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Smoke Color Chart - Page 2

post #21 of 30

That chart is awesome, thanks for posting that Mr T!  I do have a question with references to smoke color as well as smell, just reading on here I just assumed blue was all you ever wanted to ideally smoke with.. Now, I know that stick burners will get white smoke but my offset puts off blue after it burns the new wood for a bit.  

 

About a month ago I tried to smoke some cheeses for the first time, using my Brinkmann vertical offset, and my AMNPS in the firebox side.  I lit it any way I'd normally light it for my MES, and the offset has MUCH more ventilation than that thing... However when I'd put the AMNPS in the firebox I would only ever get white smoke.  I put a fan at the intake, adjusted the exhaust and intake... nothing seemed to get it to work right, so I gave up and did not smoke the cheese, for fear of ruining it.  

 

The smoke was white/pale gray in color and smelled like ash, so I assumed it would make all of my cheese taste the same.. Was I right in not smoking the cheese?  Could my offset had too much airspace for that AMNPS to properly fill with smoke? If it doesn't smell good I just assume that it isn't the right. lol 

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much Gavin, I do appreciate your comment and questions.

 

First off, let me make it very clear that I cannot overemphasize the virtues of Todd's products such as the AMNPS.  They have helped make smoke cooking easier for a great number, including myself.

 

Many truly believe and have convinced others that thin blue smoke (TBS) is the perfect smoke to use when smoke cooking and I have no problem if that is what they believe.  It's my belief though that the perfect smoke depends on two things, the equipment being used and the product being smoked.

 

  Those who only use TBS although I'm sure put out some wonderful product are limiting themselves to a short list of products they can easily smoke. "If it can be consumed, it can be smoked" with minimal equipment and expense.

 

There are cookers such as stick burners that normally produce TBS because that's their nature. There are those such as coal cookers that produce little or no color at all.  Then we have the gas and electrics, depending on their design, produce a number of different colors. Some use an abundance of fuel and others like a couple of my Cookshak's may only require a two ounce chunk of wood to cook a whole chicken for over three hours.  Whatever type or model of smoker you have, take the time and learn its characteristic's.  New to smoking or have a new smoker? -- "How to optimize your smoke"  By learning your smoker, time and aggravation will be saved in the long run.

 

Glad to know that your are interested in smoking cheese.  You may find the following interesting.   Mr T's "Smoked Cheese From Go To Show" w/ Q- View  If your smoke does not smell good to you, try using a different species.  It's been my opinion that Todd's Pitmaster pellets produce a very desirable flavor to cheese.

 

  Many use a AMNPS inside there smokers and this is fine if they are pleased with the results.  My doing this has resulted in hot spots, and a undesirable amount of creosote.  By placing the smoke generator regardless of make a distance away from the container (smoker) containing the product, the cleaner and smoother the smoke will be, producing a much more desirable end product.

 

Knowing that not all smokers produce TBS has caused somewhat of a dilemma on the forum.  There are those who would like to discus using smoke that is not TBS and when they do, they or told no that's bad get a AMNPS.  Well I say BS.  If that were true I suppose someone, not myself, should notify Cookshack and tell them they have been building expensive smokers wrong for over 50 years.  So let's discus using different colors of smoke, it's OK.

 

It seems that many feel as long as you are cooking, smoke should be applied, not true by a long shot.  Depending on what you are smoking the time smoke is applied may differ from just a few seconds to days.  What one has to realize is the more dense and more white the smoke, the less smoke time is required, most important the less forgiving it is. So start out slow and add time that you apply smoke until you eventually find the smoke taste you are looking for.

 

I realize this has been a long answer to your questions.  Hope I answered them satisfactorily.

 

Tom

post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post
 

Thank you very much Gavin, I do appreciate your comment and questions.

 

First off, let me make it very clear that I cannot overemphasize the virtues of Todd's products such as the AMNPS.  They have helped make smoke cooking easier for a great number, including myself.

 

Many truly believe and have convinced others that thin blue smoke (TBS) is the perfect smoke to use when smoke cooking and I have no problem if that is what they believe.  It's my belief though that the perfect smoke depends on two things, the equipment being used and the product being smoked.

 

  Those who only use TBS although I'm sure put out some wonderful product are limiting themselves to a short list of products they can easily smoke. "If it can be consumed, it can be smoked" with minimal equipment and expense.

