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More Smoke

oldfellaoldfella Posts: 10
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum
I've had a LG BGE for about 3 years now, but I'm not getting as much smoke flavor as I would like. Any tips?

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Add more wood, don't bother soaking it, keep it mixed in the lump in a column above the bottom of the firebox, spread through the lump from top to bottom.

    This will sound crazy, but try not to breath too much smoke during the cook.  It can desensitize you to smoke flavor when you're eating.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,607
    Nola is right. More wood, no soak, distribute wood. And many times food taste/smells smokier next day. That's bc you're no longer desensitized to smoke smell you got while cooking.
    Boom
  • @fan &nola. So that means I should add wood at the same time I refii my charcoal??
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Yep.  Mix it in like this graphic made by Stike and you'll have constant smoke.  Increase the ratio of wood to lump if you want more smoke.


    image
    woodlump.jpg
    550 x 550 - 89K
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • OK, that was very helpful! Thanks!
  • @Nola, do you empty and refill lump after every cook?
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,607
    @oldfella I do not empty after each cook. Generally speaking I just add as needed. Sometimes I can go 2-3 cooks without adding; just depends on the last cook (length, temp, etc)
    Boom
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,472

    I don't know about, Nola, but I don't. I stir around the lump to knock off the ashes and then kind of wiggle/cram in some wood chunks in the middle if I want a lot of smoke and then top off with fresh lump.

    If I'm doing an overnight brisket or butt, I will take all the lump out, add fresh lump (big pieces) in the bottom along with wood and build it up, then top off with the old lump.

    Richardson, Texas

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  • LitLit Posts: 2,775
    I stabilize my cook temp before I add wood or you will burn half of it off before the food goes on.
  • GramblerGrambler Posts: 142
    Does the wood smoke not go away before the lump is ready to receive your meat of choice?
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    edited October 2012

    Grambler said:
    Does the wood smoke not go away before the lump is ready to receive your meat of choice?
    The wood doesn't burn any faster than the lump.  In a low and slow, there's very little burning at any given time.   I light the top and the fire burns down and out, very slowly.  If you spread the wood throughout the fire, it will start burning when the fire reaches it.   Remember, we control the fire by controlling the air (oxygen) that we let in through the damper and out through the DW.

    It might flare up when you open the lid to look, because you're letting a massive influx of fresh air in, but when the lid is closed it's a very slow moving fire.  It doesn't take much of a burn rate to keep the egg at low and slow temps - it's very sealed and the mass of the ceramic is a good insulator.

    Not seeing a heavy plume of visible smoke doesn't mean the wood isn't burning.  That heavy smoke that you see when you dump wood on a hot fire is usually pretty nasty smelling (and smelling) and is a large part water vapor.  Wood contains around 10-30 percent moisture.  That moisture contributes to much of the visible smoke.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Lit said:

    I stabilize my cook temp before I add wood or you will burn half of it off before the food goes on.

    How do you add your wood?
  • Yep.  Mix it in like this graphic made by Stike and you'll have constant smoke.  Increase the ratio of wood to lump if you want more smoke.


    image

    I never understood why stike perpetuated the idea that air flow occurs "downward", as your stike drawing shows; he posted this as well a few times. It is obvious air flow is the opposite; smoke flows from the opening from the top of the dome, which, I think, is a gross indication of direction. This, combined with a double Venturi effect inherent to the design of the egg, contributes to the temp stability of the egg, and the main reason why I gave away my side draft. I typically lay the smokin wood on top of a stabilized bed of charcoal, just before putting the meat on. Other techniques clearly work well also. Would welcome stike's, or facsimile of, rebuttal.
  • LitLit Posts: 2,775
    I don't light my lump from the top. I stir my left over lump and then light that and usually add a small layer of lump on top of that and use that to get the egg to 300. Once the egg is to temp then I add wood and more lump. You are safe to bring the egg up over 250 at the beginning since when you add the lump and wood its going to drop your temp back down 75-100 degrees. Lighting from the bottom i have noticed when i just fill it up with wood and lump alot of my wood burns in the warm up stage.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    edited October 2012
    The best way to light your lump is on the top.  It's like lighting a candle on the top versus lighting from the bottom.  The fuel is below, airflow from below.  The fire works it's way down at the interface between the richest air and the fuel.  If you light a candle at the bottom, you're cooking all the fuel above (and getting way more crappy smoke).

