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smoker problem meat unedible

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok..after the smoker completion  My patio RF looks decent  Using the smoker calculator all seems well  The smoker's draft seems very good  BUT the smoke is heavy and white/grey   Very strong smell of smoke  Water(black) dripping from the smoke chamber door  There can only be several problems:  Damp fuel(my first villian-wasn't happy with the dryness of the hickory.  Had a damp feel and saw some bubbling on logs put into the fire pit. That will be checked out today once I acquire more wood.

Second issue and why I'm writing this is What construction wise could cause this problem?  Using Feldoncentral BBQ calulatorsmoker 034.JPG

Cook chamber-round 24" dia x 29" length  for 13113 cubic in

Fire box-round 16" dia x 22" for 4423 cu inches  (Recom is 4371 cu in)

Chimney size  3" round pipe----31.3 inches recom for a volume of 221.16 cu inches   I have 32" 

Firebox to cook chamber opening---recom opening is 35.39 cu in    I have 36 cu inches (6 x 6)

Area below baffle is 3.5 " off bottom

Opening at end of baffle into cook chamber is approx 3.5 "


Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance

post #2 of 12

Wet fuel and incomplete combustion   Try it with your fire box dampers full open and see what happens, the smoker will probably run real hot but you need to make sure you are getting complete combustion


Hope this helps, I'll be it was green wood.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

smoker dry wood this time.  Can get cook chamber up past 400 with fuel door cracked.  Closed, with damper cut back it settles in at approx 200-225 degrees Perfect for long slow cooking  However, it looks to me that there is excessive smoke.  White in color  We are not near as bad as we were  Smoke doesn't have that real heavy creosote smell  Wife hasn't made me change clothes yet.  Maybe I'm over sensitive due the previous days experience

post #4 of 12

Did it settle down a bit after the smoker got hot and you where able to run just a small hot fire.  I have that kind of smoke when I first get started but once I have a decent bed of coals I can add wood and it starts to burn pretty well.  Do you have dampers on the fire box or are you using the door to regulate your fire.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

The firebox door/damper is a door from a kit to convert a 55gal drum to a stove/furnance.  Sooo..I have a damper  That part of the smoker turned out pretty well  Checking the smoker: it's showing a temp now of 250 with a thin blue smoke with door and damper shut.  It looks like the key to this is to get the whole rig hot as hell then proceed with the meat.  I'm starting to feel better about this project as I learn the idiocyncricies of this unit.  Thanks for the moral support

post #6 of 12

fubarr, nice build....

The 90 deg elbow is restricting the flow of the exhaust stack....  Try building a fire and letting it reduce to coals before adding the meat and more wood... Coals should give thin blue smoke... Make sure the damper on the stack is fully open.....  Dave

post #7 of 12

You got it right on the money. Don't start cooking until you have your pit nice and hot.  It takes me over an hour just burning oak to get my rig to settle in.

post #8 of 12

Or you can build a preheat burner under drip plate

post #9 of 12

Yep it takes mine a good hour to get going good, and I keep my next log on top of my fire box kinda off to the side to have it nice and warmed up before I add it.


After a good bed of coals sometimes with good dry wood with no bark I can get some ninja smoke.icon_lol.gif

post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by fubarr123 View Post

smoker 002.JPG




How does the exhaust vent attach to the cooking chamber?  I used to have trouble with mine until I moved the vent to the top of the chamber.  My theory is that I need to prevent the smoke from getting trapped in the top of the chamber and getting stale.  Hope that makes sense.


post #11 of 12

I think once you learn the cooker you will be able to control the smoke.  I did notice the smoke stack being middle way.  You may end up moving up some.  I have a feeling that once you use it more you will get the feel...


good luck.

post #12 of 12

try making your own charcoal out of your wood. use that to heat you smoker instead of wood. just add small amounts of wood for flavor.

the heavy white smoke is all the moisture and other bad compuonds coming out of the wood. that is what is causing the black goo. the fire is too cold and wood too wet causing a cold fire. when it is burning blue the wood is just reduced to carbon and it is burning hot. there is plenty of info on how to make you own coal save you a bunch of cash. 9 bucks a bag is steep. here is a link it works well.


have fun



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