 

There are cookers such as stick burners that normally produce TBS because that's their nature. There are those such as coal cookers that produce little or no color at all.  Then we have the gas and electrics, depending on their design, produce a number of different colors. Some use an abundance of fuel and others like a couple of my Cookshak's may only require a two ounce chunk of wood to cook a whole chicken for over three hours.  Whatever type or model of smoker you have, take the time and learn its characteristic's.  New to smoking or have a new smoker? -- "How to optimize your smoke"  By learning your smoker, time and aggravation will be saved in the long run.

 

Glad to know that your are interested in smoking cheese.  You may find the following interesting.   Mr T's "Smoked Cheese From Go To Show" w/ Q- View  If your smoke does not smell good to you, try using a different species.  It's been my opinion that Todd's Pitmaster pellets produce a very desirable flavor to cheese.

 

  Many use a AMNPS inside there smokers and this is fine if they are pleased with the results.  My doing this has resulted in hot spots, and a undesirable amount of creosote.  By placing the smoke generator regardless of make a distance away from the container (smoker) containing the product, the cleaner and smoother the smoke will be, producing a much more desirable end product.

 

Knowing that not all smokers produce TBS has caused somewhat of a dilemma on the forum.  There are those who would like to discus using smoke that is not TBS and when they do, they or told no that's bad get a AMNPS.  Well I say BS.  If that were true I suppose someone, not myself, should notify Cookshack and tell them they have been building expensive smokers wrong for over 50 years.  So let's discus using different colors of smoke, it's OK.

 

It seems that many feel as long as you are cooking, smoke should be applied, not true by a long shot.  Depending on what you are smoking the time smoke is applied may differ from just a few seconds to days.  What one has to realize is the more dense and more white the smoke, the less smoke time is required, most important the less forgiving it is. So start out slow and add time that you apply smoke until you eventually find the smoke taste you are looking for.

 

I realize this has been a long answer to your questions.  Hope I answered them satisfactorily.

 

Tom

 

I agree, Todd's AMNPS is awesome! Even though I never finished drilling out  my analog MES to make it perfect, I can still get amazing smoke with short-medium cooks.  I actually read over and saved your cheese smoking guide multiple times before I considered trying the cheese! 

 

You answered most of my question.  I wanted to know if the smell of the smoke itself was also an indicator of whether it is good or bad smoke?  For example, when my AMNPS is in the MES it has a very beautiful aroma of the wood itself, so so I have been using that as a guide.. And when it smells like white ash I pull it and try to relight the generator again, using fresh pellets.  Should I let the AMNPS go with the white smoke and ash smell on the cheese, and see how it turns up?  Your explanation of the different smoke colors has certainly peaked my interest to give it another go.  My only concern is if the smoke aroma is an indicator also.  

 

Edit:  The pellets I use are Todd's pit master's choice mainly.. I tried using the pecan to, and I have cherry I bought from a local store.  

post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin16 View Post
 

 

  I actually read over and saved your cheese smoking guide multiple times before I considered trying the cheese! 

 

You answered most of my question.  I wanted to know if the smell of the smoke itself was also an indicator of whether it is good or bad smoke?  For example, when my AMNPS is in the MES it has a very beautiful aroma of the wood itself, so so I have been using that as a guide.. And when it smells like white ash I pull it and try to relight the generator again, using fresh pellets.  Should I let the AMNPS go with the white smoke and ash smell on the cheese, and see how it turns up?  Your explanation of the different smoke colors has certainly peaked my interest to give it another go.  My only concern is if the smoke aroma is an indicator also.  

 

  

 

The smokes aroma will definably give you a indication of what your end product will be.  At times smoking can become a balancing act. Cut the air down you get a heavy white smoke, increase the air you get a thin yet lighter in color smoke.  The trade off is heat.  So we now have to learn how to work with the heavier smoke.  If you are using a MES or other similar smoker to hold you product, consider a mailbox type of modification.  The proximity the smoke generator to the product has a direct effect on the quality of smoke.  The further away, the cleaner and smoother the smoke, this would also have a direct effect on the aroma of the smoke as much of the creosote is removed prior to entering the box.

 

Practice, start out using short periods and increase your time until you reach the desired amount of smoke you like for the product you are smoking.

