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White Smoke!!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I was seasoning my new 30" MES the other night and I'm not sure it was all as normal.  I fired it up to 275 for three hours and added wood chips for the last 45 minutes, which is what I read on here.  I had a separate probe to check for accuracy on the MES internal thermo, and it was pretty accurate, only off by about 5 degrees, so it was actually running closer to 280.  Anyway, when I added the wood chips, it let out a good deal of smoke and I was stoked.  However, the smoke looked more white than blue.  Granted, it was in the evening and getting dark out, but for some reason, it just made me think.  I was using a mix of Pecan and Cherry wood chips.  I did not soak them before I put them in because I've read on here that it doesn't work out too well if you soak chip while using an MES.  Anyway, my question is, what would be a cause of white smoke instead of blue smoke?  I plan on doing a tri-tip and some baby backs this weekend for its maiden voyage and I just wanted to make sure I'm doing everything right.  

 

If you haven't figured this out yet, I'm still a rookie.  I only have a brisket and some spare ribs under my belt and I did both of those on a gas grill with a smoker box.  They came out good, but this is my first time using a smoker. 

 

Any ideas or advice from you Pros?

post #2 of 8
White smoke is normal when the smoke wood first heats up enough to begin flashing off water vapor and a small amount of volatiles. Even well-seasoned (cured) smoke wood has a small amount of moisture in it from the humidity in the air. Once the bulk of the water vapor has flashed off, the smoke will thin out and become more transparent...the thin blue everyone speaks of.

You will notice white smoke every time you add smoke wood...there will be a delay with the onset of smoke, when you add, but it will come in time, and this is all a normal part of smoking...nothing to be concerned about. Many using electric smokers preheat the unit and allow the smoke to start rolling before adding food to the smoker.


Smoke on!!!


Eric
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

That's the best news I've heard in a while.  I was really hoping I would hear a reply like that.  Thank you very much.

 

I really put a lot of effort into the details, and numbers, and stuff like that.  I used to make beer and would really "geek out" on it.  Several thermometers and timers and toys and stuff.  I would lay awake the night before a boil and think everything through and be super excited for it.  I just wanted everything to be perfect.  As a result, I made some really good beer.  Now that I don't make beer anymore, I find myself just as excited and detail nutz with smoking.  I'm already going nuts waiting for Sunday morning when I get to fire this thing up again.  I spend tons of time on this forum reading and trying to learn.  You guys rock!!!

post #4 of 8

Vicious........I'm with you on the nutz part. I have lost sleep more than once thinking about a smoking project. Just wait until you try making sausage........a whole new world of things to go nutz over.

 

Brad

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I was actually thinking about making sausage today.  But first, will be bacon.  I really want to make bacon.  

post #6 of 8
You're most welcome, ViciousGolden!

Yeah guys, the loosing sleep goes away after you gain more confidence in your skills and more knowledge of the particular project you are engaged in...takes some time and practicing what you want to learn to do better. Take all night smokes, like whole beef brisket or pork shoulder cuts with low & slow, for example: I used to stay up all night and monitor smoke chamber temps and internal temp on digital probes, watch the stalls (plateau)...at some point I decided to simply get things rolling smoothly and not even stick a probe into the meat until the next morning to see how far along cooking had progressed. Of course there are times when I would only get 3 or 4 hours of sleep due to something not agreeing with my plans, which might take some time to correct, but for the most part it all at some point becomes second nature. Now, unless I'm doing something out of the ordinary, or really loading up a smoker with a lot of meat, I don't sweat it.

You'll get into a groove with smoking meats and become much more comfortable with what your doing in time. And don't worry about creating a list of things to smoke and trying to smoke all the things on that list...well, let me rephrase that...don't put a time-frame on items that list., because it will continue growing much faster than you can possibly do it all. Pick things of interest, gather your goods to make it happen and have fun with it. Cooking anything should be fun, and should provide you a way to gain more knowledge and skills. And if things don't go exactly as planned, don''t beat yourself up over it...that takes all the fun out of it...just learn from whatever didn't go quite right and move forward so the next smoke comes through better than the last.

I digressed...enjoy your smoking (meat) addiction!!! lOL!!!


Eric
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, I took her on her maiden smoke yesterday with a tri tip and some bb ribs. Both were amazing. I'm very happy with the results. However, when I went to clean out the chip try, there was very little actual ash. It looks like most of the chips just turned to charcoal, not even close to burning all the way. The chips weren't even soaked. Is this normal for an MES?
post #8 of 8

i add chips from the beginning then add every 30 - 45 min. Only add a palm full at a time.

 In my gen1 MES 40 they cooked to ash .In my new one I use the AMNPS and don't add chips.

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