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Author Topic: Smoker Pot  (Read 2161 times)
Smokin Sandy
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« on: October 01, 2017, 10:08:12 AM »

After reading about it on another forum (https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/21417-dutch-oven-smoke-pot/), I have decided to try using a smoker pot on my BKK 5000.  As they say on the post, the idea is that "the smoke exits through the holes at the bottom of the pot. When that happens the smoke hits the much hotter coals and the bitter volatile organics are consumed by the fire and all that's left is thin blue."

So, I bought a stainless steel mess kit from a local thrift shop...


Drilled a couple holes in the bottom of the pot...


Loaded it with wood chunks...


Sealed it up and put it on some hot coals to smoke some meatloaf...


It's just getting started, so I will return and report once it is done.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 08:27:39 AM by Smokin Sandy » Logged
bamabob
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 06:55:59 PM »

sounds interesting. 
could only see the first picture, the others appeared to be huge and really slow to load.

I'd like to see what you're doing and hear about the results.  Sounds similar to the operating principle  of a karubeque.
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SmallBBQr
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 07:38:10 PM »

I've tried this to varied results.

I think part of the problem is that the keg is so freakin efficient (too efficient I think) is that there is not enough burning going on underneath to really "burn" the smoke up more.  Some times I think you get lucky, and where some coals are, the smoke might be too, but other times the smoke from the pot just goes up and around.

I think the keg really needs to be less insulated (kind of contrary to common sense) so holding any given temp requires a bit more burning going on...
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Kick Ash Divide & Conquer Kegger
Smokin Sandy
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 08:33:08 AM »

sounds interesting. 
could only see the first picture, the others appeared to be huge and really slow to load.

I'd like to see what you're doing and hear about the results.  Sounds similar to the operating principle  of a karubeque.

Sorry about the pictures.  I just went in and fixed them, so they should be showing correctly now.

To be honest, it wasn't my best cook ever - the smoke flavor was really heavy.  SmallBBQr might be right... it might not be hot enough to really cleanse the smoke.
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Smokin Sandy
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 08:36:56 AM »

I've tried this to varied results.

I think part of the problem is that the keg is so freakin efficient (too efficient I think) is that there is not enough burning going on underneath to really "burn" the smoke up more.  Some times I think you get lucky, and where some coals are, the smoke might be too, but other times the smoke from the pot just goes up and around.

I think the keg really needs to be less insulated (kind of contrary to common sense) so holding any given temp requires a bit more burning going on...

Ironically, I actually remember seeing your post on the KG site.  If I remember right, you tried this same method using foil instead of a pot.

I guess the efficiency of the BKK can be both a blessing and a curse?  I've always been a stick burner kinda guy and was pretty good at getting TBS, so I must admit that I am still getting used to my keg.  Maybe lump with the occasional chunk mixed in really is the best way to go?  Any other methods people use to get a the right kind of smoke out of their keg?
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Shawn W
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 10:28:47 PM »

I bury chunks in the charcoal when smoking before I light it and it always settles in to a nice thin blue smoke. On top of that I love the flavor of stuff I smoke in my keg. I'm a bit skeptical the smoke pot is useful in the keg for chunk wood for smoking, but think it would be a great way to use pellets or chips for smoking. I think it might work well too for chips, pellets or chunks when doing high temp grilling where there is so much airflow the wood flames instead of smoking. I also sort of agree with SmallBBQr, when we are smoking in the keg we just have tiny little fires, not enough heat going on for this approach IMO.

I think I'd have a hard time buying a new Lodge 2qt dutch oven for $42.50 and drilling holes in it per the post you linked to  Cry  I love your thrift store find for your trials  Grin. I do think you're going to need a lot more holes than that.

http://shop.lodgemfg.com/dutch-ovens/2-quart-cast-iron-serving-pot.asp


These guys : http://store.bbqrsdelight.com/default.cfm have sold little CI smoke pots with their product, like sample packs, bundles in the past, no idea if they still do, but it would be a cheap way to try it out AND get some pellets, it's kinda small though:



Other methods: mix chips or pellets directly in with the charcoal for a little boost in flavor. You can use LOTS of chunks, like even up to 2/3 of your charcoal pile could be smoke wood chunks with charcoal mixed around (I'd still use at least a little charcoal). Being a stick burner guy that might be about the only way you get flavor from the keg like you are used to.
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Caveman
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 06:11:18 AM »

The keg IS too efficient just like other insulated steel cookers a like. I posted this a while back, he explains it pretty well. http://forum.bigsteelkeg.com/index.php?topic=18190.0

Smallbbq sums up what I have been experiencing with my 5000.

Last cook I did, I filled the keg diffuser with water. I got stable temps and was able to cook with higher damper settings than usual, my temps fluctuated between 250-275F and got good steady smoke. Was it luck? I don’t know, try it and you will see for yourself...however the keg demands more attention and is less forgiving than a 150$ Weber Kettle. Forget smoking under 225F, the fire is just too small and will put off nasty smoke the first hour and then no smoke at all.

I don’t know how many YouTube videos I have watched about other cookers like kettles, wsm’s, or Kamado Joe’s, and they all burn much more charcoal than the keg, therefore better combustion.
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SmallBBQr
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 09:09:28 AM »

Breaking molecular bonds to convert liquid to gas (water to steam) take a LOT of energy so the geeky physics guy in me could easily understand how this would require more combustion to keep the overall same temperature.

I suspect not luck and my next round I think I will give that a try as well.
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Kick Ash Divide & Conquer Kegger
Caveman
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 11:12:44 AM »

^^ that would make good sense...

I know many here don’t use water in the heat diffuser, however in Broil King’s product videos they do add water or any other liquid...

https://youtu.be/aRbxcM6P6es
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Shawn W
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 11:50:54 AM »

^^ that would make good sense...

I know many here don’t use water in the heat diffuser, however in Broil King’s product videos they do add water or any other liquid...

https://youtu.be/aRbxcM6P6es
One problem with using water is that somewhere below about 40ºF ambient temp with tiny little top vent holes, the steam and the goo in the lid congeals when it hits the cold air/cold vent top closing off the top vent and killing your fire. One way around this might be the method to smoke with the top vent open and the bottom fully shut a couple have reported doing, but I haven't tried it.

One side effect of using water is that if you have the sort of sticky black tar inside the keg from lots of lower temp cooking the extra steam oxidizes the black tar into brown flakies.

I use a 2 gallon Brinkmann pan sitting on the diffuser rack covered tightly with foil, only filling it two thirds with water and leaving a depression in the middle of the foil but suspended above the water line and it's worked well for me. My thinking about the foil wrap goes like this: no matter how tightly I wrap the edge foil around the outside excess steam will escape, but some portion of the steam should condense on the top of the inside of the foil, run down the depression and return to the water, replenishing itself to some extent and reducing steam in the cook chamber.



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Caveman
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 01:13:06 PM »

We can have a separate topic on the pros and cons of using water in the diffuser... but in my case as mentioned above I was operating at higher damper settings than when I don’t have water in. Top was between 2-3 and bottom was almost the same. Normally I have to restrict the air flow much more or else the temperatures would start running away on me.

You do need to replenish your liquid in a middle of a longer cook, you are right. And you are right about goo forming at the top (I used to get this even without water when restricting too much). However it wasn’t an issue between 2-3.



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