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What happened to the smoke???

 
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25 13 11:28 pm    Post subject: What happened to the smoke??? Reply with quote

I had the family out this weekend for a cookout. Brought my new 250 gallon RF/Hybrid out and started cooking around 7:30 yesterday morning. The first thing I put on was a Butt. I left it uncovered in a pan for most of the day.

I started the fire using around 10 lbs. of coals and the rest wood all day. Nothing seemed to have a good smoked flavor to it. Not like I'm used to. So what happened to the smoke?

It (now that I have my plates 6" from the racks) breaths good, cooked good and kept a constant temp. Even the leg quarters didn't have much smoke to them. Seems like to oils in the smoke stuck to the RF plates? It was Ok and they loved it but it's not as good as I normally do. Guess it's going to take me a while longer to get used to her.

Any ideas?
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patruns
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25 13 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of wood did you use?
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25 13 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat, it was oak and little hickory. Both were really seasoned.
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BluDawg
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25 13 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be that your exhaust is to high on the inside letting the smoke out above the grates.
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure. I would guess the bottom of the stack inside the tank is around 14" above the bottm rack. I even put on some chicken tenders on the side away from the firebox (where the heat and smoke come back around) and even those had very little smoke on the top rack. Its like the plates absorbed the oil before it made the turn back across the tank.

Last time i cooked on it I cracked open one of the RF plates around 24" from the firebox for more heat. ( I read KAM's post about the RF plates needing to be 5 1/2" above the RF plates a little late..) OOOPs

I had a good (not to much) smoke ring in the brisket i did then. Same wood that I used yesterday. Just weird..
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AndrewT
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You say it's an RF/hybrid. Were you running it as reverse flow or hybrid? I have little knowledge of reverse flows (I've never run one) but have been cooking on offsets for 20 years or more. The grates in my Gator are about 5 1/2" off the tuning plates, and I've never had a problem with lack of smoke flavor. My 48"-long cook chamber has 5 8" wide plates, and the first is welded to the firebox deflector; then the gaps are 1/4", 1/2", 5/8", 1", and the last 3" or so to the end of the chamber.
Is your stack at the f/b end or the opposite (or both, as it's both RF and hybrid)? Pics might help!
Best of luck
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a picture of the pit. I had smoke it's just like it lost its flavor or potency this time.

http://s794.beta.photobucket.com/user/mikeydidit2007/media/IMAG0111_zpsdca745d3.jpg.html?sort=6&o=0#/user/mikeydidit2007/media/IMAG0111_zpsdca745d3.jpg.html?sort=6&o=0&_suid=136181693578008621423624797786

Here is a picture of the RF (removable) plates. Yesterday I was cooking with all the plates in and no separation between them.

http://s794.beta.photobucket.com/user/mikeydidit2007/media/DSCF0396_zpsddbfc388.jpg.html?sort=6&o=6#/user/mikeydidit2007/media/DSCF0396_zpsddbfc388.jpg.html?sort=6&o=6&_suid=1361816487261012476614349802961
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeydidit, how hot were you running the cooker?
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi KAM. Thanks for chiming in. I knew if anyone would know about this you would. I had her running around 250 most of the day.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the 250° what the doors said or your sure you were 250° at the grate? Sorry for the questions but it helps to know.
The fact that you have had success before rules out any changes needed to the cooker in my opinion. If the cooker seals well exhaust placement can be either up or at grate level in my opinion. The pork in the pan may have altered it but you said the chicken was light on smoke as well which turns me back the fuel source meaning the wood or the cooker was running pretty hot, sealing off the meat fast, and or drafting really well due to a hot fire.
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin I have one (right now) at the top middle of the tank. It read between 220 to 275 all day depending on when I added more wood or not. I do not have a lot of leakage really anywhere on the thing. As for the heat, I placed 10 lbs of leg quarters on the end towards the firebox and it took 2 1/2 hours to get those done. So it wasn't burning too hot, I don't think? The wood i used was some i split over a year ago and it burned really clean. Maybe too seasoned?

Its weird Kevin. Smoke but no flavor from it. It was very light smoke in everything.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26 13 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeydidit, the times before when you had good flavor is this where the cooker temps ran?
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27 13 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, the last time I had the plates down too low (8 ") so I had to crack a plate open for more heat. It did run around the same temps though letting a little more direct heat in.

This time (after reading another post you did) about placing the plates at 5 1/2" below the racks. I added 2 3/4" to my plates bringing them up to around 5 7/8" under the racks. I also cut away another 2" of plate from the firebox opening under the plates. This made a great improvement of how the tank breathed. I had to cut the firebox dampers back to around 1/2" opening. This (if you can imagine) made my wood burn longer. I am just wondering if I closed to the stack damper back enough to make it smoke right?
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bruno994



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27 13 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My RF pit I built last year, gives a light smoke flavor to the meat as well. My exhaust extends down to my upper grate, which is 5 1/2" above the lower grate. I have 4 1/2" from the bottom of my lower grate to the RF plate. I prefer the lighter smoke flavor as opposed to the heavier smoke, but at times I would like a bit more smoke on my meat.
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Mikeydidit
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27 13 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting bruno994. I appreciate it. This was my second cook on it. I made changes and I know it's going to take a while to get used to her.

I would have figured with the amount of wood I am using though that I would need to cover some things up to avoid too much smoke. Guess I need to figure out what to lay out for this weekend so I can try it again.. Smile
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