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NEED MORE SMOKE FLAVOR!!!

xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
Loaded up the large with BGE charcoal and plenty of chunks of hardwood. Damn thing burns so efficiently at 250-275 that i get almost NO smoke flavor. Looking into Mojo bricks but wanted to see what everyone on here thinks.

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    don't put chunks and chips on top, in spiral patterns, or other fanciful arrays.

    just put plenty of wood up and down in a center column of the charcoal above the fire grate.  you'll get near-continuous smoke if you want it.  i understand that a single chunk might burn longer than a single chip.  but if i want lots of smoke, i'd rather have a handful of chips equal in weight to just two or three chunks.  because i can mingle the chips in among a lot of lump, vertically, where the fire travels.  fire has a way of not finding the two or three strategically placed chunks i've spaced around on top

    the fire in a 250-dome-temp BGE is small.  it can skirt right by your hidden chunks.

    if you like a lot of smoke, just use a lot of wood, and make sure it is where the fire will travel.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I've layered chips throughout the charcoal, and I mean A LOT of chips, way more than I would ever use in my kettles to smoke. Still doesn't compare in smokiness.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    welp.  there you go
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    I've noticed this too.  I have been able to "over-smoke" foods on other cookers, but with the egg, I usually end up with light smoke flavor.  I see the smoke, but I don't seem to taste as much smoke as I am seeing.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    when im cooking for myself and want some stronger smoke flavor i use 3 parts cherry, 2 parts hickory, and one part mesquite. i dont really care for mesquite but in small quantities it really shows up with a deeper flavor with all the other wood chunks. when your cooking with an egg it seems to throw smoke at you while cooking which seems to weeken the flavor for the cook, others not around the egg all day taste more smoke so limit your exposer
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    it just doesn't make sense, i had two layers of chips and chunks(solid layers, could barely see the charcoal) throughout the charcoal, great deep smoke ring, but barely any smoke flavor. My mother who hates smoked foods absolutely loved the brisket and said it tasted like it came out of the oven! 

    With that being said, I got a 15hr cook, snuffed it out, lit it up yesterday with the same charcoal for another 12 hour cook out of a single load of charcoal, talk about efficiency, i would of needed 2 20lb bags to get that on a weber kettle or my pro-q.
  • What type of smoking chips/chunks are you using?  Try oak, hickory, or mesquite.  I believe those are more strongly flavored then fruit woods. 

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    were you using lump or briquettes in the other smokers, ive seen where some throw some briquettes in the egg with the lump for the missing flavor and it also adds to the smoke ring
  • pezking7ppezking7p Posts: 132
    don't put chunks and chips on top, in spiral patterns, or other fanciful arrays.

    just put plenty of wood up and down in a center column of the charcoal above the fire grate.  you'll get near-continuous smoke if you want it.  i understand that a single chunk might burn longer than a single chip.  but if i want lots of smoke, i'd rather have a handful of chips equal in weight to just two or three chunks.  because i can mingle the chips in among a lot of lump, vertically, where the fire travels.  fire has a way of not finding the two or three strategically placed chunks i've spaced around on top

    the fire in a 250-dome-temp BGE is small.  it can skirt right by your hidden chunks.

    if you like a lot of smoke, just use a lot of wood, and make sure it is where the fire will travel.
    Quoted For Truth!

    I started putting my chunks in rings on top of the charcoal, but what I've learned is that the top, outer charcoal is the absolute last material to burn, so your outer ring of wood chunk will never catch.  Instead, layer your wood in a column up and down the center of the fire, and maybe in a ring around the bottom of the grate. 

    (think of your charcoal burning and then collapsing like a sinkhole)

    Hope this helps
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    At our house, we really like a strong smoky flavor.   That said, I have "over smoked" with our Egg - generated more smoke that I wound up wanting.  

     

    Can you post some pics of how your setting up the firebox?    Maybe it will trigger a thought.

    Cookin in Texas
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I've learned the burn patterns pretty well by now, it def burns from the center out if I light it that way. With that being said I might start putting my meat in a little sooner and let it get some early low temp smoke.
  • What this BBQ needs is more Cowbell!

