Does anyone have insight into lowering the vent to the cooking grate producing bad smoke? I just purchased the OK Joe's Highlander a few weeks ago. I have been attempting to modify it to be more efficient. I see many people here(all over the internet as well) recommend and use vent duct to lower the chimney down to grate level. So I did so as well. However, this is counter intuitive to me for smoking. Yesterday I smoked baby back ribs(brined). When I thought they were finished, I opened the lid and noticed my ribs were darker than usual. This was only after 3.5 hrs. They tasted ok, but I wasn't satisfied. I had a few others try them and they did detect a pungent taste in the bark.
It seems lowering the vent produces bad smoke. If the smoke cannot escape and builds up in the chamber it creates an unclean smoke. I always though that smoke flowing over the surface is what produces flavor. It seems the extended vent stops that. Perhaps someone can tell me what I am doing wrong? BTW, I smoked a Pork Butt with the same hard wood charcoal & Post Oak without the vent extension and it produced a fabulous flavor.