Bitter taste this time

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by barrycuda, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. barrycuda

    barrycuda Fire Starter

    Sunday was my 4th smoke using my Masterbuilt XL. First three turned out pretty good for a rookie. This time I cooked chicken quarters, a rack of baby backs and a rack of beef ribs. The ribs ended up with a bitter taste this time. I don't know if I am making too much smoke or not. I added some cherry chunks this time to the pecan that I have been using for the first 3 smokes. I am using a 10" cast iron pan and wood chunks. How many chunks are you guys using at a time? I don't seem to get the thin blue smoke that everybody wants. The cherry I was using is from a wild cherry tree and I did not use any bark. The wood was cut a year ago so I know it was not green. Thanks.

  2. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    If you have thick white smoke you have too much and it will most likely be bitter.

    Cut back a bit
  3. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    I use 2-3 chunks at a time with my chargriller and that seems to do the trick. Also make sure you have your exhaust vents open so there is good airflow.
  4. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The wood chunks should only smolder.  Sometimes when I use charcoal I'll put the chunks near the coals without even touching them to get that smoldering burn for the TBS.  One or two at a time works best.  And cherry is awesome for smoking most things!!!
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you aren't getting the thin blue smoke then I'm guessing you are getting thicker white smoke which will will cause cresote build up on your meat and it is going to taste bitter. Are you using a lid on your cast iron pan? I use a pan as well but I have a lid and I drilled holes in the lid to help get some exhaust to the wood. Also like the others said make sure you have enough air moving through your smoker. Leave the top exhaust wide open and you might need to get more intake air going if you are still not getting enough air. I also had to move my cast iron pan further away from my flames as they were getting to hot. I just put a few fire bricks between the flames and the pan.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree its not quantity you want its "quality"

  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The man has given you some good advise, give it a try. It's all good my friend.
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    TBS, Also Known As "Ninja Smoke".

  9. smokinal

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

    That pic from SQUIB is exactly what you should be trying to get your smoke to look like. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's the goal.
  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    You've been given some good advice already and all I'll add is this. Seeing smoke is not near as important as smelling smoke and if you can smell it so can the meat. TBS is often hard to see but you can usually smell it. 
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You Nailed it,

    Its hard to photograph as well[​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  12. otis857

    otis857 Smoke Blower

    Like rbranstner, I had to get a cheap lid for my cast iron frying pan too. Otherwise the chunks would still catch fire or burn too fast. I drilled 5/16 holes in the lid for the smoke to escape and still ended up putting 1/4 inch bolts loose with nuts in some of the holes to slow the burning down. This method worked good to tune the amount of smoke coming out and air going into the pan. Just  use more or less bolts in the holes. Use no more than 2 chunks at a time and you should get a thinner blue smoke. Air flow is a problem with these smokers and I ended up making a chimney off the back (ala Traeger design) and that made a huge difference in drawing air through the smoker. Now it seems to draw as good as my old Bar B Chef offset stick burner.
  13. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    I am using 4 fist sized chunks of pecan wrapped in aluminum foil on an old Lodge cast Iron skillet for my pork butts. I just sit the cast iron pan on top of the crappy factory pan and it works like a champ. I put two chunks in the pan at the beginning and the other two a couple of hours later. After that, I am done. My father-in-law loved the flavor so much that he wants to pay me for another pork butt in an other week or so. Since I want to keep in good graces with my in-laws, I won't be taking any money..... :)
  14. barrycuda

    barrycuda Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replys. I will try to find a top for my pan. Do you punch holes in the aluminum foil when you wrap the chunks?
  15. smokinal

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

    Nothing beats having happy in-laws.   [​IMG]
  16. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 Smoke Blower

    I just use the point edge of the knife to poke 4 or 5 holes on top. I use haevy duty aluminum foil. Works great.

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