happens on meats that have no sugar on them too.

I'm trying to use the smaller logs. Have even been trying to make sure that the coals are moved to the side to get air thru.

Maybe the logs are too close to the smoker box?

Any fire experts around that understand these kind of things? The meat tastes ok, but texture and look are not as appealing as they should be.


And I don't put meat in until smoker is up to temp.

Thanks for any help and advice.https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMdutlXYt2KoO-UR5D-uSo9McRRR79RgSHaq1m7

JimmyR1Rider
12-14-2017, 05:22 PM
How long has your oak been seasoned For? Maybe check the moisture content to see if its still green?

Is it hard to get the oak to burn and keep temp up at all?

Stlsportster
12-14-2017, 05:27 PM
Are you keeping the exhaust fully open? How big is the opening between the firebox and the smoke chamber and how far away is the food. A few pictures may help.

JimmyR1Rider
12-14-2017, 05:28 PM
Are you keeping the exhaust fully open? How big is the opening between the firebox and the smoke chamber and how far away is the food. A few pictures may help.

Great questions. What he said lol

jbelson
12-14-2017, 05:49 PM
The exhaust is NOT fully open, about 1/2. Not sure how big fire box opening is, but have been keeping food away from opening as it's too hot right there. Food throughout the smoker gets that black color. Been keeping temps about 250 with slight fluctuation when doors open. heres wood

Stlsportster
12-14-2017, 05:56 PM
Open that exhaust. Stickburners need to breathe. I never close my exhaust. Control the heat with the intakes!

IamMadMan
12-14-2017, 06:07 PM
Stlsportster has your answer....

4ever3
12-14-2017, 06:07 PM
An airflow issue for sure...

Rockinar
12-14-2017, 06:07 PM
Those pics are bad for sure.

I use post oak, and even with pretty green wood I dont get results like that. Something is wrong. Open the vents all the way. Even leave the firebox door open. You want a SMALL & HOT fire burning clean as you can get it. Cut those splits in half with a mitre saw so they are 8" or so instead of 16". That will give you the ability to build a smaller fire or you can place two of them in there side by side if you need a whole split and can still have a small fire.

Also would like to see pictures of the smoker. You could simply have draft issues. I dont think it's a wood issue. I think it's a fire management issue or draft issue.

Czarbecue
12-14-2017, 06:12 PM
Damn, those are some big logs. If you're feeding it whole and choking her down, and with that exhaust at half way, the cooker is definitely having trouble breathing. Test it with a fatty!

CptKaos
12-14-2017, 06:22 PM
A small hot fire ain't going to work in a pit that size, or any offset really, the bigger the live coal bed the better for stabilizing temps
I don't know who started the "small fire" nonsense but he deserves to be cold smoked

Larry

Beentown
12-14-2017, 06:30 PM
A small hot fire ain't going to work in a pit that size, or any offset really, the bigger the live coal bed the better for stabilizing temps
I don't know who started the "small fire" nonsense but he deserves to be cold smoked

LarryHahahhahahahhahha, love it.

Also, that wood does not looked seasoned, at all. Oak is almost grey when it is ready (15-20% moisture).

Trying running that cooker from 275-300 with seasoned wood and report back.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Rockinar
12-14-2017, 06:37 PM
The exhaust is NOT fully open, about 1/2. Not sure how big fire box opening is, but have been keeping food away from opening as it's too hot right there. Food throughout the smoker gets that black color. Been keeping temps about 250 with slight fluctuation when doors open. heres wood


If your exhaust is half close, there's half your problem. Open the exhaust and intake all the way. Control your temps with you fire size, not the vents. It's not an oven so don't expect a steady temp. It's just not going to happen. It will go up when you put wood on, and go down when it burns off. That's just how it works.


I cut my splits in half. Full size splits easily fit in my firebox. But if they are cut in half it makes it so much easier to to manage the fire. Also if you cut them in half with a mite saw it give you the chance to see what the true moisture content is with a moisture meter. Anything in the 30% range I throw in a "needs more time" pile. 20% range is a "meh, in a pinch I can use them" pile. Under 20% pile is "good to go" pile.

