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Using a WFO as smoker. - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Using a WFO as smoker.

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  • Using a WFO as smoker.

    Has anyone out there set up their WFO as a smoker? Please explain how to set it up, proper temp, type of wood chips used, length of time, etc.

  • #2
    Re: Using a WFO as smoker.

    I know some do it by building a small smokey fire in the oven with a door cracked or even a special door with dampers in it, but thinking on my feet I'd do it with residual heat and a cold smoke generator. In my weber grill I've used a cold smoke generator with good success I found online, and it is the simplest cheapest one you'll ever find. It consists of a disposable aluminum pan filled with wood chips and a brand new never used soldering iron that you then simple turn on and put in with the chips. To adapt it to an oven I would simple build a little box for it to go in and get some aluminum dryer vent to run from the smoke box to the oven. You now have control over the temperature via knowing where your oven is in it's residual heat curve and control over the smoke.


    • #3
      Re: Using a WFO as smoker.

      I use a coffee tin with lots of holes jabbed into it. Give your oven an hour of fire, let it die, then you put some hot coals into the tin, about a third full, then throw on half a handful or so, of wood chips, I like hickory. With the door in place they will not flame up, because you've starved the oven of oxygen, but will fill the dome with smoke. Be careful, you don't need tons of smoke, less than you think.With only an hour of fire the temp will drop off fairly quickly because it hasn't been soaked with heat, which is good for lower temp smoking.
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


      • #4
        Re: Using a WFO as smoker.

        Hi rvcruiser,

        What are you expecting from your smoker idea? Do you want to cook the food low and slow in a smoky environment until it is done or apply smoke to cooked food?

        There are two types of smokers that I know of. One applies smoke to foods that are cooked in the kitchen afterwards (or is cooked first, then smoked) and one holds heat for many hours to cook at a low temperature while wood smoulders nearby. There are variations on this theme. I was surprised when my electric box smoker wouldn't get hot enough to bake a chicken. It is a genuine, brand name, smoker but not a smoker/cooker. My mistake.

        The best smoker/cooker I now own is from Home Depot and cost only $39.95. It makes restaurant quality smoked/cooked meats that are fall off the bone tender, chicken, pork or beef, in as little as three hours. It cooked an eight pound roast in eight hours.

        Here is what I'd do for a wfo smoker. Let the temperature get down to 250 deg f. That is a little higher than ideal but the temperature is in decline. Have the meat ready. Line a rectangular bread pan with tin foil and toss in a few lit charcoal briquettes, then the wood chips. Wrap the loose foil over the chips and briquettes to keep it from flaming. Poke a few holes in the foil to let smoke out. Use hickory, maple, oak, fruit tree wood. Put the pan to one side of the oven. It doesn't need to smoke for the full cooking time. Ideal smoking/cooking temps are 180 to 225 deg f. Some smoked foods need three or four hours to cook to the recommended internal temperature, big roasts take much longer. Make a temporary draft door to let in just enough air to allow the charcoal stay alive. You're only dealing with 250 deg f. Hopefully your wfo is capable of holding the ideal temperature range for the duration of the cook. If not, take the meat inside and finish it in the kitchen oven. Properly smoked meats will have a red smoke ring. It isn't "raw" meat. Do use a cooking thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat.

        In contrast a Kamado style bbq oven (Big Green Egg, Bubba Keg, etc.) are capable of cooking a 24 pound brisket to fall off the bone tenderness at low temperature... overnight....on just a few handfulls of charcoal. I usually start my long cooks in the morning and finish in the evening, however.

        One more thing. A wfo is capable of some smoking but the best smokers use moisture from either a water pan under the meat, or in the case of the BGE, it circulates moisture from the food. This hot, moist, environment is necessary for tender cooked food. Your wfo cooked chicken or ribs will still come out good though, I've done a ton of them in my oven. If you have a Tuscan grill then you can put the meat on it and slide a pan of apple juice or plain water under it while the meat cooks. That should get you as close to ideal moisture as possible. Check the pan and add more liquid as necessary.


        Here is the link to my oven number 1 construction photos!

        Here is the link to my oven number 2 construction photos!


        • #5
          Re: Using a WFO as smoker.

          Dear Bob

          Thanks for the time for such a detailed explanation. As an Aussie I did not know much about this Cooking "art" did not know there was a difference betwwen a smoker and a smoker cooker and you have explained it well.

          Regards Dave
          Measure twice
          Cut once
          Fit in position with largest hammer

          My Build
          My Door


          • #6
            Re: Using a WFO as smoker.

            While I have no experience with a WFO yet, I have had a # 9 Kamado for a number of years, The ability to smoke meat in them is is excellent. You have to be able to maintain the low cooking temps to break down the collegen in the meat giving the moistness that is desired (usually happens about 170-190 + or - 5 deg F internal temp). The longer the meat is held at this temp range the more rendering of the fat and collegen you will have. Thus the reason for the long cook times you always hear about. I have found that most meats stop taking smoke after they reach an internal temp about 125 deg F. After that you will be just adding the smoke to the outside of the meat (giving it the bitter taste.