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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
IbrahimSS
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Default My first BBQ failure

So in my reasonably short amateur bbq career I had very few failures. I've had cooks that were significantly better than others but never a cook that was just plan bad... that is until this past weekend. Of course, luck has it it was also the first time I was making BBQ for my wife to bring into work.

Now I don't mind as long as I learn from the cook but I can't really figure this one out. I knew right away something was going completely wrong. Before I even took anything off the smoker I told my wife I had a really bad feeling about the way the smoker was putting out smoke. I just had a white cloud of smoke constantly streaming out of my UDS. While I've seen this happen for a short time when the charcoal is first light this just wouldn't stop. I tried increasing the airflow to bring the temp up. I tried decreasing the airflow to bring the temp down. Just nothing would get me the nice blue smoke I'm usually get. The resulting cook was overly smokey and had an almost gasoline like smell (and I'd say taste but I have never tested gasoline). Creosote induced maybe? Terrible tasting definitely.

What was different? Well not that much. I'd say the only part that was different was I used some fairly green (3 month old) wood but it was a very small piece and I've used green wood before with success. Maybe it was a bit wetter than the last piece? I'm not 100% sure.

As an aside, I'm beginning to deplore Kingsford Competition briquettes. I find that they are horrible for a Minion method that is typically used with most on my UDS as they kick off a lot of smoke as they are lighting.

Any ideas what else I could have done wrong?
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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I would look at the green wood as the likely culprit. Espcially if your temperatures were other wise good.

If this is your first failure, you aren't trying hard enough
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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I have seen Kingsford Blue smoke like that but I have never detected any taste from it.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I would look at the green wood as the likely culprit. Espcially if your temperatures were other wise good.
The odd part though is I've used green wood before and Mixon advises it from what I've read. Difference with this green wood is it might have been slightly wet from snow a few days before.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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Wood needs to be dried a minimum of 6 mos in spring time temps, more for colder temps, less for hotter temps. Wood over 2 years old is just good for heat, you don't get the desired smoke flavor
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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I'm not saying it is the Kingsford. Some people like it and others don't, but it definitely does have a flavor signature. I have given up on it because everyone else in my family cannot stand it, and I mean they are really repulsed by it.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayoustateBBQ View Post
Wood needs to be dried a minimum of 6 mos in spring time temps, more for colder temps, less for hotter temps. Wood over 2 years old is just good for heat, you don't get the desired smoke flavor
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...41&postcount=3

There must be more to it. How come it works for him?
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #8
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The only thing different from prior cooks - that I can gather - was the extra moisture in the green wood. So, Occam's razor would point to that as the likely culprit.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
I'm not saying it is the Kingsford. Some people like it and others don't, but it definitely does have a flavor signature. I have given up on it because everyone else in my family cannot stand it, and I mean they are really repulsed by it.
+10 for us. A good oak lump like B&B or even wicked good is hard to beat.
I would definitely say the white smoke was the green wood fo Sho!
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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As I am fairly new here myself, I thought I would lend my .02.

I have read (mostly here) about using "green" wood for smoke flavoring and the general consensus I gathered was that it would work if:

A. Your burning a smaller hotter fire, cooks above 275, to avoid the smoldering (white/cloudy smoke) effect
B. The wood was warmed up before being added to the fire (Set on firebox or far enough away from coals to warm up w/o catching)
C. The "Green" wood is dry

Because it hasnt aged, the wood itself still has moisture inside of it which is why its not popular as a primary fuel source and why its called "green". To pair this with it being damp you are asking for trouble.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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You have to look at all the variables. Myron is noted for his use of green wood, as are a few places in the South and Texas, that advocate using green wood. But, they are all using larger cookers, with much hotter fires. Green wood is always risky for bad smoke in a normal smaller cooker. I have found that smoke is far more intense in a small cooker, and need to be managed a lot closer than a large cooker drafting through a larger cook chamber.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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Interesting... well I'm going to go with this theory that it's the partially wet green wood. I'm also going to switch to wicked good hardwood once I run out of kingsford. I think wicked good is all that's readily available around these parts.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IbrahimSS View Post
Interesting... well I'm going to go with this theory that it's the partially wet green wood. I'm also going to switch to wicked good hardwood once I run out of kingsford. I think wicked good is all that's readily available around these parts.
You should try RO lump if it is available in your area I really like it and it does not impart much flavor into meat.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Just by chance is it possible your charcoal picked up some moisture?
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Unread 02-06-2013, 02:18 PM   #15
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Trust me I'd like to fail more but my waistline pays for it

I know that feel !!!
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