At Truth BBQ I looked at their wood pile and asked them about it. It all felt really green. They said they just throw in in the smoker no matter what it is. So....so what the hell do I know? LOL.

http://i66.tinypic.com/11hcmdw.jpg

jbelson
12-14-2017, 06:58 PM
I tried cutting some pieces in half, but they were so damn hard the saw couldn't get thru.

Rockinar
12-14-2017, 07:03 PM
A small hot fire ain't going to work in a pit that size, or any offset really, the bigger the live coal bed the better for stabilizing temps
I don't know who started the "small fire" nonsense but he deserves to be cold smoked

Larry



I dont need a big coal bed. Works better with a small one. I could even run it on a handful of chunks. I can have almost no coals and it will still be 225*. Sounds like yours has design issues.

JokerBroker
12-14-2017, 07:09 PM
+1 on keeping the chimney wide open. I agree with Rockinar on just about everything else too. It's about fire size, not closing vents in the world of wood fires. You want to get as close to complete combustion as possible. That means lots of air flow.

CptKaos
12-14-2017, 07:09 PM
I dont need a big coal bed. Works better with a small one. I could even run it on a handful of chunks. I can have almost no coals and it will still be 225*. Sounds like yours has design issues.

Cool story bro
I have not tried to cook at that low a temp with an offset
Prefer hot and fast method
Larry

jbelson
12-14-2017, 07:11 PM
It has actually worked very well for the previous owner for over a year in it's current exhaust position. I'm thinking I have wood that isn't seasoned properly.

keeperofsecrets
12-14-2017, 07:41 PM
After a bunch of trial and error, this is my sequence with my offset:
Use a few scoops of coals to start the fire, then add more logs than you think you will need. My pit usually takes two at a time when running, so I start with four.
Let the logs burn almost to coals (abt an hour), then add two splits at a time (generally hourly) to keep temp
Add the meat
Cook to desired doneness

I generally keep my temp between 225 and 285 for all meat except chicken and turkey. Those go over 300.

Hope this helps

Czarbecue
12-14-2017, 07:42 PM
It has actually worked very well for the previous owner for over a year in it's current exhaust position. I'm thinking I have wood that isn't seasoned properly.

If that's the case, get some kiln dried wood and give it a go. Or open the up the stack and use your current wood. It will be best to change one thing at a time.

pjtexas1
12-14-2017, 08:03 PM
A small hot fire ain't going to work in a pit that size, or any offset really, the bigger the live coal bed the better for stabilizing temps
I don't know who started the "small fire" nonsense but he deserves to be cold smoked

LarryDo you have a cooker big enough for me to fit in? :heh:

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

jbelson
12-14-2017, 08:03 PM
If that's the case, get some kiln dried wood and give it a go. Or open the up the stack and use your current wood. It will be best to change one thing at a time.

I wanna try that, but the damn thing is rusted into place. The big design flaw on this thing is that the door and exhaust hinges were made with a threaded bolt, so they've rusted into place. I cant even close the door.:doh:

4ever3
12-14-2017, 08:06 PM
Not closing the door isnít as big of an issue as the damper being half closed... Open it up! And if that doesnít work, get a bigger hammer, ya gotta move air

CptKaos
12-14-2017, 08:11 PM
Do you have a cooker big enough for me to fit in? :heh:

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Not whole. Is that going to be a problem :)

Larry

cholloway
12-15-2017, 09:01 AM
Not closing the door isnít as big of an issue as the damper being half closed... Open it up! And if that doesnít work, get a bigger hammer, ya gotta move air

Agree completely... use a BFH if necessary.

Ron_L
12-15-2017, 09:39 AM
Mod Note:

I cleaned up this thread to keep it on topic.

Thanks for reporting a post in this thread! Please do us a favor and resist the temptation to call someone out for a post. I know that it is hard sometime :-D Report it and let us make the determination on what needs to be done! We need your eyes, but let us do the dirty work if anything needs to be done!

