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Kamado Smoke Pot

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    Kamado Smoke Pot

    I mentioned in another thread that I use a smoke pot to insure that I get the best smoke on a cook that can possibly be done. People wanted to see what this smoke pot looks like, how to use it, and what problems it solves. This post attempts to answer those questions.

    First off, getting a consistent smoke on a cook is one of the age old problems we face. We try and get our smoke wood in the path of the fire, but how do you know before hand where and how your fire spreads? You don't have a clue, so we generally spread our smoke wood in the lump hoping that the fire hits several pieces during the process of the cook.

    I use two different kamados made by the same manufacturer ... Komodo Kamado and I got this smoke pot idea from their forum. It was posted there by a mathematician who is quite the kamado cook. This is his and I merely copied it and employ it with great regularity. This idea is not original with me; it is, like most really good ideas, borrowed (more like stolen, but let's not spilt hairs!).

    First this smoke pot is nothing more than a 2 qt. cast iron dutch oven with holes drilled in the BOTTOM. It is important that the holes be drilled in the BOTTOM, NOT the top! I always make certain to nestle this pot down into the burning lump at the very beginning of the cook. Now the reason you want the holes drill in the bottom of the dutch oven is that the smoke produced is forced down into the fire underneath the smoke pot. By forcing the smoke down into the fire below it is that the fire actually burns up the volatile organic compound (VOCs) that produce that harsh heavy gray smoke that is so rancid. The smoke is forced out the bottom of the dutch oven, the VOCs are burned off, and what is left is the thin blue smoke we all seek!

    This smoke pot solves another problem of knowing where to place your smoke wood. It's right in the pot directly over the burning lump. This means you get mostly a consistent amount of smoke during the most critical part of the cook, i.e. at the beginning and middle of the cook when the cook is coolest and adsorbs the most smoke via condensation of the smoke.

    So, without further commentary here are some pictures of the whole concept.

    Here is a top view of the basic 2 qt. dutch oven.

    Click image for larger version

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    This next picture shows the holes drilled in the bottom of the dutch oven. I used a 1/8" drill for these holes. Now please note that I really screwed up and drilled too many holes. You really need no more than 4 holes.

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    Here is a better picture of those holes.

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    Now here is a picture of the smoke pot right before I put it in the lit charcoal. NOTE: When you place the smoke pot in the lit charcoal, make certain that the lid is on the dutch oven essentially making it a closed system. Using the lid closes the system and forces the smoke produced down through the holes in the bottom of the dutch oven and that produces the thin blue smoke we seek.

    Click image for larger version

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    Note that in this case I used both chunks and pellets. In this case I was using oak and apple to get the flavor profile I wanted.

    This next picture shows the entire smoke pot placed among and over the lit charcoal. Yes, under that pot the fire is burning. The reason that pot looks small is that the firebox of my 32" Big Bad Komodo Kamado, aka TheBeast, is really large!

    Click image for larger version

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    And finally, here is the "Money Shot" at the end of a 20 hour cook. Notice that all the smoke wood and pellets have been burned and converted to charcoal. I simple dump the contents of the smoke pot into the charcoal basket to be completely consumed during the course of the next cook.

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    Now, I use this 2 qt. cast iron dutch oven in TheBeast, my 32" KK. If your kamado is smaller, and it most likely is, you can use a smaller cast iron dutch oven and accomplish the same thing. I believe that Lodge makes a 1 qt. dutch oven that will fit nicely in "Classic" sized kamados, i.e. 18" or so.

    I use this smoke pot exclusively when I'm laying smoke on a cook. I don't have to worry about how or where my fire will spread; I don't worry about digging out unburned smoke wood at the end of the cook or before the next cook; I don't worry about that heinous harsh smoke produced at the beginning of a cook; I get instant thin blue and it continues throughout a very large portion of the cook. This method gives me a consistent smoke flavor on each and every cook.

