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Fire Management

pulling-pork

Fire Starter
30
21
Joined Mar 12, 2015
I have an Olahoma Joe Longhorn reverse flow smoker. I need some advice on using splits. Yesterday I used a chimney starter of briquettes then I used Oklahoma Joe hickory splits from then on out. My issue was I had quite a bit of white greyish smoke. I warmed up the splits & they took right away but when I closed the door the smoke kind of billowed. I had my vent on the stack wide open & the vent on the firebox about half way. That was the only way I could control the temp if I opened it more my pit would run close to 300 degrees. With the setup I stated earlier my temp would run from 235-255. The food was not bitter but just couldn't get the bluish transparent smoke like I do when I use charcoal & wood chunks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

sawhorseray

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
4,197
4,938
Joined Oct 17, 2014
There's a ton of techniques and tricks to learn, firebox door open, size of splits, it all just takes time and practice. Check guys like this fellow, and Aaron Franklin, on Youtube, good place to start. RAY

 

pulling-pork

Fire Starter
30
21
Joined Mar 12, 2015
There's a ton of techniques and tricks to learn, firebox door open, size of splits, it all just takes time and practice. Check guys like this fellow, and Aaron Franklin, on Youtube, good place to start. RAY

Thanks for the info one problem I run into I use a charcoal box so not a lot of room to put another log in it without it catching fire too. Interesting about the smoke stack I usually leave it wide open may have to try closing it some next time.
 

sawhorseray

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
4,197
4,938
Joined Oct 17, 2014
Thanks for the info one problem I run into I use a charcoal box so not a lot of room to put another log in it without it catching fire too. Interesting about the smoke stack I usually leave it wide open may have to try closing it some next time.
I always leave the stack at wide open also. I don't use charcoal in my SQ36 anymore, I fire up all wood splits, most often hickory, with a weed torch. Once I've got a bed of coals from the wood I pretty much manage heat control with the firebox door. When adding a split leave the door wide open until it catches flame. I leave the firebox door open anywhere from a couple of inches to just a crack depending on the size of the fire, once my side vents are set I hardly ever fool with them. It all just takes time and practice, and getting to know your smoker, it'll happen! RAY
DSCN1753.JPG
 

Chasdev

Meat Mopper
282
173
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Don't close or restrict the firebox door OR the exhaust stack, ever.
Control cook chamber temps with the amount (and the timing) of added wood.
You should never see white or dark smoke.
Ideal smoke color is almost invisible clear blue.
You will encounter times during a cook when the coal base gets too large and the temps will spike, you will also encounter times when the coal base gets too small and even with burning sticks, the cook chamber temps will drop.
For the times the temps run away, be prepared to open the lid an inch for a while to dump heat.
For the times the temps drop, have some shavings and/or mini splits ready to toss in to spike the temps until the coal base recovers.
The coal base provides the cooking heat, the burning sticks provide the wood smoke flavor and as they burn down add to the glowing coals base.
It's a balancing act and you are the ringmaster.
One other factoid, get DRY wood, and make sure it's dry.
I hate kiln dried wood, the smoke flavor profile sucks so for me anyway it's live or dead really wood that aged outdoors.
Buy a moisture meter and check all firewood before buying to establish an internal moisture content of %15.
Less burns too fast, over %25 burns too slow AND leaves too much coals behind which drives temps up without producing the clear blue smoke we all crave.
 

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