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A Clean Burning Fire…Every Time!

Ask 100 people how they start their fire and you’ll get 100 different answers. I’ve tried many, but this is the way I prefer to set my fire for cooks. I get a clean burning fire every time.

First arrange your coals at the bottom of your Smoker. I strictly use Royal Oak charcoal. Then scatter tiny wood splits around.

Then, with a blow torch, light one end until the coals turn gray and a live fire starts.

Then I approach it from the other side.

I happen to have an air hose to hit it with some 02, but you can leave it open for a few minutes to “breathe”.

Then cover it with the Smoker, leaving all vents “wide open”.

After about 10 minutes the “Dirty” part of startup will clear up and you’ll start to get a “Clear Blue Smoke.” Just what you want.

Hard to see here, but it’s burning clean.


I close the bottom vents almost 2/3 down and leave the top vent wide open as I reach 200*.

As soon as I see “Clean Smoke” (before I even reach temp) I put my meat on to get maximum smoke absorption.

You don’t need a lot of wood, as this will be one straight cook without any “peeking”. Most meats only take on Smoke up until 150*, so you’re just wasting wood if you overload it.

Today, I’m making a Pork Loin. I just trussed it, injected it, rubbed it and loaded it on. The Smoker is running at 220*. Max out at 240*. Planning on about 2 hours on the Smoker.

A lot of people complain about loosing smoke through the door (leaking smoke) on their Weber Smoky Mountain. My solution, which stopped the leak, is to carefully wedge a piece of double folded, heavy duty aluminum foil in there. Careful not to break the handle. Completely no leaking. An inexpensive BBQ hack.

To keep cleanup to a minimum, I wrap heavy duty aluminum foil around the water pan and add a cake pan on bottom, to catch the drippings.

I periodically go out to spot check the temp. But basically,its set it and forget it.

Clean Burning Fire

Clear Blue Smoke

I pulled the Pork just short of 2 hours, when it hit 140* internal. The safe zone for juicy pork.

I got a nice exterior color, tender and juicy interior, with a nice hint of mesquite wood smoke flavor and tasted the seasonings of my choice.

Give it a try your next cook. This is an easy surefire way to get a Clean Smoke everytime!

By: The Pitmaster (and the Cook)

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