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Getting Frustrated

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was having problems before with my MES analog and amnps making a very acrid smoke, and came to the conclusion that it was poor airflow causing my problems. So I spent the last 2 days cutting up my smoker and making the mailbox mod. I don't have pictures at the moment but the smoker is up high with mailbox below and 3" tube coming into the side of the smoker and added 3" elbow on top of smoker for exhaust. I am getting no smoke even remotely close to thin or blue and still had a very acrid smell. Just doesn't smell anything like burning chips. I'm afraid to ruin anything else in this smoker. What am I missing??? Its driving me absolutely nuts!
post #2 of 16

Here's some thoughts.

 

You may at some time used some green wood and coated the analog with cresote. If so, you have to wash it off or burn it off. Its like the stuff they use to coat telephone poles.

 

It doesn't come from lack of air, its comes from green or too much smoke. I have smokers that function perfectly well with no air what-so-ever.

 

LIke I said use a rosebud and burn it, or take it to the carwash use the highpressure steam brush and a bottle of dawn detergent. PS Don't spray it on the element or electronics! Make sure and set it out to dry for a few days afterwards.

 

Its been mentioned here many times, with and electric the TBS is mostly a state of mind. Sure you can regulate the vent, but what you'll see is more a shimmering of the heat leaving the exhaust vent. When you can't see the smoke but can smell it, thats TBS.

 

These are just my thoughts...... I'd cheak the walls especially the top of the smoker box and see if you have any creosote. That smell can't be missed, and its a royal pain to get out.

 

BUT its from either using unseasoned wood or using too much. Lack of air really doesn't do it. If you don't have enough air the fire goes out or no smoldering.

 

Hope you figure it out, bon chance!

post #3 of 16
Are you sure its bad smoke?

I use the amnps in my mes. The smoke is different then using wood chunks in my charcoal smokers.

The smoke is more white with my mes but the food still tastes great.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post

Here's some thoughts.

 

You may at some time used some green wood and coated the analog with cresote. If so, you have to wash it off or burn it off. Its like the stuff they use to coat telephone poles.

 

It doesn't come from lack of air, its comes from green or too much smoke. I have smokers that function perfectly well with no air what-so-ever.

 

LIke I said use a rosebud and burn it, or take it to the carwash use the highpressure steam brush and a bottle of dawn detergent. PS Don't spray it on the element or electronics! Make sure and set it out to dry for a few days afterwards.

 

Its been mentioned here many times, with and electric the TBS is mostly a state of mind. Sure you can regulate the vent, but what you'll see is more a shimmering of the heat leaving the exhaust vent. When you can't see the smoke but can smell it, thats TBS.

 

These are just my thoughts...... I'd cheak the walls especially the top of the smoker box and see if you have any creosote. That smell can't be missed, and its a royal pain to get out.

 

BUT its from either using unseasoned wood or using too much. Lack of air really doesn't do it. If you don't have enough air the fire goes out or no smoldering.

 

Hope you figure it out, bon chance!


I have only used wood pellets since noticing the smell. I have used both the amazen pellets and louisiana grills pellets. Both give me thick white smoke no matter if I am cold smoking or hot, and both have an off smell to me. I have done cheese and bacon and both tasted like an absolute ashtray, I had to throw the bacon out and the cheese has been sitting 8 weeks and still tastes like strong campfire. Does this sound like creosote to you or could there be something else at play here?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
The food comes out tasting fine on hot smokes but still very white billowy smoke, its the cold smokes that really bring out the awful taste.
post #6 of 16

 

 

 


Here are a few shots of the smoke levels in my smoker a 30 inch MES.

 The first is a picture of the door opened and the smoke level.

 

The second is about the amount of smoke generated by my AMNPS.

 

The third and fourth are of the exhaust  of the smoke. This is typical of the smoke generated and exhausted from the smoker.

 

The take away of this set of pictures is the amount or lack of smoke compared to chips.

 

If you open the door while burning chips it will be white, blinding and take your breath.

 

You want the smoke to KISS the meat not make out with it. 

 

These are my just opinions and others may agree or disagree. The proof is in the quality of the Q produced.      Jted


Edited by jted - 9/25/14 at 8:41am
post #7 of 16

I have the same as you and in the beginning, I was having your problems until I added the 3" top vent and a few 1/2" holes under the chip tray area.  I haven't done the mail box mod yet.   But, my salmon has come out great,   I have noticed that since I opened up the holes under the chip tray(amznps now goes there) , I get less moisture buildup and a cleaner smoke.

 

I also sealed the door with a thin silicone gasket form home depot.  I think this was it:

 

Frost-King-E-O-1-2-in-x-20-ft-Silicone-Smoke-Seal

 

-Brian

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
The smoker still smells awful the next day. Will turning it on high burn the smell off or does it need a pressure wash?
post #9 of 16

What Pellets are you using? My Wife HATES the smell of straight Hickory and when I used it on Cheese it did give an acrid taste that was still there 3 months later. I switched to Pitmasters Choice and all was good with the Mrs.' and the food. If your smoker smells foul, clean it...JJ

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I use pittmasters and applewood
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 

What Pellets are you using? My Wife HATES the smell of straight Hickory and when I used it on Cheese it did give an acrid taste that was still there 3 months later. I switched to Pitmasters Choice and all was good with the Mrs.' and the food. If your smoker smells foul, clean it...JJ


Jimmy, how long do you smoke your cheese? I smoked some cheddar and mozz back in August for about 4 hours--I think--using apple wood pellets that I had bought long ago (not from Todd). The cheese has a nice but strong smoky taste which is fine. However, I just bought some applewood-smoked cheddar that was smoked by a place in Pike's Place Market in Seattle and the smoke flavor is much more subtle.and "commercial" tasting. Wondering if I should be going for less smoke by taking the cheeses out of the smoker sooner?

 

I agree that hickory is pretty heavy duty for cheese. But yeah, I love the Pitmaster's.

post #12 of 16

Hey Bro, I only smoke Cheese for 2 hours, tops. I am not really sure how some cheeses are smoked as the Rind looks more Painted on then what comes out of my MES, so I know exactly what you mean by a commercial taste...JJ

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

Hey Bro, I only smoke Cheese for 2 hours, tops. I am not really sure how some cheeses are smoked as the Rind looks more Painted on then what comes out of my MES, so I know exactly what you mean by a commercial taste...JJ
Many of the supermarket cheeses are "painted" with (or dipped in???) liquid smoke.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 

Hey Bro, I only smoke Cheese for 2 hours, tops. I am not really sure how some cheeses are smoked as the Rind looks more Painted on then what comes out of my MES, so I know exactly what you mean by a commercial taste...JJ


 I'm not sure why it was in my head to smoke cheese for 4-6 hours but I'm the one who put it there. I guess early on I was thinking that both hot and cold smoking required at least 4 hours. You're the man so two hours it is.

post #15 of 16

I smoke my cheese and butter for 3 hours using apple pellets.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmayna View Post
 

I smoke my cheese and butter for 3 hours using apple pellets.


Smoked butter? I've got to try that.

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