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How long do you let Egg run before a low and slow?

Smokey_PeteSmokey_Pete Posts: 14
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
My problem is getting a bad smoke flavour.  I light the egg, get it to 250, stable, then wait for about 30-40 minutes for the bad smoke to stop.  I then drop the wood chips, plate setter and meat and close the dome.  Within about 30 minutes, there's bad smoke again.

Question:  Are the wood chips causing this problem?  
-  Is there any trick to laying the woodchips so they don't burn out and start causing bad smoke?

I would really appreciate your comments.


  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    My WAG would be its the wood chips.  A few cooks ago, I was having my first case of "can't get the egg up".  I was trying to get a good fire going to sear some steaks, and it just wouldn't get hot.  Frustrated, and in a hurry, I decided to try adding more easily combustible fuel to the fire (apple wood chips).  They burned, but I ended up with the worst steaks I've done on the egg.  For smoking, I've mostly used (and been happy with) hickory chunks.
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    +1 for hickory chunks. I've had the same "renewed" white smoke when I throw the meat on there but, it hasn't tasted bad.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • IrishDevlIrishDevl Posts: 1,390
    I have never had an issue with any bad smoke.  When I do a low/slow I start the grill (lid off) and vent wide open.  Once it gets up above 400 or so I feel good.  I do light in 5-6 place with a MAAP torch and most f the fire is lit when I start the food.  But I would say for a low/slow I have the food on about 30 minutes after I start the grill and never a problem.  
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,761
    If you are seeing much smoke at all, it is "bad" smoke. The "good" smoke is almost invisible vapor made up of the decomposition of the wood's lignin. That is the stuff that makes good flavor. Visible smoke is water vapor condensing, unburnt particles (soot) and unburnt more volatile gases created by the smoldering wood, which are acidic and bitter.

    Put the lump in, mix chips or chunks all thru, and light.  Park the temperature at 250-ish, and wait. 20 - 30 minutes usually is enough time to let the undesirable stuff burn off. You might notice a little smoke after putting the food in, 'cause the fire cooled a little. You might also notice some "smoke" later as the water in the food steams off. Sometimes there will be a little heavy smoke as larger chunks start to burn, but that is usually not much of a problem.

    The most basic BBQ oven I ever saw had 2 chambers. One chamber was for burning the wood until it was just glowing coals and white ash. That stuff was put in the bottom of the second chamber. The hot air from that came into the food cooking area thru slit vents. Essentially, there was no visible smoke.
  • Ironhead404Ironhead404 Posts: 8
    edited January 2012
    Pete Had The Same Thing Happen...Made A Change In Wood And All Is Good! I Take My Egg Up To 400, Takes About 15 min's Then I Add Wood, Plate Setter, Water Pan, Ect..And Set Damper To My 250-270-or 300 Setting Wait About 15 min's For Temp To Get Stable...Ohh And I Use About 5 Chunks Across The Coals. 
  • For a low and slow I always set mine up like Elder Ward describes in his pulled pork instructions and have never had a problem with ‘bad smoke’.

    I layer the charcoal from big pieces on the bottom to little on the top, place a couple fire starters in the center and as soon as those burn down and there is a good glow in the center, place on a chunk of wood (not chips), put on plate setter (legs up), grid and then meat.   I then watch the dome temp slowly climb up to 250-275, adjust the vents, and let it ‘ride’ for as long as the meat needs.

    Sometimes I put another couple pieces of wood in the charcoal when I am building, but figure by the time it gets to those it isn’t adding too much flavor anyway.  I’ve done 16 hour cooks with no problems or ‘bad smoke’.

    If my charcoal is old and I’m layering new charcoal on for a quick dinner, sometimes it smokes more than usual, but if you’re doing ‘low and slow’ – I wouldn’t think that would be the problem.

  • I started mine and put the plate setter in. Came back about 30 min later and it smelled like a burning tire. Opened the lid to find a bunch of fat from the last cook was burning. The plate setter now stays clean.
  • Thanks guys.  I'll try stirring in the chips at the beginning.

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