Author Topic: Thin blue smoke, possible?  (Read 1714 times)

yiplong

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Thin blue smoke, possible?
« on: March 20, 2021, 08:56:40 PM »
I've had my #2 for about 1 year, coming from a Weber Smokey Mountain.  It makes decent Qs, every bit as juicy as the Weber but I've always found the smoke flavor a little off.  I use the wood chunks from Smokin It, two pieces wrapped in foil for ribs.  They give plenty of smoky flavor but the flavor isn't right, probably due to the lack of thin blue smoke.  My Weber gas grill makes much better tasting Qs, but it's a pain to use.  Can you share what you've done to improve the smoke quality?

old sarge

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2021, 12:07:22 AM »
I don't foil but many do.  I just put the wood in and walk away.  Now, regarding the flavor of the smoke you are getting.  You are comparing the flavor or smoke profile from the Weber and a gas grill and an electric smoker.  Three different pieces of gear with three different means of producing smoke.  I doubt that you will be able to reproduce the exact same profile you get from one with the other unless you experiment a lot.  You can wrap you wood in foil and poke a couple of holes in it and see if that helps you get the TBS you are after.  When I made the switch from an offset stick burner to electric, the appearance of the finished product and flavor were different.  But after a couple of smokes, I no longer cared.  The food was good. I get wispy smoke, bluish white.  No large billowing clouds.  And it continues for 2 to 3 hours, on average. Sometimes longer!

Here is a link explaining smoke:
https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/grill-and-smoker-setup-and-firing/what-you-need-know-about-wood-smoke-and
David from Arizona
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Lonzinomaker

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2021, 02:47:59 PM »
I agree with David about not worrying about the color of smoke.  I too have more white than TBS smoke, but still get excellent smoke flavor.  I do have to use a boat made out of aluminum flashing to keep wood from combusting into ash.  I get charcoal every time with the boats. And my smoke is not bitter.
I smoke a lot of cheese and get a really good smoke flavor even when I over smoke.
Dave
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Spokane, WA

OldeSmoker

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2021, 10:43:58 PM »
I get where you are coming from yiplong. I also went through some frustration and experimentation to find what worked best for me. The battle to get a nice deep smoke flavor without the acrid taste that comes with combustion was a problem. After doing a lot of reading I tried the foil boat method along with a 3 step ramp up of temperature. I start at 150 to 180 and then generally to 225. Dave gave me some good advice regarding the boat building. Doing this I never get the acrid or bitter taste that can come with combustion. I add additional wood to get a longer and deeper smoke which gives me the flavor I wanted. Yesterday I smoked a 9 LB pork butt and used just shy of 11 ounces of smokinlicous wood chunks. I used cherry, sugar maple, and oak and had smoke throughout the meat with a tasty bark. The cook took right at 14 hours at 225 to an IT of 203. The smoke was translucent and lasted almost half the cook time. Keep trying the suggestions of those that have battled the same issues you are. Youíll get it figured out.
Paul from Southwest Missouri
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yiplong

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 10:51:53 PM »
I get where you are coming from yiplong. I also went through some frustration and experimentation to find what worked best for me. The battle to get a nice deep smoke flavor without the acrid taste that comes with combustion was a problem. After doing a lot of reading I tried the foil boat method along with a 3 step ramp up of temperature. I start at 150 to 180 and then generally to 225. Dave gave me some good advice regarding the boat building. Doing this I never get the acrid or bitter taste that can come with combustion. I add additional wood to get a longer and deeper smoke which gives me the flavor I wanted. Yesterday I smoked a 9 LB pork butt and used just shy of 11 ounces of smokinlicous wood chunks. I used cherry, sugar maple, and oak and had smoke throughout the meat with a tasty bark. The cook took right at 14 hours at 225 to an IT of 203. The smoke was translucent and lasted almost half the cook time. Keep trying the suggestions of those that have battled the same issues you are. Youíll get it figured out.

How do you build the boat? 11 oz of wood sounds like a lot.  Do you put in once piece at a time?  I may try that instead of putting both pieces (for ribs) at the beginning of the smoke.  The idea is to have lighter smoker for longer. 

