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In Reply to: Re: Question for wood burners posted by jermo on May 17, 2011 at 12:37:41:
Still can't picture it in my mind, but that doesn't matter.
Bottom line, black (or dark) smoke from a wood fired smoker is bad and typically means only one thing... too much raw wood and not enough air.
Try getting a good coal base built up first, before putting any food on. Then, feed it just enough at regular intervals throughout the cook to keep your bed of coals going. Too much wood all at once will almost always cause black sooty smoke. If this happens, remove some wood, or at least open up your firebox door to allow the wood to catch and the bad smoke to escape out the open door and not through your cooker. Allow the logs to burn till they are black all over then shut your door and adjust the vents to regulate your heat. Then next time, don't add so much fuel all at once.
Another time-proven method is to burn down your wood to coals in a side pit first, then shovel in hot coals as you need them. The same can be done by adding lump charcoal directly to your fire box when you need more fuel instead of logs and only add logs every once in a while for extra flavor.
Regardless of how you do it, keep this one thing in mind... Think Small. A small fire is a good fire. Build and maintain the smallest fire you can. Keep it just large enough to maintain your pit temps where you need them with the vents mostly open the whole time.
Hope this helps.
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