Whats the real skinny on smoke tubes?

ndfan6464

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Looking for the low-down dirty skinny information on smoke tubes. Are they worth it, do they actually add more smoke flavor, what brand do you recommend?

So let me hear it.
 

chadinsc

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i have one of the 12in octagon tubes off amazon. it was the cheapest i could find. its made if 304 stainless and works well. its supposed to smoke 5hrs when full and i would say that’s pretty accurate. you can also fill it up just enough for short cooks. it definitely boost the amount of smoke that comes out the stack. but honestly i couldn’t tell a difference with my pork butts. probably could if you had two grill and was able to taste back to back.
 

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padlin00

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There is certainly a good deal more smoke, but without having something to compare to I wouldn't know the difference on low and slow cooks. I have used it more on my charcoal grill then the RT.
 

ndfan6464

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So far what I am getting is that it really doesn't make a big difference unless your smoking cheese
 

chadinsc

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i would say the absolute best use for a tube is on a gas grill trying to add smoke flavor. but they are so cheap they are worth having. definitely for cold smokes and they have to add some smoke right?
 

ndfan6464

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I would think it would add more smoke flavor to it.

Iam crossing over from stick burn and I miss the heavy smoke flavor...
 

kstone113

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They do make a difference in my opinion. What I like to do is fill out with pellets and wood chips also. I alternate pellets and wood chips.

The link above I have but don't use any longer. One reason is with the bull, it sits lower on the firepot which affects the grill. If you have a stampede, it works fine and can replace your stock diffuser.

Like I said though, I got the Heavy D but ended up later buying the smokedaddy magnum PIG cold smoker which does require drilling a hole in your grill which is a downside. Though I still decided to do that. The cold smoker does a lot better job than the heavy d. I use mostly charcoal in the cold smoker and wait till the coals are white/hot and then add chunks of wood.

All this said, just using a smoke tube with wood chips/pellets in it is a very inexpensive way to add smoke in and get pretty good results.
 

grillite

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I use it on my rectec when smoking quick things like hot smoked salmon or smoking chiken, you know like 290 or higher, somehting that will only be in about an hour or two at most. Then I use it on my gas grill to get some smoke flavor. I lower the heat on one side so the pellets don't flame up and burn out fas. Im a fan of the tube. Oh, I have also done some experiments with long cooks like brisket etc. It does seem I get a better smoke ring if I use the tube but don't notice a difference in flavor.
 

chadinsc

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thats the one i got. it was 11.99. heck i have wasted that much on honey buns and beef jerky at the gas station many times lol. it works fine and burns all the pellets in side it. i like the idea of adding wood chips. i will give that a go
 

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ndfan6464

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I really appreciate everyone's input on this. And @Wslayer, you are absolutely correct. Just good to hear what others think of it, their experience and how they use it.

It's all great info and thanks for all the links. I'll check them out tonight when I am sitting in front of the noise box and out of this dang SC humidity lol...
 

Kamikazee494

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Definitely add wood chips if you want the heavier smoke flavor. I use the smallest I can find. Like the ones you would use in the little chief electric smokers. I have even been able to get the tube to burn just wood chips with no pellets.
 

ndfan6464

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Cool. So pretty much nailed down the outcome of using it and how. Now, is there a brand you recommend or are they all basically the same?
 

llbts1

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I agree with Kstone113. Get a tube and load it with a pellet and chip combination.
 

Roaniecowpony

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I have started using one of the smoke tubes and have used it on pork butt, ribs and tritip. There is no question it adds smoke flavor, IMO.

The last couple butts I did for 4th of July with a smoke tube, had a heavy smoke flavored bark, just like I remember from my stickburner.

I've used it twice to smoke cheese, without having to light the main burner on my Bull.

My tube is square. i doubt it matters the shape or brand.

Do you need one? No, but it will make your bbq meat seem more like your stick burner.

One thing it lets you do is to generate a good amount of smoke at temperatures 250F and above, where the Recteq's stop making much smoke. The last pork butt I did at 250F start to finish with a smoke tube and it was very smokey. That just doesn't happen in a pellet grill without a smoke supplement method of some type.
 
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grillite

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Cool. So pretty much nailed down the outcome of using it and how. Now, is there a brand you recommend or are they all basically the same?
I got the cheapest one I could find on amazon and it has held up over a year and still looking good. I got the 4 hour burn one, I'd recommend getting both the long and short one. I don't know anything about the adjustable ones or the maze ones. I know the tubes work really well. Invest in a little kitchen torch if you dont already have one.
 

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