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More smoke in the meat...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have a OKJ and usually, I use Lump and Hickory. Lately, I've noticed that I'm not getting the amount of smoke infused into the meat that I think I should. I usually use Olive Oil as the glue for the rub and a small water pan in the front of the grill. I also have a baffle plate in place and temps accross the cooking area are within 10F at grate level. 


I'm wondering how to get more smoke infused into the product. Pork or Beef, seems like I'm always very light on the smoke although my neighbors probably would disagree on the amount of hickory that I use. 


Can anyone help with this? I always bring the meat up to room temps and the smoker up to optimum before putting the meat on the smoker. Temps flex a lot here as this is not an insulated smoker. 


I'm working on wifey for the OK to buy a Superior Smoker SS-2 but that's about a year out from now. 


Thanks in advance!



post #2 of 21

I'm sure you will get lots of recommendations on using one of the AMNZ gizmos. I have an early model AMNS sawdust burner I've gotten good use out of for long periods of smoke. Many here swear by the newer pellet burning tubes for hours of smoke. Not overly expensive I believe and top notch customer service....HTH, Willie

post #3 of 21
How much Lump and how much Hickory are you using? IMHO if you are useing Lump as your main heat source and then just a little Hickory for some smoke. That could be your problem, You didn't say if you are using chuncks, chips or splits of wood, the type of wood will also affect the flovor imparted to the food. What temps are you smoking at? The faster the meat gets to say 140 deg. the less smoke it will absorb. As Cheff Willie stated you can always add more smoke with one of the A-Maze-N smokers, but if you are getting good smoke production from your fire I realy don't think that will solve your problem. Hope some of this might have helped!
Keep Smokin!!!
post #4 of 21



It is widely acknowledged, and alluded to by Wolf below, that cold meats absorbs smoke more readily that warm and hot meat. This is supposed backed up by some science (or at least pseudo science). I think it is also considered probably a bit more food safety conscious to not let you meat set out to achieve room temp, particularly larger cuts; the reasoning is the magic numbers  4 and 140. Meat should reach 140 within 4 hours or else cooties can grow in it. And again as Wolf mentioned, 140 is also considered the temp at which the meat will absorb no more smoke, or at least very little.


I'd say take your meat straight from the fridge and onto the smoker and see if that helps. Also, moister meat supposedly accepts smoke better as well, so maybe try a little spritzing during the cook. 

post #5 of 21

I totally agree!  ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Fellas! I knew I could depend on you guys for good advice.:icon_smile:


Now, I'm using lump as my main fuel source and Hickory Sticks for the smoke. I usually try to let the meat get to room temp before putting it on but you guys might be on to something regarding colder meats taking more smoke. When I smoke my bellies, they're usually right from the fridge to the smoker after letting the pellicle develop. Those usually come out with a good amount of smoke in them. I will start to do that with my shoulders, butts, briskies and chuckies too. 140F is where the smoke ends? I'll remember that. 


I try to minimize spritzing as with the OKJ, everytime I pop the lid I lose 20F or more and it takes a bit to get back up to temp. Especially here in PA during the windy Fall days. I spritz at the start, almost at the midpoint and right before I wrap. 


I definitely will make these subtle changes in how I approach my next smoke and let you guys know how it turns out. I found that my pulled pork in particular could use more smoke flavor and I'm wondering if letting it warm up before putting it on the smoker is the problem.


My last problem is talking wifey into letting me get that Superior Smokers SS-2.. You guys got any suggestions for that? 

post #7 of 21
Talking the wife into expensive stuff is not one of my strong points!! But I have found that whining and begging is not the best strategy when it comes to mine!!LOL
Keep Smokin!!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Wolf, I try to stay around 250F but as you know, with the OKJ, it depends on the wind, outside temps, etc so it rises and falls with the breeze sometimes. I use Hickory planks mostly as I can get them from a orchard out in rural PA. Have to be careful cause sometimes he has mixed woods in his bins. Disaster waiting to happen if you don't pay attention. 


