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Right Kind of Smoke

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Good day everyone,


I am fairly new to here and to smoking so i have kind of a noob style question.  I have done about 3 briskets, couple racks of ribs, Beer chicken, and i just did my first pork butt over the weekend.  Every time i smoke something i use Wood chunks (not chips but chunks).  I have found that i can get a longer lasting smoke from these rather than using chips. I put them in a metal smoke box i got from Lowes and place it directly on top of the coals.  They don't catch fire or anything but i have noticed after they dry out (i keep them soaked for a few hours) i get this 20-30 min burst of thick intense smoke; then it goes down and seems to smoke regularly for another 45min to an hour.  Is this burst of smoke bad?  If so how do i stop it form happening?  And; i know people smoke with whole logs but i never see really really intense smoke like i get from chunks.  How do they do that? I would love to smoke with whole logs also cause i am sure the smoke lasts for ever but again i am very new and am scared to just burn them and get only 45 min of smoke.......Thank you to anyone that can lend a helpful post. 


-Smokin Jason


post #2 of 7

Jason , go to our WIKI at the top of this page and search the instructionals for fire building 101 , I have outlined the how's and what's of the process for you . Easy when patience is used.


Have fun and...

post #3 of 7

Jason, morning....  most folks do not soak their wood....  they even preheat their wood under or on top of the fire box (depends on your smoker) to try and eliminate the "phase change" you are speaking of....  Also, 1 chunk at a time should be plenty of smoke.... Some folks even bury the chunks in the pile of briquettes... If using the minion method, the chunks will smoke at different times for a longer smoke (up to 24 hours I've heard)....   The long and short of smoking and learning to control the heat and smoke is rocket science and there is a learning curve....  take notes on what you do and how you attack the problem....  please report back on your findings so others can learn.....  If it was easy to make a perfect fire and smoke, it wouldn't be any fun. Impressing friends and neighbors with great Q would be something everyone was doing....   You have found a great forum where the wealth of knowledge and folks willing to help is unsurpassed on the web....  Relax and perfection will sneak up on you....   Dave

post #4 of 7

Stop soaking the wood and that should help you from getting the white smoke. When you soak it and throw it on the coals you are delaying what is inevitably going to happen. (The wood is going to start burning and give off smoke) If you put the chunks in there right away you will get that initial white smoke but it should mellow out to a nice thin blue smoke. I usually start my fire basket and put my chunks throughout the basket right away and get everything going then as the fire distributes throughout my basket it will give off a bit of nasty white smoke but once my smoker is up to temp the smoke is usually perfect then I throw the meat on. If the chunks are soaked they just need to dry out first then they start smoking and you can get that white smoke and you don't want that when you meat is in there. At least that is my $0.02 worth.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sorry it has taken so long to reply.  My computer broke.  Thank you both from replying.  So if you get the initial bad white smoke when you first burn your wood.  Do most people start to burn there wood before they add more the smoker or can i just toss a long on top?

post #6 of 7

Here, read this : http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/stickburning101 , this will help you , but patience , my friend , as Dave says, there IS a learning curve. The key to learning is "PRACTICE"


Have fun and as always . . .

post #7 of 7

oldschool has you covered.  I'm relatively new to smoking as well, and I am also a stick burner.  I have read the "stickburning 101" guide and it has helped me tremendously.  I also now religiously pre-heat my wood chunks on the top of the fire box before placing them inside.  this works great.  It does take a lot of babysitting of the smoker and lots of practice and patience.  I'm learning more of each every time I smoke.  Practice, practice, practice.  See it through, and you'll be very pleased.  


Happy smoking.

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