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Seasoning my klose

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I rubbed my smoker with bacon grease and fired up the smoker with some cherry wood that I picked up the other day. It's seasoned about 1 year. At times i've witnessed the thin blue smoke that i've read so often on the forum, but seem to get more white smoke than anything else.
I have read that you'll get a little bit more white smoke after putting more wood on, and that seems to hold true up to this point. Also the smoker seems to be running hot. 275-300. I have my stack vent wide open and my side box almost closed. The reason i've closed it down so far, is because there's a small gap in my ash pan that I believe is suppling air as well. Can anyone give some input as to what I may be doing wrong or right? I'll be smokin' a pok butt on 7-7-06 an would like to resolve an potential problems with Bad smoke before that time. Thanks again everyone!
post #2 of 28
Couple of questions:
1. How big is your fire, and did you check the temp in the smoke box where your meat will be cooking. My pit thermometer can run about 25 to 50 degrees warmer than the area where the meat is actually cooking. However, most of the time, the thermometer is roughly 10 to 15 degrees warmer. It is just the nature of the pit, and the location of the thermometer.
2. What happens when you close the fire box vent all the way? On my BSKD, there are enough gaps to allow for a fire that will maintain temps on a small cook, with all the vents closed. Some people will use the stack vent, but I have never had to.

I get the thin blue smoke all the time, with the exception of just after adding a stick. You can further reduce the white smoke by preheating the sticks on top of the firebox before putting them on the fire. However, I have noticed no bad tastes just to the little bit of extra smoke. Also, you need to take into account that you have no meat on the smoker. This will also bring your temp down. You will be amazed at how small a fire will maintain the temps on your pit.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Seasoning my klose

Hi Noah,
I began the fire with 5 pieces of 3 to 4 inch by 16 long. My smoker has a temp. gauge in the smoker box box cover on the far end, by the stack. The temp. does'nt change much after closing all of the vents. As I stated earlier, I believe the small gap in my ash tray was the only air source, because I had closed all my vents except the stack, which was full open. As far as heating the wood on my fire box.......? I thought that was a great idea, but, after about an hour or so, I had a blaze on top of the fire box! (neighbors loved it!) lol.....and yes, I never took in consideration there's no meat in the smoker to bring down the heat. Also I think I'll try using a combo of coal and wood when I do the butt. Do you think that might help with lower temps and lighter smoke? Will try smaller fire as well.
post #4 of 28
Actually, what you need to do is the "biscuit test" for your smoker. Get a small potato, and two of those tubes of grands biscuits. Take an oven thermometer (one you trust), and push it through the potato so that the end is well outside of other end of the potato. Put the potato where you think you will be doing the most cooking. Next, get your fire going and bring the smoker to temp. Once the smoker is at temp, open the biscuits, and spread around the cook chamber. If you like bacon, put some on top of the fire box. Monitor the biscuits, and you will be able to tell the hot, cold, and warm spots of your cook chamber. When each biscuit gets done, remove, and add a little bacon, and you have a morning snack. Also, monitor the thermometer, and see what the actual temp is.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Seasoning my klose

Noah....your a wealth of info! I'll try it. The snack sounds good too! Whats the potato for? To keep the thermometer off the grates?
post #6 of 28
Exactly! You can use a piece of wood also, just drill a hole.
post #7 of 28
How'd it all turn out, and where are the pics?
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Seasoning my klose

Noah, All I was doing the other day was seasoning the smoker. My new Maverick temp. probe was supposed to show up today.??? I'll be smokin' the pork butt on friday. I'll get some pics and I'll let ya know how it goes.
post #9 of 28

Re: Seasoning my klose

Hi Tommy,

I found some info that you may like on wood. I hope it helps you understand the process of wood burning. It's a little confusing, but if you read it a couple of time I think it might be of some use to you. I am just going to paste the article in this message;

This is an excerpt from an article by Dave Lineback, a North Carolinian who is a scholar and defender of what he terms "traditional" barbecue.

