Am i smoking wrong?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by camer314, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. camer314

    camer314 Newbie

    Hi all,

    I was in Austin recently and tasted some professional smoked brisket and pork. Clearly this was some great meat thats been cooked long and slow by someone that knows exactly what they are doing.

    Now, me on the otherhand... I have a gas 2 shelf smoker and have been smoking beef and pork for a while now (hickory, mesquite, fruity chips etc). What i find is that the meats i smoke usually are done within 3 hours. The smoke smells fantastic, the meat has a lovely smoke ring but the taste, although not bitter (i am aware of the creosote...been there and done that) it doesnt have that really rich smokey flavor. I guess it is slightly bitter but not unpleasantly so.

    So my question really is, does that rich smoke flavor only come from really long soaks or is it possible in 3 hours and i am simply doing something wrong?
  2. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    I think it may be the fact that they are cooking low and slow with big traditional wood fired pits in these restaurants.  It is hard to get that kind of flavor from a gas smoker with chips.  You may be smoking too hot / fast, but that is hard to know with the details you provided (you didn't state what you cook that is normally done in 3 hours).

    Stick burners are what you typically find at the competitions and they obviously put out some very good que.  It seems that more and more pellet grills are showing up at competitions and winning as well.  I think that putting out very good food can and is being done with smaller gas / electric smokers, but chasing that classic pit flavor may not be in the cards.
  3. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    This forum offers a free 5 day e-course on the basic of smoking. Sign up for it and see if it help you out.

    Of course reading post after post by some of the most helpful guy's and gal's around can't hurt either.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Beef and pork in 3 hours? That is either really small pieces, 2-3lbs, or you are smoking at 350+°F. Mesquite, if you are not used to it, can give a bitter taste. Not offensive but not that sweeter Oak or Pecan common to many parts of TX. We need more details, how big are the pieces of meat? What temp are you smoking at? What Internal Temp (IT) are you taking the meat to?...JJ
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    First off, Welcome to SMF!

    Like JJ says, we need more info.

  6. camer314

    camer314 Newbie

    Thanks all.

    Some further information. I am usually cooking beef in the range of 1.5 to 4 pounds, so for example some thick sirloin steaks might take a couple of hours or an entire fillet maybe 4. Either way i am trying to maintain a temperature of 230 degrees in the oven and an internal meat temperature of 160 or so (I am down in Australia so doing the mental conversions, but am following standard heat and temperature guides)

    Yes i am using chips, generally a combination of hickory and mesquite but i do find i keep having to replenish, i cant really get a long consistent smoke stream, or not one that lasts for more than 30 mins without filling up again, even soaked chips.

    I do pork fillets and have done some spare ribs but as i say, i follow the guides and cook accordingly, i just dont know what to expect taste wise but will follow your wisdom and assume its due to my gear and my times.

    I guess really i just need to get a bigger slab of meat in there and cook longer. I am attached to a gas bottle so am wary of running it dry.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That makes sense...Steaks and Pork Tenderloins go fast at 230-250. Chips put out some strong white smoke but burn up before they settle down to the mild thin Blue smoke. 30 minutes would be the average for chips. Switch to Chunks, fist size, and you will get a sweeter, longer lasting smoke. Try just using the Hickory for a while a see how you like that. Below are a list of hardwood you should be able to source. Make sure they are really dry and well seasoned and remove Bark for the best flavor. Try to keep your smoker temp between 107°C and 112°C...JJ

    • Ironbark
    • Apple
    • Oak
    • Manuka
    • Cherry
    • Chestnut
    • Macadamia
    • Black wattle
    • Peach
    • Nectarine
    • Pecan

    Posted by the Australian BBQ Alliance...
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  8. vegasrc1

    vegasrc1 Fire Starter

    Wood chips burn different than chunk. Like Chef Jimmy said, chips give off white smoke and in my opinion don't have the same flavor as splits/chunks. Try out a stick burner or a small charcoal grill instead of gas. See how it turns out. Have plenty of heat and air circulation, you'll get good smoke with fire..

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