    Give it a try. I guarantee you'll love it. This smoke pot solves every problem we kamado cookers face when trying to put smoke on a cook.

    Oh, by the way, that lump looks wonderful doesn't it? Nice large pieces, wonderful size distribution, it's dense and burns hot, and finally it has a very mild odor that doesn't interfere with the main flavor I"m trying to attain from my smoke pot contents. It's FOGO and it's the best I've found in over 20 years of kamado cooking.

    Questions?
    Last edited by CeramicChef; November 18, 2015, 03:12 PM. Reason: Edited to insert a pic I forgot to include. Mea Culpa.

    #2
    Thanks for the write up! Sounds like the same principle as the KBQ, clean smoke is tasty smoke.

    Comment


      #3
      CeramicChef that's a VERY nifty gadget you have there. I am working on commercializing a gadget for Kamados that will improve smoke flavor as well, but uses a different principle. Stay tuned.

      Comment


      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Anything ever come of this?

      • David Parrish
        David Parrish commented
        Editing a comment
        Spinaker the TurboSlow works great, but it's not easy enough to use yet. Right now I'm focused on developing new SnS products. The TS is on the backburner.

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Right on. I look forward to seeing this come out when it does!! David Parrish

      #4
      This is genius. Makes me want to get a primo oval even more. (two years out) Thanks for the awesome write up man!! CeramicChef I wish you would post more often, seems like you know what you doing!!

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        I've been wanting one of them too. If they happen to send you two by mistake hit me up!

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        No problem, as I'm sure I was on your list just incase Yoder had sent you an extra Wichita

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Absolutely! @tbob4
        P.S You can tag me as well. (Instead of Huskee every time)
        I can move a bunch of these. If they are Kamado related, I can take care of those.

      #5
      Originally posted by CeramicChef View Post

      Now, I use this 2 qt. cast iron dutch oven in TheBeast, my 32" KK. If your kamado is smaller, and it most likely is, you can use a smaller cast iron dutch oven and accomplish the same thing. I believe that Lodge makes a 1 qt. dutch oven that will fit nicely in "Classic" sized kamados, i.e. 18" or so.
      I don't know if I can pull that off, I think instead I need to explain to Mrs Mosca how I need a 32" Komodo Kamado to get that thin blue smoke.

      Comment


        #6
        CeramicChef -Thanks for answering my request I made on the other thread. You were gracious to give such excellent detail. I'm curious. What was the downside of drilling more tha 2 holes

        Comment


          #7
          I mean more than 4 holes.

          Comment


            #8
            Originally posted by Pit Boss View Post
            Guest that's a VERY nifty gadget you have there. I am working on commercializing a gadget for Kamados that will improve smoke flavor as well, but uses a different principle. Stay tuned.
            David Parrish - I look forward to seeing your product. I'm staying tuned for certain!

            Comment


            • Craigar
              Craigar commented
              Editing a comment
              tbob4 Man, you dug deep into annals for this little gem!

            • tbob4
              tbob4 commented
              Editing a comment
              Craigar - on Huskee's mission to find things in the "throw away" bucket that might be of value to keep on the site. He is right - there is a lot of repetition. However, I come up with one keeper about every three or four pages.

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              tbob4 Done!

            #9
            Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
            This is genius. Makes me want to get a primo oval even more. (two years out) Thanks for the awesome write up man!! Guest I wish you would post more often, seems like you know what you doing!!
            Spinaker - you are indeed right ... it is indeed genius and the guy who came up with this smoke pot is a genius. All I am is smart enough to recognize genius and copy it!

            As for me knowing what I'm doing ... well, let's just say that by a process of elimination over a long time frame and you finally figure out a couple of things!

            Comment


              #10
              Originally posted by LA Pork Butt View Post
              Guest -Thanks for answering my request I made on the other thread. You were gracious to give such excellent detail. I'm curious. What was the downside of drilling more tha 2 holes
              LA Pork Butt - simply put, four holes is optimal for ejecting the smoke at a pretty good rate (velocity) down into the burning lump. That makes certain all the VOCs are burned off and you get thin blue. My version works well enough for me with all those holes drilled in the bottom. I'm not quite so OCD that I'm going to go out of my way to plug the holes. Maybe someday it'll happen. Don't hold your breath!

