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Got my Amerique and have smoked twice now. So I am very new at this. My question is what should the wood look like after smoking? Should it be consumed to the point of ashes or should it look like a lump of charcoal? I have seen both results and have not seen any discussion of this on the forum.

BTW, two smokes and two great results. First a butt then a prime rib.
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Okay, IQ2, I will try to give you a SERIOUS answer. Smiler

You can get either burned up hunks of wood or you can get ashes depending on how long you cook. It may also have something to do with the kind of wood but I am not sure about that.

Either way is okay and neither indicates anything wrong with the cooker or the wood or your food.

Our wood usually looks like a black piece of charred wood. We don't re-use it. When we've gotten to the ash point, the ash blows all around in the smoker and will settle on your meat. I just don't like that. We still get a little ash just when the wood is all charred up.
I've noticed the ash in both smokers, the SM150 seems to give less ash. We use pellets in the FEC.
Hope this helps.
The literature that promotes the Bradley says that the good smoke is only in the part from new to blackened and their little device pushes the blacken biscuit into a water pan. That I suppose sells a lot of their expensive wood biscuits, but I would agree with Tom and the others, Yep! Smiler

PS: Sometimes I use the blacken, sometimes I don't, it subjectively depends if it looks to me as if it has any good smoke left and it's variety compliments what I am now smoking.
Thank you to everyone for the information. It's nice to know that either result works. I think my personal preference will be to toss the wood that still looks like charcoal. It makes sense that if it looks and feels like charcoal that it will act like charcoal and no longer give off smoke but may help with a making a smoke ring on a subsequent smoke. Down the road I may reconsider tossing it but for now I still have a lot to learn.

Two more great smokes, a brisket and pork ribs. A lot of great information on this forum.

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