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Old 05-18-2005, 02:52 PM   #1
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Too Much Smoke!

I have a Big Baby Double-Barreled Cooker that I built a few years ago and I must say it smokes meat great. The problem I have found is that I get too much smoke flavor. Usually I have to cover the meat in foil after reaching what I consider enough smoke flavor. Ribs are covered with foil about 1 hour after I put them on, a butt roast about 2 or 2 1/2 hours. The meat always comes out tender and juicy and taste great but I see the smokers on the Food Network and it looks like the meat is cooked the entire time with smoke. If I do that on my smoker the meat has the biggest smoke ring you ever saw but taste way too smokey. I use hickory wood in the fire chamber. One thought I have is to just add wood coals to the fire box.

I usually get the fire going for about 1 1/2 hours and get a good bed of coals. Then I place the meat in the smoker. I try to keep the temperature about 200 degrees. When more wood is needed I add only a small piece of hickory about 16 to 18 inches in length and about the size of a 2X2.

Does anyone have any suggestion on how to use this smoker without using foil? I like a crisp outside meat and the foil keeps this from happening.

I hope this makes sense to you.

Thank You.
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:20 PM   #2
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Pre-burning your wood into coals would be a good way to cut down on smoke flavor. I dont think I'd use my best smokin wood to use just for coals though. On long cooks I keep a campfire of mixed hardwoods going in an old bus wheel and add a shovel or two when needed. You could also switch to charcoal when you have enough smoke and add a lit "chimney" or two every couple hours.
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:58 PM   #3
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Can you post a picture of the smoker?
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
but I see the smokers on the Food Network and it looks like the meat is cooked the entire time with smoke. If I do that on my smoker the meat has the biggest smoke ring you ever saw but taste way too smokey. I use hickory wood in the fire chamber. One thought I have is to just add wood coals to the fire box.

I usually get the fire going for about 1 1/2 hours and get a good bed of coals. Then I place the meat in the smoker. I try to keep the temperature about 200 degrees
Smoke ring formation is supposed to cease when the meat hits 140F. I think you running your cooker at 200F in an abundance of smoke is what is creating your monster smoke ring.
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:08 PM   #5
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Get a Commercial Thermapen--same as the Super-Fast. Pricey, but the best. Fast, accurate temps.
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:25 PM   #6
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A couple of things that will help, running a pit at 200 means you have to keep it closed down, try 225 to 235 and only add once or twice during the cook.
I would go with once and then use just coals from that point on. If you find you want more smoke flavor then on the next cook add wood a second time.

Since you like crispy skin the higher heat will help there.

Another way to handle this without foil is to after a period of time place the butt in in a brown paper bag. Just fold the top of the bag over, you don't want it tight to the meat. The purpose is to keep smoke off the meat.

A third way is to wrap the butt in cheese cloth that has been soaked in vinegar for a period of the cook, when you remove it the layers of smoke added during that time come off with the cloth. The cloth cooks without creating the steamy environment like foil does.

Hope this helps.
Jim
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:23 AM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks for all the input.

Just a note...I have access to all the hardwood I need. My father-in-law burns wood for heat in his water stove. I do appreciate my father-in-law!

Captain Morgan you can see a picture of the smoker at the following URL
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/cleglue/a ... CB8Y8W1vl3
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:14 AM   #8
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It looks like you have the ability to close down the two flues from the firebox below, if that is the case, when refueling closing those down will take care of any ash problem other pit designs may have.
Below the grate in the cooking section are there any plates or is it just open?
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:08 PM   #9
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jminion,

Under the grates are two chimney dampers. I have the ability to close off the firebox using these dampers from the food chamber. There is some smoke and heat that gets through because it is only a plate like damper not a sure seal.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:30 PM   #10
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Not to speak for Jim ( I'm not qualified, and prolly never will be ), But I think he was talking about in your cooking chamber ... below the grate you cook on, and above the bottom of the cooking chamber (top barrel) , are there any "tuning plates" aka baffles?

A series of horizontal plates about half way up from the bottom of the barrell to the cooking grate. They are spaced with different size gaps between them that help disitribute the smoke/ heat evenlly. They usually are floating (not welded) which gives you the ability to "tune" your pit.

Sorry if I misread your post and am telling you something that you already know.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:23 PM   #11
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Yes that is what I was asking, my feeling is there are none so it looks like there would be hot spots on both ends of the cooker with the middle of the grate being the coolest spot.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:29 PM   #12
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You know there's been some great advice on this thread. After looking at the picture, I believe our resident experts have nailed it.....with the smoke coming straight up into the cooking chamber, a smaller fire or some sort of baffle may be necessary. I like the set up though, having the heat source under the cooking chamber could lead to less fuel consumption.
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Old 05-20-2005, 08:37 AM   #13
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Baffles

jminion and ScottyDaQ,

I now know what you are talking about....Baffles. There are no baffles but there soon will be. There are only two dampers coming up from the fire box. One on the left side and one on the right.

I would like to again thank all of you =D> for your input. I don't know how I ran across this site BBQ-4-U.COM but it has been very helpful.
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Old 05-22-2005, 04:57 PM   #14
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Perhaps this question is a little late, but, if you have an offset, don't you only use wood? How do you get the smoke to stop building on the meat if that's all you use...charcoal? Just wondering as my wife isn't a huge fan of smokey flavor and I would like an off-set in the future!
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Old 05-22-2005, 05:52 PM   #15
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Offset wood burns are the folks that came up with cook in brown paperbags and using foil. You either have to speed up a cook or protect the meat from all the smoke. When you would bag or foil is based on how much smoke you are looking for.

Charcoal basket are made for them and you can get longer burns between refueling and produce less smoke.

Jim
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