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bbqpitsmoker 02-08-2018 06:19 PM

Photos of thin blue smoke
From having a look around on the internet there seems to be a pretty wide range of smoke thickness and color that is considered correctly or incorrectly to be ‘thin blue’

Would appreciate any of you lucky enough to own both a smoker and a camera or even a smartphone taking some photos of what you consider to be ‘thin blue smoke’ on your next cooks and posting them on this thread to be a resource for current and future members to know what to aim for if they want thin blue.

SmittyJonz 02-08-2018 06:23 PM

Invisible is even Better......

IamMadMan 02-08-2018 06:28 PM

Here is an earlier post...

The white smoke/blue smoke issue doesn't really occur with charcoal; it occurs with the added wood to charcoal for smoke flavoring.

When a fire stops flaming, it begins to smolder. At this point, combustion stops occurring in the flame, and begins occurring on the surface of the wood/charcoal. Less oxygen is required of the fire at this point. As long as there is enough oxygen and fuel being converted to heat, then this an ideal cooking heat source as the fire will be burning very clean.

At the point when the cooker begins to come up to temperature and the fire is stabilized, this will become the blue smoke state.

At the point where flaming stops and smoldering begins, there is too little oxygen for clean burning. I believe this to be the "white smoke" point.

You don't need a big piece of wood to get a good smoke, in fact, when it comes to making "thin blue smoke", bigger is NOT necessarily better. The key is to have small amounts of wood burn efficiently, so you get the sweet smoke flavor, and not a bitter, over-smoked flavor.

Dampened wood or cold wood on a fire can give off white smoke until the wood is heated and dry. This type of smoke is mostly moisture escaping from the wood and may not be from poor combustion. White smoke from poor combustion or from poor airflow in the smoker is heavy, smells overpowering, and it can cause that bitter acrid taste that everyone fears. Rule of thumb is to follow your sense of smell. Bad smoke is overpowering and smells bad.

Sweet blue can be seen even when it's "invisible" but you have to get the right angle of light on it. It's very thin, and wispy, and almost invisible.

follow your nose rather than your eyes. If you smell wood smoke, leave it alone, if you do not then add a few wood chunks, right on top of some red-hot coals, the best smoke is smelled, not seen.

pjtexas1 02-08-2018 06:41 PM

I like to run my fingers thru the exhaust and check the smell. If it smells like an Ash tray it needs more time. If it smells like BBQ then it's time to put the meat on.

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Blythewood BBQ'er 02-08-2018 07:06 PM

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It's running I promise!

ssv3 02-08-2018 07:16 PM

You can see a faint blue against the green background of the trees above the stacks on my offset

el luchador 02-08-2018 07:18 PM

Thin smoke - in reality most of the smoke generating organic compounds have burned off and the wood is down to embers

Thin blue smoke
Wood is in flames and the flames are burning off most of the vocs but the wood is not at the embers stage yet

pjtexas1 02-08-2018 07:21 PM

Mines running too...

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keeperofsecrets 02-08-2018 07:27 PM

BBQ Freak 02-08-2018 07:28 PM

from my old Shirley and sometimes you can not even see it and can only see heat waves .

KevinJ 02-08-2018 07:28 PM

BillN 02-08-2018 07:28 PM

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Running 275 to 300, pecan and mesquite, nearly invisible smoke...

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thirdeye 02-08-2018 07:59 PM

This is one of my better sweet blue photos, several hours into a cook. On my drums, I never really get blue smoke as fats are dripping into the coals, so the color is white to light gray, and it's lighter when I hang things as they are not directly over the charcoal basket like they are if I'm using a grate.

Jason TQ 02-08-2018 08:10 PM

Left no, right yes

menace 02-08-2018 08:25 PM

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