Smoke Generators - Venturi Type

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el Ducko
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Post by el Ducko » Fri Apr 04, 2014 04:34

Shuswap wrote:Funny that oak was mentioned in this thread because I've been wondering about that. We are heading to Texas next week where there are more than 30 species of oak but Duk never mentions it as a smoking wood.
Oak is used, but mesquite is preferred. ...anything to get rid of the dang stuff! In the Hill Country, some folks use the local oak species, which is live oak. I do on occasion, for brisket, but it's because I have a ready supply on our property. Live oak smoke is fairly neutral, as opposed to mesquite's definite taste (which we like). Other oak varieties can be harsh- - I remember using some oak from Alabama, in my Army days, that made our tongues go numb! ...so watch what type of oak you use.

The folks up at Salt Lick use oak, but they do weird eastern-style stuff like roast over an open fire and mop the brisket frequently to try to keep it moist, which is why they have to serve it with sauce. They're busy getting into the winery business, which may cloud their judgement. Smoked brisket was meant to be eaten with beer and a slice or two of Texas Sweet onion. (Everybody knows that!) Smoked the right way, it remains moist.

Most folks around here are from the "don't mop because it washes the rub off" school. Usually the rub is simple, too- - a little salt, mostly black pepper, some garlic powder and onion powder, but that's about it. Our meats are smoked, not roasted. You stick it in the smoker, close 'er up, and tend the fire, slow and steady, 'til you hit an IMT of 185 or so. ...and we don't use sauce because we don't need to.
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Moisture, and soury smelling smoke from my Venturi coldsmoke

Post by cashmkr2001 » Sun May 25, 2014 08:34

Guys, I also made a venturi cold smoker. The well know, basic design type, much like this one: http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg69 ... ee2063.jpg

It works well, however after some time the flavor of the smoke starts to change and and becomes sour-ish, acrid, unpleasant. When I open up my smoker there's quite some moisture inside. Combined with the soot, this seems to me to be the most likely explanation. Anyone else have this problem, or perhaps even a solution?
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Re: Moisture, and soury smelling smoke from my Venturi colds

Post by el Ducko » Sun May 25, 2014 15:37

cashmkr2001 wrote:...after some time the flavor of the smoke starts to change and and becomes sour-ish, acrid, unpleasant. When I open up my smoker there's quite some moisture inside. ...
Maybe it's the Jaegermeister? (...just kidding.)

Maybe you could try a couple of things. #1 is probably to pre-heat the smoker before using it. Once it's up to a stable temperature and the moisture is driven out, it should be fine.

#2 is to wipe off your sausages when you pull them out of the refrigerator, as you load the smoker.

#3 is to keep the vent open for the first hour or so that your sausage is in the smoker. Do not use your smoke generator during this period. This keeps the nasty components from the smoke from condensing in any moisture that condenses on the outside of the sausages before they warm up a bit.

#4 is to NOT soak your wood chips when you load the smoke generator. People seem to think that having wood chips saturated with water keeps them smouldering instead of catching fire. Instead, you should control smoke generation by regulating the amount of air available to the chips. A shortage of air makes the chips smoulder. (Adding more air makes 'em burn.) This will take some tinkering to find the right amount of air to let into the base. Too much and the chips burn, rather than generate smoke.

#5 is to consider various chip sizes. I finally gave up on my venturi-type smoke generator because I couldn't control it well, and because of other people's complaints of sour taste and soot generation. I now use wood pellets and an "Amazin'" smoke generator. These are available by internet mail order, but you may have problems with international shipments. (Sorry about that. ...could be worse!) The wood pellets seem to be the critical part, so try them if you have a source. Saw dust is an excellent 2nd choice.

The correct fuel is whatever works for you. People have been smoking meats for longer than civilization (or even CW) has been around, so whatever works for you is the correct solution. Keep us posted!

Sorry... rambling again. Tinkering with this stuff is fascinating, isn't it?

Duk
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Post by Tasso » Sun May 25, 2014 16:52

I made one of those air-pump driven venturi smoke generators too. A thick resinous goo collects in the venturi and smoke delivery tubing and under the lid of the fire chamber in pretty short order, after only a couple of hours of use. It didn't seem to matter what kind of wood I was burning or how much air I was pumping. The resin has a bad odor, and you don't want to get it on your hands; it's difficult to wash off.

