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Help me get the thin blue smoke

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay I've been reading about the thin blue smoke and realized that I've been doing my smoke wrong---because what I end up with is thick white smoke that smells somewhat acrid like cigarette smoke.


Here's how I do my smoke:


1) I fill the Vision egg smoker up with rockwood lump and I'll put in about 5 chunks of some sort of wood, usually hickory or apple, mixed in with the lump.  If doing a longer smoke (brisket, big butt) I'll add a few more.


2)  I put in the electric starter, somewhat shallow so that I am starting the fire on the top and let the fire burn down through the rest of the lump.  I let the smoker get to the temp I want it slowly.


3)  Right before I put the meat on (as in literally right before) I throw a large handful of apple or hickory chips on top of the lit lump.  I then throw on the grate with the meat on top.  Depending on circumstances, the chips may immediately ignite in flame once hitting.


What generally ends up happening is that I end up with the thick white smoke for a long time, which makes the bark taste acrid almost like an ashtray.  Sometimes worse than others.

So with this setup, how do I get the thin blue smoke that everyone wants-- so that I fill the neighborhood with the sweet smell of good food cooking instead of that of a burn barrel?


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 6

Stop using the chips and let the wood chunks supply the smoke. Once the chunks carbonize, the TBS will be somewhat difficult to see and change from the billowing white.


I use a WSM and let the pit settle for a while, usually 45-90 minutes, before adding any meat.

post #3 of 6

You may want to try a fruit wood , I only worry about the smoke if it is brown  , but for me the more smoke flavor the better !

post #4 of 6

I agree with sfprankster.  I also use a WSM.


Let the charcoal settle down first.  Throw on some wood chunks and let it settle down too.  Forget the chips.


After the smoke quits billowing out and after the bad smell goes away then put the meat on.


I use Gary Wiviott's Low & Slow book.  I like his method for starting up the fire in a WSM, offset, and Weber Kettle.

post #5 of 6

I mix the chunks in with the charcoal & throw on about 10-12 lit briquettes to get it going. You may get a little white smoke in the begining, but it will go away in 10-15 minutes.



Hope this helps!



post #6 of 6
First, lose the chips. Try starting your lump with about 2/3 chimney of briqs. When everything settles down and your smoker is up to temp, then put the chunks on and the meat in. You should have good flavor when the chunks are ignited and good TBS.

Good luck. This method works well for me. Joe
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