Over-smoking with my reverse flow

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by the ramblin pit, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Hi Everyone, 

    I have been using my stick burner (reverse flow, Bubba Grill) for a year now. I have no issues with my cooking methods or recipes but I do have a lack of understanding in one department, over-smoking meat. Now I understand a lot of factors go into adding smoke to your meat (wood type, age, how its cut etc.) but I never understood how using a stick burner doesn't leave my BBQ over-smoked. Is it the design of the smoker? I keep a clean fire and wrap most of my meats during a cook to ensure I don't over-smoke. Are any other folks wrapping their BBQ to keep the smoke off, or is there a technique I am unaware of out there?

    Does anyone want to share how they cook a pork butt or a rack of ribs on their reverse flow smokers?

    Can someone shed some light on this topic for me? Thanks.

    The Ramblin' Pit
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Coals, as a rule, don't add much smoke.... It's when you add the flavor wood splits or chunks that the smoke is created... If you build a huge fire and let it burn down to coals, then add a split or two every 1/2 hour to 1 hour, you should get light smoke and be adding enough wood to keep the smoker up to temp.... Of course, every smoker is different and burning rates vary.... but the theory is the same...
  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm with Dave and it seems you answered your own question.

    Yes it is the design of the cooker, there are some folks that will actually do a preburn and only use coals in their firebox.

    "Barbecue" from what I have learned (led to believe) over the years, is to offset (indirect) cook low and slow using hardwood coals.

    Many variations of this method has been adopted over the years.

    When I'm running my stickburner I refer to it as Pit Cooking, because my goal is not to infuse smoke flavor and get the least amount of smoke flavor as possible.

    When I'm running my GOSM I refer to this as Smoking as I an trying to Infuse smoke flavor.
  4. I will smoke for about 2 !/2 to 3 hours then wrap. too much smoke is too harsh
  5. Running ultra low temps can "over smoke " as you put it, as well as what the others commented. Some woods are harsher than others, especially if bark is left on. And overloading the cooker can mess you up.

    I tend to cook on the pit at the same temp as I would cook in my kitchen oven.
  6. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    i keep smoke flowing for everything until a little after half way done and only foil ribs
  7. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    the longer you foil the less bark you will have
  8. the longer you do not foil the more smoke you get. Overpowering!!
  9. Thanks for the input everyone.
  10. You ever get your over smoking problem solved ?

  11. Hi Gary,

    It was never a problem since I usually wrap my meats. I was just curious about smoke production so I did some reading about building a better fire. So I recently made a rack for my firebox sitting about 1 1/2 " high to build my fire on. The fire burns much "cleaner".

    The question originally came to mind because I actually "over-smoked" some tenderloin in my WSM with only a small chunk of Applewood. I realized that my fire management needed some work but I am much more confident moving forward. 

  12. Good deal, glad you have got it figured out

  13. smokin dawg

    smokin dawg Newbie

    I have been cooking on a reverse flow smoker (I have had 2 Lange smokers and 1 Cooker and Grills smoker) for 10 years and love them. I though about about a gravity feed smoker like a Stumps or Backwood so I could get some sleep at BBQ cointest, but the purist in me won out and ordered a wonderful new smoker from Cooker and Grills built just for me last fall.

    The key is to remember that you don't cook with smoke, but cook with heat. Many people want to see their smoker puffing like an old steam engine train. You want to get your smoker up to temp and have your smoke coming out a light blue/gray color. There is still plently of smoke for flavor if you run it like this. The type is wood you use does also make a difference..I prefer pecan or hickory.

    Most meats will not take any more smoke flavor after a couple of hours. I do wrap most of my meats after several hours. I helps to retain moisture and speed the cooking process.

    Good Luck,

  14. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Funny you bring up wanting to see billowing smoke. Just made Spare Ribs on the BGE Using the 3-2-1 method. After foiling for 2 hours that last hour was more like 30 minutes. Anyways, they had what I thought was a beautiful smoke ring....will post a pix later...and there was 0 visible smoke from the Egg the entire cook.
  15. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've said this before, when I was on business trips in the South I tried all the Q I could find and while the establishments smelled like smoke when walking in the door the meat was more like oven-roasted with a hint of smoke flavor. Around here it's more like THIS MEAT IS SMOKED and the flavor is in your face.

    This last winter when smoking in cold weather, I had to crank the heat harder and I was literally burning splits with an open flame in the firebox, which would have been way too hot in warmer weather. That made a nice mix of heat and smoke.
  16. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    But you know what you are doing...and have a very good understanding of both your equipment and the cause/effect of things. I am sure I will have a disaster on my hands first time I try to use the RF that I will be building in cold weather. Almost think I should spend next winter putting ot together so I don't get overly frustrated by it in the colder months.
  17. Go to it now.  Life is short.  You can make necessary adjustments to your smoker next winter.

    Jerry  [​IMG]
  18. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Motorcycle riding season is here...my RF project is going to have to wait...I am in the process of hunting down some firewood for it. Thought I had a full Red Maple lined up but my neighbor has decided to not take the tree down yet...
  19. bishgeo

    bishgeo Smoking Fanatic

    Every thing was over smoked with my old char broiler but since I made my rf smoker I can't get enough smoke on it. 😂😂👍👍
  20. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Ink,

    While you are out riding, keep an eye out for an apple orchard, they may have some pruned limbs from last fall that are already seasoned and ready for burn. Apple has a good flavor.

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