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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 07-12-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
iamjw1
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Angry UDS Bad smoke flavor- SOS

This was my 3rd cook on the uds, and the first real smoke.

Got some nice beef back ribs and fired up a mix of royal oak lump and briquettes just as i did in my previous two cooks.

My barrel sits in the direct sun and the internal temp was 135f before any fire. Lit 12-15 briquettes in the chimney, and placed in basket. Threw in one chunk of hickory from a bag purchased at w-mart.

All started out good, but then began noticing a smell like i was burning brush at the farm. It did not smell good at all. My wife made me take a shower before we ate because she said I smelled so bad. I am assuming this is what people are talking about the stale smoke flavor.

The meat had some of the bad smoke flavor. Sorry no pics i was to busy trying to rescue my pride.

The uds held temps like a dream, but because it was so hot I had all caps on and only had the valve open 1/2. After 3 hour had to open it all the way and it held perfect.

Is that "hickory" from the bag maybe not hickory?

Does hickory or lump give off a bad aroma at low temps? If the barrel is at 135 no fire and i am cooking at 235, that is only 100f of fire.

Is it possible the "stale smoke" is from so little air coming in which would = little air exiting causing stale smoke?

Any ideas or help would be much appreciated.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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Did the lump have bark on it? I know that bark can sometimes have a foul odor. That sounds like the only thing that is different from your previous cooks. What color was the smoke coming out of the UDS? Was the charcoal fresh? Also, with your vents closed, was the fire snuffing out some?
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:02 PM   #3
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Did you wait until pale blue smoke was coming out of the drum? If your drum was giving off thick white smoke that would give it a foul taste. This would mean your fire wasn't burning clean enough.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:10 PM   #4
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This may be of some help to you: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=51258
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
iamjw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly-QueMaster View Post
Did you wait until pale blue smoke was coming out of the drum? If your drum was giving off thick white smoke that would give it a foul taste. This would mean your fire wasn't burning clean enough.
Yep, that's the problem then (the smoke was white). I guess i did not have a clean burning fire because of the lack of o2 coming in. Thanks for your help.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
If I just close the air intakes fire is dead in less than a half hour without messing with the exhaust holes
I looked up your post history hoping to find more info about your UDS, but didn't find anything, but I did find the above statement. I need to shut mine down tight with both the intakes and exhaust to get my fire to go out (about a half hour like you), so it made me wonder about your exhaust setup. What you say in your fire snuffing statement, along with the foul smell associated with "stale smoke" and creosote smell, may be indicative of too little exhaust vent area. What type of setup do you have for your exhaust? Pictures, even?
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #7
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Yeah white billowing smoke is bad. Ask me how I know :). I made that mistake before and my food had a heavy smoke taste...not very good. Now I always make sure and wait until I have pale blue-ish smoke coming from the drum. Keep practicing.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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I had a similar issue several weeks ago when firing it up to do some ribs. I started with a fresh mix of Frontier Lump and Kingsford, and was using some Peach wood that apparently wasn't completely cured (got from local orchard). I pulled a chunk of the wood out, took a sniff, identified it as the culprit, removed it and put in some cured cherry and all went well.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly-QueMaster View Post
Yeah white billowing smoke is bad. Ask me how I know :). I made that mistake before and my food had a heavy smoke taste...not very good. Now I always make sure and wait until I have pale blue-ish smoke coming from the drum. Keep practicing.

I agree and i know how he knows-been there and done that . Wait for the sweet blue smoke
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:23 PM   #10
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You need a "Hot Clean Fire"

Stick Burners Rule!!!!
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGurk View Post
I looked up your post history hoping to find more info about your UDS, but didn't find anything, but I did find the above statement. I need to shut mine down tight with both the intakes and exhaust to get my fire to go out (about a half hour like you), so it made me wonder about your exhaust setup. What you say in your fire snuffing statement, along with the foul smell associated with "stale smoke" and creosote smell, may be indicative of too little exhaust vent area. What type of setup do you have for your exhaust? Pictures, even?
I'm running 8, 1/2 holes on the flat lid. Do I need more?
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help and support,
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:30 PM   #13
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8 holes should be fine, just a thought. If all else was the same from your previous cooks, as stated check your wood!
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGurk View Post
8 holes should be fine, just a thought. If all else was the same from your previous cooks, as stated check your wood!
Thanks, I am going to try a different supply along with making sure the fire is hot.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 03:36 PM   #15
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You are going to have white smoke, if the fat is hitting the coals directly, thus the off taste.
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