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Blackened Chicken with Q-View

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I smoked a brisket, pork butt, some bacon, and a chicken and they all turned out pretty black but the chicken was the worst. I did a ham for Easter and it was also pretty black and I just thought...well...its a smoker. After further recollection, I think the black is coming from the maple wood Im using to smoke. I picked it up maybe 3 or 4 months ago from people who cut down a tree. It looked dry, and its free which is mostly why Ive been using it but I think the creosate is blackening my food.

What do you all think: I have a picture at the link below...


(Sorry about the bad punctuation, typing on a Brazilian Portuguese formatted keyboard.)
post #2 of 7
A few questions. Are you using the wood as heat as well as smoke or are you using a electric or propane smoker and wood for flavor. If your using wood as your heat source, how big a pieces are you using and are the ends still solid or are they starting to crack. Somewhat of an indicator of dryness. Aside from the draft control, do you use a damper on the chimney stack? At what temps were you running your smoker during this? How long were the items in the smoker.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm mostly using it as fuel after I've gotten something going with the charcoal.

The ends are still solid, not cracked.

I do run a damper, a picture of my smoker is in the link in my signature. I have a top and bottom damper on the outside of the firebox. I had one closed and one about 1/4 to half open. The smoke stack was usually half open.

I usually ran it around 240-250 for about three or four hours.
post #4 of 7
Don't suppose you have any pics of the smoke flowing in action?
post #5 of 7
Heres what Im thinkin. First, your wood may still be a bit green. Good dry wood should show signs of cracking at the ends. Second, running a damper on your stack is probably slowing down the velocity of the smoke. Those two factors are most likely, in my opinion, building up creosote on your meat, giving you the black finish. Take a bunch of your wood, and let is get some sun, somewhere where it wont get wet from rain. You could even dry it out in your smoker as I have done before, works very well. Load it up like your were gonna smoke some meat, only the wood takes place of the meat. You dont even need a big fire for this, something low and mellow works great. And keep an eye on it, just to make sure the whole thing does not catch fire. Yes, I am speaking from personal experience. LOL. Next time, try running your smoker with the chimney damper wide open and ONLY regulate the heat/smoke with the draft control on your firebox end. Remember, the smoke should only lightly pass by the meat. Restricting the heat and smoke within your smoke chamber will end up basting your meat in smoke, thats not what we want. The smoke coming out of the stack should be almost invisible. I did the same thing when I started smoking, and when I learned to let everything flow freely, and use good dry seasoned wood, what a difference. Hope this helped.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yah, I think I did trap a bit too much smoke in the smoker. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of the smoke flowing out but it was definately visable. I don't think it was like this before I used this maple wood so I'll try just charcoal next time with some flavored wood on top for seasoning and I'll run it with the chimney all the way open next time and see how it turns out.

Thanks guys.
post #7 of 7
You want the stack open all the way at all times. I have an older Silver Smoker and the only time the stack cap is closed is when it is cold and covered. I use lump charcoal and (mostly apple, some hickory, some alder, and some cherry) wood for smoke. While the plumes of smoke are a bit more than "thin blue smoke" at times, I have not experienced that level of blackness.

I do have a baffle on the firebox end and my exhaust stack is extended to grate level, but mostly that just evens out the heat across the pit a little bit.

There are enough air leaks on the firebox damper end of things to keep the fire going with the intake damper fully closed so I often wind up with the intake damper closed to keep temps down below 250* but the exhaust remains fully open and flowing at all times.

Try again with the exhaust fully open. You might want to let the free maple season a little longer and try some different wood next time too, but it would be good to know if it is the exhaust damper, the wood, or both.

Hope this helps!
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