Smoke Color Chart

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mr t 59874, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

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       MORE FORGIVING - MORE TIME←←←↔→→→ LESS TIME - LESS FORGIVING
    BLUE     LIGHT BLUE    PALE BLUE    WHITE   PALE GRAY   LIGHT GRAY   GRAY
     ​
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    The above color chart is an endeavor to help us all in clarifying smoking information when starting new threads or posting a comment.  By identifying the approximate color and density of the smoke, along with the amount of time smoke was applied, species and cut of the wood plus the amount, we may have a better vision of the process. 

    Most will know that there is no smoke as the dark blue, I was limited in using the colors SMF provided in making the chart. Look at the different colors of smoke on the chart as you would the beads on an abacus. Some beads you may use, some never, some will understand their purpose, some cannot.

    Of course, there are those who will negatively criticize anyone who does something differently than them but usually have nothing to offer in return.

    This is meant to help eliminate, at least to a degree, the common problems of over or under smoking along with helping identify problems.

    Examples of different smoke colors in use:



    1  Heavy white smoke while cold smoking nuts for 15 minutes.

     

    2  Medium white smoke while cold smoking cheese to the desired color.



    3   Thin light blue smoke while cold smoking salmon for canning, 1 hour.



    4 Smoking lettuce with a 30 second burst of heavy pale blue smoke.

    Related threads:New to smoking or have a new smoker? -- "How to optimize your smoke"Understanding Smoke Management - updated 12/08/14

    Comments welcome,

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  2. Tom

     That is some good info. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All a matter of opinion.

    I call the one with the salmon pieces a nice medium smoke.

    The one with two windows is what I would call Super Heavy White Smoke. I would personally not use that for anything, but like I said that's just my opinion.

    If you like it---Use it.

    Bear
     
  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hopefully we don't lose the intent of the thread. Some have limited equipment with limited options of what they can smoke, others have a wider range of equipment and options.  Some products may take days to smoke while others may only take a few seconds.  They obviously cannot all be smoked with one color of smoke and density.  For instance, one cannot use thin blue smoke to smoke a beer before it goes flat, an iced tea or a shrimp cocktail while it's still ice cold. On the other hand one doesn't want to lay a heavy smoke on a brisket all night.

    The sole intent here is to help describe the smoke you are using when explaining the method of your cook. To say you smoke whatever for two hours with good results says very little unless there is more detail such as species of wood, cut, color and the density of the smoke. Knowing this can help one adjust his cook to the equipment being used.

    If you choose to describe your work in more detail, I'm certain it will be more appreciated, if not, so be it.  I'm just trying to make things easier for all.

    Tom
     
  5. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Seeing this thread reminded me of sumtin I need to ask....
     
  6. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    OK, ask away my friend.

    T
     
  7. love your info thats great

    dannylang
     
  8. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks dannylang, just trying to help in any little way I can.

    This is a thread that you take or leave, no skin off my nose.  [​IMG]

    T
     
  9. MR T never seen a smoke color chart like that. where did you get that info from. i would like to do more research on that.

    dannylang
     
  10. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It was something I came up with after seeing all the confusion in some threads and post do to lack of info.  Had to make it using Excel then send it to another forum member who had a better camera for the pic.  I spent the money I had saved for a good camera on smokers, the rest I just wasted.

    T
     
  11. Hello Tom.  A color chart is a good idea I.  Actually I think Bearcarver hit the nail on the head.  What you call medium he may call heavy BUT if we use the chart for reference we all know what color smoke you are using no matter what anyone calls it.  If I say ( left to right ) closer to number 3, it doesn't matter if I call it purple.  We all have the same reference point.

    Using number 4 or 5 is something I have had trouble convincing some folks is possible.  In one of my threads I think Chef Jimmy said depending on what is being smoked you can use white smoke for up to about 4 hrs. when hot smoking.  Sorry if I misquoted you Chef.  I usually try to stay under 1-1/2 hrs..  For a 1" to 1-1/2" ribeye I get the grill really hot then throw in some wood chips.  Get the white smoke rolling then on with the steak.  Comes out great each time.  I leave grill open after removing the steak to avoid creosote build up.

    To each his own.  Go with what works for you.  Just shows there is more than one way to smoke a cat.  [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  12. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    LOL,   You haven't seen what I call heavy smoke.  Hell, it's a wonder the smoke jumpers haven't landed on my roof when I get a couple smokers fired up at the same time.

    You are correct on just getting close to describing the color of smoke being helpful.  It is my desire that in time, describing smoke will become common place among the members.

    Later,

    T
     
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've seen it------All the way from PA !!

    Saw your medium too.

    Bear
     
  14. when i have the thin blue smoke coming out of my smoker and i add wood to my smoke changes colors to a white smoke. what can i do

    about that. when i add wood to my embers, they are usually the size of a coke can in diameter and 8-10 inches long. that should be okay with a stick burner.

    dannylang
     
  15. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

     LOL      Hey, I resemble that remark.  [​IMG]
     
  16. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I don't have a stick burner, one of the pros might jump in as I would just be speculating.

    T
     
  17. Hello dannylang.  Roll with it my friend.  So long as we are not talking thick white smoke for more than an hour or 2 you will be good.  This is what I was talking about.  If using a stick burner or adding chunks you can't help but get white smoke.  Is the nature of the beast!  I used a modified Brinkman chargrill offset for about 25 yrs..  If someone can me how to add splits, chips or chumks without white smoke ( especially when adding to bring the temp up )  I'd be impressed.  I think some folks might "talk" a good game but when back in Tx.  I ONLY EVER used mesquite wood for heat and smoke.  I pre burned the logs for coals and then added splits for smoke.  You CAN NOT add wood in that manner with out some white smoke.  Going out on a limb here to say if someone says you can I want to see it!  Not too old to learn new tricks.  SHOW ME SOMETHING!  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good point Danny!!

    I haven't had to worry about heavy white smoke since I've been using my AMNS and my AMNPS. They put out what I like to call perfect smoke.

    I wouldn't know how to make any proper smoke on any other kind of smoker.

    Also I never had a problem with White smoke, as long as it isn't heavy white smoke, or heavy any color of smoke for that matter.

    Bear
     
  19. fishkiller41

    fishkiller41 Newbie

    The last "smoke chart" I studied was in 1978 while in HVAC school to determine weather an oil fired heating furnace was working efficiently or not.(the colors were totally different)

    This chart however,does seem to coincide with what I see while using my indirect smoker.

    I have NEVER seen smoke as blue as the far L of the chart and will immediately bank back all air and distinguish the fire if I ever do see it...lol

    Probably toss out whatever was in the smoke chamber as well.
     
  20. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    LOL,  I had to start somewhere.  If I can figure out how the graph that's in word transferred to the post, it will be better.  I need help.

     

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