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How to deal with excessive smoke?

Hi,

I have a persistent problem when trying to maintain a low temperature for slow cooking.

As an example, I'm trying to maintain a 225 degree temperature, but if the temp starts rising I have to move the bottom and top vents to a nearly closed position which seems to reduce air flow to the point that the coals just start smoking. It smells bad and you can taste it in the food.

How should the vents be adjusted to avoid this result?

Thanks.

Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,300
    Why and what are you cooking at 225? Are you really allowing the fire to get a clean start or are you choking it down right from the get-go?
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re-gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time...


  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 7,550
    edited April 2014
    Light a small fire,close dome once the heavy blue smoke has cleared and start adjusting your vents 100* before target temp. Let your egg sit at the desired temp for at least 30-45min this should be plenty of time for the smoke to clear depending on brand of lump. For 250* my lower vent will have maybe 1/8-3/16" open and the top petals are barely cracked at the most. The key is to be stabilized before putting your meat on so you are not chasing temps. And remember it is not uncommon for the temp to drop right after you put the cold meat on, leave the settings alone and it will come back to original settings.

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 4,352
    I'm still new to the egg, but I have done a couple slow cooks and not had this problem. The only thing I can think of if, you are using the fire starter sticks, your not letting it burn off all the way. It will create a bad taste in food so I'm told from the VOC's. When I use them I let the fire burn for 20 to 30 minutes before putting meat on. Another could be the type of lump you are using. What are you cooking with?
    XL, WSM, Little Kahuna, Coleman RoadTrip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,346
    Sounds like you are not letting your fire establish. Leave your lid open and vents for at least 15mins after lighting. Close the lid, and leave the top and bottom vents open until the smoke is almost clear. Then adjust the top and bottom to your liking.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity, and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,959
    What brand of lump?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Gator_ManGator_Man Posts: 138

    What the others said and have you checked your thermometer? I also have no idea why you need to be at 225 temp in 8 years of Egging I have never cooked any lower than 250.

    Good luck and hope I have helped. Gator Man

    I'm from North Carolina summer and Okeechobee Florida winter.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,346
    Gator_Man said:

    What the others said and have you checked your thermometer? I also have no idea why you need to be at 225 temp in 8 years of Egging I have never cooked any lower than 250.

    Good luck and hope I have helped. Gator Man


    I am doing a brisket at 225 right now and do ribs the same. I cold smoke cheese and do jerky at sub 175. There are many reasons for lower temps.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity, and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • Gator_ManGator_Man Posts: 138

    I have found that 250 is very easy for the Egg to maintain and 225 is very hard. Also `with a 225 dome you are at a lower temp at great level and it takes a long time for meat to get to 200 it will work but 250 will give you a grate temp around 225 you are looking for. You spoke of having trouble with keeping temp steady at 225 and so did I back when I first started using my Egg and after reading and asking like you I listened and started working on 250 dome and I have done many a low and slow cooks with no problem holding temp at 250 all night long. The higher temp of 250 will also help with the smoke problem. At 225 you are starving the lump of air and on the edge of it staying lit and smothering it out.

     I understand about cold smoking and that is totally different than doing a low and slow. Have you ever tried doing a brisket or butt at 250 dome? I was not trying to be a smart a%& just trying to help good luck and let us know how the brisket turns out. Gator Man

    I'm from North Carolina summer and Okeechobee Florida winter.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    rick_s said:
    It smells bad and you can taste it in the food.

    How should the vents be adjusted to avoid this result?

