Can't keep the smoke going?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by finsfree, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    I've got an Oaklahoma Joe offset smoker.

    I was smoking a 14lb brisket the other day and i couldn't keep the smoke going. It only smoked for about the first 2hrs then stopped. I checked the wood in the firebox and it was still good (not all burnt up). I then replaced the old wood with new ones and no smoke.

    What i think it might be is that for me to maintain 225 degree temp i need to totally close my intake vent. Even after i added a gasket kit to my smoker i still have to keep the intake closed (meaning i probably have leaks). But leaks or not i can't keep the smoke going.

    I'm used a charcoal basket filled charcoal and added 1 year old chunks of Oak. Btw, i can get 7hrs of burn time with this charcoal basket...hehehe!

    So, any thoughts???
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Open the exhaust wide open..... Add one more air inlet to the Fire Box...... that will add cool air and not feed the fire oxygen..... Lower inlet controls the fire.... upper controls air through the smoker...

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  4. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    I don't know about drilling new intake wholes. Not sure how to go about the whole process.

    Sounds like it may work.
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Aside from the appearance of smoke, could you smell it? If the charcoal is still burning and the wood is still there, it sounds to me like you just have a fire that's burning well and not producing VISIBLE smoke. Are you getting smoke flavor? What happened to the chunks after the visible smoke stopped? Were they blackened, reduced to ashes or just sittin there smiling at you? (I mean after the cook was finished)
    I'm no fire expert, but I believe what happens, especially with chunks, is as the moisture and impurities are burned off the visible smoke decreases until you've basically created a lump of carbon, which will still burn and produce good smoke flavor, just won't "smoke".
  6. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    If i were to get really, really, really close to the exhaust vent i could see faint smoke coming out, but for it to be ideal it would need to be heavier than that.

    Yes, it had smoky taste, but the smoke ring wasn't very thick. The meat was great don't get me wrong I'm just trying to figure out why i had no smoke.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The hotter the water gets, the more steam it will produce..... Steam displaces air / oxygen in the smoker..... Puts out the fire......

    Turn the smoker down to 205 degrees so you don't drive the moisture out of the ribs.....

    Remove the water in the pan so the pellets will burn.....
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you've achieved perfect smoke and might just not realize it. A smoke ring is a neat thing to talk about but isnt worth a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. Different woods, temps, meats and humidity all affect the formation of a smoke ring. As the often misquoted old adage goes, "the proof of the pudding is in the tasting". If you're getting the flavor and tenderness you're looking for, you're there my friend.
    Heavy smoke looks neat and makes you think you're doing something good, but in reality that's where te trouble starts. Bitter flavors and off colors are most often attributed to heavy smoke.
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Am I missing something here? What water? What pellets? I really don't mean to sound like a jerk I'm just not following.
  10. finsfree

    finsfree Smoke Blower

    You may be right. The meat tasted great!

    I'm using well seasoned wood. I've had this oak for about 1 1/2 years now. It burns clean.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry.... I'm getting threads mixed up today..... heck, every day.......
  12. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Haha, I do that too!! Just afraid I'd missed something.
  13. when you got the fire right, there is not much smoke anyway. just a little blue smoke.[​IMG]
  14. You are doing it right. You don't want a bunch of billowing white smoke. Once your smoker is up to temp and your fire is burning efficiently ( Charcoal nice and white good embers very little smoke) when you star adding seasoned wood that is over a year old you won't have much smoke, because of a couple of things the wood is dry and burns efficiently, green wood has a lot of moisture which causes steam, takes longer to burn and creates lots of creosote and a acrid taste on the meat. Also wood burns best (eliminating most of the bad tasting stuff stuff) between 650¤ and 750¤ That is the fire temp. So when you have everything working like it it supposed to you will have a thin blue smoke, sometimes very hard to see, That's what you are looking for. 

    So if your happy with the amount of smoke on your meat I wouldn't change a thing.


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