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The Smoking Lamp Is Lit! Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em; Part 2

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  • CeramicChef
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1184
    • OKC, OK

    The Smoking Lamp Is Lit! Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em; Part 2



    Howdy Again Meathead Maniacs!

    Today, I'm going to introduce you to a smoking technique that allows you to really simplify placing of smoke wood for optimal effect.

    As we stated in the last installment, knowing where to place your smoke wood is really quite a quandary. Even with understanding the general air flow patterns in our kamados, those only evolve over quite a few cooks. So when all is said and done, smoke wood placement more often than not remains hit or miss.

    It wasn't until about 2 or 3 years ago that I literally stumbled across a smoke wood placement technique that is so simple and so DUH! that I sat in my chair stunned the first time I saw it. Now I want to know THIS TECHNIQUE IS NOT ORIGINAL WITH ME. It was developed, to theist of my ability to discover, by a Ph.D. Mathematician from the State of New York. He's a real aficionado of kamado cooking. I "met" this man over at the Komodo Kamado Forum and I have appropriated his technique.

    So here it is. Get a 2 quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Drill 3 holes 1/8" diameter in the bottom of your Dutch Oven. That's right, 3 holes that are 1/8" in diameter. That's it. You then place the Dutch Oven filled with the smoke wood you want for this specific cook right top of your fire in the lump pile, holes facing straight down. Within a couple of minutes you're getting smoke coming our the bottom of the Dutch Oven Smoke Pot. That smoke is straight down into the active fire right below the Smoke Pot. By being ejected out of theft and right into the fire in your lump, all the really bad volatiles are burned in the fire and all you are left with is essentially "Thin Blue Smoke!" How full you pack that Smoke Pot with your choice of smoke wood determines how long that smoke is laid on your cook.

    Here is a picture of the original Dutch Oven Smoke Pot I used. It's nothing but a Lodge Cast Iron 2 quart Dutch Oven.

    Click image for larger version

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    Here it is with TOO MANY HOLES drilled in it. It was only after I drilled these that I found. You only want 3 holes drilled in the middle of the bottom of the smoke pot. I've since had those extra holes welded over.

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    Now here is a picture of the Smoke Pot filled with smoke wood.

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    This looks as if its pretty full, right? Well, there is always room for more and in the last installment of Smoke Wood Itold you that there is a place for pellets in a kamado. Here it is.

    Click image for larger version

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    This is a FULL smoke pot right before it went in the belly of TheBeast on a pork butt cook. I wanted this smoke to lay on a really heavy flavor as the people I was entertaining like a robust smoke flavor in the bark.

    Here is a picture of the Smoke Pot right after I placed it in the fire in the belly of The Beast. notice that I tend to nestle this Smoke Pot right down in the burning lump. I want good contact and great smoke production. That's a rectangular heat deflector you see to the right of the picture. After I place the Smoke pot, I place my heat deflector in its usual place. The Smoke Pot is under that heat deflector during the cook.

    Click image for larger version

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    Here is another shot of the Smoke Pot showing you how it fits in the lump pile.

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    Finally, here is a picture of what the Smoke Pot looks like at the end of the cook. All you're left with is charcoal in the Smoke Pot. Most of the time I just dump that charcoal back into the lump pile. The pellets will fall through whenever I shape the basket. For those of you with conventional fire bowls, I don't recommend dumping the contents of the Smoke Pot into you lump pile. The reason is that the pellets will work their way down to the fire grate and cold very easily block it. It's just easier and safer to dump the content of the Smoke Pot in the trash after making absolutely certain that everything is extinguished and cold.

    Click image for larger version

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    Maniacs, this simple Smoke Pot is about as easy as it gets. The Mathematician that came up with this idea seals the lid onto the body with a bead of flour paste around the inside top rim. I personally have never found the need to do that, but you can if you like and if your lid doesn't fit as well as mine.

    You can adjust the amount of smoke you lay on your cook by varying the amount of smoke wood you put in the pot. Some folks like a really heavy some flavor. If that's you, load the Smoke Pot up with smoke wood and then fill in the interstitial spaces with the pellets of your choice. If you prefer a milder smoke flavor on your cooks, one or two pieces of smoke wood in the Smoke Pot should suffice.