    Sir i will offer what i can. Your vent adjustments have nothing to do with it at all. You must start with a clean fire. You probably think that you are but i assure you that you are not. Once you have a clean fire you can choke down as much as you want and not have issues with bad taste. I choke down to 180 for making jerky with no issues at all. On my large vertical i choke down right to the point of suffocation with no issues either. Clean is clean no matter how hot or cool. Here is a tip to try until you get use to regulating. Next time you want a 225 degree fire take your egg to 275-300 and hold it there for 30 minutes. Then choke down to 225. I give you my word when you get it settled at 225 using this method you will not have any problem what so ever with a unwanted taste unless you are using pine wood or cowboy lump as there is no hope for either of them. Once you are burning clean you should be able to choke down to as low as 17.5 percent oxygen or the "suffocation point" in your cooker with out any problem. This applies to all cookers both air tight and free breathing. Forced draft you can get away with any thing but thats a whole different animal all together. Give it a try and let me know how it works. I bet you wont be disappointed brother if you follow these few simple instructions.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • stemc33stemc33 Posts: 3,567
    I agree with @SGH. I had problems at first because I was trying to cook to soon after starting the fire and didn't have well established fire. It was really bad when using Cowboy lump. I know a lot of people say catch the temp on the way up, but I overshoot the target to establish a good fire and burn off those nasty VOC's. As long as the exterior of the egg is still somewhat cool, the temp will drop fast when you shut it down. Sometimes the temp on the egg is reading the flames and is not really the temp of the egg when the flame dies down.
    Steven
    Mini Max with Woo stone combo, LBGE, iGrill 2, Plate Setter, 
    two cotton pot holders to handle PS
    Banner, Wyoming
  • Gator_ManGator_Man Posts: 138
    SGH said:
    rick_s said:
    It smells bad and you can taste it in the food.

    How should the vents be adjusted to avoid this result?

    Sir i will offer what i can. Your vent adjustments have nothing to do with it at all. You must start with a clean fire. You probably think that you are but i assure you that you are not. Once you have a clean fire you can choke down as much as you want and not have issues with bad taste. I choke down to 180 for making jerky with no issues at all. On my large vertical i choke down right to the point of suffocation with no issues either. Clean is clean no matter how hot or cool. Here is a tip to try until you get use to regulating. Next time you want a 225 degree fire take your egg to 275-300 and hold it there for 30 minutes. Then choke down to 225. I give you my word when you get it settled at 225 using this method you will not have any problem what so ever with a unwanted taste unless you are using pine wood or cowboy lump as there is no hope for either of them. Once you are burning clean you should be able to choke down to as low as 17.5 percent oxygen or the "suffocation point" in your cooker with out any problem. This applies to all cookers both air tight and free breathing. Forced draft you can get away with any thing but thats a whole different animal all together. Give it a try and let me know how it works. I bet you wont be disappointed brother if you follow these few simple instructions.
    Thanks I never thought of it this way and I agree that it would work. Back when I worked hard to keep it at 225 I would watch it like a hawk and start choking it down at the 225 I had no problem with bad smoke just was chasing the temp a lot. Gator Man

    I'm from North Carolina summer and Okeechobee Florida winter.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    You are more than welcome my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,497
    If this board had moderators a thread mentioning clearing the VOCs would be a sticky.
  • plumbfir01plumbfir01 Posts: 719
    I don't have a problem maintaining 225 for ls Cooks... I let the egg get to temp and cook it for 30min before meat... if I'm in a hurry I will get it to 300 for 10-15 then leave it open for couple min and regulate draft doors based on memory and it will be down to 225 within an hour. However that usually gets more lump lit and burning so you have to be careful or you could run out... Just my worthless .02
    Beaufort, SC
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 938
    edited April 2014
    I think the biggest problem with temperature control is micro-managing.  I stabilize before I add the plate setter and the meat, then when the meat goes on it will read low for an hour or more but is not an issue as it will come back up.  Patience is a virtue especially for egger because temperature changes take a long time, when you change the vents now the results are probably not apparent for a half hour or so.  So sit back and relax.  And don't get to serious about an exact temperature, 225º is nice but 240º works just as well.

    Gerhard
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,241
    Not meaning to sound crude, but my dear old Dad always said "Boy, you are chasing a fart in a wind storm". Like the folks above note, let it stabilize, clear smoke, then put your set-up in and food, the temp will drop - don't chase it. It will come back. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • Not meaning to sound crude, but my dear old Dad always said "Boy, you are chasing a fart in a wind storm". Like the folks above note, let it stabilize, clear smoke, then put your set-up in and food, the temp will drop - don't chase it. It will come back. 
    So will the fart if you're facing the wrong direction.  :D
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • Gator_ManGator_Man Posts: 138
    gerhardk said:
    I think the biggest problem with temperature control is micro-managing.  I stabilize before I add the plate setter and the meat, then when the meat goes on it will read low for an hour or more but is not an issue as it will come back up.  Patience is a virtue especially for egger because temperature changes take a long time, when you change the vents now the results are probably not apparent for a half hour or so.  So sit back and relax.  And don't get to serious about an exact temperature, 225º is nice but 240º works just as well.

