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avoiding white smoke on a UDS

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I'm new to SMF and smoking in general, and am looking for advice. I just built a UDS, and haven't cooked on it yet. I did burn it out with a blazing hot fire then rubbed it down with cooking oil and put about 1/3 of a basket of unlit Kingsford charcoal in the basket and then poured a chimney of glowing Kingsford on top of it to season the UDS. This produced a lot of white smoke. From what I understand, this is a similar way recommended to start the charcoal for a cook. My question is, before I ruin some good meat with too much white smoke, how do I avoid the white smoke and get thin blue smoke in my UDS?
post #2 of 13

Without getting technical white smoke will settle into TBS when the fire gets established and things heat up.... be patient grasshopper and don't put your meat on until then. 

post #3 of 13
^^^^^^ yup.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Patience, got it! So stick with the Kingsford for now? I was concerned that was the problem but apparently my lack of patience is the real problem. To add to that, do you add wood chunks when lighting or after the white smoke goes away?
post #5 of 13
I have great results with kingsford. Add chunks when lighting.
post #6 of 13
The white smoke may have been the oil burning off. How did it look after it ran for a while?
post #7 of 13

Look up the Minion method and maybe watch a few Youtube videos on how to do it. The key is to bury your chunks in the coals so they don't ignite, but they're preheated by the adjacent burning coals so the white smoke is minimized. I usually make a well in the center of my pile of unlit briquettes, then put one chunk at the bottom. I put the lit coals directly on top of that. This, for me anyway, lessens the wait time for the smoke to thin out.

post #8 of 13

My wood chunks are on top in all my smokers and it works fine.  Most often i have TBS before i reach 200*. 

 

How i light my baskets...this is my mini wsm but it's the same concept.  I used a torch but you can use a chimney or weber cubes, this is easy though. 

 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrett View Post

The white smoke may have been the oil burning off. How did it look after it ran for a while?

It did quit smoking after about 30 minutes but I figured it was due to the entire basket being lit (I only had a small amount in the basket to start). I didn't want to lift the lid and let heat out since I was trying to get it hot to season it. Could have been the oil burning off too. Good point. I appreciate all of your comments and will look into those methods and videos. Thanks for your help. I will practice a little patience too!
post #10 of 13
Once you get a cook or two under your belt it will be a super cooker for you! The UDS is the best unit to learn, and with a good setup (ball valve/open holes on the air intake side) you can learn control of the temp and cook excellent BBQ
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 




Here are a couple pictures of my UDS (pre-paint). The handles on the charcoal basket can also be used to set a heat deflector on if I decide to use one. I need to add a shelf and paint. Worked on it today a little. Will post a picture when finished.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrett View Post

Once you get a cook or two under your belt it will be a super cooker for you! The UDS is the best unit to learn, and with a good setup (ball valve/open holes on the air intake side) you can learn control of the temp and cook excellent BBQ

Phrett, after that last post I took a look inside (for the first time since my oil burn) and it was full of oil, more than I realized I put in it. I cleaned it out with paper towels and filled the basket up with charcoal. Let it go up to 350 for 2 hours and the white smoke went away. Thanks for the advice! After doing that and looking up the minion method like MDboatbum suggested, I am cooking chicken thighs with TBS and holding a steady 315-320 without even touching my ball valve once it was set. Thanks again for everyone's advice.
post #13 of 13
Super. I thought that could be the issue since I recently got a little WeberQ for tailgating and such. I have never used oil on the inside of a cooker to "season" it but have read often that is the way to go. I bought a can of spray veg oil and LIGHTLY sprayed the inside of the unit and grtes, then ran it on high for an hour. It did smoke quite a bit. The next day when cooled I opened it up and had oil pooled in the edges and creases. After the butrn in there was more oil than I ever thought I had sprayed on in the first place. I think the heat may really thin it down and spread it out!? Wait till you're cooking butts, ribs and brisket at lower temps for many hours. Glad you did not get discouraged, some give up after one mishap/miscalculation and miss the fun and great food they can cook.
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