    Now you say my kamado is the Classic size of 18" and isn't nearly as big as TheBeast. A 2 quart Dutch Oven is going to be pretty big! I understand. Kamado cookers with the "Classic" size can use a 1 quart Dutch Oven instead of a 2 quart. Again, no more than 3 holes drilled in the bottom.

    So there you have it. This is to my mind an absolutely foolproof means of getting smoke on your cook. You never have to worry again where to place smoke wood if you adopt this method.

    Questions? Comments? Thoughts?
  • martybartram
    Former Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 460
    • Vass, NC

    #2
    my first smoker was comprised of a $15 electric hot plate and a dutch oven. I would put wood in the dutch oven and set the oven, lid off, on the hot plate. The hot plate was at the bottom of a gutted gasser. It would take hours to get smoke started (in part because I did not know any better than to soak my chips) and the inside of the grill probably never hit 100F. I was cold smoking and did not even know it. I would take the meat off and throw it on my other gasser.
    Anyway, using a dutch oven is a great idea, but the holes in the bottom is genius scientist stuff!

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      martybartram - interesting story! It's amazing how much we learn thru trial and error.

      As for the holes in the bottom, it is shear genius! And all I can lay claim to is being a copycat!

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      CeramicChef ... I'll bet the guy that engineered that method would be quite pleased that you thought enough of his creation that you felt compelled to share in the Pit.

      Meathead didn't invent the reverse sear but, he gets a lot of credit for making it known all over the world.πŸ‘

    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      I've posted over at the KK Forum how much everyone likes the smoke pot idea.
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #3
    Great post CeramicChef . This is a topic that rarely gets discussed in most Kamado forums in any detail. Figuring out how to control the quantity of smoke flavor is usually discovered in the late part of the learning curve of Kamado cooking. I've used a rectangle shaped cast iron smoker box that I place right over the small fire when I fire up the lump. That item has holes on the top, not the bottom. It has worked for me before but there is not enough space in it to place enough wood chunks in it, so I've resorted to the 1 big chunk over the small flame and then a circle of chunks about an inch away from the center chunk. That works for me ok... Not great. I'm going to try this very interesting method. I'll go to the cast iron store and buy a small DO that will fit my large BGE appropriately and drill the 3 holes.

    However there are 2 things I'm not clear on...

    1) The purpose of filling in the gaps of your wood chunks with pellets? My assumption is that blocks the circulation inside the DO and limits how fast the chunks burn. Not sure though.
    2) If your DO lid is tightly sealed and you only have 3 small holes in the bottom, where is the exhaust? Hot air must enter through those bottom holes to ignite the wood chunks & pellets so once the smoke is generated, where does it come out?

    Again... Great topic and your presentation was top notch.πŸ‘

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      Breadhead - know Q1. Pellets can serve 2 purposes. First, I tend to layer on smoke flavors. I'll use oak in conjunction with some peach. Oak chances and peach pellets or vice versa. Or for a really heavy flavor, oak and oak. Never had any problem with circulation. Remember this is over hours.

    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      Breadhead & CeramicChef I drilled holes in the bottom of one of these cast iron smoker boxes,put aluminum foil over the top and put the lid on. I can see now that filling all of he void space with pellets would keep the wood from catching fire.

    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      As oxygen poor as the interior of that smoke pot is that the wood catching fire isn't really a problem. However, if that foil helps seal that lid quite well so that smoke doesn't exit the top and instead exits only the bottom, then that is a very good thing. I really like that foil idea! Thanks!
  • CandySueQ
    Moderator
    • Jul 2014
    • 1523
    • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

    #4
    2 quarts? Seems like a lot of wood (i.e., smoke) to me! Hole in the bottom is smart. BBQr's Delight has a cast iron smoke pot just for pellets that's much smaller, maybe 1/2 cup pellet capacity with no holes (smoke comes out the crack in the lid). Very interesting!

