out of wood have to use chips

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by shaggy smokes, May 10, 2014.

  1. shaggy smokes

    shaggy smokes Smoke Blower

    I have never used chips any advice? Using offset smoker doing pork shoulder
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmm, that brings back memories...let me pick my brains on what I did years ago with Brinkmann SnP. OK, if you have grill grates that fit into the sfb, you can set a 12oz tin soup can (or similar) on the grate with chips (burn-out/season the can first to remove any nasties). I tried aluminum foil pouches, as well, but was always afraid of burning it up (melting and off-gassing) and having that flowing through the smoke chamber with the smoke. What I liked about the tin can is that if you save the lid, you can use it to help control the smoke output by limiting the amount of air that gets to the wood. Sometimes you can adjust the output by simply bending the lid so it doesn't restrict as much air. Moving the smoke-can closer to, or farther away from, the heat source is your main controlling factor. If you have no grill grates that go over the fire, you can always set the can beside the fire. Smoke-cans work well in dedicated grills, too, especially for chips and smaller chunks...that's how I started smoking back in ~2001 (or '02-'03...been a while...LOL!!!).

    Let me know if there's anything that would prevent the smoke-can from working, but if there's space for the can, there's always a way to get it the right distance from the fire for smoke control, even if you have to just make a small pocket on the fire grate by moving the hot coals in order to keep enough distance.

    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  3. shaggy smokes

    shaggy smokes Smoke Blower

    Thanks good idea I just don't have time to make almost 2 hour round trip for wood
  4. Hello.  No problem.  Just throw a few on now and then.  You might see some white smoke as they ignite and burn but so long as you don't use handfuls at a time you will be OK.  White smoke for a long period will add a nasty taste to your food and cause a creosote build up in the smoker tainting future smokes.  A little white smoke for a short period will not affect the final product.  Just my opinion.  Others may think different.  Keep Smokin!

  5. shaggy smokes

    shaggy smokes Smoke Blower

    One more question soak the chips or should I have water in can or foil?
  6. smokinadam

    smokinadam Smoking Fanatic

    Soak the chips for sure. I soak mine for minimum of 30 minutes. Helps them smoke longer. I use chips all the time on my kettle and in my gasser. I place soaked chips right on my charcoal.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Soak the Chips if going directly on the fire. If using the Can don't soak, they will not generate any smoke until they dry. The lid, needed to limit Oxygen so they don't flare up, will hold the moisture in and make steam inhibiting the chips from getting hot enough to make good clean smoke...JJ
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    coffee can with foil over the opening and three or four holes poked in the foil. Works great, just make sure you burn out the can real good. I used to use this method in my old ecb. Plus, you get perfect charcoal when it is all said and done. Oh and I never soak chips. Like the chef said it just delays the smoke until the chips dry out.
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Couldn't post for a bit...something with site, anyway:

    No water for the smoke wood, especially in the container...it will just delay the onset of smoke due to preventing the wood from getting hot enough to produce smoke (water vapor cools the space it's in).

    OK, just to clarify: "white smoke" is mostly water vapor being flashed-off from the wood, hence lots of white from the vent upon the onset of smoke when you add more wood, then tapering off shortly afterwards. Soaking smoke wood, while it may seem to help chips smoke slower/longer, adds very little moisture to the wood because it takes weeks to soak through more than a 1/8" or so into hard woods. I haven't soaked smoke wood for about 6 years after deciding it did nothing for me. It may be a standard practice for many, and it may work for them to achieve a better smoke...it just didn't get me what I wanted, that's all.

    After experimenting for several years off and on with heavier smoke, lighter smoke, white, blue, I have recently come to the conclusion that there is a useful purpose with all of them. I came to this point when I was developing the wet-to-dry smoke chamber for hot smoking, wherein I used a heavy white smoke for up to a few hours at the start of the smoke, then allowing it to taper off to thin and blue for the remaining smoke time. This method has resulted in among the best smoke flavor I have ever been rewarded with. How is this possible? White smoke is most water vapor...moisture is needed for smoke to collect on the meat/food, and I want high humidity at first, anyway, so the heavy white smoke was what I needed to accomplish my goal. Why no bitter taste? Because the smoke was not stagnant...I keep a good draft flowing through the smoke chamber. If creosote is the cause of a bitter taste and/or tingling/numbing of the lips/mouth, you likely have too little draft in the smoke chamber.

    Here's a very well written thread from a member I have a great deal of respect for, due to his willingness to experiment, research and find answers as to why and how...and share what he learned with all of us here on SMF. It should help explain what I have experienced in better detail...I think you'll find it to be rather enlightening...please, allow Tom to educate you on the subject:


    BTW, he, like myself, has also written a variety of tutorials with tips and methods on some of his favorite things to smoke. Go to the advanced search and just type in his username, or click on his profile and select threads started to see what he's plugged into SMF...good stuff to know, given from a skilled and knowledgeable master of smoke.

    Last edited: May 10, 2014

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