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Unread 02-02-2009, 08:32 PM   #1
SmokinRoo
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Default Creosote?

Hey there - I posted recently on whether my charcoal was any good and it was suggested that creosote is what's giving my cooking a bitter, tarry taste.

I opened the lid of the kettle the other day and found that there was a clear yellowish, brittle substance settled in water pan that took some chipping off with a screwdriver...

Could this be the creosite?

Also, regarding process, I usually get the charcoal going under the lid and bring the temp up to desired. I usually only throw in a chunk of hickory when i place the meat in (so as to not waste smoke...). Could this be part of the problem?





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Unread 02-02-2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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If you still have or can get some more to test. Try lighting it on fire. If it is creosote, it will easily ignite and puff up as it burns.
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Unread 02-03-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
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Looks more like grease/Fat to me.
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Unread 02-03-2009, 04:41 AM   #4
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I had the grease thought too. All the creosote i have seen is black.
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Unread 02-03-2009, 06:18 AM   #5
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I always get the fire going with lid off. Don't know that is makes a difference re: creosote; But oxegen is fuel, and the more fuel the quicker it will be ready for cooking I guess...
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Unread 02-03-2009, 06:41 AM   #6
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My only thoughts are:

1.) are you sure that the wood is hickory, not pine? (yellowish stuff, pine tar resins?)

2.) is the wood seasoned, not green?

3.) Your not using that Pinion wood they sell for chimineas are you?

I'm with Pat though, yellowish stuff looks kinda like grease......but it should be
soft enough just to scrape up with a spoon and not require chipping.
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Unread 02-04-2009, 11:02 PM   #7
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The wood is hickory - have to buy the Charcoal Companion pre packs, cos we dont have hickory growing here.

I ran a cigarette lighter over the "stuff" and it fizzled and left a crusty ash.
It burned pretty easily.

With the chunks, I'm wondering how others do it - am i in danger of getting some nasty flavour from placing the chunks in at the same time as the food?
I wouldnt have thought so, but I'm thinking, just maybe this could have something to do with it.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 03:09 AM   #8
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How about some close up pictures of this "Hickory".
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Unread 02-05-2009, 03:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinRoo View Post
I ran a cigarette lighter over the "stuff" and it fizzled and left a crusty ash.
It burned pretty easily.
That is what creosote does and the crust is considerably thicker than the creosote layer.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 07:21 AM   #10
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That is definitely creosote. You will get this built up because the wood is not buring clean. You need one or more of more air, more heat or less fuel. A small clean burning fire can give you the same temps of a large smoldering fire, but with less gunk coming off in the smoke.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
That is definitely creosote. You will get this built up because the wood is not buring clean. You need one or more of more air, more heat or less fuel. A small clean burning fire can give you the same temps of a large smoldering fire, but with less gunk coming off in the smoke.
Thats great, thanks for that.

So, so you think the creosote would be coming from the wood or the charcoal?
As i posted, I usually put the chunks in when i put the food in so as not to waste the smoke. I find I usually get about an hour per chunk of hickory (or thereabouts) and I usually throw another chunk in when theere's no more smoke.
Do you think I should let it smoke a while before I put the food in?
What about replenishing chunks? How many pieces all up is a good amount to use per cook (say for a butt)?
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Unread 02-05-2009, 08:14 PM   #12
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Most likely the wood, but it could come from the charcoal, epsecially if the charcoal was not fully cooked.
How big is your firebox? I have an offset Brinkmann Smoke N Pit Deluxe which I have to refuel and when I refuel I add about 3 or 4 fist sized chunks.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 08:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinRoo View Post
. I find I usually get about an hour per chunk of hickory (or thereabouts) and I usually throw another chunk in when theere's no more smoke.
I think this may be your problem. You don't actually want to see a lot of smoke -- especially white or yellowish smoke. What you want is "sweet blue smoke" which is not all that perceptible.

I think your chunks are too big and/or your fire is too small if they last an hour. Try smaller chunks and a hotter fire. Also, don't soak the chunks in water if you are doing that.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #14
SmokinRoo
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Thanks so much - this is making sense now.

When I first get it going the smoke billows out, spilling under the lid.
I'm using a kettle at this stage just to get it right.

I'm thinking that I should throw in 2-3 chunks and let 'em smoke down and then put the food in
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Unread 02-07-2009, 09:43 PM   #15
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so i shouldn't add any hickory chunks during the cook? but just rely on what I throw in initially?
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