dry chunks producing white smoke

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bkos, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. bkos

    bkos Fire Starter

    I have a 18.5 WSM and continue to have issues with white smoke.  The only time a chunk of dry wood will produce a thin blue smoke is when I do chicken at a high temp, all vents fully open.  The problem starts when I smoke something like a pork butt or chuckie at around 230-250.  For example- smoking a chuckie at 240deg, bottom vents at 1/2 and top open with blue bag minion method.  My  fist size chunk of hickory or apple wood will first produce thin blue but will always begin to produce a lighter white colored thick and bad smelling smoke that will cause me to open the door and remove that chunk of wood which is now smoldering and has white colored ash starting a corner.  I will then have to get a new chunk of wood and start all over again.  I just don't understand the guys here that burry numerous chunks inside the coals, if were to do that, I would have some bad tasting meat in the end.  An all day smoke means an ALL day smoke where I have to keep a constant eye on what my wood chunks are producing.  I would appreciate any help from you fellow smokers.

  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bkos,although I ama Stick Burner,I'm gonna take an educated guess . Been a long time since I used a Bullet Smoker,but seeing and hearing these guys here ,use the 'Minion Method' where the chunks are buried in the Coals. The reason is your chunks are on top and don't get to a efficient ignition temp. before the gasses start burning.

    However,some of the WSM pros will be here soon.Patience...

    Stan    aka    oldschool
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    What you describe is a symptom of poor combustion.  Why not split up the chunks or try using wood chips.  A smaller, hotter fire with small pieces of wood is kind of the base point.  If the small hot fire doesn't work then there is a problem with the amount of fresh air getting to the combustion chamber.   I would try this "base point" first and once you get it mastered you can move to larger fires and larger chunks.

    BTW, many of us keep the exit dampers fully open all the time, this not only allows more fresh air to pull through the smoker it also allows a bit hotter fire in the combustion chamber

    Good luck and don't get frustrated, smaller smokers are a lot harder to master then the larger ones.

  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It sounds to me like it may be the wood. What are you using & how old is it?
  5. bkos

    bkos Fire Starter

    I use Cowboy Brand that I picked up at Lowes or Home Depot.  Not sure how old they are Al

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