I'm going to play the devils advocate here by sparking a discussion on smoke. After loading my LBGE the other day with fresh charcoal, and lighting it, the egg smoked quite a bit for a while. I occurred to me that smoke is the product of incomplete combustion... right? When first lighting the coal, the egg is cooler and there may be a certain amount of moisture trapped in the egg and or in the charcoal resulting in an incomplete combustion. The charcoal itself may not always be 100% carbonized resulting in VOC (volatile organic compounds). Thus.... smoke. The charcoal we use is supposed to be a food grade hardwood and so is the wood chips or chunks we are about to use.
Now that the egg is heated up and stable, we throw wood chips or chunks onto the coals to smoke whatever we want "SMOKED" Sometimes we will soak the wood prior to adding to the egg to extend or slow down the rate of burn. Since there really isn't enough oxygen being applied to generate flames, we produce smoke. Perfect. Are we not producing an incomplete combustion of volatile (burnable) organic (wood) compounds? What is the difference? How does the smoke know when to change from VOC's to "Good smoke"?