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smoke rings

Do you have burning questions that need to be answered? A live-fire dilemma that needs to be solved? There are no secrets between grill masters. So I give you “Ask Steven,” a new forum, where you can ask me anything about food and flame. Post your questions here, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can, though at times, because I’m traveling around Planet Barbecue (and you can ask me about these adventures too), it might take me a couple of days to reply.
Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:16 pm
smokepit raw

Posts: 2
Hi Steven, I've always used a side barrel smoker and had no troubles with getting smoke rings,My wife got me an electric smoker and now I can't get the ring,I know it has something to do with a chemical reaction"carbon,oxygen" that i won't get with a electric smoker.Is there something i could do in the electric smoker that will achieve the smoke rings.right now i use wood chips,I'm wondering if i add some lump charcoal or something like that will this help with the smoke rings.I know it doesn't affect the flavor but it just looks so much nicer with the rings. thanks

Post Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:38 pm
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 383

You've got me there. I, too, do most of my smoking with wood or a charcoal wood combination. We're planning a future blog on the science of smoke rings, so we'll try to answer your question then. In the interim, any users of electric smokers out there have any theories?

Post Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:48 pm
Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1327
Location: MadCity, WI

I was thinking that since the heat is from electric source that the issue is amount of smoke.

When using wood or charcoal you get smoke from that PLUS the smoke from wood chunks or chips.

I would try increasing the chips so you have a heavier smoke coming from the electric smoker and see if that helps, also remember that once the meat gets 140*F or so the smoke stops penetrating if the electric smoker is hotter less smoke can ring than a nice low and slow (Below 225*F)

Post Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:18 pm
smokepit raw

Posts: 2
thanks, i have tried adding alot wood chips for more smoke, and i always smoke for the first 3 hours under 220, i remember reading somewhere to break up some lump charcoal(helps create some type of chemical reaction) and mix it with the wood chips and this will help with the smoke ring, I'm just waiting for some nicer weather so i can try that and i will let you know if it works.thanks for your input.

Post Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:57 am

Posts: 2
I had this problem with a electric smoker. It is not because it is electric. If you are using a electric smoker like I have, it has no air flow, or truely any smoke flow. It fills the chamber with smoke, but it is not flowing over the meat, that is what gives you a nice smoke ring. If you want a smoke ring while using a electric smoker. Sprinkle the meat with meat tenderizer and let it sit for a while, then add your dry rub and smoke it like you normally do.


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