Smoke VS Heat, Getting my heat from wood, too smokey?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 4flats, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. 4flats

    4flats Newbie

    This might be out of left field.. 

    My smoker is leaky (Stock Oklahoma Joe's), I have to load up alot of wood to keep up the temp. When it gets hot I choke off air to bring up the temp but I think I am getting too much smoke. 

    Is this possible or am I over thinking?

    I used charcoal & chimney to get the fire started and threw on a few logs of apple wood and the smoke flavor blew away the ribs. 

  2. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    Was the smoke thick and white or gray? If so, yes, too much smoke.
    I use oak splits a lot, but I build a teepee with them, start them burning, then start my charcoal chimney, then wait. I pour the charcoal over the oak after it gets going, then wait. Once the smoke starts to clear up I shut everything and start adjusting to get my temp. If the smoke starts to thicken I have to open the firebox lid and let it burn some more.
    Using logs, of any type, requires a good bed of coals to ignite the wood and not have it smolder when you put it in. It can be tricky trying to manage temps and getting the smoke right. I feel like I'm rambling now, but you want a thin blue smoke, it should look like the air coming off a hot car in the summer, just distorts your vision, but you can see through it. If it's thick, white or gray, you need more air to get more coals which burn more than smolder.
    I hope something there made sense lol!
  3. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    I have a simular smoker. I don't worry about a little leaking smoke you will still have plenty of smoke flavor. Don't choke down the damper to bring up the temp! You always want the exhaust wide open for a good clean smoke. Control the temp with your fire box  inlet. More air in (+ wood) ...more temp up.  
  4. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    As was mentioned, larger splits or logs require a a really strong base of coals or the wood will smolder and make dirty smoke, this is especially true if the wood is still green.
  5. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    Usually when people say they over smoked something it's because creosote formed on the meat
  6. cats49er

    cats49er Meat Mopper

    Here is a link to one of the best how to post I've seen on controlling temps on a off set.Controlling temps goes hand and hand with smoke.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Also if you are using charcoal as your heat source.If so I would recommend that next time you cook  just put one log of your wood on for flavor and finish your cook using charcoal for your heat.Then next time you cook if you want more smoke flavor, add another piece of your wood after the first burns up.This way you can figure out the amount of smoke you like and how to get it.If you use wood for your heat I would recommend using a less flavorful wood for heat such as oak. Another thing that may help is keep the size of your wood on the small side.In my Lang 60 I don't use anything bigger than about 3 inches in diameter . This makes where the splits catch fire quicker and with less heavy smoke.If your logs are much bigger than what I mentioned, that could have caused the heavy smoke flavor.Hope this helps.
  7. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    Cats brought up a good point, charcoal as the main heat source with wood added for smoke will be managed differently than a fire where wood is the main heat source. Again if wood is the main heat source then making sure the wood is seasoned is very important.
  8. 4flats

    4flats Newbie

    The plan is to use the wood for the primary heat source. I think the big old honking log I threw in there was too much. Apple is tough to split so I guess I got lazy and threw in too big a piece. 

    This smoker would need 30 lbs of charcoal to cook anything so I only use it to get the fire going. 

    I kept the chimney vent wide open but when the log was blazing temps went over 300 fast, choked down it smoldered. That may be the trouble.

    I have had good luck with smaller pieces of Alder. So I may go back to that and leave the Apple in the wood shed till I can split it all down to size.

    I am in the north west so wood types are a tad limited.
  9. 4flats

    4flats Newbie

    Yep smoke went gray.

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