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Sustaining Smoke

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm smoking some ribs for lunch today but am having trouble sustaining smoke for linger than what feels like 20-30 minutes a a time.

I'm using wood chips on my SV 24 and about every 20-30 minutes I look out and don't see any smoke. I may see a little creeping put the lower vents or the door but nothing making it through the top vent. Any idea why? I'm used to, and read here that most only need to add chips every hour. Could it be the air coming in the bottom vents? Could it be that I'm expecting too much smoke. As I write this, the smoke has stopped somewhere less than 30 minutes after I added more chips.

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey all. Getting ready to fire this smoker up again after a long late winter and I want to be on my A game this summer. Who better to help me do that than the talent here.


I wanted to bump this topic up again.


Since I wrote this, I've switched to store bought apple chunks (maybe fist sized, give or take). I still feel like I don't get more than 20-30 minutes out of them before needing to add more. That means I'm constantly fiddling with the smoker.


Add wood

crank temp to get back to 225

lower temp to hold

too low - adjust high

too high adjust low

got it.

add more wood


tome to glaze, repeat temp adjustments

add more wood repeat process.


Shouldn't I be able to get about an hour out of these chunks? I'd love to be able to at least go 45 minutes as that's usually when I glaze my butt. 


Adding more wood will just produce more smoke, not prolong the time of smoke, right? 

Should I soak the chunks?I've read here that soaking does nothing, but will it make them burn slower?

Should I drop the chunks a little off center so maybe the pan isn't as hot right where they are sitting?


I've bent the tabs on my SM 24 so I shouldn't be getting a ton of air in there. I have noticed sometimes (in winter with a stiff breeze) that opening the door will cause the wood to ignite obviously burning it up faster. I need to seal the door better to keep smoke in.


Thanks for any help!

post #3 of 4

I think you are adjusting the flame too often. I leave all the vents wide open, unless the wind is blowing against a bottom vent, then I shut it.


I use big wood chunks that I cut on my chop saw from splits. They usually last about 1 1/2 hours in my SV 24. 


When you add wood or mop the meat don't keep adjusting the burner it will get back to what it was in a few minutes without any adjustments.


Here is the wood chunks I use.




Hope this helps,



post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

That's great help Al. Thanks! I will try this and I'm sure be much happier and have more success.


How do you prep the smoker? I was doing high like a grill and to get smoke going, but hate getting blasted with the first smoke when I open the door to put the meat on, so I started getting it hot, then putting meat and wood on at the same time since I get smoke from it in just a few minutes I figure I'm not missing out on much smoke. Maybe I just dial it in to 225 with wood on and it won't get too bad off the rip.

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