New smoker and creosote

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by highland, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. highland

    highland Newbie

    I need a little help. I recently got a smokey mountain cooker. I have used it 3 times now, all 3 times for baby back ribs. I have been using hickory chunks ( about 4 each time) along with the charcoal. For some reason in the last hour of  a 4 hour cook I begin getting creosote build up on the meat. The first time the ribs were inedible. This last time I kept the temp up at 250 the entire time and top vent wide open the whole time but still had the problem.  I am afraid to try anything that will take any longer to cook for the fear that I will have the same problem.

    Anyone know why this is happening so late in the cook?

    Anything I can to do differently?

  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview [​IMG]
  3. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  4. smokinal

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

    [​IMG]    Glad to have you with us!
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Is this a buildup you can actually see? Like a gooey black substance? Are you sure of your temps? A little mote info will help you get accurate answers. Good luck!

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
  6. highland

    highland Newbie

    Thanks everyone for the welcome! It is actually a build up on the meat. It starts to turn black but not the good kind of black. My temps are from the lid of the smoker. It wouldn't hurt to put an oven thermometer in the smoker to verify. 
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That was my first guess. It sounds like what you're experiencing is euphemistically known as "over carmelization", excessive Maillard Reaction", "blackened" and in extreme cases, just plain burnt. As you're using a WSM, my guess would be that it's running hot, as they are known to do for the first few cooks until a layer of soot is built up on the inside. This soot will dampen the reflective heat, and also seal up any tiny gaps allowing excessive air to the coals. And you absolutely cannot trust the thermometer in the dome. Get a decent probe thermometer, test it with boiling water (should read 212˚f) and then stick it on the cooking rack near where your food is. Put it in the middle, not near the sides where the convection carries the hottest air up.
    Also, please let us know step by step what you're doing. IE: how you're lighting your coals, what you're doing with your vents etc... And are you saucing your ribs at the very start?
    The WSM has produced great results for a lot of people on here, so my guess is that once you get more familiar with it, you'll start getting better and better results.
    Good Luck!!
  8. scott m

    scott m Newbie

    experienced the same thing.  I think it comes from the quality of the hickory.  if the wood has been seasoned too long and is a little bit dry rotted or otherwise too dense the smoke is obnoxious.  When you add more over dried wood to the fire it gives off the thick white smoke stink.  I am going to have to find out how to get rid of a bunch of hickory. what I have is useless it looks right and burns wrong.  After the cooking episode, it smells like an old chimney.  It's disgusting.  I cooked in a cement block smoker the same way with cherry and hickory from a different source with no problems.  Nothing I did different for the stink other than garbage wood.  try new wood. 
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  9. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    Creosote will typically condense out early in a cook not late, typically because the meat is still cold and the wood may have a lot of moisture in it. Maybe you have some punky wood. Maybe your rub has too much sugar in it and the sugar is burning? What is it about the taste that makes it inedible? Is it bitter? Or just off tasting?
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Taken from a Chimney Sweep article: Our experience shows beyond a doubt that wet fuelwood provides MUCH LESS heat, and causes MUCH MORE creosote to form...

    The old wood may be resposible for the nasty taste but it is not likely a Creosote problem. Maybe you or a friend can burn it in their Fireplace...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015

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