external smoke generator

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by dogs, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. dogs

    dogs Newbie

    I am looking for some advice on external smoke generators. I bought one recently and am surprised at the amount of 'tar' it generates, is it me (probably is, ask my wife) or is it just what they do?

    I am sure there are ways to at least lessen the goo it generates so any advice would be appreciated.


  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What brand did you buy?

  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Geoff

    Which generator did you get?

    Tar is a natural product of burning wood/pellets and all cold smoke generators will produce noticeable amounts. Because the temperature never reaches levels high enough for the tar itself to burn it condenses on any cool surface that it comes in contact with. Some tar is good and is actually part of the smoke flavour - but it should not be visible on the food and you should definitely not be able to identify it as tar flavour. There are several things that you can do to minimise the effects of the tar produced.
    • If you can, generate the smoke remotely and then allow it to cool before it enters the food chamber. This is often called the Mailbox Mod because people use the US style mailboxes to enclose the generator. The "mailbox" is then connected to the smoking chamber through a length of aluminium ducting. As the smoke passes through the duck it is cooled by the air and the heavier tars condense in the tube before coming in contact with the food.
    • Ensure that there is a good flow of air through the smoking chamber so that there is less chance for the tar to stand in the chamber and condense on the food.
    • Make sure that the smoker and the food are at the same (or similar) temperatures. If you place some meat/fish in the smoker straight from the fridge then the tar will quickly condense on the cold surface.
    • Avoid smoking on cold days outside where the walls of the smoker will be cold.
    • Avoid placing racks directly over what you are smoking as tar can condense on the racks and drip onto the food below.
    Some suggestions...


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