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Dirty smoke on my char griller 980 after 20 trials

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Joined Jan 12, 2022
This past summer I just purchased a charge griller 980 gravity smoker . It cooks and maintains temp perfectly!! I can manage a Wi-Fi app with no problems. The only problem I have with it I just can't get rid of the dirty smoke for low And slow long cooks..at 265* 270* I've tried lump , briquettes with the vents open and let it get up to temp 375* for 30min before cooking. And it burns nice and clean. But If I go bellow 375* I get dirty smoke. I break it down and clean the heat deflector and drain the drip pan too!Anyone have any suggestions?
 

bauchjw

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I can’t help, but will give a bump. Also, I think 9 912smoker uses one. He may be able to come by soon and give some thoughts.good luck!
 

912smoker

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Nope I have the MBGF 1050 and no idea what could be causing this problem. Maybe the ash grate ? Are you shaking it to clean off before lighting ?
Sorry not much help
 

mcokevin

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L Lord of the smoke rings what do you mean by dirty smoke? Are you talking the thick white smoke vs. thin blue smoke, or are you talking smoke with particles or ash in it?

I also have a MBGF 1050 however these units work basically the same as your 980.
 

Lord of the smoke rings

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L Lord of the smoke rings what do you mean by dirty smoke? Are you talking the thick white smoke vs. thin blue smoke, or are you talking smoke with particles or ash in it?

I also have a MBGF 1050 however these units work basically the same as your 980.
I'm talking about white smoke. No ash no particles. I bring my 980 up to 375-400 on start up. Till I get my blue smoke. Then when I start to bring it down to constant 275 I get hints of white and blue smoke that ends up making my meat taste like crazy. Could it be my fuel . I used royal oak , cowboy lump ,and Kingsford briquettes. All with the vents open.
 

chesterinflorida

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I have a different style gravity feed, so take it with a grain of salt. I never shoot past my set temp. Not sure exactly why you do that. Maybe you get too big a fire going in the fire chamber and then it burns dirty on the cool down. I let my pit come up to what ever temp I plan on cooking at and let it settle in. I like cooking big meats like butts and briskets around 270 to 280, so that is the target temp. The controller I use may over shoot the temp a little but only 5-10 degrees at most. It then settles in and doesn’t fluctuate much at all once settled. At that stage, I put the meat on. It burns clean for me.

As for charcoal, I don’t really care for Royal Oak Briqs. They seem to leave more ash and a slightly bitter flavor. The best thing about Royal Oak or knock off brand made by Royal Oak is that they are readily available and about the cheapest price, at least around me. Never used Cowboy lump in anything but my kettle. It’s ok, but piece size is really varied with two many small pieces, that make me not want to put it in my Gravity smoker. Kingsford standard always has its own flavor to me. Not the best, or worst, just taste like Kingsford to me. I like others better. My two favorites are Jealous Devil briqs, and Kingsford Professional. Jealous Devil are large and dense. Clean burnings, and probably my favorite overall. Kingsford professional are much lighter, and not as dense. They burn really clean though and maybe leave the least amount of ash. At least that is how it seems to me. Because they are lighter in weight, they burn a bit quicker. That is my only knock. Costco tends to have them at decent prices in two packs which I stock up on. Easier for me to find regularly than the Jealous Devil. I would definitely try some other charcoal to see if it helps.

What kind of smoker did you use before the gravity?
 

mcokevin

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I have a different style gravity feed, so take it with a grain of salt. I never shoot past my set temp. Not sure exactly why you do that. Maybe you get too big a fire going in the fire chamber and then it burns dirty on the cool down. I let my pit come up to what ever temp I plan on cooking at and let it settle in. I like cooking big meats like butts and briskets around 270 to 280, so that is the target temp. The controller I use may over shoot the temp a little but only 5-10 degrees at most. It then settles in and doesn’t fluctuate much at all once settled. At that stage, I put the meat on. It burns clean for me.
I was at a loss as to what could be causing this before this post, but this makes a ton of sense.

You don't need to overshoot on anything with a PID controller like the 980. Set it where you want it and it'll hold there.
 

jcam222

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I think folks are onto something in reference to your cranking up to 350 then choking it back down to 225 - 250. When you do that I’d assume the fan kicks off removing airflow which might result in a dirtier fire. I would try setting it for your desired cook temp and leaving it alone. Couldn’t hurt trying.
 

mcokevin

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When you do that I’d assume the fan kicks off removing airflow which might result in a dirtier fire.
This is exactly it. When the set temp is reduced from say 350 to 250 the controller sees that it’s over set temp and doesn’t spin the fan at all. No air is going into the firebox so it’s choking down and burning dirty.
 

negolien

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I don't think over shooting matters he's not got meat in it when he does it. I also overshoot sometimes on cold nights ( I cook overnight cause I live in an apt). Once I open the lid and put the meat in and stuff it usually drops a pretty good amount. I don't think we've asked if u use any wood chunks or anything like we do in the mbgf's.
 

jcam222

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I don't think over shooting matters he's not got meat in it when he does it. I also overshoot sometimes on cold nights ( I cook overnight cause I live in an apt). Once I open the lid and put the meat in and stuff it usually drops a pretty good amount. I don't think we've asked if u use any wood chunks or anything like we do in the mbgf's.
For the electric control gravity feed I think opening the lid drops the temp naturally and then when you close it the fan kicks on to crank the oxygen to the coals. When he runs it up to 350F and then turne the controller down to 225F I think it likely turns the fan off long enough to create dirty smoke. My buddy has a 1050 think I’ll try this on it sometime to see. I do know that overshooting in these is just not necessary. The small amount of heat lost when opening the lid is quickly regained when the controller kicks the fan on and kid is closed.
 

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