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Unread 09-17-2010, 01:43 AM   #1
willie
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Default how much wood??

hey,

a couple of day ago, i put some chicken breast,wrapped in bacon, and some stuffed mushrooms on Ugly Dude's Smoker, and i threw a handfull of soaked JD chips in the choal basket, and started it with the minion method.
nothing new here, but everything was waaay oversmoked, like i was eating ashtray

is it really possible to oversmoke food with so little wood?
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Unread 09-17-2010, 02:25 AM   #2
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Do you always soak your chips? Yes, meat can get oversmoked, but I am not sure how much a handful is. IMO you do not need to soak chips or any wood intended to use in a smoker. Al you are doing making the charcoal steam off the water you have introduced. This may have lead to your "ashtray" chicken. If you are using the JD chips, remember they are made from old whiskey barrels and will have a different smoke then regular oak. The whiskey actually migrates in and out of the wood of the barrels as the seasons change.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 05:47 AM   #3
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Too bad Willie!
I've never used chips but I do throw a big chunk of wood in the UDS about 3 fist sizes big.
Never had experienced an "oversmoked" flavour with this method.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 06:09 AM   #4
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well, chit happens!
come to think of it, maybe there was still a chunk of hickory between the briquettes, from my butt cook
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Unread 09-17-2010, 06:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
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well, chit happens!
come to think of it, maybe there was still a chunk of hickory between the briquettes, from my butt cook

Willie, just checking but was the butt cook immediately prior to the chicken or was it a few days old. You should always clean out old charcoal and wood before starting a new cook otherwise. That might explain the taste

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Unread 09-17-2010, 06:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jakealberts View Post
Willie, just checking but was the butt cook immediately prior to the chicken or was it a few days old. You should always clean out old charcoal and wood before starting a new cook otherwise. That might explain the taste

-Jay
Hmm, one of the things I love about the drum is the ability to shut her down and use the left over fuel for the next cook.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderwagn View Post
Hmm, one of the things I love about the drum is the ability to shut her down and use the left over fuel for the next cook.


I have seen the OP problem when the groceries are put on before the UDS is settled in. I think its called the "dirty white smoke"
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Unread 09-17-2010, 07:04 AM   #8
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In my modest experience, poultry and brisket are smoke sponges. They will take all the smoke you throw at them and can be over-smoked very easily. On the other hand, pork is very hard to over smoke; it will only take so much. Just my 2 cents.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 07:06 AM   #9
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I would never reuse coal. That is just a bad idea. You have the grease drippings from you pork on top of those coals it sits for a few days then gets nasty really quick. Lower the amount of coal you use if you are weary of waste
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Unread 09-17-2010, 07:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakealberts View Post
I would never reuse coal. That is just a bad idea. You have the grease drippings from you pork on top of those coals it sits for a few days then gets nasty really quick. Lower the amount of coal you use if you are weary of waste


Never had this problem either,but we use different kind of briqs too so maybe that's also a difference?
I like my coals with fat drippings...that's flavour right there!

It sounds like it is the hickory that caused the problem...and as stated above chicken soaks up smoke like a sponge.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:34 AM   #11
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another wise lesson learned ;)
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phubar View Post
Never had this problem either,but we use different kind of briqs too so maybe that's also a difference?
I like my coals with fat drippings...that's flavour right there!

It sounds like it is the hickory that caused the problem...and as stated above chicken soaks up smoke like a sponge.

I agree with Phubar. After a cook, i just shut down my UDS with charcoal in it.I check the charcoal before next cook and add more if needed.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #13
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Bad post. Mods - please delete......sorry.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderwagn View Post
Hmm, one of the things I love about the drum is the ability to shut her down and use the left over fuel for the next cook.
Ditto on that. I've done four or five cooks on a single load of coals in the basket, just adding 1/4 - 1/2 of a lit chimney on top of the old, dead briqs.

Never had a problem. 'Course, I s'pose it's possible I just like the taste of ashtrays...

Letting the fire and temps stabilize has always been the key for me. Making sure I've got the "thin blue" as opposed to the heavy white smoke before I put my meat on.

I used to use chips. As was mentioned above, all soaking them seemed to do was make them take longer to smolder, but once they were smoldering, they didn't last any longer or provide any difference in smoke quality or content. In fact, after I started using fist-sized chunks, I got much better results.

The chips would put off a lot of white smoke, but then wouldn't have enough "meat" in them to provide a good thin blue smoke. In those cases, a lot of creosote built up on my meats and it would taste bitter and "over-smoked".
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakealberts View Post
I would never reuse coal. That is just a bad idea. You have the grease drippings from you pork on top of those coals it sits for a few days then gets nasty really quick. Lower the amount of coal you use if you are weary of waste
Disagree here. I reuse charcoal ALL the time. ESPECIALLY on the UDS. I always fill up the fire basket, no matter what. When done cooking, just shut it down. Next cook, take out the basket, shake off the loose ash, and load 'er up again. No worries. I've not had a bad experience yet. No WAY I'm throwing out used charcoal. Too much $.

I suspect that the "oversmoked" issue is due to the "bad white smoke" as suggested above. Did you have white smoke rolling out of the cooker or a small wisp of blue smoke? Blue is what you want. Comes from a clean, not fire. I think that soaking chips only cools the fire down, thus yielding the white smoke.

Chicken is very "smokeable" too, so it's also possible that just too many chips were added?

Hey......THIS is how we learn! Adjust, adapt, try new things, record results! THAT is what good 'q is all about, or so I've learned.
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