    Air flow is not downward.  It's up.  There's a big misconception in how fire burns from the weber charcoal mentality where you'd use a chimney starter to ash all your coals before using them.  You wanted to do that because if it wasn't ashed, it was generating yucky smoke.  The efficiency in the egg is to hold a bunch of fuel in reserve for long cooks that doesn't have to be lit.  Having that fuel baking gives you excessive unburned pyrolysis gases.  Staring from the top minimizes this and gives you heat with a minimum of unburned pyrolysis gases.

    The DigiQ manual, for example, states that you should build a pyramid and light the top of it and let it burn down (like a candle or incense).  You get better heat and smoke.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    If you're doing pizzas or searing, you want a big fire.  No problem lighting from the bottom and letting the whole pile start combusting.  Low and slows, light from the top.  Much less creosote that way.  The wood chips or chunks do the smoke work, and the lump is a fuel source.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • StoaterStoater Posts: 292
    coh I find if I soak the wood first my food tastes way smokier, guess I am on my lonesome there! Maybe it's just in my head.


  • LitLit Posts: 2,775
    I have tried lighting from the top and bottom and the bottom works much better for high heat and low heat cooks. Never had any issues with the fire going out and I know many people that light from the bottom and there's many on the forum that light from the bottom. Also never had an issue with crappy smoke. The whole Creosote argument makes no sense. If you light from the bottom the heat going through it can burn off the creosote if you light from teh top as the heat moves down it hits fresh lump that hasn't been burnt off yet.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Actually, go with Lit on this.  I guarantee you'll get more smoke lighting on the bottom. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Lit said:
    I have tried lighting from the top and bottom and the bottom works much better for high heat and low heat cooks. Never had any issues with the fire going out and I know many people that light from the bottom and there's many on the forum that light from the bottom. Also never had an issue with crappy smoke. The whole Creosote argument makes no sense. If you light from the bottom the heat going through it can burn off the creosote if you light from teh top as the heat moves down it hits fresh lump that hasn't been burnt off yet.
    i feel the exact same way and have had the same experience. i use a bent electric starting element, so that it lays flat on top of the grate, then pile the lump on top of it. once it gets going, ill add lump if necessary. the heat rising through the fresh, or fresher lump,  drives off the volatiles efficiently. i have never had a bad taste or smoke taste either using this approach.

    there is no best way. many practices produce great results, which is all that is important.

    its been said already; more wood, more smoke, sorry for the sidetrack
  • "better heat and better smoke", why?
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    To be honest, I don't think I've ever lit from the bottom so I can't really comment on it.  HQ, Stike and all the videos I've seen (on lighting the egg) light the top.  Stike's explanation on the dynamics of the burn made perfect sense to me.  That said, if it works for you, go for it.  Worst cook I ever had was throwing a branch of pecan over an established fire.  Tasted like an ash tray because the heat just pyrolyzed the hell out of that wood. :)
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • RzeancakRzeancak Posts: 141
    Yep.  Mix it in like this graphic made by Stike and you'll have constant smoke.  Increase the ratio of wood to lump if you want more smoke.


    image
    I tried this method on my 10kg turkey and it turned out very well.  I also got rid of the soaking the chips.  I tested it first on  Cdn back bacon and wow what a difference!!

    Thanks nolaegghead you saved my marriage!
    A child can ask questions a wise man can't answer!!!
    Canada
    Large @ Small BGE 

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,888
    Interesting, the egg brings out the diversity of doing just about anything. I can only speak about my MBGE and my neighbour's Kamado (yes he was lured to the dark side 4 years ago) If we use our electric starters and shove them down to the grate, the fire is initially more intense and it has a shorter life, the smoke chips/chunks burn off within the first 30 minutes or so (raise the dome and there is no flare) and if left it will often go out with some lump on the outer edges. If we light from the top, as learned on this forum, the burn seems to be consistent and the smoke chips/chunks last longer (raise the dome after 30 minutes and there is a flare), telling me smoke wood is still present.
    You do what works for you, light from the top works best for me.    
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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