I know some people are able to build and use that kind of smoke generator successfully. The Smoke Daddy works on the same principle. I assume I just did a poor job of building mine. I'm leaning toward an Amazin' pellet burner, but haven't really decided yet.
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Post by crustyo44 » Sun May 25, 2014 20:39

Hi cashmkr2001,
Something is wrong with your set up, I have never had any problems with my venturi smoker.
I use only an Aussie hardwood chips/sawdust mixture straight from the Mill and totally dry.
Smoke is regulated by the air input.
Just make sure that you leave the chimney flap at least half to a quarter open otherwise you might get moisture, taste/smell issues.
By the way, what part of Rotterdam are you from?
I used to live in Kralingen before coming to Australia, many, many years ago.
Cheers,
Jan Ooms.
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Post by cashmkr2001 » Sun May 25, 2014 21:43

Thanks for the replies.
El Ducko, thanks for the many tips. However it's not the moisture inside my smoker, but *inside* my venturi cold smoker specifically. So even before the smoke reaches my BBQ/Smoker/sausages. I use sawdust (have not been able to get chips to smoulder in my cold smoker) and do not wet it. I do have an amazin-like cold smoke generator as well, but eh, I want it all.

tasso: you seem to be having the same problem. I did order a smokai (as a gift, but I will have a good look at it before I give it).

Jan. Schiedam, not technically Rotterdam, but from across the globe it doesn't really matter I guess. You say: 'Just make sure that you leave the chimney flap at least half to a quarter open otherwise you might get moisture, taste/smell issues.' I''m not sure what you mean bu chimney flap?

Again, thanks for the ideas so far.
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Post by crustyo44 » Mon May 26, 2014 06:33

Cashmkr,
Yes, I can see that you are a foreigner in Rotterdam.
Schiedammers zijn genever drinkers.
Bullshit aside,
Every smoker has an inlet and an outlet/chimney set up, usually an adjustable flap in the chimney or a slide, whatever works best, to control the amount of smoke going out.
My 2 smokers have adjustable inlets as well.
If you want to learn how to cure and smoke and pick somebodies brains about it, my cousin in Rotterdam is a seasoned old smoker of everything edible.
Just email me: janooms@bigpond.com for his phone and email address.
He'll even crack a few coldies with you.
Groetjes,
Jan
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Post by el Ducko » Mon May 26, 2014 20:21

One more thought:

If your outside air is humid, or if your venturi supply air is high pressure, it is possible to condense moisture out of one or both air streams. The venturi jet pressure reduction (Joule-Thompson effect) cools. The combination of the jet's cooling and the chip air supply's high humidity may cause condensation.

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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Mon May 26, 2014 21:06

Where there is smoke there is water:

General Form of a Combustion Reaction

hydrocarbon + oxygen → carbon dioxde + water
cashmkr2001
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Post by cashmkr2001 » Fri May 30, 2014 08:11

So it seems kind of inevitable. Anything that still can be done to reduce it. Lower output of the pump?
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Fri May 30, 2014 16:00

I have been looking around for a venturi type smoke generator and Crusty suggested I check this one out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4Wn3ibuF4E

I contacted Alec Upfold, the maker of the unit in New Zealand and he quoted me a price of 190.50NZD with shipping. The unit includes the pump. In loonies that converts to $175. Crusty has one of these and speaks highly of it. Until he suggested the Ventura 500ES to me, I had intentions of getting the Smoke Daddy.

I would appreciate any comments and suggestions from those of you who have experience with the Venturi style smoke generators.
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Post by rgauthier20420 » Fri May 30, 2014 16:51

I was looking at making a Venturi type cold smoker last week, and I think I'll be doing it. You could put this together more MUCH less than was the retailers are charging. I'm looking at using an old coffee can, some vinyl tubing, a pond pump, and a few brass fittings. I've actually got everything on hand to throw this together already. I'll update once I get time to do it.
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Post by redzed » Sat Jun 21, 2014 08:07

Another toy to add to my collection. Will be trying it soon.

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Post by crustyo44 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 08:30

Red,
You'll like this one. Both smoke generators from NZ have some good write ups and satisfied users. Me included.
Now some photo's of course and the end results.
Cheers,
Jan.
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Post by redzed » Sat Jun 21, 2014 16:22

I don't like the way it mounts, so I need to make some adjustments and will post pics when done. It does look like a nice unit but by the time I paid the taxes and brokerage fee to DHL, it cost me 240 loonies. A lot of money for a piece of stainless pipe and a Chinese fish tank pump. The kids will have to do without milk for a while. :mrgreen:
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