OldeSmoker

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2021, 10:41:59 PM »
How do you build the boat? 11 oz of wood sounds like a lot.  Do you put in once piece at a time?  I may try that instead of putting both pieces (for ribs) at the beginning of the smoke.  The idea is to have lighter smoker for longer.
[/quote]


I looked for Lonzinomakerís post for the aluminum flashing boat building instructions. I didnít find them so I would just send Lonzinomaker a message and Iím sure he can send you the link. 11 oz. of wood does sound like a lot but I experimented quite a bit to get there. With a large thick cut of meat like pork butt and packer brisket, I just wasnít getting smoke penetration deep into the meat. Using the methods I referenced in my post above I can add the additional wood to those cooks and get the smoke flavor throughout the meat without any bitterness. I donít use additional wood on the thinner cuts like ribs, tenderloin or even pork loin. They donít need it. I add all of the wood at the beginning as opening the smoker during the cook drops the box temperature and can cause smoldering wood to combust with the influx of oxygen opening the door provides. By spacing out the wood in the wood box it seems to keep the smoke going much longer. The 11 oz. of wood I used was still providing smoke well over 6 hours into the smoke.






Paul from Southwest Missouri
*Smokin-It 3D-WiFi
with Bellaís CSG and The Stephanie Cabinet
*Members Mark SS 6 Burner Gas Grill with Sear Burner, Side Burner & Rotisserie
*River Grills Wood Fired Grill and Fire Pit
W/ Rotisserie and Dutch Oven Hanger

Lonzinomaker

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 11:12:05 AM »
OldeSmoker: Thanks for remembering that I had made boats out of flashing.  I had never posted how I did that. But I posted a brief how to this morning. 

Search for "How I make boats/trays out of aluminum flashing instead of using aluminum foil" in the gadgets and gizmos section.
Dave
Smokin-It #3 main smoker.
1400 Smokin Tex (same size as #2) for Snowbird time.
Smokin-It #1 for camping trips.
Big Chief with mailbox mod for cheese smoking
Blackstone 22in griddle with Bakerstone pizza oven
Spokane, WA

OldeSmoker

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 11:00:54 PM »
Thanks for the help Dave. You jogged my memory, I remember you sent me the information in a message. I knew I read it somewhere. I hope it is helpful to yiplong.
Paul from Southwest Missouri
*Smokin-It 3D-WiFi
with Bellaís CSG and The Stephanie Cabinet
*Members Mark SS 6 Burner Gas Grill with Sear Burner, Side Burner & Rotisserie
*River Grills Wood Fired Grill and Fire Pit
W/ Rotisserie and Dutch Oven Hanger

mtjarrett

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2023, 09:57:11 PM »
Yiplong,

Curious if you ever got this worked out? I too am a newbie and am having trouble with the flavor of the smoke. It's not huge - my family doesn't notice, but then they don't pay as close attention to tastes and smells as I do. All I know is that there is something in the smoke flavor (hickory in my case) which is not the flavor I want.
Michael - South Texas Borderlands
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lcdearman

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2023, 11:42:27 AM »
I've noticed the difference in taste too, but I think some of that is the wood. I bought hickory, cherry, and maple from smokinlicious and while it is all good, it is different. I had to cut down a small oak tree in my yard (not sure what kind of oak) and decided to use a chunk from it on a smoke. The taste was more along the lines of what I am used to, so I have been using that since. Gonna try some plum from a tree at some point. I've also tried some big box store mesquite chips (with chip screen in place) and that was good too. I think central TX BBQ is usually oak or mesquite since that is locally available. Yes, I am spoiled and challenged by living near Franklin's, Louie Mueller's, Black's, Southside Market, etc.
Clay from Taylor, TX
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Ken

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Re: Thin blue smoke, possible?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2023, 12:56:00 AM »
I just place the wood chunks on rectangular pieces of heavy duty foil.  I also use a chip screen.  Works on chips too.  Combinations of wood produce your own flavors.