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Johnson, Navin R... Sounds like a typical bastard.

     

    Belmont, NC

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    temps won't affect flavor, just the smoke ring.

    my fire always burns downward.  not sure why many others do not
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    Burn direction might be impacted by "where" its started at.    I have a friend that always starts at the very bottom - I am sure his doesn't burn down.   

    I try to start 1 or 2 inches down from the top ( moving a couple of chunks to make a little indentation ), after I drop the firestarter in, then place a couple of charcoal chunks on top of the firestarter.

    Not sure that helps - but makes me feel better.   I would agree that most of my fires burn down, then towards the vent opening the front.   Only expanding out as fuel is exhausted.   Granted, that is casual observation - not intense analysis.

     

    Cookin in Texas
  • tnbarbqtnbarbq Posts: 248
    This may seem very basic, but let the meat set until it's room temp.  I have found meat takes smoke better that way.
    Scooter 
    Mid TN. Hangin' in the 'Boro. MIM Judge
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I've been competing KCBS style for 4 years, i've found cold meat in a warming smoker always gives the best smoke signature. The egg does have a slight smoky flavor, just not as strong as others. I'm being paranoid, first comp is 19 days away and it's my first year cooking exclusively on eggs.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i'll trot this perpetual bbq-forum-'discussion'-starter gem:
    cold meat may give a better smoke ring (color only), but meat will be flavored by the smoke at any time during the cook.  and warming meat before cooking is ideal for roasts and steaks, where you want an even cross section during a relatively short cook, but when you are taking the meat to 200 or so, the difference is virtually indiscernible.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,560
    edited March 2012
    I'm use to using mesquite and when I switch to pecan or fruit woods, it does have less of a smoky flavor.

    try to start 1 or 2 inches down from the top ( moving a couple of
    chunks to make a little indentation ), after I drop the firestarter in,
    then place a couple of charcoal chunks on top of the firestarter.


    I try to do something similiar when doing a low and slow.  I try to the let the center spot burn down enough so that when I close the lid, the fire has just about exposed one of the center air holes on the grate.  Then I'm confident as the fire travels outward, there will be an air source for it.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • When I go low and slow, I make sure to let the entire load of lump get a little white before choking down the fire to 225-250. Then i add several chunks and start my smoke. This also ensures that your fire will burn evenly throughout the night. For the first few years I had my egg, I lit the center and choked it down quickly. I had uneven cooks and my fires went out in cold weather. If you let it really burn the whole load of lump for 20-30 min and then set up for your cook, you'll have plenty of smoke and you fire will be consistent throughout the cook.
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • MikeGMikeG Posts: 174
    When I go low and slow, I make sure to let the entire load of lump get a little white before choking down the fire to 225-250. Then i add several chunks and start my smoke. This also ensures that your fire will burn evenly throughout the night. For the first few years I had my egg, I lit the center and choked it down quickly. I had uneven cooks and my fires went out in cold weather. If you let it really burn the whole load of lump for 20-30 min and then set up for your cook, you'll have plenty of smoke and you fire will be consistent throughout the cook.



    But then.......  us newbies try to balance this out with the fact that if you ignite a bunch of the fuel it's difficult to keep the temps down in the sub 250 deg range.

    What am I missing?

  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,323
    Can you, well, just burn wood chips or wood chunks without charcoal or will it go out?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it'll go out.

    wood does not burn at a consistent rate.  needs full oxygen flow or it will snuff out.

    think of charcoal as distilled wood fuel. most of the impurities in wood which big it down (chief among them, water, maybe) are gone.  limiting oxygen flow limits the SIZE of the fire, not the temp of the fire.

    limiting oxygen with wood though causes it to smolder below some critical airflow.

    think of a candle.  as long as it gets good airflow, it burns clean. but you can't get a half-as-bright candle by cutting airflow by half.  if you blow it out, you can really see the effect of poor airflow.  the wick is still glowing, but burning poorly (incomplete combustion) and it smokes horribly (good smoke is the product of complete combustion.  bad smoke from incomplete)

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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