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Smoke and mirrors

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all:

 

Smoked some baby backs last week for the first time in my new MES.  Added wood chips (cherry) every hour.  The tray was full of black unburned chips upon completion.

 

Today I did baby backs again (cherry), with the vent open exactly as it was last week.  The smoke from the original chip tray lasted 2 hours (Masterbuilt says add chips every 30 to 60 minutes)!

 

Question:  I saw it happen, but didn't think one tube of chips could last for 2 hours.  Is that normal, in spite of what Masterbuilt says?  If I would have waited to add wood last week, would I possibly seen the same results? 

 

P.S.  The tube today had a smattering of white ash and no black chips whatsoever.  I'm totally confused.

 

Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 7
I've had that happen as well. I usually dump them between smokes. Been using the smoker two or three times a week this month. I tried using the old half burned chips but didn't care for the flavor. It's likely that it's just in my head.

I will occasionally light a couple of chips with a lighter and then blow the flame out to get them going better if the element isn't 'ashing' my chips well that day.

I'm not sure if there's a chip loader on yours, but open the vent and remove the chip loader to get some better air flow. That's my other thought. You can always close it back up once your chips are smoking better
post #3 of 7
Wait, I just reread your post. Are you turning the chip loader over to dump the chips in to the chip tray?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, I turn it over.  I also completely clean the tray after each use.

I guess with time I will figure out a system - it just threw me that identical conditions provided different results.  That's why I figured it must be the adding of chips before needed that was the cause of the partial wood burn.

post #5 of 7
Probably something like that. It would seem that the less the element heats up, the less quick burned out the chips would be. Was it colder one day?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

No, not really.  Actually, I called Masterbuilt today and the representative said it's not unusual for a tray to last 2 1/2 hours.  I wish they would have put that info out instead of "add chips every 30 to 60 minutes."  She said I shouldn't have added anything until the first tray was totally spent.  Problem solved (at least until tomorrow when I have another go at it).  :)

post #7 of 7
Well, that's good to know. I usually start with a touch heavier than tbs, then keep it there. But that's my family's taste