"Did a little research on the combustion of wood recently. Turns out it's an interesting subject that has undergone quite a bit of study in recent years.
Wood does not burn directly. Rather, when heat is applied it first undergoes a process of thermal degradation called pyrolysis in which the wood breaks down into a mixture of volatiles and solid carbonaceous char. The cellulose and hemicellulose form mainly volatiles while the lignin mainly forms the char. Exactly what products are formed by each depends upon the temperature, heating rate, particle size, and any catalysts that might be present.
The solid char remains in place. What goes up with the volatiles are a gas fraction (carbon monoxide and dioxide, some hydrocarbons, and elemental hydrogen), a condensed fraction (water, aldehydes, acids, ketones, and alcohols), and -- here we go! -- a tar fraction (sugar residues from the breakdown of cellulose, furan derivatives, phenolic compounds, and -- pay attention here -- airborne particles of tar and charred material which form the smoke.
If oxygen is present and the temperature is sufficiently high, burning of the volatiles occurs. When temperatures are too low or when there is insufficient oxygen for complete combustion of the volatiles, smoldering occurs. This is characterized by smoking, the emission of unoxidized pyrolysis products. (This is the awful tasting stuff, creosote, that will give barbecue a bitter taste.) If the temperature is high enough and sufficient oxygen is present, then flaming combustion occurs with less smoking and more complete oxidation of the pyrolysis products. Further pyrolysis of volatiles during flaming combustion may cause char particles (soot) to form.
The remaining lignin char burns in the presence of oxygen in glowing combustion. These are my beloved coals that yield the thin blue smoke that makes great barbecue! And, that's why it is so important to preburn the wood to coals." Dave Lineback

Hope this helps in some way. :D

ps; edited this post to take out a cancelled wbsite address
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Seasoning my klose

Thanks Cajun! I've come to the conclusion that Jeff's (SoFlaQuer) burn barrel is the way to go? Just seems a little labor intensive. Guess I'll try It sometime.
I'm learning so much in such a short period of time....I don't know what to try first! lol....
post #11 of 28

Re: Seasoning my klose

That's the same conclusion I came up with Tommy. I find it easier and just as efficient to build a good bed of coals and add lumps of wood for flavor. Hell, I'm so lazy :roll: that I don't even burn charcoal anymore I burn gas and then add wood for flavor :twisted: . It's all about what you want to do :D

After all for most of us this is a hobby. You know, RELAX 8) .
post #12 of 28
Cajun that wood article is very interesting. I had no idea all that was going on. You are correct though, for some of us this is an obsession, for others it is a way of life, then we have the hobbist, and finally the weekend warrior. They compete. I get judged on every cook, the people in my home who eat my food let me know if it is good or not, by the amount of leftovers.
post #13 of 28
Nice article. However, if this is the only way to go, then why don't more of the top BBQ competitors use this method? For me it is a never ending struggle to find that sweet spot between too little and too much smoke flavor. I realize that each smoker is different, but for me I get the best results from beginning with a nice bed of coals, and maintaining with sticks pre-warmed on top of the fire box. Also, if you use this method, don't you lose the flavor of the woods you are using? As once you get down to the lignin/char coals, then all you have is charcoal, without the hickory, apple, pecan, etc., flavor?

Edit: BTW, like Cajun said, I am a true pyromaniac, and I love the task of building and maintaining the proper fire. When I am lazy, I'll use the charcoal basket in my BSKD. Otherwise, this is my true obsession!
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Seasoning my klose

At this point, I'm not down playing any method. I'm looking forward to forming my own opinion through everyones advice. I've received so much input from everyone and I'm looking forward to this summer of smokin'! Thanks to all!!!
post #15 of 28
I'm not down playing anything either. I just want to know as much as possible to help turn out the best Q! I think I will try a setup like Ranger's and see if I can tell any appreciable difference. Also, let us know how the cook goes this weekend.
post #16 of 28

Re: Seasoning my klose

You don't need to see the smoke to be adding smoke flavor.
The almost clear, thin blue smoke adds plenty of smoke flavor...what it doesn't add is the bitterness that some get.

There's no such thing as smoking too long..if the Q tastes oversmoked, then it was rolled in too much of the wrong type of smoke.

I have done several cooks using only lump charcoal and there was a great smokey flavor.

You can definately smell the difference between the different types of wood even after it's burned down to coals.

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
you bet!
post #18 of 28
Thanks Rock,
I avoid the white stuff at all costs, and about the only time I see any is at start up, and for a few seconds when throwing on a new stick. I don't worry so much about smoking too long, as I foil my meat at certain temps. As far as charcoal, I use the Minion method, which is pretty much the oposite of the preburn method, but with much the same results. I guess my question goes back to why more of the competion teams do not use this "preburn" method?
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Seasoning my klose

Hey guys...can some one tell me what the minion method is? I don't think i've seen it in a thread.?
post #20 of 28

Re: Seasoning my klose

Just to clarify my methods, here is a pic from my smoke the other evening. "Sweet Blue" is my goal, and the method I use pretty much insures a clean burn throughout the smoke. I guess, I really would like to know who uses the "preburn" method regularly? I was not discounting the article, but I was wanting to see it put into context with all the other methods of maintaining a fire. Rock, I know you can smell the difference in the different kind of woods, but can you really taste the difference if you only use preburned coals over a 4 to 5 hour smoking period before wrapping?
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