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John Setzler

Smoker Pot and Good vs Bad Smoke

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smokerpot.jpg

 

I wrote up my thoughts and ideas about the Smoker Pot experiments here:

 

http://www.flavoredbyfire.com/2017/02/09/the-smoker-pot/

 

I want to add some things to that as well.  

 

Hole positioning and sealing this smoker pot:

 

Why not just put one or two holes in the top of this pot and place the pot on the bottom of the firebox instead of on top of the charcoal?  That will eliminate the need to seal the pot or worry about the location of the small holes.  I'm not convinced that the position of the holes on this device makes any difference in the smoke production.  There will not be enough pressure built up inside this pot to make the smoke push down more than a couple mm as it exits the bottom of the pot.  It's not going to push it down into a fire below the pot with any significance.  If most of the fire is above the pot, the smoke will be traveling through that fire and any additional 'combustion' that might possibly take place would happen that way rather than by a questionable force of pressure pushing the smoke down into a fire from above.  The only time I might want to put this on top rather than on the bottom would be for a hotter cook... maybe 350° or higher.  That way I could just put the smoker pot on the fire right before I was ready to cook since those cooks are not going to go as long as a traditional low-and-slow cook.  

 

I did several tests with this device this week and I'm trying to be as objective as possible about it.  It does produce clean smoke.  There is no doubt about that.  I am unable to measure visually, in taste, texture, or any other objective way, a difference in the resulting meat.  I have heard the stories from those of you who believe this is the new big thing in smoking meats.  I say to you "keep using it!"  I intend to keep using it to some extent myself.  

 

Success in smoking food is dependent on several things:

 

1. A clean burning fire.  Do not put your meat on the grill until the fire is stable.

2. Do not OVER SMOKE your food.  Less is More.  

 

I believe that the issues with 'bad smoke' are more of a problem with too much smoke instead of the quality of that smoke.  

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Thanks for that John, I've been wondering about the smoke pot, like is it worth itB)

 

ive been reading about smoking wood and just about everyone agrees that you must let the smoking wood burn off a little before putting food on. So I'm wondering when not using a smoking pot and just placing the wood chunks spread out, what happens when the chunks start to smoke that are away from the fire, after of coarse you have put the food on, won't that be bad smoke too?

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11 minutes ago, Timtogrill said:

Thanks for that John, I've been wondering about the smoke pot, like is it worth itB)

 

ive been reading about smoking wood and just about everyone agrees that you must let the smoking wood burn off a little before putting food on. So I'm wondering when not using a smoking pot and just placing the wood chunks spread out, what happens when the chunks start to smoke that are away from the fire, after of coarse you have put the food on, won't that be bad smoke too?

 

We have been smoking meat for many years just by putting wood chunks on.  It's not bad smoke.  This is why I believe that 'bad smoke' is not really an issue.  TOO MUCH SMOKE is the issue.  You don't need but a few chunks of wood for any given cook.  I cook boston butts and briskets for anywhere between 8 and 16 hours and rarely use more than three chunks of wood for the entire cook.  I have plenty of smoke aroma and flavor on those cooks.

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I suppose it comes down to most things we use as an accessory we either like it or not I used to love my grill grates but over time they became to much of a Hassel to clean . The smoking pot has been great for me three holes in the bottom warm it up and the smell is amazing . I'm don't understand what you mean by putting it on the bottom .where is the heat coming from

Outback Kamado Bar and Grill

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Interested to hear why you put the holes on the side. As you say, holes on the bottom is the advised way to do it.

 

I'm not sure if you could seal the top then turn the pot so those holes faced down, but that would be the most accurate test of the smoke pot theory. 

 

I'm also not sure what you mean by "most of the fire is above the pot". I only use the pot on low and slows. Light one spot in the middle, then set the pot directly on top of that while the fire starts up. Some people pre-heat the pot with a torch or even in the oven. I've had the fire drift from center, but it's typically still close enough that the smoke can continue. I've never opened the pot and have any unburnt pieces.

