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HELP! Can't Get Rid of White Smoke

Hi all,

Set up my XLBGE with a large batch of BGE lump and started with an electric starter like I always do.  The fire has been burning for over an hour and I am still getting lots of white smoke.  I had the temp at 250 first, and then thought raising the temp to 350 would burn off the white smoke, but that has not happened.  What can I do to get rid of the white smoke?  I have not put my butts in yet but time is becoming an issue.  II have 32 lbs of butt to cook (4 8lbs pieces in 2 v-racks.  BTW, I did a search and read many of the posts regarding white smoke, but everyone seems to take the position that the smoke will just burn off.  Normally, it does for me too after about 10-15 minutes of burning.

My set up is large lump first in, then 6 large pieces of apple wood, then medium lump, and finish with smaller pieces of lump.  Put platesetter with feet up, drip pan without liquid on top of wadded up HD Alum foil to separate from platesetter, and grate on top.

Any help is deeply appreciated.   

Thanks,

Freaking out in Southern Cal.

XLBGE, Weber, and Barbeques Galore Gasser

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Is it cool out?  The effluent moisture may be condensing into white smoke.  It's not a hard n fast rule.  If the smoke smells ok (not like a coal fire), you're good to go.  White smoke is steam and that's really not a universal indicator...good if you're in Texas in the middle of the sumer, but where the dewpoint is high and temp low, go by the best indicator....how it smells.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • WildcoachWildcoach Posts: 11

    nolaegghead,

    Thanks for the quick response.  The temp here is cool, but not damp.  The lump is brand new and has not had time to absorb moisture as I bought it today.  The smoke smells acrid and hurts my nose when I check it.  I just opened the bottom vent all the way to get more air in and raise the tempt to burn it off. 

           

    XLBGE, Weber, and Barbeques Galore Gasser
  • WildcoachWildcoach Posts: 11

    Update,

    Dome temp now at 400 and still white smoke is pouring out of the top vent.  Do I stop this and start over?

    XLBGE, Weber, and Barbeques Galore Gasser
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Did you light the top?  You want a small area lit on top....if you have a big area lit, try to consolidate it.  You want a small area hot to have good 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 

  • WildcoachWildcoach Posts: 11
    I lit the top with an electric starter.  However, at this point I think my fire is too large as I can see red light when I look in the bottom vent.  How do I reduce the size of the fire? 
    XLBGE, Weber, and Barbeques Galore Gasser
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,579
    what did you cook last? I cooked pork butt without a drop pan and I had to burn white smoke fir probably 1.5-2hrs
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,885
    The fire will reduce with restricted air. For a low and slow, I'm surprised you can see the fire thru the lower vent. 
    If you think you have enough lump for a cook, damp her down, load the meat and let her go. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Put your meat on and reduce the vents to about 1/8" top and bottom.  Don't worry about the temp for now.  Walk away for 30 minutes.  Don't worry about the smell of the smoke, after an hour it just smells bad because it's been growing.  You can tolerate some bad smoke on a low and slow..if it were chuck, I'd tell you to hold off but butts can take it. After 30 minutes, tiny adjustment in the direction you want to go.  Don't over compensate  - the ceramic is going to give you a false high reading.  It'll stabilize.
    ______________________________________________
    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
    And don't worry...it'll be fine. 
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • WildcoachWildcoach Posts: 11

    Ok guys, I closed the vents down to the point I would have if I was cooking at 250 and loaded the meat.  We'll see what happens.

    Thanks for all your help.  I'm going to have a beer.  If the butt tastes crappy, then we'll just order KFC for 40 people tomorrow.

    Ya'll have a good evening.

    I'll post in after the cook to let you know what happened.

    Thanks again.

    XLBGE, Weber, and Barbeques Galore Gasser
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    I think you'll be fine.   It'll take a while to stabilize.  200-325 if an acceptable average range over night.  Get up early and you can slow it down or speed it up, then FTC if it still finishes early.   I've done this many times, and it's all about average temp over time.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,952
    It sounds like you had a pretty big fire going with a lot of wood chunks- so you basically had a camp fire going on in there :).  I'm sure they will turn out fine- I think you made the right call just adding the meat and choking her down.  The fire will die down quick enough and like Nola said the butts can take the smoke. 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
    I'm still new to the egg, but I've noticed that I get more white smoke for a longer period of time when I use very large amounts of fresh lump.  
  • Last time this happened to me my nomex gasket had come loose and was in the fire. It smogged out the whole neighborhood though. You may have something in there or you may have been due for a clean burn. When my grids and stones are nasty they can take an hour to burn off

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