OFF Flavor in Baby Backs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bullitz, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. bullitz

    bullitz Fire Starter

    I did 3 racks of ribs in my smoker last Wednesday.
    On Saturday, I did 3 more racks.

    The first set of ribs tasted great.

    I did the second batch of ribs with the same prep, same rub, same temp, same cook time, same wood (Mostly Cherry with some Hickory), but it had an OFF Flavor.  The only difference is that I didn't foil this batch.

    The tray of beans that I put under the ribs for the last couple of hours ALSO had the same off flavor.

    I used my MES40 with cold smoker attachment. 

    Am scared to use my smoker again....

    Any ideas????
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Talk about how you had that cold smoker set up.  Also, where you wet smoking or dry smoking?  Sounds like you got some dirty smoke on your ribs and in your beans. 
  3. bullitz

    bullitz Fire Starter

    That's what it tasted like... Dirty or Rancid smoke.

    There is no way to describe it.

    It wasn't "bad"... but it certainly wasn't good.

    On the MES40, the cold smoker attaches to the side and behaves much like the AMAZN pellet smoker.

    I did not put water in the tray.  In fact, the water tray is foiled over.

    At one point, about two hours in, I had a log jam in the cold smoker and had to use a screw driver to break it free.

    It was windy that day.

    I had the thermostat set to 240 (actual average temp is less).

    Could the wind have forced the smoke to stay inside the smoker to cause that bizarre taste?
    Could scraping the cold smoker with the screwdriver have caused some bad smoke?

  4. bullitz

    bullitz Fire Starter

    PS: Any experts near Yucaipa CA.?  I froze some of the ribs.
    I will deliver up to 100 miles away so you can smell/taste the off flavor if you think you can figure it out.

    Yeah... its that important to me.  :)
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Trust me, we all know what bad smoke tastes like. Read the Answered Questions on Amazon for the MES Cold Smoker kit. There is one question and answer that gives the solution to exactly what you are experiencing. The key is thin blue smoke, not white or grey, and one of the answers spells it out exactly how to get TBS with that smoker attachment.
  6. bullitz

    bullitz Fire Starter

    I will give it a shot, though I wouldn't describe the OFF flavor as bitter, but I am also going to do something that I read elsewhere and that is to clean out the cold smoker chimney by placing it on my BBQ at high heat to burn off the buildup. 

    For others who come across this issue, here is the comment from the Amazon page:

    I am getting way too much smoke (bitter creosote). Cheese and salmon inedible. Main smoker was unplugged with vent 1/3 open. What am I doing wrong?


      Give it plenty of oxygen at first to allow the temperature to rise high enough for what's called pyrolysis and gasification. Don't be too concerned about flame up, that's required to get the thin blue smoke that you're looking for. With this cold smoker I fill it to the top of the chute with dry chips and turn it on with the lid open and the cap off of the chip chute (close the smoker door and chimney vent for this step). You'll begin to see very heavy smoke rising out the top of the wood chute as the wood heats up (don't worry, you don't want that creosote and char inside the smoker or on the food) after a minute or so, the smoke will begin to thin out and the chips will begin to flame up some, from the bottom near the burner, let it flame for a few seconds just until it gets good and warm (I know this will freak some people out but you need the heat initially). Use tongs or a bbq glove and cap the chute then close the lid, the flame will go out quickly and you'll have the hot fire box needed for the "thin blue" without the heavy smoke. Open your chimney vent and begin smoking.
    Don't soak the chips for this application because wet wood makes bad smoke. We're often told to soak the chips to make them last longer (and it will) but it produces a heavy white/yellow smoke; because it causes the wood to smolder rather than burning. Smoldering is caused by combustion temperatures that are too low and by lack of oxygen. It gives the food a dirty ash tray flavor rather than the good smokey taste you want.
    I've had very good results using this method with the Masterbuilt cold smoker kit. For hot or cold smoking. I know this is an old thread but I hope it will help someone looking for a solution to the heavy smoke. Good luck & God bless
  7. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    I've never gotten the OFF taste but this is exactly what I do with my cold smoker attachment because it just makes good sense.

Share This Page