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Hey guys, I need some advice. 

 

I've done a number of low and slow cooks on my Akorn now (mostly ribs). I've gotten pretty much everything down but one thing: consistent and good smoke. 

 

Here is my setup for ribs: I use 100% lump piled up below the tabs. I leave a hole in the middle for lighting and mix hickory and apple chunks in with the lump around the hole. I'll also add a couple on top of the fire before I put on the smoking stone and grate. 

I start the fire and after the flames die down and a few coals are lit, I'll close the lid and let the TTT start regulating airflow. I usually shoot for 250 for ribs. Once the grill temp gets to about 150 or so, I'll close the bottom vent to about an index finger width. 

 

The smoke will be pretty solid as the grill heats up, but dies off and eventually goes away when the grill gets up to temp. At this point, the TTT vent is just barely open. After the cook, it looks like the wood chunks have been basically turned into charcoal. 

 

I feel like there isn't enough airflow to allow for good smoke. The only two things I can think to try are either nearly shutting the bottom vent so that the TTT is open more, or trying to wrap some wood chips in aluminum foil so that they don't burn as easily. 

 

Thoughts? 

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As I read your post, you have wood "in the hole" & on top - I assume you light it in the hole, so the first places that burn are "in the hole" & on the top - where the wood is so the wood burns at the start of the smoke. 

 

If the smoke flavor is not all thru the food, I suggest that you mix the wood completely thru the lump so that you get smoke thru the entire cook.

 

Best of luck and enjoy your Akorn, I love mine 8)

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I cooked a boston butt night before last on my Akorn with the TTT in place. I mixed in hickory and pecan throughout my lump in mostly the top half of the pile. I lit fire the same way as you it sounds like and put my meat on when it was at about 175 degrees and set the TTT for around 225 and headed to bed once grill hit 210 on top thermometer. Got up at 4:30 in morning and moved the grill under my carport as it was just starting to drizzle a little (poured a few minutes later) and I was getting good smoke through that little crack on the TTT and holding right at 225/230. Back to bed and got up later again. Pulled the butt at 10:30 at 205 degrees IT and was still getting good smoke. 

It tastes great...

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Yeah, I mix the wood chunks throughout the lump, but it doesn't seem to help much. 

During the cook, it looks like there is smoke exhaust, but I think its actually mostly steam from the meat. I only seem to be getting a light smoke penetration on the ribs. 

 

I guess at this point I'm curious if anyone has tried wrapping the wood chunks in foil and how well it worked. I know a lot of gas grill users use that method, but I don't think I've seen many Kamado users do that. 

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If you are soaking your chunks I would try it without doing that. I would also try smaller chunks or even go to chips and burry them all thru the pile.

I use the Acorn a lot and enough smoke is really never an issue.

I don't think foiling the chunks will help but I'm not positive of that.

Good luck and let us know what gives you a better result ok ?

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I like the chunks also. I've tried them soaked and not soaked. My logic is that if it's going to be a long, slo & lo, I'll probably soak. I usually half bury my chunks around where I know the fire will be. I also don't think you have to see smoke, to get the benefits of the wood.

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I don't have the triple T but i need to have a lot of bottom air and no top to keep my temps low and a stone or deflector of some sort. Bottom vent open to between 3-4 and the top vent just a "blond one" so it looks like a musical note or tiny gold club. (some call it the half moon look). Choke it from the top. Any of my wood chunks or chips look like charcoal or have turned to ash when its all over.

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You may be getting more smoke than you realize. You don't really want a lot of thick smoke which is what you see as the grill heats up. You want TBS (Thin Blue Smoke) which is what you get when the grill settles at a temp. It is easy to mistake for steam. Of course, if you aren't getting enough smoke flavor on the food, then that is a problem. I have never used a "real" smoker, but I don't think an Akorn will give you as much smoke flavor as a stick burner. But I'm sure someone else would know better than me.

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You may be getting more smoke than you realize. You don't really want a lot of thick smoke which is what you see as the grill heats up. You want TBS (Thin Blue Smoke) which is what you get when the grill settles at a temp. It is easy to mistake for steam. Of course, if you aren't getting enough smoke flavor on the food, then that is a problem. I have never used a "real" smoker, but I don't think an Akorn will give you as much smoke flavor as a stick burner. But I'm sure someone else would know better than me.

True.  People's tastes very widely when it comes to how smokey they like their food.  I can mimic my old stick burner's smoke flavor just by indirect smoking the meat on my Weber kettle for 1 - 1.5hrs while the meat is cold, and then moving it over to the Akorn to finish cooking.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I smoked a butt last weekend using my TTT for the first time. I just mixed the wood chunks in throughout the lump and had great smoke throughout the 10 hour cook. Had the bottom vent set to 1.5, top vent fully open with the TTT on top of it set at about 2.5.

 

Have you done a smoke without the TTT? If so did you have enough smoke that to suit your taste?

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