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      CandySueQ - The guy whose idea this is like a heavy smoke on his food. But at the end go the day, you can only get about 5 good chunks in there and maybe half a cup of pellets. I found that it's terrible easy to just adjust how much wood (smoke flavor) you put in!
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #5
    Thank you CeramicChef ... The word retort put it all into perspective for me. That's a good word that few people would use to describe what was happening inside that CI potπŸ˜‰

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      Glad that word "retort" got the deed done. That's exactly what the smoke pot is, a retort. It's just a miniature means of producing charcoal. A by product of making the charcoal is the smoke.
  • fuzzydaddy
    Charter Member
    • Nov 2014
    • 4974
    • Winchester TN
    • Hardware
      Blackstone 36” Griddle.
      Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado & Kettle Grill.
      Slow 'N Sear (1.0, Deluxe, 2.0).
      DnG Pans/Racks, Easy Spin Grates, Elevated Cooking Grates.
      Weber Chimney Starters (regular and compact).
      Joule, Instant Accu Slim.
      GrillGrates.
      Maverick XR-50 [my favorite].
      ThermoWorks Smoke & Gateway, Thermapen, Thermapop, ChefAlarms, DOT, probes

      Consumables / Favorites
      KBB (short cooks), Weber (long cooks), B&B Hardwood Briquettes when I'm out of Weber.
      Ribs (beef & pork), Pork Butts, Chuck Roasts, Pork Tenderloins, Shrimp, Fajitas.
      SnS Grills salt free rubs: Not Just for Beef & Rocky’s Rub.
      MeatChurch Holy Cow. MMD, BBBR, S&G, Herbs de Provence, SPG.

    #6
    Very good post CeramicChef! Thank-you. I need to look and see what size would be best for my XL BGE.

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      fuzzydaddy - thanks. Let us know what works best in your XL BGE. Have fun and here's to great cooks!
  • johnsteen
    Charter Member
    • Jan 2015
    • 242

    #7
    I bought a one quart Lodge and it fits fine in my large Green Egg.

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      johnsteen - congrats! Let us know what you think. How about a picture of the pot in your L BGE to show everyone how it fits? Thanks.

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      johnsteen ...

      What are the dimensions of that 1 quart pot? Do you know?
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 13841
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #8
    Very well done Breadhead, but I suggest not using that pot for soup.

    Comment


    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      You're a funny guy. The 3 holes would make warming soup very difficult.😎
  • johnsteen
    Charter Member
    • Jan 2015
    • 242

    #9
    Here is the Lodge #6 in the large Green egg.

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      johnsteen - I see you're using the Dutch Oven with legs. I've never thought of suing that type of Dutch Oven. I think that size would really work.

    • johnsteen
      johnsteen commented
      Editing a comment
      That was the only 1 quart size I could find. The legs do stabilize it some.

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the pictures.πŸ˜‰ I'm going to order that exact pot today.😎 Just feeding my MCS, 1 gadget at a time.πŸ‘
      Last edited by Breadhead; June 23, 2016, 08:35 AM.
  • Beefchop
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 490
    • Lafayette, LA
    • XL Big Green Egg, Shirley Fabrication 24"x42" Patio Cooker

    #10
    I'm feeling the pull towards the cult of the ceramic...great innovation! I wonder how the flavor stacks up against an expensive offset.

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      I had an expensive reverse flow offset with baffles, the whole nine yards. Within a month a getting my first BGE, I sold the offset. Kamado cooking is so much easier than being a slave to an offset. The flavors are just as good on the kamado as the offset. That's why I sold the offset.

    • Beefchop
      Beefchop commented
      Editing a comment
      I may have to buy a ceramic just to test this mod. There's a KJ roadshow at Costco here in Lafayette this week, and a BGE dealer just around the corner from our new place. Temptations everywhere!!!!

    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      Beefchop - as my good Friend 5698k says ... Come to the dark side! Resistance is futile!

      Come on in; the water's wonderful!
  • 5698k
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 6
    • New Orleans

    #11
    Beefchop, I have found, as many others I have talked to have found, the first thing you notice is how much more moist the food from a kamado is. Secondly, I find that the smoke flavors are more subtle, not bitter, and you can really taste the difference between peach and cherry. It all boils down to airflow, kamados need so little. The low airflow keeps moisture in the vessel to the point that I see puddling at the bottom of my kamado regularly. A few chunks of wood are all that's necessary for a cook, not several logs.

