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Propane smoker - SMOKE QUALITY - Tips to achieve good/clean smoke

HAPPDADDY

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Hello Smoky Friends,

I was hoping some of you could impart a little wisdom around your methods to achieving clean, consistent smoke with your propane smokers.

I have a Masterbuilt 40' XL - have done pretty much every mod imaginable and am of the mindset that a smoldering wood chunk in my cast iron skillet above the burner is the best route but was wondering how often folks add new chunks or chips, if they use a specified amount... Stuff like that. Any suggestions or methods would be greatly appreciated.

Smoke on!!!
 

SmokinAl

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I usually start the smoker with a combo of chips & chunks, then I put a chunk in my Smoke Vault every 45 minutes or so. But I cut my own chunks with a chop saw, using hickory or oak splits. So they are thin & flat. Here is a photo of how they look when I start the smoker.


Al
 

sammartin

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Same thing Al said really, I just cut my wood into smaller chunks/slices and every 45/1hr I will go throw 2 or 3 pieces in there. Ive heard of some people soaking there wood chunks in water for 30 min or even over night for a better smoke, I tried it and couldnt tell a difference.
 

HalfSmoked

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I mostly use chips and I do soak for 1/2 to 1 hour (they seem to last longer in my book) adding more if I don't think it's smoked long enough.

Warren
 

HAPPDADDY

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Joined Jan 14, 2018
I usually start the smoker with a combo of chips & chunks, then I put a chunk in my Smoke Vault every 45 minutes or so. But I cut my own chunks with a chop saw, using hickory or oak splits. So they are thin & flat. Here is a photo of how they look when I start the smoker.


Al
Thanks Al, I've really enjoyed looking checking out all the amazing food you've made. The steps and details are very helpful - can't wait to try out your lox recipe. Thanks for the reply as well, I'll definitely take your advice shaping the chunks.
 

HAPPDADDY

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In meathead goldwyns book, he advised against soaking chunks or chips claiming the smoke quality is negatively effected when soaked. I found this link which is taken from his book, do you guys notice a difference in taste from your final product one way or the other?

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/myth-soak-your-wood-first

"One more reason not to soak: Not all smoke is the same. The best tasting smoke is practically invisible, thin, and pale blue. Blue smoke is better than white, gray, or black, by far. Blue smoke needs dry wood and a hot fire, lots of oxygen and flame. Some people complain that their chips catch on fire when they throw them on the coals. To prevent this they make a smoke packet by wrapping the wood in foil and poking holes in the foil. Don't bother. Let the wood burn! That's how you get blue smoke!"
 

zwiller

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Same thing Al said really, I just cut my wood into smaller chunks/slices and every 45/1hr I will go throw 2 or 3 pieces in there. Ive heard of some people soaking there wood chunks in water for 30 min or even over night for a better smoke, I tried it and couldnt tell a difference.
+1; Tried a bunch of variations of soaking/foil/etc and made no difference at all IMO. I made some good stuff in my gasser but the AMN stuff is a whole other level of TBS. I think you need AMNTS for a gasser.
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like HAPPDADDY

I do not notice and difference other than dry chips or chunks will catch fire faster.

Warren
 

SmokinVOLfan

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I used to soak chunks to put them in my smoke vault but found IMHO that it really doesn't make a huge difference. I had trouble when I first got my gasser. Was a learning curve. Lots of thick white smoke. Would billow out for awhile then I would get the TBS for 5 or 10 minutes then nothing. Took me some getting used to but I found just tossing in 2-3 chunks in at a time instead of a whole pan full really makes a difference.

Love making ribs and wings on the smoke vault!

Good luck with it and toss some pics on here your next smoke!
 

daveomak

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If you can use chunks, like Al is using, if you only put 1 chunk in the pan, it will not catch fire... Keep the flame low so you are adding smoke while the smoker is at a low temperature... say, less than 160... when you have got all the smoke you want on the meat, no more wood chunks and crank the temp up to finish the cook....
Usually gas smokers don't have adequate air flow... using a step drill, drill 4 1" holes around the top of the side walls... and if more air flow is necessary, do the same on the bottom of the side walls.... really good air flow is necessary for good flavor smoke...
MES Analog.jpg
 

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