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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 06-10-2013, 09:07 AM   #1
Eggspert
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Default De-sensitized to smoke flavor

This is our second year of competition BBQ and we smoke a lot (almost every weekend). I was noticing when we were tasting pulled pork that we cooked for a party this weekend that, I can't taste the smoke flavor in our meat. Everyone else went on and on about how good and smokey it was, but I couldn't really taste it. Is it just me? We are using the same amount of wood we always have. I truly believe in competition BBQ it is better to under smoke then over smoke. Does anybody else have this issue? I am wondering if adding a little more wood to our competition stuff might improve our scores. We are using pecan and cherry by the way.

Thanks in advance,

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Unread 06-10-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
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I can not taste the smoke when we are at a competition. But it returns to me the next day if I sample it after I have been out of the smoke for awhile, changed clothes. etc. Keith
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Unread 06-10-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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I can see this happening, if you are very use to your own meat and trying it every weekend. I've been smoking with Pecan almost every weekend this year, and thought my smoke flavor was a little getting underwhelming. Everyone always tells me it is very good and not overpowering with Pecan. So this weekend I cooked with all hickory and I definitely noticed a different flavor profile from the smoke.

I will say this, after cooking on BGEs for the past five years, I got a stick burner this year and I can really control the smoke flavors much better than I could on an Egg.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #4
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funny, i smoked a fatty yesterday, used one chunk each of hickory, cherry and apple. i really couldn't taste the smoke myself, but the guests certainly could.

i am also in the less is more camp when it comes to smoke and competition. i did suck though, so YMMV.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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Prob a combination of two things. You becoming desensitized (as a person does with any taste or smell) and your guests patting you on the back for the free food.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #6
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my taste senses are incredibly desensitized after spending a day in front the smoker. I find my food tastes 100x better when sit inside watching tv during the cook vs hanging out by the pit
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Unread 06-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggspert View Post
This is our second year of competition BBQ and we smoke a lot (almost every weekend). I was noticing when we were tasting pulled pork that we cooked for a party this weekend that, I can't taste the smoke flavor in our meat. Everyone else went on and on about how good and smokey it was, but I couldn't really taste it. Is it just me? We are using the same amount of wood we always have. I truly believe in competition BBQ it is better to under smoke then over smoke. Does anybody else have this issue? I am wondering if adding a little more wood to our competition stuff might improve our scores. We are using pecan and cherry by the way.

Thanks in advance,

Eggspert BBQ
In competition you are shooting for middle of the road so I would not add more smoke than you do already.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #8
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I think that there is definitely a tendency for a palate to adjust to neutral for any falvor is frequently experiences. Smoke would be no different, if you are eating smoked foods every week, you will eventually taste less and less of the smoke.

For competitions, trust your scores, if that is why you are competing, if you are happy with your scores, change nothing. If you are still working on things, make small adjustments. If you really blow, maybe it's time for a class.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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Nobody can accurately gauge smoke flavor after steeping in smoke for 12-18 hours. Smoke flavor also dissipates somewhat after cold storage. This makes it extremely difficult for a cook to get a good read on the level of smoke in his food by tasting yourself. You need to get another person who is NOT in the vicinity all night to come in and be your taster. Obviously you have to trust this person's tastebuds. A lot of married guys have their wives act as the taster.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #10
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I think after reading what some others have suggested in the past will help too. After cooking and being in the smoke all day or night, I have noticed that taking a shower and changing clothes helps me be able to taste the amount of smoke.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
I think after reading what some others have suggested in the past will help too. After cooking and being in the smoke all day or night, I have noticed that taking a shower and changing clothes helps me be able to taste the amount of smoke.
+1^^^^ If you have the ability to grab a shower at a comp, wash your hair, (and blow your nose), you'd be amazed at the difference in tasting !
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Unread 06-11-2013, 12:27 PM   #12
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I do agree. After playing with my smoker all day I cant really tell. I ask my wife
about the level of smoke in the meat........
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