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Thick White Smoke

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I use charcoal in a an offset horizontal. Using some non-finished flooring scraps (oak and hickory) for smoke. When I add them to the fire I get great volumes of white smoke as they begin burning (flaming). Any ideas how to reduce the flaming and dense smoke? Should I put them off to the side of the hot coals rather than on top, soak them first, any other ideas? I thin I'm getting some creosote because of this and that's not good. TIA for any ideas.
post #2 of 22
Putting them off ot the side will help. Soaking will help, but both will probably only delay the bursting into flames for a while. IMO most of the problem with flaming comes from not being able to control the air flow well in your smoker. Does your firebox leak, or is it pretty tight?
post #3 of 22
Pre burn them down to embers in a barrel or something similar before you introduce them to the fire box. Shovel them in the fire box as needed. You'll get much more pleasing smoke, but more importantly, more pleasing flavor.
post #4 of 22
i am hoping on getting a offset smoker for christmas, so i follow these posts with interest..........

being embers......how are they producing smoke?
arent they now just like coals?

inquiring minds would like to know

post #5 of 22

You will still get the "smoke taste"........even if you see no smoke at all, you will get it from the embers. Many......well some......stick burners will do an entire cook with just embers, never adding unburned wood to the firebox and have plenty of smoky taste, only shoveling in preburnt for the whole cook.

Now how many times you need to add the preburnt wood vs how much "raw" chunks you would had will take some experimenting, but the smokiness from the coals will be there.
post #6 of 22
i take it from your post.........that maybe get a HEAVIER smokie taste then using "raw" chunks off to one side?

post #7 of 22
Hmmm.......not sure how to answer that really since there are a lot of variables that could be in that scenario.

I think if you put a 3 x 3 chunk of "raw" wood in the box and compared to a 3x3 that was burnt down outside the box with the embers/coals then shoveled in, you would get more "flavor" from the raw wood, but the burnt down would give a "cleaner" flavor, if that makes sense.

Kind of hard to really give a side by side comparision between the 2 methods in my mind............there......I am sure that did not help. icon_redface.gif LOL
post #8 of 22
I use charcoal and wood in my offset firebox too. I start by adding about 12 unburned charcoal brickets to the firebox then add a chimney of lit charcoal on top of that (minion method). When my smoker gets up to temp Ill add a chunk of wood (off to the side, not directly on the flames). Works well for me, I get the thin blue smoke like that. Then I usually add about 10-12 unlit charcoal brickets every hour, this keeps my temp right at 240 the entire smoke. My air intake on the firebox is always open about 1/4 inch and the smoke stack is always wide open.
post #9 of 22
icon_confused.gif np fbj..........aint anymore confused now then i was BEFORE your reply......lolicon_confused.gif
post #10 of 22
I do the preburn. let em' go till the entire surface of said chunk is black and a touch of grey at the edges. I use my turkey fryer and a metal grate to accomplish this
post #11 of 22
What he said.....it's the quality of the smoke you get with embers; you are refining the wood. I'm no scientist, but the stuff in the wood that fuels a flame is the stuff you are trying to elliminate.

But as I mentioned in another post, when you start cooking with embers, double check your ash collection and ventilation. You will need more ventilation than normal or the embers will pack and lose their heat.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Fatback, etal!

This is the Brinkmann Cimmaron smoker that I'm having problems with even temps in the cooking chamber (another thread). Fatback posted a link for some mods to try. I'll try adding the wood to the side (easier) or preburning it (probably more effective). Thanks everybody for the help. Looking for that fine smoke flavor without the black sooty color.
post #13 of 22
You might want to cut back on the amount of wood that you start with. It's better to start out with less then add more if you need too. Or you could add your meat to the smoker after the billowy white turns to the thin blue.
post #14 of 22
Just don't give up........you'll get it and the results will still be tasty as you learn. Practice, practice, pratice.
post #15 of 22
and take copious notes..........so you can remember later on, what werked and didn't werk.........

post #16 of 22
Low&slow...thanks for the info. I just got a brinkman smoke n pit and have had troulbe with too much white thick smoke, so I am going to try your way of doing things. I think that will work good.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

Minion Method

Yeah, LownSlow, I'll try that too. I've used the Minion method in my Weber kettle, maybe it will help the Brinkmann too. My rig is a similar set-up to yours, I believe. The stuff I'm turning out isn't bad, just think it can get better. And I get to eat my mistakes in the meantime.
post #18 of 22
If your using flooring wood IMO you would not get creosote. That wood should be plenty dry, creosote comes from wet wood.
I have had some great food come out of a smoke cloud in the smoker. Keep playing with the air flow, amount of wood and temp and you will get the hang of it.
post #19 of 22
Creosote is increased in unseasoned wood, but you can still get it from dry. It's the condensed aromatic hydrocarbon by-products of the oils and other organic chemicals contained in the wood. Also, it's more markedly produced by incomplete combustion of the wood. Some woods produce more than others as well.

The pre-burn removes most of these chemicals, especially important for the "first load". Adding chunks after is not so bad for creosote levels due to the high temp of the coal bed burning the aforementioned nasties more completely.

Or that's MY take on it.

Here's a bit more scientific type info:

On edit: Notice the production of these nasties by combustion of FAT... Hmm keep the drippings outta the fire, folks. Probably moreso in smoking, obviously, due to MUCH longer cooking times than grilling.
post #20 of 22
Sheesh, and ya' call me a geek....geekrolleyes.gif

All in good humour (or not so good humour). Good informative post, though T.

And jeez, man....don't you sleep?
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