- Dec 15, 2010
- Reaction score
- Fuck Y'all I'm From Texas!
I understand the pitfalls of the PID.Well like I said I suspect your problem lies with the controller.And there lies the quandary.If it has a smoke setting then my guess it has a PID controller but as you know, you don't want clouds of smoke but TBS thin blue smoke. But maybe a change of pellets will help. I use the competition blend most but they have other wood choices too, apple, mesquite, pecan, cherry, hickory etc. Ive heard Lumberjack is good too but i haven't tried them because I'm happy with what I'm using. That's because they produce very little ash and there's very little sawdust. They use oak for base wood, white oak or what you texas boys call post oak.I can set it on smoke and it produces a crapload of it.Well make sure your rig doesn't have one of those PID things because if it does I don't think it will matter. It takes a little temperature swing for a pellet rig to produce any smoke. If your rig holds temperature really tight say a degree or two, it likely has a PID loop controlling temperature and you need to address that before you go wasting your money on pellets and so called smoke generators.I generally dont use rubs on my brisket.
Just salt and pepper Central Texas style. For chicken and pork I like to experiment.
I'll have to check out those pellets,I've tried several brands and they've all performed about the same.
It just doesnt taste the same or smell the same.
You can immediately tell the difference between a pellet smoker and a stick burner by the smell alone while they're running,and with smell being a big part of taste it just seems off a bit.
With the stick burner it's obvious with one sniff as to what wood is being used,not so much with the pellet pooper unless you're using something like mesquite.
Thick billowing smoke or thin blue smoke.
If I go with a higher temp to get the thin blue smoke which is around 250 I lose smoke flavor.
The stick burner runs clean as all get out,to the point you cant see any smoke at times yet you get a great smoke profile.
Cant remember the name of the damn thing but there's a pitt out there that works like the puck smokers but uses actual logs.
Kinda the best of both worlds.
I said I wouldnt but I will anyway. What happens with a PID controller is that it's so intent on holding the temperature under tight control that's all it does to the expence of anything else. What it dies in order to maintain the temperature within a degree or two is to dribble a few pellets at a time into a larger blaze. As you know this doesn't allow the pellet to smoulder and smoke before it lights off and produces the heat the controller wants to maintain your target temperature.
However if you use a controller that allows a little hysteresis or swing here's what happens. The temp drops to the low setpoint and the controller feeds more pellets into a much smaller blaze in the fire pot. Of couse the larger load of pellets are going to take awhile before igniting so they smoulder and smoke a bit before lighting off and jacking the temperature up so the controller sees the high point and stops feeding pellets so the blaze dies down, the temperature drops to the low setpoint again and the cycle repeats. Overall you get more smoke of the right kind and your end results are much better.
As you know a lot of people think billowing clouds of white smoke is good but both you and I know better but maybe not the guy who programmed your temperature controller. Maybe you want to look into it.
Thats why I use the pellet tubes,they basically accomplish the same thing as a non PID controller.
Light up one end and it'll burn for 2 hours then start the second.
In most cases 4 hours of smoke is plenty even in a large brisket.
For things like chicken and fish where I dont care for a heavy smoke it works just fine without the tubes.
It falls on its face when it comes to a brisket or pork butt where you need a lot of smoke.
The MAK does make great low temp smoked cheeses in the offset box although the only way to use it in the Texas heat during the summer is with a tray full of ice as cheese melts past 90 degrees which would be considered a cool day in the summer around here.
Have you tried a Kamado yet?
I always brushed it off as kind of gimmicky.
But after doing some research I bit the bullet and picked one up.
I was surprised to say the least,you can low smoke,although not to the level of an offset,you can sear up to 700 degrees,they make kickass pizzas and the fuel consumption is ridiculously low.
You just load it full of lump charcoal no matter if you're cooking a brisket or some chicken wings. The temp control is amazingly easy and accurate using the vents,it'll hold within 5 degrees for hours on end. Once your done you shut off the vents and it smothers the charcoal saving it for your next two or three cooks.
And clean up is a breeze. The next time you go to fire it up you shake the charcoal basket and all the old ash goes into the ash pan. Pull the pan and dump it and fire it up again. You can cook two whole chickens and end up with a 1/4 cup of ash.
It's now my go to cooker if I'm not smoking or if I want mild smoke.