Getting the right amount of smokey flavor when BBQing on a bullet smoker

Putting the wood chunks under the charcoal before lighting it works really, really well.

Here's the deal. I love slow and low cooking. After spending years on slow cooker and sous vide recipes smoking food was clearly going to happen. I bought a really cheap bullet smoker earlier this summer and wrote a few pieces about using it while camping. The food was amazing, however, the cheap bullet smoker pretty much fell apart after 4 uses.

I bought the Weber. The Weber Smokey Mountain really is wonderful and I wish I'd not bothered with the cheap smoker. Construction and materials quality are 1000x better.

My brother is a chef and runs several restaurants. When he relaxes with cooking he makes bbq on an offset smoker. While he was teaching me about smoking vegetables, fruit and meat that offset smoker would eat tons of wood. I was under the impression you needed to keep adding wood to get stuff to have that smokey flavor.

The bullet smoker is a very different animal. You do not need that much wood. You do not need to adjust or dick with the fire very often, and if you put in enough coals at the start you can pretty much get through 12-16 hours of smoking a brisket without adding fuel.

If you keep adding chunks of wood like it is my brother's offset smoker you end up with over smoked food.

I still ate it, but luckily didn't have to share with anyone.

Reading online there is a lot of advice. Read the rest

A drone's eye view of the thick wildfire smoke in San Francisco

My pal Shalaco (previously) shot this bleak video of the smoke in San Francisco using his drone.

He writes:

...A look at SF’s skyline. San Francisco’s Air Quality seems to be getting worse, current AQI is 239, purple, very unhealthy. The city skyline is obscured by smoke and Northern California’s air is rated worst in the world as a result of smoke from the Camp fire.

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Currently in SF... A look at SF’s skyline. San Francisco’s Air Quality seems to be getting worse, current AQI is 239, purple, very unhealthy. The city skyline is obscured by smoke and Northern California’s air is rated worst in the world as a result of smoke from the Camp fire. #california #californiafires #campfire🔥 #campfire

A post shared by San Francisco Photographer (@shalaco) on Nov 16, 2018 at 6:17pm PST

If you live in an affected area, wear an N-95 mask, no joke. Read the rest

Masks designed to filter smoke will filter smoke, beards will not

With all the smoke in California's air, ABC7 decided to answer the eternal question: will a mask designed to filter smoke and other particulates actually filter smoke and other particulates?

Public health officials say yes. Just make sure you get an N95, P95 or R95 mask.

Bearded people and young children need not bother.

The Bay Area Quality Management District advises that masks aren't suitable for men with beards or young children.

Read the rest

Smoke break: break dancing with smoke grenades

Cinematographer Ali Kubba captured this cool footage of break dancers with smoke grenades. Read the rest

WATCH: freaky smoke vortex sightings continue

Around the globe, smoke vortex sightings are becoming more and more frequently caught on video. Theories abound about these strange phenomena. Read the rest