Off-tasteing Q ???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bang4dabuck, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. I have a Royal Oak electric smoker.  I don't know if it's me being self critical or I am not doing something right. If it's not me being overly critical, I am THINKING it is one of 2 things.

    1) My smoker needs to be thoroughly cleaned and cleaned out after every use (which I hardly ever do). All grates cleaned up as well as grease tray, water box and smoke box. I am lazy, that's why I have an electric. I think this could be the problem because I notice a burnt grease taste. Other people think it tastess fine but they are not hardcore.

    OR IS IT

    2) I never foil my food. Never understood the concept of oversmoked meat but ...

    So what do you think the problem is?  If its cleaning, I was kidding. It is not a biggie but do I need to wipe down the WALLS INSIDE ? It is an electric. Maybe just with full strength vinegar ???

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never de-season my smokers. I do clean the grates. What's your smoke look like when you are smoking? Is it white and thick or thin and blue?
  3. II's say white and thick. Not sure but I will pay attention next time.  What should I be aiming for ?
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's your problem. TBS or thin blue smoke is what you need.

  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    White and thick is not good.  If you have gunk getting hot and dripping on your food that too is bad.  Cleaning the cook chamber really does depend on just how thick the stuff is.  Maybe knock it down with a brass wire brush and then a towel.  I would not use chemicals or vinegar.

    I dry brush the cook chamber of my wood burner, warm it up and then hit it with a hose, no soap. 
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Billowing white smoke can give you bitter meat and even some numbness and tingling in the oral area.

    I also had one stale grease tasting smoke, and I traced it to Stupid Operator Error.  I got lazy and let a lot of grease build up in my drip pans.

    Since then I have been more diligent in changing out my drip pans.

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  7. Yeah my bad. I will be more diligent and make sure all loose stuff is cleaned and look for any build up inside before every smoke. It is electric and therefore direct heat. The grease drips down into the water pan and on the chip box lid. Maybe prudent to do a quick clean of both in the middle of the smoke.

  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't suggest you clean the smoker when you are cooking a piece of meat.  I couldn't imagine the smoker being that dirty.

    From your post I think you are saying that the drippings from the meat are falling on to the heating element, producing thick white smoke?  I'm not familiar with electric smokers so I don't know it they have some type of drip pan or cover over the element but if the problem is as you describe a piece of aluminum foil on the grates should solve it.

    May need to look elsewhere for the problem.
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm with Al here.

    All I ever do with my pit is to get any significant grease wiped out of the bottom.  Maybe once a year.

    Drip pans are a different issue and they are there to either save drippings for use or mostly to keep me from having to clean the bottom of my pit so often.

    Of course any or all of this can change depending on the smoker type.

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  10. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you are laying constant heavy clouds of smoke thru out the cook that could be it. A common mistake for new smoke cooks is to oversmoke. Is there a bitter aftertaste in the throat after you eat?
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You might try not using a water pan..... moisture on the meat and smoke being added to the water, IMO makes acid rain... bitter....
    A good dry surface to the meat, and thin smoke being absorbed into the meat, makes for good eats.....

    Some pork shanks I did awhile back......

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  12. My Briskets are fine except I will only salt and pepper them from now on. No more Paprika. It seems my probs are with the pork, the ribs and shoulders. Anyways I need to be more attentive instead of lazy. Clean grates, water pan, smoker lid and drip tray to start each smoke. Dave, sure why not but I am wanting to some how keep grease off the element. Any ideas ? I was letting the water run out and grease would be left sizzling in the water pan which might be the root of my problem. Maybe it's an electric smoker thing. I do like its easy to get the right temps.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can use the water pan with sand or gravel in it, for a thermal mass device... and cover it with foil so it stays clean...
  14. I have never cleaned the walls of my smoker I have an MES 30. You can see my setup on this butt I smoked last weekend. I do clean the grates of any large crud and I keep the drip pan wiped out afterwards. My water pan I have filled with sand and foil covered.

  15. So filling the pan with sand or gravel is a plus then, not a minus as far as temps ?  Cool !!! Very good ideas.

  16. I find after 2+ hours of running is where you really notice the difference having the sand in there, if I'm just doing chicken drums or something for an hour it doesn't make much difference, but for long smokes once it's up to temp I have +/- 5* swings of set temp and especially when you open the door it rebounds much faster I find.
  17. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks like your smoke generator is working overtime.  I've never used one but the white smoke is pretty obvious in this picture
  18. Looks white but I believe it's mainly an optical illusion caused by my iPhone flash and it's an Instagram pic so the colours and lux setting have been tweaked.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

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