View Full Version : New smoker break-in BAAAD Taste

Tuff Dawg
08-16-2011, 01:30 PM
I've bulit a new insulated smoker and burned it in. Temp got above 500 degrees for several hours. Nothing split or broke but, at times, the smoke from the chimney would be brownish yellow and it went away pretty quickly. The next day I cleaned the unit with soap and water then rubbed it down with lard and brought it up to 300 for 5 hours. everything looked and smelled fine. Today I brought the cooker up to 250 and put chicken thighs in and cooked for a couple hours. The taste was BITTER.

Started with 1 chute of kingsford charcoal, when temp got to 200 I put in 1 stick of year old pecan and 2 sticks of 6 month old maple then put in the chicken and brought up tp 275 roughly. at one time I thought I saw the brownish yellow smoke again.

The smoker has 1.2 inch 1200 degee rockwool insulation all around and the fire box has 2000 degree ceramic insulation.

I wonder if I did not seal the firebox tight enough and the heat/fire got to any of the insulation, it would cause the smoke and bitterness.

If I eat the bitter meat would it hurt me?

Any thoughts on this subject? I am "bitterly" watching for any comments.

I am also hoping all the money, time and effort wasn't wasted.

Pyle's BBQ
08-16-2011, 01:36 PM
Did you let the wood catch on fire and get a thin blue smoke before putting the chicken on the smoker? The wood may not have been burning cleanly when you put the chicken on.

Tuff Dawg
08-16-2011, 01:50 PM
no i just put it on like I've always done.

08-16-2011, 01:53 PM
I wouldn't expect rockwool or ceramic insulation to burn at 500F. If you missed getting the unit sealed up enough, I would think you could find the leak in the chamber. I would probably not eat the bitter meat just out of a sense of not wanting to eat something bad.

I would suggest giving it another test burn, without meat, and let it run for a while, checking to see if a small hot fire will get you to a clean fire over time.

08-16-2011, 02:12 PM
I go for the wood/ blue smoke idea. Where did you get the ceramic insulation?

08-16-2011, 02:17 PM
Why not try a smoke with just charcoal in order to eliminate the wood from the equation?

El Ropo
08-16-2011, 02:43 PM
Sounds like creosote build up on the meat caused by a poor burning fire.

Poofy white smoke = bad

Thin blue to invisible smoke = good.

08-16-2011, 02:49 PM
Why not try a smoke with just charcoal in order to eliminate the wood from the equation?

I second that. and don't eat the bitter meat....cuz it's bitter. :crazy:

08-16-2011, 02:49 PM
I've had that issue with bitter taste and found it was the wood, basically just too much at once. I've also had it happen more with hard woods than fruit woods.

Tuff Dawg
08-16-2011, 02:50 PM
As I post this I removed all the wood put in more chicken with charcoal only. I also cut the side to check on the insulation and it is in great shape. We will all know in a couple hours how it tastes (at least I will :wink:).

Tuff Dawg
08-16-2011, 06:19 PM
Cooked with charcoal only and the bitterness gone. Now I have to re-weld cutout and patch up holes on the inside but I believe after some 2 weeks practice I'll be ready for the Winder, Ga- Lake Oconee - and Cleveland KCBS cooks.

08-16-2011, 06:40 PM
Lessee sum pitchers!! dag nab it!!! :twisted:

08-16-2011, 08:15 PM
I agree...I think that you had to much wood on the fire. Insulated cookers don't need much at all!

Tuff Dawg
08-16-2011, 09:21 PM
I will try to post picts asap

Tuff Dawg
08-16-2011, 09:24 PM
I go for the wood/ blue smoke idea. Where did you get the ceramic insulation?
McMaster-Carr has both the ceramic and rockwool.

08-16-2011, 09:27 PM
I am glad you got it figured out and your smoker is all OK.