Too Much of a good thing/smoke

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jackschmidling

Newbie
Original poster
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
Since getting a pellet tube, I have gone from not enough (or any) smoke to something that seems more like a tar distiller.

After running for 4 hours, there is tar dripping from everywhere in the smoker.

Not being able to get it to work well (at all?) with shavings and sawdust, I tried using them as a damper for the pellets and it works like magic.

With equal amounts by volume, I get a nice wispy smoke that is perfect for long cold smokes with near zero temperature rise.

2 cups of pellets and 2 cups of shavings fills the tube. Blend well and leave some room at the beginning for a few pellets to get it going faster.

Different ratios provide different results.

Jack
 

gmc2003

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Sep 15, 2012
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Tubes are basically made for pellets. Although some folks get good results with dust. I'm not sure what you mean by shavings. My idea may be different from yours. Good airflow/draft is the key. Also if you're getting to much smoke then try filling the tube halve way and tap it level length wise.

Chris
 

jackschmidling

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
Tubes are basically made for pellets. Although some folks get good results with dust. I'm not sure what you mean by shavings. My idea may be different from yours. Good airflow/draft is the key. Also if you're getting to much smoke then try filling the tube halve way and tap it level length wise.

Chris
Shavings is not a good word here. I run a piece of hard wood through joiner and collect the results. These are more like elongated, very large sawdust or very small wood chips.

I tried what you suggested but I am not clever eough to do it the easy way. I cut a piece of sheet metal and poked in into the tube and this did the same thing. The result was about the same amount of smoke but only burned about half as long.

Jack
 
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jackschmidling

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Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
What kind of smoker??
Sounds like your smoke isn't venting out. Do you have your exhaust open wide?
Gary
Masterbuilt analog. There is no vent. I cut a hole in the top for 3" pipe that runs up through the roof of the barn.

One of about a dozen fixes to the crappy design of this smoker.

Jack
 

jackschmidling

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Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
What pellets are you using? I had the same issue using traeger pellets.
I humbly admit that I do not know. I bought the back at Ace hardware and threw the bag away.

If I fill the tube and just set it down out of the smoker, it billows like a smoke bomb. Hopelessly too much smoke.

Being a born-again DIYer, I am now making my own pellets for free but they are hard to get started so I mix in a few of the store ones and the combo works well.

When I get the time, I will post on how I make the pellets.

Jack
 

gmc2003

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Sep 15, 2012
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Joiner shavings may have oil on them. Not good for smoking food.

First it doesn't sound like you have enough draft. Take the pipe out that runs thru the roof. Second how are you lighting the pellets? I would recommend lighting the end of the tube. Once it's going pretty good, gently blow the flame out and let nature take its course. It should burn similar to charcoal.

Chris
 

normanaj

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Feb 2, 2014
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Rhode Island
Whole pellets in the tube is going to produce a lot of smoke regardless.

I've modified my tubes with ubolts so they sit at an angle which will help slow the burn rate but the #1 thing I do now exclusively is burn pellet dust in my tubes.I prefer the Lumberjack pellets,I throw as much as I think I'll need into a cheap blender and grind 'em up until they're dust and pack the tube.The 12" tube will give around 10+ hours of thin blue smoke and the 6" around 5-6.

If you're looking for more detailed info on what I've been doing click on the link in my signature.
 

jackschmidling

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
Joiner shavings may have oil on them. Not good for smoking food.

First it doesn't sound like you have enough draft. Take the pipe out that runs thru the roof. Second how are you lighting the pellets? I would recommend lighting the end of the tube. Once it's going pretty good, gently blow the flame out and let nature take its course. It should burn similar to charcoal.

Chris
Don't see where the oil would come from. The blade turns is sealed bearings as does the motor and they are nowhere near the cutting area.

Without the pipe though the roof, the barn would be uninhabitable. It works just fine, just too much smoke with the pellets alone.

I light the front end with a propane torch making sure there are some store pellets near the lighting end to get started.

jack
 

Nefarious

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Oct 10, 2021
1,379
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Seattle WA
I humbly admit that I do not know. I bought the back at Ace hardware and threw the bag away.

If I fill the tube and just set it down out of the smoker, it billows like a smoke bomb. Hopelessly too much smoke.

Being a born-again DIYer, I am now making my own pellets for free but they are hard to get started so I mix in a few of the store ones and the combo works well.

When I get the time, I will post on how I make the pellets.

Jack
Ace hardware sells traeger pellets, it is where I first bought them because it was just down the street. They have oil in them, and caused liquid to drip from my mailbox mod. Once I started using other, lumberjack, pellets the problem went away.
 

jackschmidling

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
Ace hardware sells traeger pellets, it is where I first bought them because it was just down the street. They have oil in them, and caused liquid to drip from my mailbox mod. Once I started using other, lumberjack, pellets the problem went away.
That could explain things but what is your source for the info on oil?

All it says on their we site is:

FEATURES​


  • Made in USA
  • Premium Quality
  • All-Natural
  • Clean Burn
  • No Binders
  • Low Ash
  • 20lb Bag
Jack
 

indaswamp

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Apr 27, 2017
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9,548
South Louisiana-Yes, it is HOT
You did not mention the temperature range you are smoking...re you cold smoking below 71*F or hot smoking above 140*F or somewhere in between?

And if cold smoking-what is the ambient outside temperature?
 

jackschmidling

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 1, 2022
23
4
You did not mention the temperature range you are smoking...re you cold smoking below 71*F or hot smoking above 140*F or somewhere in between?

In my humble opinion, smoking is done between ambient and about 150F.

Below ambient is impossible unless you do it in a fridge and above 150F it becomes cooking.

I smoke at the temp required by the food I am preparing.
And if cold smoking-what is the ambient outside temperature?

Strange question... sorta depends on the weather, no?

Jack
 

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