Ash or Charcoal?????

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by morkfrompork, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. I`m not sure if I have ever seen this questioned.

    When I`ve finished my smoke, sometimes I end up with what looks all the world like charcoal and sometimes just ash.

    Most all the chips I use to get the smoke rolling become ash, but with the chunks used after initial smoke generation, sometimes it becomes charcoal=sometimes it goes to ash.

    I don`t soak either chips or chunks anymore.

    I don`t think the chunks are holding any internal moisture.

    Neither end result seems to affect taste, so this is just one more useless fact that makes my brain itch.
  2. It's kinda like driving on the parkway and parking on the driveway.  Mysteries of the universe.
  3. I got an itchy brain also. Usaully my buried chunks are left as charcoal (lump-solid carbon) . Same results when I make my own lump in my mini retort. It seems more air creates more ash since the carbon is fully burned. Just my observations. Really itchy now.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The smoker needs more air... You want white ash..... That will improve the flavor of the smoke and meat also.... And you are correct when you say you are making charcoal... To make charcoal, you burn wood in the absence of oxygen.....

    Now you know why they say, "use cure #1 when smoking meats".... botulism grows in an oxygen free environment....
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  5. Hmmmmmmmmm.  Hadn't thought about lack of intake air supply, since the exhaust always seemed just what would be expected.

    A decent volume of thin blue escaping around the lid gaps and out the additional holes I drilled into the lid to "guide" the smoke over the top grill and out the lid top.

    I guess I could put a few more holes in the base, just to see what happens, since they would be easy to plug off if heat loss or stabilization became an issue.
  6. It`s early and I`m sitting out waiting for the wings to get done.......

    So Update time.

    I drilled 4, 1/2 inch holes in the pan that holds the heating element and the smoke before last gave me almost all ash.

    Even the bulk of the chunks of applewood were ash.

    Thanks for the help.

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