    At this point in my cooking life, I feel the only advantage an offset can offer is space, but as far as flavor and simplicity, kamados win hands down.

    Comment


    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Well said 5698k ...πŸ‘

    • gilbertpilz
      gilbertpilz commented
      Editing a comment
      According to Jeremy at The Mad Scientist BBQ (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCse...ah0sEqZrFa-7nA) offsets are the only design that provides the airflow necessary to maintain consistently "good" smoke. Kamados are too good at retaining heat. Any fire hot enough to produce good smoke would, in a kamado, result in a chamber temperature that was far too high for slow cooking.
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #12
    Originally posted by Beefchop View Post
    I'm feeling the pull towards the cult of the ceramic...great innovation! I wonder how the flavor stacks up against an expensive offset.

    Beefchop ... It depends on who you ask.πŸ€”

    If you ask a guy that uses a stick burn you will get one response.

    If you ask CeramicChef who is the Pits most experienced Ceramic Chef and who owns the Rolls Royce of Kamado cookers, you will get another answer.

    IMHO... If you know how to maintain the temperature in any smoker for long periods of time and you know how the cooker will dispense smoke flavors to your meat... There will be very little difference in the finished product.

    Put a brisket in any cooker at 225Β° and get the right amount of smoke on it and you're golden.πŸ‘

    I personally use a large BGE for 1 major reason. I set it at 225Β° and I go to bed.

    I love, love, love the KBQ but I Will Not Buy one. I refuse to stay up all night feeding the beast.😑

    Comment


    • gilbertpilz
      gilbertpilz commented
      Editing a comment
      Not to be argumentative, but not all smoke is the same. The "thin, blue smoke" that everyone talks about is the result of burning off the heavier, dirtier compounds in the wood. It generally takes more oxygen (and therefore higher temps) to produce this kind of smoke. The challenge in using wood in kamados is how to produce this type of smoke in a way that doesn't result in temperatures that are too high,
  • JCBBQ
    Club Member
    • Jan 2016
    • 1265
    • Chilltown, USA
    • Primo Oval XL Ceramic Cooker
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      2x Mavrick 732
      Therma Pen Orange
      Favorite Bourbon Blanton's
      SF Giants

      MCS wish list - Lone Star Grillz off set

    #13
    What a great idea! How long does it take before it starts producing smoke?

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      As long as it takes for the cast iron to heat up to the smoke point of the wood. It can be as short as 2-3 minutes. It's no big wait time at all.
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #14
    Being the fugal type and knowing I'm going to drill 3 holes in a brand new cast iron pot I bought the Chinese version.πŸ˜† it has legs too. Measurements: 4.5 inches x 6.75 inches x 6.75 inches. About $28 delivered.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ag=amazi0a8-20
    Last edited by Breadhead; June 25, 2016, 06:24 AM.

    Comment


    • JCBBQ
      JCBBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      You're welcome. Keep us posted. I looked at that one on line too. It was the cheapest/smallest one I saw online so i'm going to see how you like it before pulling the trigger.

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      JCBBQ ... I compared it in size to the much more expensive Lodge 1 quart. This 3/4 quart is actually slightly larger. I guess the Chinese had a problem converting to a quart measurement.πŸ€” I thought in view of the fact that this thing was only going to be used for 1 thing, it was good enough.

    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      I was given a one quart DO almost a year ago up, but I am having difficulty drilling holes in the bottom. I know I eventually will.
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 0

    #15
    My MCS has been acting up lately. I got 2 packages today from Amazon. Both BBQ gadgets.

    A small cast iron pot for holding wood chunks and a tool for lifting out my hot plate setter. No new cookers though, just gadgets.πŸ˜†
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      Beefchop - I'm just short for my weight! If I was as tall as my weight would indicate, I'd be 8"9"!

      As it is, I'm 3'2"!

    • dajoker
      dajoker commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought an almost identical pot. When I was looking for a way to seal my BKK, a forensic metallurgist warned me against using coated metals and the off gassing of heavy metals at high temperature. I removed the handle from my pot in case.

    • CeramicChef
      CeramicChef commented
      Editing a comment
      dajoker - your metallurgist advised you correctly!

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