 

With the small fire, the flames stay below the bot and don't lick up the sides of it. If you are doing hotter cooks, then the flames could rise above the pot.

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but if everyone else advises to put them on bottom but you put them on the side how do you know if it dosent make a difference if you havent tried it

 

each to their own but i wouldn't refute something unless i tried it myself first

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I have 2 different sized smoke pots and I have tried this a few times with average results (no doubt user error) but I may have a go with it under the coals on the grate.


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I don't understand this under the coals everyone has lost me holes in bottom put on top of charcoal if not pre heated wait 10 to 15 and bang the smell is divine .some one posted drilling a hole through the top and and bottom inserting a threaded rod so you could use a nut on the bottom and a wing nut on top to help secure the lid .this is the most important factor having it sealed propperly

Outback Kamado Bar and Grill

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no popcorn as this has been beaten to death all ready...

 

What I like and what others like differs.  What I prefer and what others prefer differs....

 

Experiment with BBQ and find things that work for you.  I can say that I have sold several toys and gadgets ie. maverick, cyberQ, grill grates, sous vide, cast accessories etc etc etc... the list goes on and on.  Some people think the above mentioned are the best while others say they are a waste of time.  This hobby is about finding what works for you.

 

The smoker pot for me is amazing and I love using it.  I don't like overly smoked food and it works perfect for my pallet.  I don't like the white smoke that is present with chunks that are just on the coal it tastes very different than when used with a smoker pot.  

 

Great write up john as I read your blog.  I wish you would have tried a proper size dutch oven but understand not wanting to waste a pot in the event of not liking it.  I would have tried the holes on the bottom if you were looking to be fully objective and open to the idea.  But all in all a great read.  Maybe its time I try an experiment on my two grills, one with the pot and one without.  

 

Stay tuned...

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4 hours ago, bosco said:

 

 

What I like and what others like differs.  What I prefer and what others prefer differs....

 

The smoker pot for me is amazing and I love using it.  I don't like overly smoked food and it works perfect for my pallet.  I don't like the white smoke that is present with chunks that are just on the coal it tastes very different than when used with a smoker pot. 

Stay tuned...

 

Have you considered that you may be a super-taster?

I knew a wine taster who did wine tasting for an occupation-- he refused to meet in the main office because he insisted the room was moldy. No one else could smell it and we though he was crazy. When the rug was replaced years later there was a chunk of padding that was rotted where a plant once sat.

 

As you say " What I prefer and what others prefer differs...". that certainly is true for all of us.

 

http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/what-is-a-supertaster/

 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-matter-of-taste-180940699/

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I doubt I am that but I just despise strong smoke profiles.  I get wicked heartburn for one and two it is to overpowering.  When I eat BBQ and I can taste the creosote flavour that grosses me out too.  I am open to all foods just picky on certain things.  

 

when I eat off of an offset I really get indigestion/heartburn.  I find too much smoke profile just kicks my as s.  That's why peach and oak are my go to woods now as they are more subtle.   

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Like I said in my original write up... it's all about what works for YOU.   I don't get strong smoke profiles EVER because I don't use an excessive amount of smoking wood.  It's rare that I ever use more than 3 chunks of anything on any given cook.  One and two is more common for me.

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My wife doesn't care for strong smoke flavor, and while it doesn't bother me as much, I don't prefer it to be overpowering. One issue that the smoker pot seems to solve for me is the timing of smoke. Many times I have scattered chunks throughout my coal bed only to find that some have not burned during a cook. I also have come to understand that the meat stops taking on smoke flavor at ~140 degrees. I have often wondered how much of my smoking wood has burned after that temp has been reached.

 

With the pot I get a good consistent amount of smoke early in the cook and it continues until the chunks in the pot are fully carbonized. Since adopting this method I feel I have better control over the amount and timing of the smoke and have had better response from my wife. As a bonus, I end the cook with a few more lumps of charcoal for the next cook.

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