 

Smoked Bread,Crackers and Snacks

 

Have fun and keep good notes on what you are doing and each result.  They will be invaluable in the future.

 

Tom


Edited by Mr T 59874 - 2/18/15 at 2:00am
post #25 of 30

I smoke on an RF so I guess it's a little different than you watt burners, I always wait til my smoke turns to a real light thin blue before I start the meat. Now when I add more wood it will produce some white smoke but dissipates pretty quick.  My stuff turns out with a light mild smokey flavor. Just works for me, 

 

Gary


Edited by gary s - 2/16/15 at 3:35pm
post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

Gary, that's exactly what we want, something that works for us individually.  Thanks for your input.

 

Tom

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC5TPY View Post
 

Hello dannylang.  Roll with it my friend.  So long as we are not talking thick white smoke for more than an hour or 2 you will be good.  This is what I was talking about.  If using a stick burner or adding chunks you can't help but get white smoke.  Is the nature of the beast!  I used a modified Brinkman chargrill offset for about 25 yrs..  If someone can me how to add splits, chips or chumks without white smoke ( especially when adding to bring the temp up )  I'd be impressed.  I think some folks might "talk" a good game but when back in Tx.  I ONLY EVER used mesquite wood for heat and smoke.  I pre burned the logs for coals and then added splits for smoke.  You CAN NOT add wood in that manner with out some white smoke.  Going out on a limb here to say if someone says you can I want to see it!  Not too old to learn new tricks.  SHOW ME SOMETHING!  Keep Smokin!

Danny

I don't think "you can" without the white smoke but what YOU CAN do -  Is to keep the lid of the firebox open (on an offset etc) until most (or all) the white smoke has "calmed down" so it doesn't affect the product being smoked so much........ of course this will affect temps to some degree(large degree at time) and will prolong cooking time but IF you're after no heavy white smoke pouring on the meat that is one answer IMO

 

YMMV

post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 

Got a PM from a member mentioning that there is no such smoke color as the dark blue shown in the chart, I agree.  It would have been nice to have been able to show a color between blue and the light blue.  Due to the limited colors available for use on SMF the blue was the best that could be used. 

 

The chart was also upgraded in another attempt to explain the use of different colors of smoke, time versus color.  Hope it helps those who could not make sense of it.

 

Tom

post #29 of 30

I guess I'm totally confused, I've been smoking for over 40 years and have never tried to smoke anything according to the color of smoke. The thing I know is I DON"T LIKE HEAVY White smoke I have always gotten better tasting food after the smoke settles down and producing a thin blue or almost translucent smoke.

 

Please explain about the smoke color ?   I would hate to think I've been doing it wrong for all of those years.

 

Gary

post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gary s View Post
 

I guess I'm totally confused, I've been smoking for over 40 years and have never tried to smoke anything according to the color of smoke. The thing I know is I DON"T LIKE HEAVY White smoke I have always gotten better tasting food after the smoke settles down and producing a thin blue or almost translucent smoke.

 

Please explain about the smoke color ?   I would hate to think I've been doing it wrong for all of those years.

 

Gary

 

Gary, you have been doing nothing wrong in the way you have been smoking and I would be the first to confirm it as I am certain you put out some very good products.  What I am attempting to get across to smokers who want to broaden their smoking options is that there are many things that can be smoked and with less difficulty by using smoke other than TBS.  If you don't want to use smoke colors other than TBS, don't.  

 

I have attempted in the past to post threads showing some examples of products that can be fun to smoke by the use of a heavier smoke.  In each example shown, and in any post in other threads where, I have mentioned the use of a heavier smoke, you will notice that using a much shorter time in the smoke is mentioned.

 

 In no way have I encouraged the use of a heavy smoke the same as a lighter smoke.  As an example, when smoking bacon, I use a very thin light blue smoke for days, yet when smoking products such as ice cream, soups, sauces or salads, a shot of heavy white smoke is applied for as little as only a few short seconds.  Another example,  when working at a restaurant, if an order for a smoked shrimp cocktail came in, it could be ready for delivery in less than four minutes by using a heavy smoke for a minute or two , you should surely see it would have been impossible to do the same using a lighter smoke. 

 

Hope this answers your questions.

 

Tom

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