Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

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livy
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Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by livy » March 2nd, 2019, 7:42 pm

Just wondering: I am a KCBS cook who has always used a pellet cooker. I just never thought that I was getting enough smoke taste on my food. So I added a reverse flow cooker to my team, thinking that I would use all wood for my heat source, but the first couple of cooks did not turn out so good. It had way to much smoke flavor for me. Now I'm thinking about the Jammy Jambo and the Lang smoker design and how they work. The heat and smoke goes under the meat and out the other side, with not much actual smoke going across the meat. So my question IS: Is the reverse flow with all that smoke going over the meat too much smoke? I'll be interested in hearing all your thoughts on this subject.



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Big T
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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by Big T » March 3rd, 2019, 1:06 am

Welcome aboard! I think there are several factors that decide how much smoke that you taste on the final product regardless of what type of stick burner that you use. The type of wood that you use can make a big difference, some woods are much stronger tasting than others. You also want to use well seasoned wood that will burn very clean. The smoke coming from the stack should be a very thin, blue smoke, almost invisible to the eye. Another thing is whether you wrap your meat once it reaches a certain temperature, most guys usually wrap around 165 degrees internal temp or once they reach a certain appearance. Something else that comes to mind is whether your pit is properly designed, if it isn't drafting correctly then you could have a lot of smoke lingering in the cook chamber and that can cause issues. I'm not saying that you have any of these problems but that's just a few things that come to mind, you may just need to change up your technique instead of buying another pit.


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ajfoxy
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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by ajfoxy » March 3rd, 2019, 5:00 am

Welcome to the crew.
Big T has given you the good oil on smoking.


Learning generally boils down to "Repetition or the avoidance of pain", some people learn by doing, some by watching and some just have to pee on the electric fence.

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Dirtytires
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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by Dirtytires » March 4th, 2019, 12:31 am

Good points above....

Goal is thin blue smoke...heavy dark smoke means your fire needs attention. The heavy smoke will really affect meat taste pretty quickly.

Pretty common to have issues with this when using an offset for the first time. Keep track of your adjustments and you will get the hang of it pretty quick. I agree that you need to give it some time tho before you ditch it.

And as a side note...I love my reverse flow. Spent 10 year a on a traditional offset and built my RF almost 3 years ago now. The offset cooked great food but haven’t touched it since.



livy
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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by livy » March 4th, 2019, 3:59 pm

Thin blue smoke I hear all of you and it sounds like what I will strive for. But at the competitions the smoke is so heavy they have my lungs burning. But I hear you and thank all of you for your advice.



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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by Dirtytires » March 4th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Can’t speak for how they do it or why. All I know is if I run heavy black smoke for more than a few minutes I can taste the bitterness. And if it stays black, I can see it on the meat as well.



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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by Mo Smoke » March 18th, 2019, 5:57 pm

Smoke is prob real heavy when smokers start their fires at competitions and those who don’t know better may keep it that way, but guaranteed the winners out there are running clean and light blue when the meat is on.


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Re: Reverse flow vs conventional smoker

Post by Stan » March 18th, 2019, 6:22 pm

It's all about fire management when burning sticks. I am thinking about building a Franklin style pit myself. However, I have a double barrel stove kit that has turned out real good. BUT it took a lot of time to learn how to manage the fire so there is always a door at least cracked open. There needs to be flames all the time so start the fire small and build up slowly. The fire needs an hour to stabilize. You can use a puddle of charcoal to build a coal base if you want. (It helps with the BBQ Guru.) I put about 3/4 quart of Kingsford on the grate when I start, then stack oak and start it with a propane torch (the charcoal will catch with time). Never let the wood burn down too far. Adjust the size of the sticks down and keep them dry, good and dry so the fire needs fed about every 45 minutes. Then you will produce clean light blue smoke. Don't be discouraged. Burning sticks will prove to be fun and produce the best smoke taste. After starting i only add a little charcoal if the coal base is allowed to get too low. The coal base stabilizes the temperature. A good stick burner will want to run 250 - 275 with natural draft, mine gets a little unstable if I try to push 300 too hard. That's when I use the BBQ Guru with the door cracked open about a 1/4". Also, same if I try to cook really low like for salmon. The door provides about 1/2 the draft with a little ceiling for the Guru to control the temp with. It all takes time, lots of cooks and don't be afraid to run it during windy and cold weather. You'll learn your pit real good under these conditions. - OK I've said enough. Good luck !



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