Author Topic: Eliminating Smoker Burps – A Semi-Comprehensive Compilation of Advice  (Read 727 times)

Smokin Jon

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Eliminating Smoker Burps – A Semi-Comprehensive Compilation of Advice

Many new owners are alarmed when they first experience what is called by many on this forum as a smoker “Burp”.  A burp is when a sudden puff of smoke comes out the vent hole and often times at the door also.   According to numerous posts, burps seem to be most common in the #2 and #3 smokers.  Many say burps are non-existent in the #1 smoker.  The main proposed cause is a sudden combustion of smoke gasses from overly dry wood.

Suggestions to eliminate smoker burps are numerous if one uses the word “Burp” in the search function.  I found 30+ posts in mid-2020.

I have attempted to compile a semi-comprehensive list of suggestions to eliminate burps.  It is my hope this list makes it easier on new owners, who like myself, have experienced a smoker burp. 

Methods to Eliminate Smoker Burps (sudden wood combustion)

1.   Place wood chunks at back of box where element comes out of the back smoker wall. Some owners say this area of the smoke box has the lowest temperatures which decreases chance of wood combustion.
2.   Enclose Wood completely with foil.  Poke small holes in the foil to allow smoke to escape.  This decreases oxygen and should therefore, decrease/eliminate combustion. 
3.   Place wood in foil boat with top open.  This decreases oxygen around the wood to a certain extent to decrease likelihood of combustion.
4.   Place foil across the entire bottom of smoke box (no holes in foil).  Place wood chunks on top of the foil
5.   Place foil over a portion of the bottom of the smoke box and put the wood on top of the foil.
6.   Place foil on entire bottom of smoke box and poke smaller holes in the foil over the larger holes on the bottom of the smoke box. 
7.   Purchase the Smokin-It Chip Screen to elevate wood away from the heat and possibly decrease air flow to the wood.  Place wood chunks/chips on top of chip screen.
8.   Foil on entire bottom of smoke box with the Smokin-It chip screen on top of the foil.  Place wood chunks on top of the chip screen.
9.   Don’t use overly dry wood because it will combust quicker.  Use naturally air dried wood vs. kiln dried.
10.   Ramp up the smoker temperature (145-175) for 45-60 minutes before reaching target cook temp.  Some say belching occurs around 180F.

Some owners simply say, "Don’t worry about it.  As long as the food tastes good, don’t sweat it."

I hope these suggestions help the next person who is concerned about the “Burp”.

Feel free to add suggestions if I have overlooked anything.

Thanks,
Jon

old sarge

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Good post Jon. Thanks. I am sure folks will find it helpful.
David from Arizona
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Glock_21

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Great compilation.

I have the Model 3.  I have seen the burp/belch a few times when using the bone-dry bagged wood from big box stores.  Now i mostly use wood from SmokinLicious.  I can honestly say that I have never once seen the burp/belch when using SmokinLicious wood.

Travis from North Central Oklahoma
SI #3, Traeger Texas Grill, gas grill, Classic Weber kettle, Anova WiFi 900 watt

swthorpe

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Like Travis, I too have used smokinlicious wood for years and have not experienced the belch.   I think the key is to use wood with some moisture content. 

Another company that some folks have used (including me) is fruitawood.
Steve from Delaware
Smokin-It #2

ReliableRick

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Re: Eliminating Smoker Burps – A Semi-Comprehensive Compilation of Advice
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2020, 11:20:09 AM »
Eliminating Smoker Burps – A Semi-Comprehensive Compilation of Advice

Many new owners are alarmed when they first experience what is called by many on this forum as a smoker “Burp”.  A burp is when a sudden puff of smoke comes out the vent hole and often times at the door also.   According to numerous posts, burps seem to be most common in the #2 and #3 smokers.  Many say burps are non-existent in the #1 smoker.  The main proposed cause is a sudden combustion of smoke gasses from overly dry wood.

Suggestions to eliminate smoker burps are numerous if one uses the word “Burp” in the search function.  I found 30+ posts in mid-2020.

I have attempted to compile a semi-comprehensive list of suggestions to eliminate burps.  It is my hope this list makes it easier on new owners, who like myself, have experienced a smoker burp. 

Methods to Eliminate Smoker Burps (sudden wood combustion)

1.   Place wood chunks at back of box where element comes out of the back smoker wall. Some owners say this area of the smoke box has the lowest temperatures which decreases chance of wood combustion.
2.   Enclose Wood completely with foil.  Poke small holes in the foil to allow smoke to escape.  This decreases oxygen and should therefore, decrease/eliminate combustion. 
3.   Place wood in foil boat with top open.  This decreases oxygen around the wood to a certain extent to decrease likelihood of combustion.
4.   Place foil across the entire bottom of smoke box (no holes in foil).  Place wood chunks on top of the foil
5.   Place foil over a portion of the bottom of the smoke box and put the wood on top of the foil.
6.   Place foil on entire bottom of smoke box and poke smaller holes in the foil over the larger holes on the bottom of the smoke box. 
7.   Purchase the Smokin-It Chip Screen to elevate wood away from the heat and possibly decrease air flow to the wood.  Place wood chunks/chips on top of chip screen.
8.   Foil on entire bottom of smoke box with the Smokin-It chip screen on top of the foil.  Place wood chunks on top of the chip screen.
9.   Don’t use overly dry wood because it will combust quicker.  Use naturally air dried wood vs. kiln dried.
10.   Ramp up the smoker temperature (145-175) for 45-60 minutes before reaching target cook temp.  Some say belching occurs around 180F.

Some owners simply say, "Don’t worry about it.  As long as the food tastes good, don’t sweat it."

I hope these suggestions help the next person who is concerned about the “Burp”.

Feel free to add suggestions if I have overlooked anything.

Thanks,
Jon

This good info. The belches started today while doing a pork shoulder. They seemed to be perfectly timed with mine (likely caused by a juicy IPA). Your explanation seems more plausible. FYI they began at 180.4 F.
Rick, 4 hours and 14 minutes northeast of Smokin-IT warehouse
Model 2D owner (Newbie)
I love being outdoors, being self reliant, and feeding people.

Smokin Jon

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Re: Eliminating Smoker Burps – A Semi-Comprehensive Compilation of Advice
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2020, 09:30:27 PM »
I have had smoker belches with thick yellow/white smoke on 2 out of 3 cooks in my 3D smoker.  During the last cook, I actually opened the smoker when thick yellow/white smoke started coming out of the top vent in an effort to stop combustion and a belch.  For the last cook I used 2 layers of foil on the bottom with wood chunks (3+ ounce or larger) in foil boats (4 layers) and a small stainless box.  Smoke became visible in the top vent at ~200F.  The thick yellow/white smoke occurred around 230-235F.  I turned the smoker off and reprogrammed the cook temp to 220.

I think the 3D smoker with a 1200 watt element blast the wood with greater heat than the Smokin-it 1 (400 watts) or the Smokin-it 2 (800 watts) while bringing the smoker up to temperature.  The more food in the smoker, the longer the wood will get blasted with a cherry red element.  I believe this creates a higher likelihood of combustion/smoker belches in the larger smokers.

I have reprogrammed the hi-output to 80% (960 watts) for my next cook.  I will place wood chunks in foil boats and stop the temperature at 10F over where I first start seeing smoke out of the top vent.  After 30-45 minutes, i'll ramp up to my final cook temp of 220F and see what happens. 

My goal is to have the longest smoke times possible and avoid the thick yellow/white smoke and the belch that occur with fast combustion. 

Smokin Jon
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 09:39:23 PM by Smokin Jon »