    Gerhard
    Totally agree 20 to 50 change in temp is no big deal, that is why I like 250 gives room for up and down, after 8 years I set the top and bottom and don't pay much attention after that. G M

    I'm from North Carolina summer and Okeechobee Florida winter.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    Gator_Man said:
    Totally agree 20 to 50 change in temp is no big deal, that is why I like 250 gives room for up and down, after 8 years I set the top and bottom and don't pay much attention after that. G M

    Not trying to start a argument but there are cases where this is dead wrong. When cooking small meats I do agree that its not the end of the world. But that being said when you start cooking whole hogs in comps it is huge.  And yes I do understand this is not a comp but I did want to point out where 50 degrees can and will make or break you. If you have a 50 degree swing upward after the 3/4 mark of cooking a whole hog you can hang it up my friend as you have just lost. Not saying that the meat wont be good but you can take it to the bank that it wont win. First you have just lost the color that you worked so hard to attain. Second you have now over shot your loins. These are just a few examples of where a 50 degree swing can make or break you. Again for home cooking I agree that its not a huge deal. But there are instances where 50 degrees can make the difference in a 50 dollar check and a 5000 dollar check.


    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,742
    SGH said:
    Gator_Man said:
    Totally agree 20 to 50 change in temp is no big deal, that is why I like 250 gives room for up and down, after 8 years I set the top and bottom and don't pay much attention after that. G M

    Not trying to start a argument but there are cases where this is dead wrong. When cooking small meats I do agree that its not the end of the world. But that being said when you start cooking whole hogs in comps it is huge.  And yes I do understand this is not a comp but I did want to point out where 50 degrees can and will make or break you. If you have a 50 degree swing upward after the 3/4 mark of cooking a whole hog you can hang it up my friend as you have just lost. Not saying that the meat wont be good but you can take it to the bank that it wont win. First you have just lost the color that you worked so hard to attain. Second you have now over shot your loins. These are just a few examples of where a 50 degree swing can make or break you. Again for home cooking I agree that its not a huge deal. But there are instances where 50 degrees can make the difference in a 50 dollar check and a 5000 dollar check.


    Gotta admit, that sounds good. I agree that large temp differences are unwanted and I have never tried turbo ribs or a butt.
    :-S

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • DMWDMW Posts: 10,875
    SGH said:


    Gator_Man said:



    Totally agree 20 to 50 change in temp is no big deal, that is why I like 250 gives room for up and down, after 8 years I set the top and bottom and don't pay much attention after that. G M



    Not trying to start a argument but there are cases where this is dead wrong. When cooking small meats I do agree that its not the end of the world. But that being said when you start cooking whole hogs in comps it is huge.  And yes I do understand this is not a comp but I did want to point out where 50 degrees can and will make or break you. If you have a 50 degree swing upward after the 3/4 mark of cooking a whole hog you can hang it up my friend as you have just lost. Not saying that the meat wont be good but you can take it to the bank that it wont win. First you have just lost the color that you worked so hard to attain. Second you have now over shot your loins. These are just a few examples of where a 50 degree swing can make or break you. Again for home cooking I agree that its not a huge deal. But there are instances where 50 degrees can make the difference in a 50 dollar check and a 5000 dollar check.


    @SGH Not to take this thread off topic, but what's your ideal cook temp for whole hog? I have a cook coming up for July 4th. Last year I ran about 250* and it turned out really good, but that was my first and only whole hog.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - Gasser - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    Brother I find 225 to be perfect as it gives you more time to adjust your color. It also makes it much easier to control the loins. There Are many ways to do it my friend and you will get lots of opinions on this but I always stick with what works. I actually like to start at 200 and once the color sets and I wrap then ease it up to 225. If you are not to concerned with color then I would recommend 225 for the entire cook. As always I hope this helps my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • DMWDMW Posts: 10,875
    SGH said:

    Brother I find 225 to be perfect as it gives you more time to adjust your color. It also makes it much easier to control the loins. There Are many ways to do it my friend and you will get lots of opinions on this but I always stick with what works. I actually like to start at 200 and once the color sets and I wrap then ease it up to 225. If you are not to concerned with color then I would recommend 225 for the entire cook. As always I hope this helps my friend.

    Thanks!
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - Gasser - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE
  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,610
    edited April 2014
    I can go in way more depth on this if you would like. Send me a pm and I will walk you thru step by step how I have made many blue ribbon hogs over the years.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
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