New guy w/ smoke in the eyes!

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Dec 4, 2006
I have a New Braunfels smoker (new) and I cannot get anything to turn out (brisket, chicken, pork , ribs) Everything is so smokey that it ends up in the trash. I have tried oak, mesquite, hickory, and cherry w/ very little success.

Do I have too much smoke running through my smoker ( it is alot)? I have heard guys talk about "thin ribbons of smoke" This is not at all the case w/ my smoke, it billows out so bad I'm surprised no one has called 911.

I simply need to know first if I am using too much smoke, and if so how to reduce the smoke and maintain the temp. (200-225 degrees)

Help and Thanks!
Hey Chris. Actually I am using lump charcoal (1/2 lg bag) I let that burn down and then i put my wood on. So i start w/ a pretty good bed of coals.
Welcome to the forums. Billowy white smoke is evil. If you add a log and it generates white billowy smoke, open your oven door and the draft on your firebox. Leave it until the smoke thins. What causes that type of smoke is that your fire is not hot enough to totally combust the wood. If you let that smoke settle on your meat it will plate out as creosote (the stuff you don't like).

Not being familiar w/ your unit. Hey wait you are using an offset aren't you? If so, try adding wood long before the ccoal burns down. Remember it is actually the coals that cook the food, not the wood fire. Once you have your bed of coals established, only add wood often enough to maintain your bed of coals. If the unit gets too hot, open the oven door a crack to let out excess heat, and choke down your firebox draft a little. Always leave your flue all the way open. Control you heat w/ the size of your bed of coals, and the firebox vent.

If you still have problems, try preheating your wood by placing it on top of your firebox before adding it.

Above all, never leave your meat in contact with white billowy smoke. Let it blow straight through. One more tip, make sure your meat is @ room temp. before putting it on to smoke. Creosote condenses out onto cool surfaces just like a fogged up window in the winter.

If you don't think these things will help, PM me. I'm certain we can get you lined out before your next smoke!

Good Luck, and Good Smokin',
Welcome to SMF XTexan!!!

Looks like Brother Dickey has explained the techniques well, now ya just gotta figure out how to make it happen for yourself. ;) Give these things a shot and let us know how it turns out. There is alot of knowledge here and these guys will get ya right!

One other detail I don't think has been mentioned yet is you don't need alot of wood to flavor your food. Your lump is your main source of heat and wood chunks are mostly for the smoke flavor. Are you maybe smothering your coal bed with too many chunks at once as well?

Good luck and again welcome.
Welcome to the forum ExTex.

New myself, I've found some success adding my wood to the damper side of the firebox and pushing the coals towards the opening of the smoker as the wood burns down. The wood doesn't have much of a problem igniting next to the air intake and it's easier to control the flame up with the movement of the wood in the box along with the damper control. Be careful not to add too much unlit material at once as the temp will drop trying to get it going.

Happy Smokin',
UM, I think he has been letting the lump burn most of the way down is probably the biggest deal.
not sure how everyone else feels about it, but I have soaked my wood chips/chunks upwards an hour before placing on the coals, also have made a pouch with aluminum foil, placing the soaked chips inside and poking holes on top and placing on the coals... slows down the smoking some. filtered water is the best.
If he is using an offset, he is probably better off using mini logs, or good sized chunks unsoaked, going straight to flame, and replinishing his bed of coals that way IOHO. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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