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scaryDon

CoCoChar and Smoke -- Advice Needed

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Hi all,

I recently switched to CoCoChar and I find that I'm having difficulty getting enough smoke now. The charcoal that I was using previously smoked a fair bit and so I didn't realize that I was running out of wood smoke.

We have the 22” Supreme Hi-Cap and I always cook with the heat shield and drip pan on the lowest rack. With these things in place the flip up part of the lowest grate won't open to allow me to add wood. I've tried adding wood via the bottom vent but it does not catch fire.

I'm thinking that I have a couple of options. Add more wood at the start or possibly remove the flip section on the lower grate which would allow me to add wood during the cook. I'm a bit concerned about temp control if I add too much wood at the start.

What do you guys think about getting smoke to last 4-5 hours when CoCoChar doesn't smoke at all?

Thanks

 

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Cocochar is famous for it's lack of smoke flavor. One of the main reasons that many of us love to cook with it. Let's the true smoke flavor of your wood come through. Try using one of the smoking pot designs here on the Forum. The original cast iron dutch oven or the newer camping pot, which might work out better in the smaller KKs. 

Smoker pot from MSR stowaway pot - Relevant Product Reviews - Komodo Kamado (komodokamadoforum.com)

One last piece of advice - ditch the heat shield and drip pan. Even Dennis recommends ditching the heat shield - just adds time to your heat up with no improvement in cooking. Use the drip pan only if you want to catch drippings. A simple sheet of AL foil on the lower grate works just as effectively as a heat shield and doesn't impact heat up time. Plus, it lets you keep the hinged part of the grate free if you want. 

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Are you having trouble on low and slows or hot an fasts?  Low and slow you can just bury the wood into the charcoal and you will mainly get the wood smoke as long as you mix it throughout.  Hot and fast that’s a different game but throw a few chunks on top of the coals and the edges where it’s barely lit.  They will likely flame vs. smoke much but that’s the nature of hot and fast.  

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I think most of us here do not use the heat deflector stone and only use the drip pan when seeking drippings. The only time I use either is when cooking pizza on the upper grate with a baking steel just so the bottom doesn't get too dark. As Tony says, a sheet of aluminum foil across the middle grate from the grate hinge to the back is sufficient for low temperature cooks and still allows access to the fire for smoke wood. 

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ScaryD, lots of issues here.

1st, ditch the deflector, use the drip pan in a higher position if you need a deflector, even just cut a piece of foil that is large enough to cover the meat you are cooking and place it a level below the meat. This will protect the meat from direct radiant glow heat from the coals, even a fat cap on the meat itself can be sufficient for deflection purposes. This will promote airflow. Airflow is king in Kamado cooking.

2nd, realize the CocoChar doesn’t really provide smoke. That’s the whole purpose of it. It allows for baking bread, or doing other cooks where you don’t want smoke. It also allows for added smoking woods to shine through rather then the charcoal being the star. Remember charcoals primary purpose is being an efficient heat source.

3rd, don’t be worried, you don’t need a lot of wood to create a smoke profile. Remember Kamado’s are a low airflow environment, especially KK’s! This means more BBQ flavor! Your smoking wood will provide plenty of smoke with a couple of chunks of wood. As long as you are using 90% charcoal to 10% wood ratio you will never have temp issues.

4th, you don’t really need smoke in the 4-5th hour of the cook. Most of the smoke profile you want to impart will take place in the first couple of hours as food heats and loses moisture smoke becomes less attracted to it.

5th learn about the wonders of the smoke pot, search this forum, this will provide you with clean good tasting smoke.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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22 hours ago, scaryDon said:

Hey Tony, Thanks for posting. I had never considered ditching the heat shield.

So you're cooking with meat directly exposed to the charcoal?

When I'm doing indirect cooking, I generally just use the sheet of AL foil on the lower grate. Occasionally use the drip pan, if there's going to be a lot of fat drippings. 

Forrest (aka, Grasshopper) has a lot of good advice, too. (Not bad for a "newbie!" LOL!) 

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