What’s with the Blue Smoke?

From a science standpoint, there’s a lot going on under the horns. From how the parts work together to how different temperatures cook in different ways, it’s a surprisingly complex process for something that’s literally as old as fire. The great thing is, we’ve worked hard to develop a product that does all the thinking for you! With a recteq, you don’t have to be a scientist to master the best techniques of cooking with smoke. Our PID technology allows you complete control and flexibility with every single dish that goes onto the grill. Whether you are an expert chef or a cooking novice, you can have confidence that you’ll get delicious results again and again. Want a little more wood pellet expertise? Let’s dive in for a deeper understanding of what kind of smoke yields the best results and answer some of your smoke-related questions.

What’s wrong if I don’t see a ton of smoke?
Nothing! It’s a great sign if the smoke from your recteq is barely visible. The clear, clean, “blue” smoke is what you are striving to achieve. On the other hand, if you see persistent thick, billowing smoke, you might have an issue. Remember, the optimal smoking temperature is under 275°F and after the meat reaches about 130°F it really can’t absorb any more smoke flavor, so keep that in mind.

What does thick grey smoke mean for my cook?
Thick, dirty smoke means that there are a lot of particulates in the air and your grill isn’t achieving the ideal clean, hot burn. Although it might look a little more exciting, thick, heavy smoke imparts a bitter flavor. That’s another reason to use only 100% hardwood pellets, because they will give you a clean burn with less messy ash.

What do I do if I see an excessive amount of dirty smoke?
There are a few steps you can take to solve the problem of dirty smoke. One, wait it out. Often times, billows of smoke are just grease burn-off or start-up smoke and it will clear off pretty quickly. Two, make sure your pellet stash is fresh and doesn’t have too much dust or moisture. Three, check the vents in your grill to make sure they are clear and clean. Four, if you are still having an issue with smoke, you might be dealing with an auger jam.

What if smoke is leaking out of the hopper?
Obviously, the smoke must escape the grill somehow and if other avenues are blocked, it will push back through the tube to the hopper. This usually happens if the vents are blocked, an after-market product has been installed to trap the smoke (don’t do it, believe us), or there are other obstructions. We can help you trouble-shoot this situation over in Support.

Why do I have great smoke at start-up, but it fizzles out?
When you first start up your recteq, the heat is initially burning off any grease residue so you might get a strong start-up smoke that quickly calms down. Also, as the grill is getting up to heat, you’ll be moving past the smoke stage since higher temps will give less smoke. This is all normal and nothing of concern.

Got more questions?
Remember, if you ever have concerns or questions, you can check in with us at 706.922.0890. Our customer service team is comprised of local-living, grill-cooking, food-enthusiasts who are happy to help you however they can!

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