Second smoke - Bitter Brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by jpkingston, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. jpkingston

    jpkingston Newbie

    Second smoke was today. Tried a recipe for the rub that a friend of mine gave me involving Oyster sauce, salt, pepper and sugar. It was a small one, right at 5 pounds. Put it on at 8:30 this morning after about 20 hours soaking with the rub on it. Kept the smoke up all day, checking it every 1-1.5 hours, putting on more soaked wood as the day went. took it off at 5:00 and let it rest for an hour wrapped in 2 layers of foil, and 2 towels. When I took it off the smoker, it was very dark (which was what I was shooting for).

    I guess next time, I'm going for more time (it only got up to 163*) and smoke less. How does that sound? [​IMG]
  2. ugaboz

    ugaboz Smoking Fanatic

    i did a brisket today and never got the temp of the meat over 150 but i cooked it for 7 hours
  3. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It makes me wonder if yout thermos are right.
    Ugaboz - not sure what you mean by bitter - can you be more descriptive?
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Couple of questions;
    1. What wood were you using to smoke with?
    2. Was the Smoke Heavy White or Thin Blue?
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yikes [​IMG]

    Were they tender??

  6. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Since this is your second smoke, this would be a good time to start a log on the different smokes you'll be doing. Write down your observations and how you'll do things similarly or differently on the next smoke. If you do this for each cut that you'll be smoking, it won't be long before you get your Smoke dialed in. A lot of great people here will assist you with tips, so sift through the information and whatever you try, make note of it in your log. It took me 3 tries before I realized that the temp quage on my smoker was way off...and that I prefer the taste from thin blue smoke over thick white. Take care, have fun and post Q-views when you can.

  7. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like to much smoke to me. What was the temps of your smoke? I would just keep trying with a little smoke and try to keep the temps around 225 + -. Salt and sugar are not good for a rub as they will get nasty tasting. Also heavy woods like Mesquite are not good in large quantities.
  8. jpkingston

    jpkingston Newbie

    ellymae - It's one of those digital ones with the probe on a wire. I've tested it with an instant read a few times, I suppose it could be off, but it never has been before.

    Beer-B-Q -
    1. Oak (some chunks from a tree in my yard) and some chipped oak barrels that Jack Daniels was aged in. I soaked these as they were very dry. I also soaked the oak, but not nearly as much.
    2. 30% of the time it was thin blue, 40% of the time it was white, 30% of the time there was no smoke or it was so thin I couldn't see it through the window.

    DDave - it wasn't leather, but it wasn't tender either. I wanted it to get to 180 ish to make it fall apart better, but I had people here that had to eat.

    Old poi dog - this, I think, is the best advice for any new smoke-cooker (it sounds weird to me ear to say "smoker" in this sense...[​IMG]). My next couple of smokes are going to be beef ribs (best friend has a religious objection to pork. Although I don't, I try to accommodate when they are over, and it's not that big of a deal to us). I'm going to try and stick to the 8-12 hr smoke range with them after a simple rib rub. I'm going to stick with Alton Brown's recipe for now, and adjust to taste as needed.

    meateater - *THIS* is what I think is causing the bitter taste as well. I think that if i had laid off the smoke, or stuck to the TBS, if would have been fine. I've heard about how strong mesquite or even hickory to some extent can get if you smoke with too much of them.

    We had a REALLY bad ice storm here in Jan 09 so I have access to Oak and Walnut right here at the house (those are the trees that suffered the most damage, though I lost no trees completely.)
  9. csmith2884

    csmith2884 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Was there a mop used.? I changed my mop after my first to one with less acid.

  10. jpkingston

    jpkingston Newbie

    nope, no mop. since it's an electric ECB, i didn't want to open and close the lid much, if any at all.
  11. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree - sounds like too much smoke - I once read in regards to smoke - "if it's white, it ain't right. If it's blue, it's good for Q"
    Good luck with your next cook.

  12. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I agree, I think there is too much smoke or too much lingering/stale smoke. How are you running the vents on top? Open, closed, partially open?

    After a few hours, you don't need to keep adding wood as the wood won't take on anymore smoke. Just use the heat to finish it off to the desired temps.
  13. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Understandable. [​IMG] If the natives are restless, best to keep them happy. 180ish is good. I think you'd enjoy 190ish as well. Very tender but still able to be sliced.

    Not true . . . well, unless the meat is wrapped in foil. [​IMG]

  14. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    More information is needed. What temp did you cook at? What size brisket. I recently smoked a small 3-4 pound corned beef at 225* and it stalled at 150 for 3-4 hours. Total time cooking around 8-9 hours to get it to 205*. Came out tender and juicy but it stalled a long time before temps began to shoot up.
  15. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Too much smoke or too much bad smoke is the cause. Creosote build up will make your food bitter. You can smoke and continue to add smoke flavor throughout the entire smoke, but may be undesirable to most. The smoke ring will stop forming at around 140 degrees internal temp.

    Control the smoke better. Keep it thin and blue - almost invisible is great. It may be best to not add any more wood for smoke after the 160 degree mark. Let the meat finish at it's own rate and keep your temps stable. All will be good from there.
  16. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, foiling, thats what I meant.....[​IMG] LOL

    No seriously, I stand corrected. You know I was under the same misunderstanding that Richtee points out in that thread, and I continue to read it in a few posts from time to time. "No need to add smoke after 140 as it won't take it on"
    Unconsciously, I think I have just been associating the smoke ring with smoke flavor, two separate things altogether.
    The bad thing is, is that I have read his article a couple times when I signed up and should have remembered that[​IMG]. Good call. [​IMG]
  17. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Quit soaking the wood. Go to a pan that is covered with holes in it.

    What type of wood are you using?

    Describe what you mean by bitter? Like lemon bitter? Like gross bitter? Like suck you lips in bitter?
  18. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My 2 cents is that most oyster sauces like most soy sauces especially the commercial ones are loaded with salt. If you are using a commercial oyster sauce leave the salt out of the rub.

    And yes, before reaching 140F the smoke is absorbed at a faster rate but smoke continues to be absorbed just at a slower rate after the meat reaches 140f.

    Some folks advocate having the meat chilled prior to putting it in the smoker so that it spends a longer time below 140F while absorbing smoke flavour. I don't bother I just leave it in the smoke for the entire time.
  19. jpkingston

    jpkingston Newbie

    It's an electric ECB, so there's no vents on the lid. The problem was definitely the quality of the smoke. I won't be using the oyster sauce again, that's for sure. I usually like the taste when my friend makes it at his place. oh well. i like a sweeter flavor anyway, so the change will be welcome on my end.
  20. when I first started using my electric ECB I would put three to four small packets of soaked wood to start and I found that it was way too much but now I just use one small foil packet at a time and it seems to be a lot better. too much smoke can be very bitter and nasty even when using a light wood like apple. and when using wood chips I find that if they soak too long they can give off a nasty taste

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