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View Full Version : Reverse flow vs conventional cookers


Larry Livingston
03-02-2019, 07:50 PM
Just wondering: I have always used a pellet cooker. I just never thought that I was getting enough smoke taste on my food. So I added a reverse flow cooker to my team, thinking that I would use all wood for my heat source, but the first couple of cooks did not turn out so good. It had way to much smoke flavor for me. Now I'm thinking about the Jammy Gear Jambo and the Lang smoker design and how they work. The heat and smoke goes under the meat and out the other side, with not much actual smoke going across the meat. So my question IS: Is the reverse flow with all that smoke going over the meat too much smoke? I'll be interested in hearing all your thoughts on this subject.

InThePitBBQ
03-02-2019, 07:58 PM
Any smoke can be "too much" if fire management practices are off a bit. Stick burners in general all have different sweet spots depending on the builder and if you do your part there is no better BBQ to be had.

Once you get in the groove rolling nice blue thin smoke all the time your food will have a sweet savory flavor and not the harsh acrid aftertaste most folks associate with too much smoke.

I run Shirley Fabrication and Lang smoker's for catering, both reverse flow designs your welcome to come on up anytime were cooking offsite and see the how's and why's of what we do.

SmittyJonz
03-02-2019, 08:12 PM
No such thing as Too Much smoke or Over smoked- Over/Too Much Bitter Smoke- Yes. Wood Not Seasoned Enough or running exhaust Not Full Open will cause this..... or smoldering Fire from not enough airflow.........

https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=215536

This should be in Que Talk - Woodpile means Off Topic not about Wood.....

SmittyJonz
03-02-2019, 08:23 PM
What smoker.? Some smokers like Greasy Hill n few others have draft issues and Need modded. What wood are you burning? How many splits at a time? Exhaust and intake settings?

SmittyJonz
03-03-2019, 08:29 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=209208

sleebus.jones
03-04-2019, 08:01 AM
Any smoke can be "too much" if fire management practices are off a bit.

Yup. For a stick burner, if you see smoke coming out, you need to adjust your fire. When I run my cinderblock pit, you'd be hard pressed to tell anything is coming out of the exhaust.

Example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMFsHxBrob8
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nWGYoZ0Qd4

Not too exciting as there's really nothing to see, haha. Mainly just heat coming out. That's the fire you should strive for, and will be more in line with the smoke you're after.

sudsandswine
03-04-2019, 09:42 AM
^^^ yep, I strive for "heat only" exiting the stack. I want food that tastes like it was cooked with a wood fire, not food that was "smoked". It's all about that coal bed....add sticks to feed the coal bed.

SmoothBoarBBQ
03-04-2019, 02:35 PM
Everybody else has hit the nail on the head with the "over-smoked" issue.

As for RF smokers the heat goes underneath the cooking chamber through a baffle, and then enters the cook chamber at the side opposite the firebox. So the smoke only runs across the meat one time as it's pulled across the cooking chamber and out the smoke stack. You will get radiant heat from the baffle being hot though.


I run a RF smoker (Johnson Smokers) and I've never over-smoked anything. As long as I'm running a clean fire I get nothing but thin, blue smoke (almost transparent) and it gives the meat a lovely smokey flavor.

Larry Livingston
03-04-2019, 03:56 PM
Many thanks to all for the advice. But it still leaves me with the question as which is best? The reverse flow cooker or the Jambo style conventional cooker?

Pig_Farmer
03-04-2019, 04:06 PM
Which ever one you like is the best for you.

SmittyJonz
03-04-2019, 04:09 PM
Many thanks to all for the advice. But it still leaves me with the question as which is best? The reverse flow cooker or the Jambo style conventional cooker?

The idea behind a reverse flow is to get even a temps from end to end. Many traditional style offsets can be 50- 100 difference from end to end unless you run tuning plates or convection plates ( Jambo And new LSG and a cpl others use upward baffles/crossfllows instead of tuning plates BUT this is still for evening out the temperature ). You are not gonna find much difference in smoke flavor between a decent traditional and a decent reverse flow, really a reverse flow should have Slightly less smoke flavor because the smoke has to travel further before it ever reaches the meat.

Lynn Dollar
03-05-2019, 07:44 AM
No such thing as Too Much smoke or Over smoked- Over/Too Much Bitter Smoke- Yes. Wood Not Seasoned Enough or running exhaust Not Full Open will cause this..... or smoldering Fire from not enough airflow.........

https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=215536

This should be in Que Talk - Woodpile means Off Topic not about Wood.....

How do kamado grills/smokers avoid smoldering smoke ? They have very little air flow.

sudsandswine
03-05-2019, 07:48 AM
Because they dont use wood logs as the primary fuel source, though there is still a bit of a smoldering effect which is why I use wood chips not chunks in my kamado.

Lynn Dollar
03-05-2019, 07:52 AM
It seems to me, that chunks in a WSM using Minion, also smolder. Not enough air flow for them to burst into flame. Or maybe they do flame, and I've never looked to see.

sudsandswine
03-05-2019, 07:59 AM
I would agree with that to a degree, though a WSM does flow a bit more air than a kamado. The smoldering thing is kind of inherent to the way a charcoal smoker operates. Thats why prefer the flavor produced by a clean burning wood fire. Ive found using quality lump charcoal does help a lot though.

busmania
03-05-2019, 10:24 AM
My temps are within 5 degrees from left to right on my Yoder whichita. I had to make a couple small mods but it runs almost perfect now.

SonVolt
03-05-2019, 12:42 PM
My temps are within 5 degrees from left to right on my Yoder whichita. I had to make a couple small mods but it runs almost perfect now.


How happy have you been with the Yoder in general? I was considering a Yoder Kingman until I stumbled on Shirley Fab which is just right down the road from me. My brother-in-law just ordered a YS640.