I start with a charbasket full of lump to get up to temp. Then I add good sized planks of hickory one at a time as to not piss off the neighbors. Full open at the stack and control the temps at the firebox. 


I think it might be the issue with the relatively warm meats I'm starting with. I had read somewhere that you want your meats at room temps as to not have to lose BTU's. Now that I think about it, I was getting good smoke up until I started with the room temp meats. 


I could use Mesquite but I'm not so sure that's a good idea with Butts and Shoulders. I use Oak on my beef smokes so I could mix Oak and Mesquite and see how that comes out..


I'm still learning my woods as you can probably tell. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

post #9 of 21
You have come up with a couple of things to try. I would try them one at a time so that you can pinpoint what may or may not make the difference.
Keep Smokin!!!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks again Wolf. I'll keep you guys posted. Gonna try these idea with my next smoke. 

post #11 of 21

With regards to getting permission.... It's usually easier to get forgiveness than permission :icon_confused:


 bribe of wifey's favorite smoked entree never hurts either !

post #12 of 21

You could simply try going to Mesquite Wood which gives off a stronger wood taste in most cases.


I don't use anything except the moisture of the brisket for my rub to stick to it on briskets. I do however use mustard on Pork Butts

for a base for the rub.


Sometimes I use Jack Daniel wood chips to start my smoke with as it adds a punch to the meat with hickory wood smoking.


Be sure to let your brisket set over night in the fridge to let the rub open up the pores of the meat. This allows more smoke in before the meat starts to tighten

up in the first couple of hours of your smoke.


My 2 cents worth , that and about six dollars will buy you a cup of coffee !

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Gonna try all of these suggestions on my next smoke. Thanks for everything!

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by smoked alaskan View Post

With regards to getting permission.... It's usually easier to get forgiveness than permission :icon_confused:


 bribe of wifey's favorite smoked entree never hurts either !



My wife is from Sedalia, Mo. (West) so you know what I'm up against.. :)

post #15 of 21

  You may need to keep air away from your wood so that it smolders and smokes rather than flames. Maybe a foil wrap with some holes in it or a small cast iron pan of some sort to get it farther from the heat.



post #16 of 21

My wife's middle name is NO!  :eek:

post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by stovebolt View Post

  You may need to keep air away from your wood so that it smolders and smokes rather than flames. Maybe a foil wrap with some holes in it or a small cast iron pan of some sort to get it farther from the heat.



This is a great point. This is a known issue with Pellet smokers, where the hotter you burn them the less smoke flavor you get. In addition to the above suggestions, you can also or either put the wood on the periphery of the coals. 


Ha, your getting a lot of suggestions. Careful what you ask for LOL!

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Update... Your suggestions worked out great! I did both a Bisket and a 11# shoulder with great results. I waited for a 24hr period after applying the rub and took both meats directly from the fridge to the OKJ. It took quite a bit longer for the IT on both meats to reach 140* and perhaps that's what I needed. No mustard on the brisket or the shoulder but the rub held fast. I used a mix of Cherry, Pecan and Oak for the smoke flavor and lump for the fuel. Both meats came out tender, juicy and just enough smoke. I just cured and smoked two pork bellies using the same technique and can't wait to taste them. 


Thanks again fellas. BTW, Wifey is coming around to the SS-2 idea. I went thru 15lbs of lump because of the wind and low temps here in Central Pa. 2015 and I'm pretty sure it will be in the arsenal! 

post #19 of 21
I noticed going from fridge to smoker worked for me, thanks to tbrtt1's suggestion. Tell your wife you're gonna go buy a Plymouth roadrunner if you can't get the smoker!
post #20 of 21

C-man . Hello and welcome.


My suggestion is to use 'all' wood  ;http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/stickburning101


Have fun and . . .

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