Whats the real skinny on smoke tubes?

Thor8594

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I come from a stick burner background. I use the A-MAZE-N adjustable length for longer burns, you can also use it for short burns just don't fill it all the way. I ONLY use wood chips in mine and it adds the heavy smoke flavor that we are all used to. I tried it with pellets and it was the same as not having one, flavor wise. The pellets IMO lose the robustness of actual wood in the sawdust process and forming/extruding. Adding the tube with actual wood is a game changer.
 

okie

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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.
I have a 12 inch 304 stainless smoke tube also. Used a couple of times. No difference noted in the smoke flavor of my cooks. Lots of trouble to mess with. On my 590, I get lots of smoke at 200* to 225* so no real need. Although I do not use my Bullseye for low/slow, I do get plenty of smoke when it was tested on LOW and 225. No brainer for me. I may just toss it into garage pile of "useless equipment" Having said all that, it may be of great value to use on a gas burner at low temps.
 

STPLE

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I just got the same tube at chadinsc earlier this week - delivered yesterday. For $11 it’s worth a try. I saw a video where Jody said to put the smoke tube on the diffuser under the drip pan. I thought that might be worth a shot. Interesting placement - at least I thought.
 

Roaniecowpony

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I have a 12 inch 304 stainless smoke tube also. Used a couple of times. No difference noted in the smoke flavor of my cooks. Lots of trouble to mess with. On my 590, I get lots of smoke at 200* to 225* so no real need. Although I do not use my Bullseye for low/slow, I do get plenty of smoke when it was tested on LOW and 225. No brainer for me. I may just toss it into garage pile of "useless equipment" Having said all that, it may be of great value to use on a gas burner at low temps.

I think you'll see more benefit as you cook at higher temps.
 

Roaniecowpony

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sounds like chips are king! im doing it! thanks for the tips guys

I haven't tried chips. I'll have to do that. But, I was getting a lot of visible smoke and flavor from my smoke tube with LJ Cherry, LJ Apple, and RT Ult Blend.
 

Roaniecowpony

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how high have people gone with a smoke tube on the rack? at some point its got to flame up vs smolder right?

I've done a straight thru 250F cook so far. No problems.

I'll give some higher temps a shot next time I do some ribs or butt. I think you should be able to go to 300F without any problems if you are careful not to place it where it gets a direct draft from the blower fan.
 

ndfan6464

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Sorry for not replying back to you all. Been a busy week.

Anywho, ton of great information has been give on this thread. Just the kind I was hoping to get.

As for getting the tube started do you just toss it on the great with the meat and it'll smolder on it's own or do you prelight it and than put on the great with meat and shut the cooking chamber lid?
 

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No, you need to light it with a torch or similar. Let burn about 10 mins then blow out flame. Make sure a cherry like glow.
 

mooncusser2k

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I just got the same tube at chadinsc earlier this week - delivered yesterday. For $11 it’s worth a try. I saw a video where Jody said to put the smoke tube on the diffuser under the drip pan. I thought that might be worth a shot. Interesting placement - at least I thought.
Oddly enough, when I contacted RT about my super-warped diffuser, one of the questions I got asked was whether I'd burned anything on top of it. Not sure why that would make a difference anyway.

But I digress... I use an A-Maze-N adjustable/expandable tool. And definitely notice a difference in the smoke profile.
 

Grilltreats

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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.
I agree, not worth the trouble for the small amount of smoke produced. That's even when mixing in wood chips with the pellets. I have the same one. It sits on the bottom shelf of my 700 and has been for three years now, unused. I find that the Lumberjack 100% wood varieties produce the most smoke and is all that is need for a good smoke, even up to 300 or so degrees.
 

KahunaRed

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They are very handy for cold smoking and also adding smoke to faster cooks where the fire pot is burning hotter and not producing as much smoke, like if you are doing a tritip for example. I have two.
 

JTeje

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I like my smoke tube and use two at the same time for longer cooks. The one I got on Amazon had a 12 inch and 6 inch tube included. I think it does add some smoke flavor, my last pork butt everyone said tasted like bacon. The grill does produce a decent amount of smoke by itself but I feel like the smoke tubes help a bit as well YMMV.
 

padlin00

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I've read somewhere that meat only absorbs smoke for something like 2 hours, might not get any benefit from a smoke tube after that.
 

Maule Guy

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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...
I am not sure how much they improve the smoky taste, and most probably never reach a stick burner smoke level; however, at 225-235F I see more smoke coming out the back of my Stampede.

These fan driven pellet grills with vents in the back seem to keep less smoke on the meat than the ones with a chimney.....just a personal opinion with no empirical data.

Since I cannot seem to find anyone who can tell me what the air currents are inside a closed RT-590, I have tried a couple of locations ( far left and far right...OK no political jokes please). Resting a brisket cooked with smoke tube on the extreme right and will have a look at the results a bit later today.

Bottom line they look to be made if not the same place all are very similar 304 Stainless standard and oval or octagon seems to be the only configuration change. Make sure the tube is stainless and then buy the least expensive. No need to drive a Lamborghini to the grocery store.
 

Buckeye smoker

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I use the Amaze-n-tube .seems to work just fine. More smoke but adding wood chips through out it helps also..
 

Roaniecowpony

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I've read somewhere that meat only absorbs smoke for something like 2 hours, might not get any benefit from a smoke tube after that.

The prevailing lore is it won't take more smoke past 145F.

I think it may be linked more to remaining moisture content, which may conincide with 145F often enough.

I think there can be too much smoke on meats and there is "sweet smoke" and "bitter smoke". But its not a black or white, A or B, binary thing, IMO. More of a sliding scale. A pellet grill burns so controlled that it pretty much has only "sweet smoke". I noticed my smoke tube produces a whiter smoke and is slightly less "sweet" than the main burner smoke.
 
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