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Too much smoke????

 
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Micker



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30 11 6:28 am    Post subject: Too much smoke???? Reply with quote

I have been at this for a very short while, trying to perfect the "rib" first. I've got a great rub and mop and I've used apple and hickory for smoke. I just have a little kettle Q that's about 15" accross. I get good temps 220-235 deg, I add the charcoal about every hour or 1.5 hours but the meat seems almost too smokey. Is that possible? Is my grill to small that much smoke? It really bellows out of the vent even though it's shut. Any ideas? I use lump charcoal, not briquets maybe that adds to it.
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xring01
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30 11 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I am reading your post correctly, I think you just stated what the problem is...Closing the vent.

I am assuming you mean the vent on top of the smoker or chimney vent...

If you close the vent, it traps the smoke inside....

That vent should always remain open... I never shut mine, wide open....

Which gets the air flowing correctly.

If you have a vent located near your coals, then you can close that one to a degree... Which will bring your temps down, but dont ever close it, unless you are trying to put the fire out...
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30 11 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xring01 covers it all or pretty much all.

Don't close your top vents exhaust unless you want to kill the fire, and if you are trying to kill the fire why did you leave the meat in there?

Open the top vent completely and control the temperature via the openness of the bottom vents.

If you put charcoal only on one side of your charcoal grate and leave a disposable pan on the other side, put your neat over the pan, and turn your lid so that the top vents are over the meat side too, this will give you the best draw of smoke across the meat without allowing the smoke to get stale or condense.
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Micker



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30 11 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

both good info, thanks very much. I do have my coals on one side and a drip pan on the other, and my meat is over the drip pan. It's just that I'm holding my smoke hostage.
Thanks again!
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crashpilot
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Joined: 03 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30 11 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, leave the vents open and let 'er breathe... Another thought I had was, are you soaking your apple and hickory in water before putting them on the fire? IMHO, when you soak the wood chunks, they smolder instead of burn and you'll get an over-smoked flavor. If you are soaking the wood, try putting it in dry to prevent the smoldering.
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SVonhof
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31 11 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to start looking for a larger grill as well. A 15" diameter (or square) grill is pretty small to be using as a smoker as you are always going to have the meat close to the heat source. You may be able to find a 22.5" Weber on Craigslist for as little as $15-20 (very used) which will allow some more distance between the meat and the heat.

In the meantime, you may want to make a shield of sorts using aluminum foil so that the meat doesn't get direct heat from the coals. Maybe fold the foil and let it drape over the grill between the meat and coals (don't block it completely as you still want the smoke and heat to flow).
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stetch
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Joined: 31 Aug 2007
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Location: Bay area, California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31 11 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

double check your thermometers, often if you are getting a very smokey flavor it is because the temps are lower than you think.

Also -- not adding wood throughout the whole cook is an option. Most of your smoke flavor comes from early on, feel free to stop adding after the initial smoke wood is added.

As other's say-- never shut the out-take vent, only the intakes.
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BriGreentea
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Joined: 20 May 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31 11 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slightly off subject for UDS guys. I have a big problem with too much smoke in particular meats such as chicken, ribs and fatties. My last fatty was so smoky it was too rich with smoke. I really think it would work better grilled over direct heat but whatever.

I've tried a water pan empty and with water and seems to help a little but now wondering if something as simple as putting foil under the top grate where the food smokes could help in this matter. In some ways, I find offsets are better for smoking especially ribs where I never had this issue when I had a cheap mini Charbroil Wal Mart offset and could eat a half a rack of bb's with no problem. Now if I can eat 2 of the rack I would be lucky.

On other meats I will add on my uds like brisket, roast and pork shoulder doesn't matter and tastes fine.
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Pigslips
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Joined: 28 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31 11 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you close your vent the meat will most likely get dark and also a bitter taste will set in.
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Micker



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01 11 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are great suggestions, I really appreciate it. I have tried the metal fence in the coal chamber and it didn't really work. I soak my chips so maybe I'll stop that, and open my vents. It's funny, I always thought the more smoke the better, but it really transfers into the taste.


Thanks again guys.
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Smoke&flame



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01 11 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can see a bunch of smoke bellowing as you described, something is wrong with the fire. 9 out of 10 times it's not proper air flow as others have mentioned.

On smaller smokers it can be a little tricky to get the air flow right as many designs just don't produce a nice draw. You want the fire burning as hot as it possibly can for the amount of fuel that is in it. IE: it's better to have a smaller hotter fire than it is to have too much fuel not burning cleanly. In my opinion it's better to have to refuel the smoker from time to time and have a clean burning fire.

When it's burning hot and clean you will barely be able to see smoke. When my DPP 60 gets warmed up and running you can not see smoke at all coming from the stacks. You just see the heat mirage coming out. Thin blue smoke is okay too. If it's white, something is wrong, and it's most likely airflow. Not to say you will never see white smoke, when I toss a log on I get a little smoke for a few minutes as the log starts burning, but it should never constantly bellow smoke.
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