              Comment


                #11
                Originally posted by Mosca View Post

                I don't know if I can pull that off, I think instead I need to explain to Mrs Mosca how I need a 32" Komodo Kamado to get that thin blue smoke.
                Mosca - of course you can pull it off! Just go into your wife's closet, count all the pairs of shoes and all the purses, multiply by the average cost, and I promise you you have the cost of a KK right there! Now your wife never asked you about buying a single one of those items, right!? All you have to do is call KK, order one, and then explain to your wife when it arrives! See the logic? Unassailable, right?

                Of course I'm a twice-divorced 61 year old bachelor, so taking advice from me get you a place on the couch .... IF you're lucky!

                Comment


                  #12
                  Yes, being right does not necessarily (ever) result in a victory

                  I think the revelation here is the fact that you have the holes on the bottom, so the smoke goes out through the rest of the fire. There's all kinds of smoker boxes, but they are either shaped or imprinted to make one think that the holes point upward.

                  This is great information. Thanks.

                  Jim

                  Comment


                    #13
                    The 1 quart Lodge Dutch oven is 6" in diameter and has legs. I'm thinking it should get put right in the middle of the fire. Perhaps put the empty oven in the middle of the coals, start the lump, get the fire going, fill the cast iron with wood, put the plate setter on, bring it all to temp and start cooking.

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Originally posted by jgg85234 View Post
                      Yes, being right does not necessarily (ever) result in a victory

                      I think the revelation here is the fact that you have the holes on the bottom, so the smoke goes out through the rest of the fire. There's all kinds of smoker boxes, but they are either shaped or imprinted to make one think that the holes point upward.

                      This is great information. Thanks.

                      Jim
                      jgg85234 - you are absolutely correct. It is the injection of the smoke directly into the burning lump that does the trick. Further, by having the smoke wood confined to a single spot, i.e. in the pot and in the fire, you get a consistent smoke for a longer period of time. Not having to guess where the fire is going has real advantages!

                      Comment


                        #15
                        Originally posted by Mosca View Post
                        The 1 quart Lodge Dutch oven is 6" in diameter and has legs. I'm thinking it should get put right in the middle of the fire. Perhaps put the empty oven in the middle of the coals, start the lump, get the fire going, fill the cast iron with wood, put the plate setter on, bring it all to temp and start cooking.
                        Mosca - I build my lump pile with an eye to making certain there is a spot in the pile in which I can nestle the pot when it comes time to get everything cooking. I generally let my KK heat soak at temp for about an hour before I begin the actual cook. My heat deflectors come in 2 pieces, so I stack them to one side during the heat soaking process. After the KK is heat soaked, I merely place the filled smoke pot in the spot I created in the lump pile, move my heat deflector into its proper position, place my drip pan on top of the deflector, and go from there.

                        Not having the smoke pot already in place when you light your lump makes it ever so much easier to get your fire going. It's a real hassles having to work around a 2 qt. smoke pot to get a fire going under it. For me it's just easier tonight the fire, bring everything up to temp and heat soak, place the smoke pot on top of a well established fire and load up the KK! Easy Peasy!

                        Comment


                        • Mosca
                          Mosca commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Okay, I think I have an idea of what you're doing. What I'm visualizing is that a quart isn't very big, and I want this thin blue smoke to last quite some time. So I'll leave a depression in the middle of the lump, get everything heat soaked, then put the pot with the wood in, then the deflector and the cook. BGEs don't take too long to get heat soaked, maybe 30 minutes tops.

                        • CeramicChef
                          CeramicChef commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Mosca - you're spot on! That sequence would do the trick!

                          Here's to great cooks!

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