Cooking now and I have white smoke, what to do?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by morris, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Hi folks I just put two sholders into the smoker Brinkman vertical (modified of course).

    Never had this problem before but in order to maintain the temperature at about 225, I have both vents wide open and one lower intake vent about 25% open, the problem is that wiht this configuration I am getting white smoke instead of the blue.

    I am cooking with dry wood, no charcoal or anything. Can anyone give me any ideas on what I can do to solve this. I know if I open the lower vents more I will get the blue smoke but then the temp will go up to high because the wood will ignite with flame instad of sort of smolder
  2. deer meat

    deer meat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    How much wood are you using, and what type?
  3. Basically Two 10" logs about the diameter of my forearm, and I beleive it is a maple. But I just opened it and it looks like my two logs had burned down to about a 1/2 pan of coals, which is less than I ussually keep in it. So I threw an additional two logs in there hopefully this will solve it.

    But here is another question, should I be cooking on wood Coals and embers or is it okay to have actual pieces of wood in there burning? My thought has always been that the coals would not produce enough heat and then burn out to a point where I couldnt restart by simply adding a log. but then I have never tried just coals either
  4. greazy

    greazy Fire Starter

    I have never been able to burn straight wood in an ECB. It always got too hot. My successes were w charcoal augmented w a fist-sized chunk of mesquite. If I were to try wood only again I, older and wiser...well older anyhow, would use a burn barrel and burn the wood down to coals first, and then transfer them to the Brinkmann.

    Deer Meat's question re type of wood is also a good one. Some woods must be very, very dry to be usable. Some woods need to be left alone. Some woods are usable, but disappointing.

    Give these ideas some thoughts and let us know the solution you find. Education is an ongoing process for all of us.
  5. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In my brinkman verticle I am using the real wood charcoal with big chunks (fist) of wood and having good results. My only mod is holes drilled in the charcoal pan. In this manner I am achieving the thin blue.

    What mods have you done to yours? I am interested in any mods I can do to improve it.
  6. I put the holes in the bottom and sides, I also have had good results using all wood, instead of charcoal, Charcoal didnt seem to want to get hot enough very often. I also have the pan resting on the floor of the smoker, well it is in a roasting pan sitting on the bottom, so I can clean the ashes. I did have it setting on 4" blocks of wood, so that it was basically 4" off the bottom but the wood blocks started to burn and I didnt feel like buying bricks so I tried just letting it sit on the floor. This acutally worked very well, I am able to fill the pan with wood, which allows the temperature to rise pretty high if I wanted it to.

    Regulating the temperature was a night mare but I have gotten better at it, so now I only have to really check it every 1/2 hour or so, once I get it dialed in.

    I use all wood because I think it burns hotter than Charcoal, gives plenty of smoke and I have several acres of FREE dry wood to choose from so it really reduces my expense.
  7. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last time I used it with the lump and chunks I actually had the water in the pan boiling. Had to refill it several times in fact.

    I will have to give it a try with all wood. Heck if I had as much wood as you I would definately be doing so.
  8. greazy

    greazy Fire Starter

    Morris, your "nightmare" and your "checking every half hour" might be doing it the hard way. I fill mine right after lunch and then come back at supper time. Granted, I do this w charcoal. A little experimentation should soon develop an easier system permitting you to use wood coals.
  9. Wow thats fantastic, yesterday I was able to make it maintain temp for several hours so I guess I am getting better at it. Maybe it is my Brinkman smoker or maybe its me or a combination of the both. But I think the trick is to fill the smoker with wood, dial it in and then let it run.

    The reason I lowered the fire box was because I couldnt get enough fuel in the smoker at once, but with it lowered it is definitely working better and maintaining temperature longer.

    I am glad to know that it is possible to do a set it and forget it type of thing, I actually need to start smoking some turkey legs and wings in the AM before church so that it will be ready for a get together in the afternoon. Obviously I wont be able to tend it during that time so hopefully it will work out.
  10. greazy

    greazy Fire Starter

    Set and forget is great, but a tad risky until you have spent some time watching temps and times, water pans, and fuel consumption. I strongly suggest that you don't trust the thing until you have seen it work and know what will happen.

    I've found that big loads like a turkey or all shelves full will often require added water and fuel. Cold weather requires more fuel and more time. We have to adjust.

    I envy your ability to use straight wood in the sucker. I always boiled the water out and cremated the food. Tasted too smoky too.

    Good luck and God Bless. Please keep us informed.

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