is there such a thing as to much smoke

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jun 20, 2007
Let me start by saying I am new. I tried to smoke some ribs last weekend over oak logs. For six hours smoke poured out of the smoking chamber. The temp was around 250. The ribs were very juicy and moist. But they had the most horrible flavor. It was a bitter and strong after taste and the oak over powered the meat. I did restrict the chimney and have read about the side effects of that. But before i start my next adventure, if I leave the stack wide open and control temp with intake, can to much smoke cause the same affect? Should I use charcoal instead and limit the use of wood to just a few hours with oak and hickory chips, instead of using just oak and hickory logs. What is everyones thoughts?

My opinion is "yes", you can have too much smoke.
Smoke pouring out of the smoker the whole time might be a little too much.
You're aiming for thin blue smoke that you can hardly see.
Try using some charcoal and then place about a cup of soaked wood chips on the hot coals about every 30 minutes or so.
Or if you have a smoke box that works even better, your chips will last longer in a smoke box.
Oh Poor Fred!


Your smoke should be thin and blue barely heavy enough to see. If it's too thick you'll coat everything in creosol that not gonna taste good and could make you ill!

Use fewer chips or chunks at a time. Just a little smoke!
Ditto. If it was bitter, you had too much smoke. I use one large chunk at a time in my gas smoker. Nice mild smokey flavor and thin blue smoke.
Hey Fred, it would help w/ these kind of questions if you would add what kind of smoker you are using to your signature. Not sure how anyone knows if you need, chips, chunks, soaked, not soaked, more charcoal, no charcoal, or whatever else without knowing what type of smoker you are using.

It does sound like an issue w/ creosote though. Did it kinda make your lips and tongue numb feeling? Were the ribs very black?
Good point. My wife gave me a charbroil silver smoker. A horizontal smoker with a fire chamber. I started off with charcoal and then used red oak wood logs for heat. There was a lot of smoke coming out of the stack and I was having a hard time controling the heat. So I closed the chimey down and it reduced the temp.

This weekend, I have gone and gotten hardwood charcoal, and hickery chips that are already soaking. The plan is to get the temp up to 220 then add the pork roast, and then use soaked chips throughout the process about every 30 minutes as mentioned above.

But what do you do to be able to smoke with just oak and not use charcoal? IS there anything special? IS there certain things to be leary of?

calismoker you want to leave the stack wide open for one, if that smoker has a damper between the fire box and barrel you can close it down just a bit. If not use the air intake on the door. I burn all wood myself never use charcoal. How big are the logs your using, on that type of smoker you should use small splits. Look under wood smokers and check out the various mods you can make.
You can do it on a little offset, but it is just more hassle than it's worth IMO. If you have a good lump charcoal and add small splits mainly for flavor it is just more enjoyable. That lump, it's wood too.

I always preferred fist-sized chunks to chips in a small offset. No need to soak them and they burn better, smoke better, and last longer IMO. Different strokes for different folks, but I can't imagine using chips in anything except an electric.

Hope this helps Fred! Good luck on your next try. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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