Gas smoker - How to generate smoke with low temp

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by thesquid, May 16, 2017.

  1. thesquid

    thesquid Newbie

    Hi All,

      New to smoking here. I have only done it about three times now. I have a propane smoker (Masterbuilt 30" Propane Smoker) and I find that when I try and keep the temp at 250 degrees (for smoking ribs), I don't get much smoke generation. I am using a cast iron skillet, that I put on top of the wood chips stand that came with the smoker, to hold my wood chips. 

    Questions #1 - Is it the heat from the gas burner that is cooking the meat or is it the smoke?

    Question #2 - Should my smoker be producing a lot of visible smoke? I tend to see much more smoke with higher temperatures, however, most recipes call for low heat (250 degrees)

    Questions #3 - Should the wood I am using for smoking become black and charred after a while? I know, probably a stupid question, but I have not read how the wood should look if it is burning properly.

    Question #4 - Should I be spraying the wood with water periodically?

    Thank you so much for any assistance!
  2. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey, I started smoking with a Masterbuilt propane smoker so I will answer these questions for you based on my experience.

    1.  It is the heat that is cooking your meat, the smoke is merely just another layer of flavor

    2.  The less visible smoke the better.  Thin,  blue (almost invisible smoke) is what you want.  Sometimes you can't even see it but you can smell it.  Thick White smoke will produce bitter/acrid BBQ.  

    3.  Ideally, the wood should become white looking as you want it to smolder and not burn.  It will kind of fall apart.  If its black it means its probably on fire,  which can create the dirty smoke mentioned above and raise your cooking temps.  If this keeps happening, try shutting down the intake vents a bit

    4.  Leave the wood as is.  A baseball size chunk should give you a good hour or so of smoke as long as it is smoldering

    One more reminder...Leave the top vent wide open...the smoke needs a place to escape.  Closing it down can also cause that bitter/acrid taste.

    Hope this helps!

    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    thesquid, domerskee and phonedrn8 like this.
  3. good question's,  I have the same thinking in the back of my head [​IMG]
  4. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  5. lotgod

    lotgod Newbie

    Have you tried taking the factory wood chip pan out all together? I suspect the chip aren't getting enough heat to smolder.  I put my cast iron skillet directly on top of the flame, a little offset so the flame isn't starved of oxygen.  I'm going to also wrap the chips in foil next time to keep them smoldering a bit longer.

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