Building a fire? Chemical taste on meat

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by flteng, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. I have been using pecan wood and trying to maintain small hot fires. My ribs still comes out with a chemical taste and kinda burns the mouth. When you build a fire how long do you let it burn for before putting on the meat? Reduce it to just coals? To avoid excessive smoke do you place one stick at a time on?  I am getting a little discouraged here any input would help. In addition I notice at times my smoker billows with smoke after I place more wood in the box. Adding too much at a time?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Build a huge fire in the FB..... cook using coals.....  pre heat the extra wood you are going to add to the FB....  either in the smoker itself or on top of the FB.... Use only well seasoned wood...   When adding wood, add splits that are small.... you do not want to add big limb sized pieces that have bark on all sides....  As a guess, the splits should be about 2" x 2" or there abouts....   This whole process is a learning curve and not hard and fast rules...  every smoker is different...  There is a science to smoking great food.... 

    The initial problem I have seen is folks building a small fire and then start the food... Doesn't work too well....    Dave
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fiteng, hello and welcome to the Bunch [​IMG].  I have an article     that may help you . What you want is:

     a fire like this , down to Embers. This state of wood burning causes less harsh smoke , thus a better tasting meat :

     light and thin like this...with results like this...

     Pork Butt and

     Nice tender Ribs . All with a good smoke flavor and no bitterness. The 'white ,or cloudy' smoke carries a lot of nasties which in turn flavors the meat with a bad numbing sensation ( Creosote ).

    Hope this helps , have fun and...
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Old School's got you covered on this one!!

    Make sure you go to that link "Stickburning" he posted above.

  5. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Stickburning 101 is a great tool for sure.  What color smoke are you getting out of your exhaust?  If it is white and fairly thick, then you probably have too small of a bed of coals and when you put fresh wood on, it tends to smolder and smoke white instead of a clean burning blue or near clear.  A good idea myself and a lot of other forum members use is to start your fires with a little bit of charcoal and start feeding wood to it for smoke and fire maintenance.  This is a great method especially for newbs to cooking with fire, takes some of the learning curve out.

    Good luck with your future smokes and make sure and post us some Q-view of your smoker and the results of your future smokes!
  6. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    Mastering the art of a thin blue smoke is the trick.  If you are sending smoke signals to the neighbors the results will most likely be bitter.
  7. smokinclt

    smokinclt Meat Mopper

    What Dave said. Build an insanely large fire in the FB first then let it come down to temp slowly and use small splits. The large ones wont light up as well. My splits after the raging fire are about 2x2 and about 8 - 10 inches long. Very small. If your wood is not well seasoned you can throw a whole mess of them on the grill of a propane grill and turn on a couple burners set to low. This will essentially kiln dry them. Keep a hose handy in case you get the grill too hot [​IMG]  The ones that are ready set on the top of the FB and keep nice and hot so they ignite when you put them in. 

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