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Smoking on the Big Green Egg

I love my big green egg, except for one thing.  I typically use mine for smoking where you need for larger meats at least 6 hours of continuous smoking.  Problem is even using chunk hardwood like oak, I can only get 1 to 1.5. hours of smoking, then it stops.  So I have to pull the meat off the grill and add more chunk hardwood.  To get six hours that is a pain as it takes 3 to 4 times. Looking for tips on how to get longer smoke times?

Comments

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    Build your fire with chunk of wood dispersed. As it hits new lump it hits new wood for smoking.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • caneggercanegger Posts: 510
    edited February 2013
    I agree with chubbs. Posted the same comment as chubbs but can't delete it
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,241
    are you looking for smoke flavor or bark on the meat?

    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
  • The other consideration is needing 6 hours of smoke, assuming you are not cold smoking. Within 2-3 hours any meat i've done has a pretty decent smoke ring. 
    Unlike a traditional smoker, the meat is still getting smoke even when you can't see any. Chunk/chip dispersion is the answer, as the fire works its way down to the chunk it starts to smolder. Light your fire from the top and let it burn down to new lump and smoke wood. Much easier to control long smoke if you light from the top. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764
    The other thing to remember a lot of what you see and think is smoke is really steam so if our chunks have been in the fire box for a number of hours all the moisture may have evaporated.  What I do is smell my hand, then hold my hand above the daisy wheel for 5 or 10 seconds and then smell again.   Do you smell smoke if so you are still smoking.

    Gerhard
  • Agree with Skiddy, meat takes on most of the smoke it is going to within the first 2 hours. I bury chunks through the lump so it starts up as it burns but I have never added more during 12 to 16 hour cooks and I get plenty of smoke
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • Agree with Skiddy, meat takes on most of the smoke it is going to within the first 2 hours. I bury chunks through the lump so it starts up as it burns but I have never added more during 12 to 16 hour cooks and I get plenty of smoke
    Further to burying chunks, if you shut down the egg and re-use the lump. make sure any smoke wood left in the fire box "goes with" the next cook. Did some mesquite ribs, shut it down, then has some burgers the next cook. They were mesquite smoked as some chunk was still in the fire box - not a bad thing, just unexpected. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • bud812bud812 Posts: 1,037
    gerhardk said:
    The other thing to remember a lot of what you see and think is smoke is really steam so if our chunks have been in the fire box for a number of hours all the moisture may have evaporated.  What I do is smell my hand, then hold my hand above the daisy wheel for 5 or 10 seconds and then smell again.   Do you smell smoke if so you are still smoking.

    Gerhard
    I ain't gonna smell my hand, ya never know where it's been !!  
    :D

    Not to get technical, but according to chemistry alcohol is a solution...

    Large & Small BGE

    Stockton Ca.

  • Gerhard has it right about the smoke. Once the fire is established and VOC's burned off the burn is very efficient. You won't neccessarily see the smoke but the flavour is there.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 201
    I always understood the smoke ring was not smoke penetrating the meat but rather a chemcial reaction. I guess I was of the mindset that smoke particles continue to stick to the surface of the meat and that it is those smoke particles that impart the smoke flavor.
  • Gerhard has it right about the smoke. Once the fire is established and VOC's burned off the burn is very efficient. You won't neccessarily see the smoke but the flavour is there.

    What he said. Just cause you don't see it, don't mean it ain't there.


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 201
    Posted the above accidently.

    So is my understanding wrong? Seems odd that a lot of Q'ers continue to apply smoke per say to a brisket or shoulder for 12-13 hours if it isn't adding any smoke flavor to the meat. Educate me here as I am just trying to learn. Thanks.
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764
    I think the theory is that the smoke flavour continues to build throughout the smoke but that the smoke ring only develops as long as the meat is below 140ºF (might be wrong on the exact temp)

    Gerhard
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,167
    edited February 2013
    SPRIGS said:

    Posted the above accidently.

    So is my understanding wrong? Seems odd that a lot of Q'ers continue to apply smoke per say to a brisket or shoulder for 12-13 hours if it isn't adding any smoke flavor to the meat. Educate me here as I am just trying to learn. Thanks.

    It will keep sticking. Think of it this way some. People smoke hams that are already smoked and cured. But it still takes on more flavor. smoke ring stops forming at 140 but the smoke particles will flavor until either a) you pull it or b) it's out of fuel. If it stopped giving you flavor at said 140 you could just throw it in the oven and it would be no different.
  • How about something like this. I know pellet grill BBQs use this http://www.amazenproducts.com/Default.asp
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 201
    gerhardk said:

    I think the theory is that the smoke flavour continues to build throughout the smoke but that the smoke ring only develops as long as the meat is below 140ºF (might be wrong on the exact temp)


    Gerhard
    That was my understanding. I have been having the same problem with mine. Nest low and slow I am going to try the burying chunks throughtout the coal. I figure if I load up the lit coals with 2 chunks I should get a good 2 hours or so of smoke. I will try burying a few chunks just a few inches below the surface where I light and then around the outside perimeter a few inches from the outside. Hopefully that will prolong the smoke.
  • Thanks for the great info everyone. I am wanting to do some cold smoking soon, this info helps.
  • Thanks to all for your comments as I started this off!  Dispersing the wood throughout makes sense and I understand the meat once it reaches a certain temp does not take on any/much more smoke.  Although I do believe it takes more than two hours, especially for large cuts of meat.  I use to just use only wood on a Oklahoma Joe smoker and there is a difference as for instance my smoked chickens had much more smoke flavor than the Big Green Egg provides.  Another question, you say disperse the wood within the chunk charcoal.  Has it been soaked in water or just mixed in dry?
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,293
    edited February 2013
    From someone only some of us know...

    image



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

  • There is no difference between soaking your wood chips other than needing to "steam" the meat in a grill other than the egg. The egg provides enough moisture retention so we do not need the moisture from soaking our chips. Same smoke.



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

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,096
    mdagenais said:
     Although I do believe it takes more than two hours, especially for large cuts of meat.  I use to just use only wood on a Oklahoma Joe smoker and there is a difference as for instance my smoked chickens had much more smoke flavor than the Big Green Egg provides. 
    You can up the number of chunks you use if you want it more smokey.  The fire tends to burn straight back first so be sure to mix a chunk in that direction.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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