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Unread 11-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default UDS: Possible creosote problem when smoking a turkey

Hey guys-

I smoked a turkey yesterday, and although it was really good, it had a slightly off flavor... I think it was creosote. I thought that was weird, because I've never tasted it before, and I cooked this thing at 325 vs. the usual 225 that I've cooked everything else at. Aside from the hotter temperature, which I'm sure wouldn't cause creosote formation by itself, there were two differences from any other run I've done in the past:

1) I used a Weber kettle lid, which was very obviously more restrictive than the 2" pipe outlet in my drum lid. I had to run two pipes fully open in order to maintain 250 degrees, and all three pipes wide open to run at 325. I've heard that restricting the outlet can cause creosote, but that fire was very healthy and stable the whole time.

2) Along with a bunch of cherry chips, I burned two almost baseball-sized pieces of apple wood that had sat in the rain for the last week and were pretty waterlogged.

I'm thinking that the waterlogged wood chunks may have been the culprit. Given that the fire in a UDS is a fairly cool, slow-moving fire in the first place, having a thoroughly waterlogged chunk of wood in that fire could possibly result in sluggish combustion and possibly creosote.

Does this ring true to anyone?


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Unread 11-26-2010, 11:59 PM   #2
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Wet wood, as long as it was dry -- um, seasoned dry, before it got wet with water -- should not create creosote. I believe that you need sap for that.

Turkey is a mild meat, so perhaps you hit it with too much smoke? I don't know. But, those fruit woods, if they were well seasoned, should not have givien you a bitter flavor, IMHO.

Rotten wood could make some funky smoke, but it doesn't sound like you had rotten wood, just wet.

I am curious to see what the elders here have to say.

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Unread 11-27-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
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My guess would be too much wood.

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Unread 11-27-2010, 08:04 AM   #4
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Mostly likely the wood. I use a weber lid without any creosote problems
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Unread 11-27-2010, 08:21 AM   #5
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Sure hope not! All I use is my OTS lid on my UDS.
Never noticed a bad flavor, but I do have a build up of a black "skin" on the inside of the lid and drum. Always took that to just be smoke/grease buildup?
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Unread 11-27-2010, 08:23 AM   #6
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Did the under side of the weber lid look like? I have put mine on before to later find out a black sheet of crap had fallen off and got in the fire making an off smell.
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Unread 11-27-2010, 08:47 AM   #7
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I always wondered what this creosote stuff was. I too still am not sure the difference between normal build up of grease and creosote
Here is an article all about it.
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