Cook
12-15-2017, 10:15 AM
If you can't beat that exhaust flue out of the way, get a hacksaw & cut off as much of the exhaust to remove it all.

Then fix your other rust issues.

Air flow is key in a smoker like yours. Move the air & tend the fire.

Mikhail
12-15-2017, 10:21 AM
A chop saw like they use for hardwood floors would be good if you have one. Meant to cut oak.

blazinfire
12-15-2017, 10:27 AM
I agree with everyone else here.. Get that sack open.. I have cooked with tree's that just fell.. No problem. Air flow is key with stick burners.. It might be rusted shut, as far as the previous owner runs it with no problems...... He was just use to the pit.. Learned what it takes to run it with it being choked off like that. From day number 1 on the forum.. I learned run a smoker with the exhaust wide open.
Getting to know the pit I would highly recommend open it all up. I adjust my intake damper instead of exhaust

JVM59
12-15-2017, 10:55 AM
I've learned a lot about air flow just from reading all of these posts and I don't even own a stick burner! Thanks Everyone!

W.I.T.W.A.G?
12-15-2017, 03:31 PM
It worked in that position for him and his methods and his wood. Unless you're him you're probably going to run it a bit different. Stick burning is an active sport! Open that stack, watch the smoke and your temps and adjust from there. Your wood might be a bit green but lots of people use greener wood with great success. It all depends on your airflow and fire management. Good luck, enjoy the process

BillN
12-15-2017, 04:01 PM
That is a lot of cook chamber so as others have said exhaust is key, based on the pic the exhaust stack appears small, what size stack are you running? Airflow is your friend and running 275+ due to a properly oxygenated fire is to be expected.

JayQ
12-15-2017, 04:16 PM
One thing I learned the hard way is to keep your cook chamber clean. When my baffle would get loaded with drippings, I would start getting a dark oily residue on my meat that looked just like your pics. I threw out a whole packer once after I figured out what was causing the issue. Just another idea, open the cook chamber and clean it if it has loads of grease inside. Iím sure some off the reverse flow guys has run into this issue as well.

Everyone else are pretty spot on though. Get that exhaust open and let it breathe. Most offsets have a sweet spot that they like to cook at. Not hot enough and it won't burn cleanly and it will have white smoke, try to cook to hot with too much wood and it will burn a darker dirty smoke. Find itís right temp with nearly transparent blue smoke and learn to cook there. Most offsets like 250-350

Czarbecue
12-15-2017, 04:21 PM
I can't imagine rust being a strong opponent to a sledge hammer to whatever is blocking half of your exhaust :-P

Cook
12-15-2017, 04:21 PM
That is a lot of cook chamber so as others have said exhaust is key, based on the pic the exhaust stack appears small, what size stack are you running? Airflow is your friend and running 275+ due to a properly oxygenated fire is to be expected.

Excellent observation. I agree that it looks like a small pipe, but pictures can be deceiving. Is that pipe even 6"?

BillN
12-15-2017, 04:36 PM
Excellent observation. I agree that it looks like a small pipe, but pictures can be deceiving. Is that pipe even 6"?

Agree, I'm thinking 8" stack for a 30" cook chamber that's probably 72" long.

kls44
12-15-2017, 06:34 PM
Put a couple drops of Kroil on the exhaust pivot and firebox hinges, it doesn't take much, let it soak a few minutes and things should start working.

Cook
12-16-2017, 07:00 AM
Put a couple drops of Kroil on the exhaust pivot and firebox hinges, it doesn't take much, let it soak a few minutes and things should start working.

That is good stuff isn't it?

CptKaos
12-16-2017, 08:47 AM
Put a couple drops of Kroil on the exhaust pivot and firebox hinges, it doesn't take much, let it soak a few minutes and things should start working.

If you can heat the pivot with a torch then apply the penetrating oil it will help to wick the oil into the joint, not too hot or the oil will just vaporize

Larry