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Wood wants to burn-not smoke

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Joined Nov 7, 2021
I'm trying to figure out how to get my logs to just smoke and not immediately catch on fire. I've tried soaking them, even over-night. Unfortunately, my firebox is relatively small so it's hard to keep some distance between the burning logs and the ones I just want to smoke for awhile.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

TNJAKE

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You actually WANT the wood to catch fire instead of smolder. That produces thin blue smoke. You may not see huge clouds of smoke but trust that you will be imparting the best smoke on your food. Never soak wood. You want it to be at the low end of moisture or you will get thick, white acrid smoke
 

chef jimmyj

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Agree with Jake. Soaking Wood does little. My favorite example, I saw years ago on the subject, The USS Constitution has been a float in sea water nearly continuously for over 200 YEARS! Soaking your wood Overnight won't do a thing but get your Hand Wet.😁...JJ
 

TNJAKE

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Joined Nov 26, 2019
What smoker are you using and can you tell me how you are setting up a fire? We can probably help you get better results
 
3
0
Joined Nov 7, 2021
The smoker I built myself. It has an offset fire box and a reverse flow baffle. AFTER I built it I found a really good website that helps with the firebox, stack, and inlet from the firebox to the smoking chamber dimensions. Turns out my design wasn't what it should be.

I start the fire using charcoal and once there is a good bed of coals I start adding the split wood logs. I'll usually add two logs at first to bring the smoker up to temp. After that I can usually just add one at a time to maintain 225 degree rack temperature. I recently bought a digital thermometer with two probes, one for the meat and one for the grating temperature. Big help, it has a remote display that I can watch what is going on.

I've been using mostly hickory, but lately started adding some cherry and apple chunks to mellow the hickory a bit.
 

TNJAKE

Smoking Guru
SMF Premier Member
6,428
8,292
Joined Nov 26, 2019
The smoker I built myself. It has an offset fire box and a reverse flow baffle. AFTER I built it I found a really good website that helps with the firebox, stack, and inlet from the firebox to the smoking chamber dimensions. Turns out my design wasn't what it should be.

I start the fire using charcoal and once there is a good bed of coals I start adding the split wood logs. I'll usually add two logs at first to bring the smoker up to temp. After that I can usually just add one at a time to maintain 225 degree rack temperature. I recently bought a digital thermometer with two probes, one for the meat and one for the grating temperature. Big help, it has a remote display that I can watch what is going on.

I've been using mostly hickory, but lately started adding some cherry and apple chunks to mellow the hickory a bit.
Gotcha. I do about the same. Start with a bed of lump charcoal. I add 3 splits. I wouldn't chase that 225 temp. Every offset is different and are gonna do best at the temp they like. Mine settles in at 250-275. Fighting it and choking it down to maintain 225 will give bad smoke. Make sure to keep your exhaust wide open
 
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