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What is the best way to control smoke level on a Kamado


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Hello All!!! Getting my Kamodo dialed in. Thought I had a gasket issue, but Brian at Hi-Que gave me lots of knowledge about fire control on my grill. Any tips on controlling the level of smoke applied to the cook would be appreciate by this rookie!

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Welcome glad to have you with us. 

On fire control, the best thing to learn is that the size of your fire is determined by how much air you feed it through your vent settings, not how much fuel you put in the fire box. Fill your fire box completely full for each cook, and then start with only one small fire in the center of your lump and let the fire develop slowly from there for low and slow and moderate heat cooks up to 425 degrees. For high heat cook like pizza I use three fire starters as I want high heat quickly. An important Pizza tip is to measure your pizza stone temp and use that not your dome temp. Your stone temp will often be significantly less than your dome temp until your ceramics fully heat sinc. When it comes to wood smoke, I find often, less is more. It is quite easy to over smoke food. After learning this the hard way, I realized that a lot of my early BBQ cooks were way over smoked. It is especially easy to over smoke poultry and fish, and even large cuts of beef can bring on a sharp after taste from too much smoke. So for a couple of actual tips; 1. Do not think that when adding smoke during a cook your top vent should be putting out a constant stream of smoke during a multi hour cook,  as this will often, IMO, lead to over smoking. 2. 20 minutes of smoke during a long cook is often plenty enough to deliver very pleasing flavor. 3. The best way I have found to consistently provide the correct level of smoke is to use only one fist size wood chunk. Wrap the chunk tightly in aluminum foil, being careful to push out all the air. When tightly wrapped, pierce the foil with a sharp temp probe, making only two small pin prick  holes. When your coals are ready for food and you put meat on, add the foil wrapped chunk, to the middle of your lump pile onto of your fire. When the smoke is done, you have enough smoke for the large majority of cooks you will do. 4. trial and error will lead you to the right wood for a specific  cook. A short primer of my taste would be, Poultry,  just a good handful of fresh  rosemary sprigs. Fish, alder. Pork, Apple. Beef, Pecan. Hope this helps get you started. Ps. I just put HiQue gold standard gaskets on my large Egg. Definitely the best gaskets I have ever found. Those guys seem to really know what they are doing. . 

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For chicken usually the lump itself will have enough smoke profile for me. 

 

For low-n-slow I go about it differently than most people. I like smaller wood chunks the size of a Bic lighter. I'll spread a small layer of lump in the bottom then a layer of wood chunks. A thin sporadic layer of the wood chunks. Finally fill it the rest of the way full of lump. 

 

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  • 1 year later...

My problem is that I start getting too much smokes on low to moderately low cooks, especially when I add the diffuser plates. Any suggestions how to overcome this problem? This is a problem for me whether or not I use chunks in addition to the lump. 

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1 hour ago, Dave1280 said:

My problem is that I start getting too much smokes on low to moderately low cooks, especially when I add the diffuser plates. Any suggestions how to overcome this problem? This is a problem for me whether or not I use chunks in addition to the lump. 


Welcome @Dave1280!  Are you letting your fire get good and settled before cooking?  The white billowing smoke you get when first starting your fire will dissipate once your fire is settled. You definitely want to wait for that to go away before you start to cook. Patience is key here. If you are having the problem even when not using smoking wood, I think you are just not waiting long enough for the fire to be burning clean.   Maybe give us some more details on your setup when you encounter this problem and we can better help to troubleshoot. 

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