stick burner vs charcoal users

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by lemans, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I read alot about stick burner,,Exactly what is ment by this? Arent all smokes able to burn wood? and as long as we are talking wood...

    Every time I add a chunk of apple wood or cherry to my side fire box, I get thick white smoke.. I thought you have to cook on thin blue smoke ? Confused
     
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Primary heat, fuel, and smoke flavor source in a stick burner is wood split like fireplace logs.  Usually ignited with propane torch and sometimes hot charcoal then kept hot during the smoke by adding additional unburned wood logs.

    Primary heat and fuel source in charcoal smokers is pre-burned wood like lump charcoal or pressed briquettes.  Very little smoke flavor comes from the charcoal because the charcoal making process carbonizies the wood, burning off all the flavor characteristics in the wood.  Consequently unburned wood chunks the size of golf balls up to fist sized are used to add specific wood smoke flavors to the meat.

    Assuming you have a charcoal smoker with a side firebox, yes, adding unburned wood to your hot fire will cause white or grey smoke, but it usually doesn't last long on a hot fire.  I use larger pieces when I initially fire up the my charcoal smoker, then smaller pieces later in the smoke as needed.  White smoke doesn't last as long with the smaller pieces later in the smoke.        
     
  3. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    This whole thin blue smoke thing is a mystery to me. I see white smoke sometimes and other times I just see heat shimmering out of my vents and I guess I've seen thinner grayish(?) smoke coming out , but I can't ever recall seeing any smoke I'd call blue. I smoke with charcoal and I use wood chunks like maple and oak. I also use apple chips sometimes. I control my heat and cook to the proper temps and take the meat out when it's tender. It always tastes good and the smoke flavor is always wonderful. So I don't worry about the smoke too much. But that's just me.
     
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmmmm, I'll have to take some pics this weekend if the sun comes out; pics at initial fire, white, grey, transition to TBS, TBS, nothing but heat shimmer but there's still a smoke odor, and then when adding wood later in a smoke.  Should be interesting for the new folks.
     
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    TBS is not the holy grail everyone makes it out to be.
    White billowing smoke is not the optimal smoke either. But blackish/ grayish smoke is the worst this is a very sooty smoke.
    Don't get hung up on the so called perfect smoke. With that said I subscribe to the less is more philosophy... I don't even want to see smoke when cooking on my pit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you smell it and don't see it you're doing fine.  I think optimum is when people walking their dogs in the street are looking around trying to find where the great smells are coming from but don't realize it's your smoker!
     
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Unfortunately the smoke pics didn't turn out the way I wanted.  I was setting up for a lower temp 225F smoke today so I only used about a third of a chimney to get the fire started instead of the 3/4 chimney when I'm doing a 275F smoke.  Consequently the volumes of white-gray smoke really didn't show up, but it was still there.  The pics of the TBS turned out okay.


     
  9. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It all looks good to me
     

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