• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

How’s my smoke looking? Clean or dirty.

ssssssmoke

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jun 23, 2021
Just started smoking recently. Got a CharGriller for cheap and bought the smoke box attachment. Having a tough time regulating temp between 220-250F. Really tried to get clean smoke but wasn’t sure if I was actually smoking or just cooking through indirect heat.

Closed down intake vent on most recent attempt and got more smoke. But not experienced enough to know if this is too much “bad” smoke or if this looks about right.


Using small Apple wood chunks that I place in the smoke chamber near exhaust vent to dry them out so they light almost instantly when added to coals. Have a tray with ice next to exhaust vent to help
 

Chasdev

Smoking Fanatic
580
395
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Dirty for sure.
What you want is almost invisible and blue.
Sometimes stickburners can't quite get to invisible and aim for pale blue smoke.
You will never get clear blue with the door shut and the vent closed.
The cooker needs air, air and more air for complete combustion.
Temps are controlled by manipulating the amount of wood added and when it's added.
Why is the fire in the cook chamber rather than in the offset firebox?
 

ssssssmoke

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jun 23, 2021
Dirty for sure.
What you want is almost invisible and blue.
Sometimes stickburners can't quite get to invisible and aim for pale blue smoke.
You will never get clear blue with the door shut and the vent closed.
The cooker needs air, air and more air for complete combustion.
Temps are controlled by manipulating the amount of wood added and when it's added.
Why is the fire in the cook chamber rather than in the offset firebox?
The fire is in the offset box. The cook chamber is the large grill to the left.

I figured the smoke was dirty from the amount of smoke. I’m using small pieces of wood but as soon as they catch, the temp spikes up to 250+ so I constantly have to open the smoke box to let some heat out but then that releases the smoke and then I’m just cooking with indirect heat.
 

boykjo

Sausage maker
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
Group Lead
7,262
669
Joined Apr 28, 2010
Even though you have white smoke, it is not billowing white smoke. You should be fine. Open your damper and stack and keep your temp up with lit hot charcoal and add a small piece of wood for smoke.

Boykjo
 

SmokinEdge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,804
1,444
Joined Jan 18, 2020
I bet it smells good.
 

jcam222

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,431
5,125
Joined Jun 13, 2017
I’ve came to the conclusion I used to get way to worked up over the smoke quality. Realistically there will be times the smoke is “dirtier” than other times , especially when adding wood. As long as it’s not billowing thick white / gray smoke like a house fire I’m ok with it. I like to put my hand over it and then get a whiff. It it’s not smelling bitter and smells tasty that’s good. That said I have to say it’s almost impossible to get anything other than clean smoke out of my Lang.
 

BrianGSDTexoma

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,494
2,451
Joined Aug 1, 2018
I have that grill without the smoke box and it is a great grill. I use it more than my Weber kettle. I do some short smokes with it but it does tend to run hot.
 

BrianGSDTexoma

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,494
2,451
Joined Aug 1, 2018
hat said I have to say it’s almost impossible to get anything other than clean smoke out of my Lang.
I been eyeing that 36" Lang Al posted about. Watched a youtube video and fell in love with it just watching video. Tried to find a used one but there are none. Wonder what freight is in that thing?
 

ssssssmoke

Newbie
3
0
Joined Jun 23, 2021
Open that exhaust stack! There's a reason they call that a "choke plate"....
I usually have the intake opened and close off the chimney to about a 1/8 open. But nearly impossible to keep heat at 225 with the intake open, will spike up to 275 even with ice and small pieces of wood.

Maybe charcoal and wood chips is the answer
 

chopsaw

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
9,958
6,306
Joined Dec 14, 2013
Open your damper and stack and keep your temp up with lit hot charcoal and add a small piece of wood for smoke.
I had one of these years ago , and the above is exactly how I ran it . Control the heat with fuel . It just won't hold the temps like a good offset .
I made a chimney out of 8 " spiral duct . Used that to start , and just fed it charcoal and wood splits .
 

chopsaw

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
9,958
6,306
Joined Dec 14, 2013
I like to put my hand over it and then get a whiff.
That , and I do the same to check for condensation . See if you get water droplets on your palm . Condensation will appear as white smoke .
 

civilsmoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,646
3,053
Joined Jan 27, 2015
What broke said......leave the stack gate wide open and only adjust the intake gate. Adjust it so the wood chunks burn clean...yes it will spike but nothing to even worry about, it will drop down as the wood burns, once the temp drops add another chunk and let it burn clean again. The pure fully combusted smoke flavor will far outweigh the “non” constant temp.

Realize that the higher end smokers stay more consistent because of the steel thickness and not really the fire burn.

oh and you will get some white smoke as the wood catches fire but it will clean up quick as it burns....you can reduce this by setting your wood on top of the fire box to heat them up....if they are hot they will almost burst into flames and really minimize the start up smoke.

I smoke a lot with Cherry because it burns really clean, Apple does pretty good as well but just a bit more on start up.

Oh and remember it takes practice to learn your smokers burning profile, but once you find it you will just sail on to happy carefree bbq’ing!
 

jcam222

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,431
5,125
Joined Jun 13, 2017
What broke said......leave the stack gate wide open and only adjust the intake gate. Adjust it so the wood chunks burn clean...yes it will spike but nothing to even worry about, it will drop down as the wood burns, once the temp drops add another chunk and let it burn clean again. The pure fully combusted smoke flavor will far outweigh the “non” constant temp.

Realize that the higher end smokers stay more consistent because of the steel thickness and not really the fire burn.

oh and you will get some white smoke as the wood catches fire but it will clean up quick as it burns....you can reduce this by setting your wood on top of the fire box to heat them up....if they are hot they will almost burst into flames and really minimize the start up smoke.

I smoke a lot with Cherry because it burns really clean, Apple does pretty good as well but just a bit more on start up.

Oh and remember it takes practice to learn your smokers burning profile, but once you find it you will just sail on to happy carefree bbq’ing!
I’ve been keeping my warmer box on the Lang loaded with splits during cooks and take the good hot wood from there to the firebox. Works great for sure
 

civilsmoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,646
3,053
Joined Jan 27, 2015
Oh, I just looked your post via the computer vs the phone and saw the video and last statement. There is no need to soak (or put out) the chucks at all, you want them to burn clean and to turn into nice coals. As they burn and turn into coals they will replace the coals as they burn down.....like the circle of smoke....and add lit coals as boykjo boykjo said to keep the base temp you want.
 

chopsaw

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
9,958
6,306
Joined Dec 14, 2013
Keep in mind this is a couple hundred dollar smoker . Not a Lang or a custom build . Still makes great food , but mine was stock and temp control with the dampers never worked for me . Open both vents and keep feeding the firebox .
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
41,725
14,116
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Hmmm, I would be very careful how you regulate that plate on top of your Chimney. You could bring down a couple hundred Apache Warriors in no time at all.

Bear
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
47,874
8,364
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Open the exhaust stack all the way. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are you will get some thicker white smoke, but I never worry about it. It usually settles down in a few minutes, I’ve never had a bad meal, because I have had a few times when the smoke wasn’t TBS. And I bet if you ask everybody on here will tell you the same thing. If they tell you they get TBS from beginning to end I just don’t believe them. But that’s just my own opinion.
Al
 

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.