In Search Of The TBS

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by northwet smoker, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Forgive me if I am posting this in the wrong place. I am going to do my 3rd smoke in the new offset this weekend and after reading the forums I have decided that I am probably using too many wood chunks during my cooks. When I put the wood on my coal pile I get alot of thick white smoke coming out of the stack. The chunks seem to burn up quickly and after about 30-40 minutes there is no visible smoke coming out of the stack. Being the newb that I am, I've just kept throwing more on to keep the white smoke going throughout the cook (this is supposed to be smoking, right [​IMG] ). The ribs have come out fine both attempts but I have noticed a little creosote starting to build up in the stack. Not what I want according to the posts I've read here. So I guess my question is how do you guys use wood chunks and get the TBS and not the thick white smoke that I have. I like the real smoky flavor I've been getting but want to avoid the creosote problems. Sorry for the long winded post and thanks for any advice.

  2. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've tried a new method over the weekend that will be my tried and true from here on out to achieve quick, tbs .. again.

    Get some heavy duty aluminum foil and throw some wood chunks, or chips, in there. The smaller the pieces, the better the smolder. Wrap them up loosely in the foil and then pop several holes in the new little foil "bag". Throw that on top of the hot coals and let it smoke.

    Definitely don't want the puffy white smoke - that's what gives off creoste - yuck.
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  4. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How long was the smoke white and billowy after you tossed on the wood? it's not unusual to get a few minutes of white smoke when you throw wood onto a fire. If it's still white and billowy after 5 minutes or so then that's not good.

    You can use the method Sumosmoke suggested (works better with chips) or you can preburn the wood as Rich mentioned in his post.
  5. bb53chevpro

    bb53chevpro Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In my opinion getting the THIN BLUE smoke is not always easy if you are not pre-burning wood first. It takes time to get used to the setup you have. Both suggestions listed below should work great.
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds to me like your using wet wood!
  7. williamzanzinger

    williamzanzinger Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Im new with the offset setup as well, and next time I am gonna try the wood in the foil, it seams reasonable because I did get the thick smoke when the heat would begin burning the wood I set amongst the coal. I also found that a bit of fiddling with the vents helped me control the smoke during those periods. Infatc opening the vents and letting oxygen in helped the wood to burn a little cleaner and hotter for a few minutes then Id choke her down. Still im gonna try the foil because im not convinced my way was best but it worked at the time.
  8. Thanks Rich, this is a great thread. Makes sense.

    I had the white smoke for a good 20 minutes plus. Probably a combination of to many chunks and not preburning. Thanks Ron

    Nope, bone dry hickory chunks.
  9. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you're using chunks of wood, don't put them in water or anything to smoke, See the lessons from this forum. Get your charcoal base going and add a couple (2 maybe 3 if they are small) chunks and keep your exhaust stack wide open. Control your heat / burn with your incoming vent only. Depending on your unit, you may have to constantly monitor; but then isn't that part of the fun? If you want "cook and forget", roast a chicken in your oven and be done with it. Along the cooking period of the meat you are smoking, you must periodically open the firebox and look at your coals. Do you need more? (mostly grey ash, no TBS, low temps). Are there too many ? (High temps, flames, no smoke). Smoking is a labor intensive process and requires watching if you want the desired results. Foil packs of small bits of smoking wood are great, however foil burns easily. You must place these packages in a pan or suitable container to prevent the foil from melting. I have a metal meatloaf/breadloaf pan that I use that's dedicated for this purpose. I don't cover it, I just toss the wood chips in it and set it on the grate in the firebox. Metal foil just doesn't work for me. Just remember that smoking meat requires participation from the smoker. Have fun and don't worry about asking questions here at the forum.

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