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How much smoke is too much?

$moke!t

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Debates about how much smoke is too much. How do you smoke your meat? Do you heavy smoke for the first couple hours or do you light smoke throughout the whole process?
 

sandyut

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when i first started out i over smoked everything. i was on a WSM and I would keep tossing in wood to keep heavy smoke on. as i learned and improved my skills i cut way back. I am now on a pellet grill and its a lot different deal. for larger meats - i run it on low (high smoke) for an hour or two and then bump it up to my full cook temp (what ever that is for the cook). this is still WAY less heavy smoke than i was doing on the WSM. just by nature of the grill differences.

Thin blue smoke aka tbs always.
that is the best plan.
 

$moke!t

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when i first started out i over smoked everything. i was on a WSM and I would keep tossing in wood to keep heavy smoke on. as i learned and improved my skills i cut way back. I am now on a pellet grill and its a lot different deal. for larger meats - i run it on low (high smoke) for an hour or two and then bump it up to my full cook temp (what ever that is for the cook). this is still WAY less heavy smoke than i was doing on the WSM. just by nature of the grill differences.



that is the best plan.
Do you like the Pellet grill more than the WSM?
 

JC in GB

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I do a 5 hour rib cook with about 5 chunks of wood all the way through. Less if I am using hickory or oak.

You don't want heavy oily smoke coming out of your pit. Your BBQ will taste awful.

A thin blue wisp is all that is needed.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

chilerelleno

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Thin Blue Smoke FTW.

Too much smoke?
Does it in any way at all assault the mouth, throat or nose? If it does it's too much.
 

sandyut

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Do you like the Pellet grill more than the WSM?
its easier and more consistent. I learned how smoking meat works on the WSM and that is priceless knowledge. I do like the set and leave on the rec tec. right before i got the rec tec i was using a partyq on the WSM and that was a dream. it was only a 14" so I needed more space anyways so i went with the rec tec bull
 

tallbm

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Debates about how much smoke is too much. How do you smoke your meat? Do you heavy smoke for the first couple hours or do you light smoke throughout the whole process?
As mentioned, producing Thin Blue Smoke (TBS) is the main thing. Once u can consistently manage that THEN amounts of smoke can make more sense :)

I use the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) tray in my electric smoker which makes perfect thin blue smoke of any pellet, even 100% Mesquite!

No depending on the wood and the food and the time it takes to cook it I do different smoke amounts.
Anything under 5hrs I apply double smoke with the AMNPS using about 65% hickory then even amounts of Maple and Cherry.

On anything 5hrs or more I apply only a single burning row of smoke with the same wood blend.

On briskets I run 12 hours of 100% Mesquite smoke in my AMNPS and it is amazing. I think people have problems managing mesquite smoke cause of how it burns therefore they get thicker white smoker vs TBS that I get and therefore get the strong mesquite smoke people always talk about.

On bacon I run 100% Hickory for no more than 4.5hrs or so. More than that on bacon is too much smoke for me.
My favorite blend is 70% Apple and 25% Hickory for my bacon and I run that for about 5-6 hours.
For sausage smokes i like to run the same blend but depends on the sausage I am making. Franks I run smoke 30min-45min only. Other smokes sausge about 3 hours.

Jerky I run no more than 2-3hrs of any smoke.

So it all depends on meat and wood but the key is to be producing TBS for the proper type of smoke :)

I hope this helps :)
 

noboundaries

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Gray or white smoke is full of unburned, nasty tasting particulates. TBS, or completely invisible smoke that you can only smell with a whiff of your hand, is perfect.
 

SmokinAl

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Everybody has their perfect smoke flavor. Some like a Heavy smoke flavor ( like me) or some like just a light smoke flavor. You have to decide which group you are in and adjust accordingly.
Al
 

hawtsauc3

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Thin blue smoke is ideal. as many others have said learning on a WSM makes it a different beast. I use mine with a party Q and i've found that the embers briquettes I used have quite a bit of smoke to them so i tend to not even use anything heavier than apple with it.
 

Bearcarver

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Debates about how much smoke is too much. How do you smoke your meat? Do you heavy smoke for the first couple hours or do you light smoke throughout the whole process?

Never heavy Smoke!!!!!!!
That's Bitter & Bad!!!
I use a light to medium smoke for as long as I feel like it.
Light Smoke for Long, Long, Long Time is Good!!!
Heavy Smoke for even a short time can be a Bad Thing!!

Bear
 

PPG1

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I also enjoy the heaver smoke flavor...I am constantly chasing heavy flavor without getting the bitters from pluming white or gray smoke.
 

Bearcarver

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I also enjoy the heaver smoke flavor...I am constantly chasing heavy flavor without getting the bitters from pluming white or gray smoke.

Exactly---Light to medium smoke for a long time will give you the Strong Smoke Flavor you & I enjoy, especially with Hickory Smoke.
Just stay away from Heavy (Thick) Smoke, which will be Bitter.

Bear
 

Gbyrd

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Hey guys, what if I ran a smoke on my pellet grill and I ran it with a ton of white thick smoke. Obviously the meat tasted horrendous. Now I have some layer of creosote on the grill. Can I run the grill empty at like 450 to burn off the creosote? It's on my grill rack and the inside of the drum, and likely the chimney.

I learned a big lesson on airflow, and my stupid pellet grill keeps pushing way more pellets than necessary and the pile falls out of the firepot. Tons of issues.
 

Bearcarver

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Hey guys, what if I ran a smoke on my pellet grill and I ran it with a ton of white thick smoke. Obviously the meat tasted horrendous. Now I have some layer of creosote on the grill. Can I run the grill empty at like 450 to burn off the creosote? It's on my grill rack and the inside of the drum, and likely the chimney.

I learned a big lesson on airflow, and my stupid pellet grill keeps pushing way more pellets than necessary and the pile falls out of the firepot. Tons of issues.

I know nothing about Pellet Grills, but as for the Creosote, If I had it in my MES, I would remove it from my Grill Racks, because the food touches them, but I wouldn't worry about anything on my walls, ceiling, or Vents, unless it was loose & could possibly fall on my food.

Bear
 

johnmeyer

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If it were me, I would most definitely clean the creosote before my next smoke. I have found that when I pre-heat my MES, but before I attach my external "mailbox mod" that actually creates the smoke, I see a LOT of smoke coming out of the MES.

Where is the smoke coming from?

The obvious answer is that is comes from the residue on the walls from the previous smoke. If that residue is good stuff left over from the last few smokes, that is just fine, but if it is creosote that is now going to mix with the new smoke and leave a bitter flavor, then it has to go.

I actuallly did an experiement on this very subject and posted my results two years ago in this thread:

Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness ... But Does It Taste Good?
 

noboundaries

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The only things I clean in my WSM are the water bowl, grates, and after a while, the buildup that hangs from the lid. If left uncovered in the rain, mold grows FAST. Yeah, I scrap and clean that, too.
 

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