I’ve been heavily researching pellet smokers, and I’m considering pulling the trigger on a MAK 2 Star General (upgrading from my MES), but have a question about altitude and smoke output (I live at 7,400 feet, just west of Denver). I’ve read a considerable amount of info on how altitude affects cook times, boiling points, oxygen levels, etc., but haven’t been able to find its effect on smoke output.
I’d like a lot of smoke flavor, and I plan to aim for fairly low cook temps (170-220 deg.) to maximize smoke output, save for the last bit if I want to finish off my cook. I don’t need high temps at all … I have a Napoleon grill I love for that.
I could hypothesize high elevation making smoke output go either way:
1) It might lower smoke output, because it needs to burn more pellets (from less oxygen and often colder ambient temps), therefore pellets burn at higher temps to achieve a given cook temp in the food chamber, and I’ve read plenty that says burning at higher temps reduces smoke due to more complete combustion.
2) It might increase smoke output, because, with less oxygen and colder temps require burning more pellets (same as above), it makes more smoke just from the increased volume of pellets being burned.
So does anyone know which it is? A little of each? Or might something else be going on? If you have specific MAK experience on this issue, great, but I’m open to all pellet smoker advice, assuming the situation would be similar.
Thanks in advance for your knowledge!!
p.s., this is my first post, aside from a Roll Call post, so if this is in the wrong forum or I didn't ask the question correctly or something along those lines, I'll take a demerit and welcome constructive criticism on what to do better. Thanks.