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ntbushwick
08-06-2012, 01:11 PM
Hello everyone. First post here. I'm new to smoking but I know my way around a grill pretty well. I purchased an 18" WSM a month ago and have used to half a dozen times already to smoke pork spare ribs. I'm using Royal Oak lump charcoal and a few pecan wood chunks. Anyway, I simply cannot get the ribs to taste "good". I usually smoke until the meat pulls away from the bone...I have no problem getting them tender. They just do not taste all that good. Mostly they taste like that unpleasant smoke taste...not like the great flavor in some smoked ribs I have had. Generally I use the minimalist approach and go with simply a good salt and pepper combination but my results are less than stellar. I'm beginning to wonder if I simply do not like the taste of smoked ribs? Or perhaps I am using too much wood or not enough? Any thoughts, tips or tricks?

Thanks again.

Stoke&Smoke
08-06-2012, 01:15 PM
You need to make sure you have a clean fire. No white thick billowing smoke. Just clean thin blue. Don't use a ton of wood either. I would start with straight lump and see how you like that!

BTW...go say hello in cattle call if you haven't already. And welcome!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

str8upcop04
08-06-2012, 01:21 PM
I've found that if I let my fire settle in for about 10 minutes or so the smoke is nice and thin blue smoke such as Stoke&Smoke has suggested. Also I use about 2 or 3 fist size chunks for meat and fewer for poultry. Keep a smokers journal and document every step for each cook. It helps......trust me and was one of the better suggestions made to me here on this forum. Good luck and keep with it.

-Justin

mr dirts bbq
08-06-2012, 01:28 PM
You need to make sure you have a clean fire. No white thick billowing smoke. Just clean thin blue. Don't use a ton of wood either. I would start with straight lump and see how you like that!

+1 start with just lump first and go from there
as for rub start simple salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion salt & yellow mustard glue

Bludawg
08-06-2012, 01:28 PM
Your fire needs more air. Top hat open, control draft at bottom, distribute the wood chunks throughout the lump. Once you have it running steady at your desired temp put the meat on. Close it up don't change your damper settings for at least 15 min if at all. Normally it will settle back to where you have it set, as long as the exhaust is clear or thin & blue your golden.

JazzyBadger
08-06-2012, 01:58 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=140754

Right HERE! Is the thread for you, lmao. This started up yesterday? I believe, timing as they say... is everything.

As others have said, you're using plenty of wood just by using lump, because that's all that lump is. It COULD be just a flat out too much wood case, some people don't like the smoke from lump PLUS some more from chunks/chips, but typically it's because of bad smoke, and that other thread will do ya just fine in regards to that.

El Ropo
08-06-2012, 02:45 PM
Yep sounds like you're getting too much dirty smoke on the meat.

Visual example, first cook was dirty smoke (awful!) Second cook was clean smoke at higher temps (350+)

http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz189/ElRopo/Chicken04.jpg

http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz189/ElRopo/July3chicken002.jpg

IamMadMan
08-06-2012, 02:53 PM
Your smoke is condensing and creating a creosote compound on the meat, that is why your meat has a bitter taste with over-powering smoke.

Leave you top vent wide open.

Control the airflow with the bottom vents

Use only dry seasoned wood - and DO NOT SOAK the wood chunks / chips

Do not put your meat into the WSM until the smoke is almost invisible (about 10 min)

.

ntbushwick
08-06-2012, 02:57 PM
Thanks everyone. This visual example really hits the nail on the head. My ribs look very close to the bad smoke chicken below (but not quite that bad).

I guess it's a learning curve...I'll keep at it. I welcome more adivce.

Also, what causes bad smoke? The type / quality of the wood? How do you keep good smoke from turning back into bad smoke?


Yep sounds like you're getting too much dirty smoke on the meat.

Visual example, first cook was dirty smoke (awful!) Second cook was clean smoke at higher temps (350+)

http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz189/ElRopo/Chicken04.jpg

http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz189/ElRopo/July3chicken002.jpg

IamMadMan
08-06-2012, 03:01 PM
Thanks everyone. This visual example really hits the nail on the head. My ribs look very close to the bad smoke chicken below (but not quite that bad).

I guess it's a learning curve...I'll keep at it. I welcome more adivce.

Also, what causes bad smoke? The type / quality of the wood? How do you keep good smoke from turning back into bad smoke?


Bad smoke is a poorly combusted smolder. Could be poor airflow, or non-seasoned wood.

Leave you top vent wide open.

Control the airflow with the bottom vents only

Use only dry seasoned wood - Never use green wood and DO NOT SOAK the wood chunks / chips

Do not put your meat into the WSM until the smoke is almost invisible (about 10 min)

razrbakcrzy
08-06-2012, 03:21 PM
light blue whispy smoke = sweet blue

clear is also acceptable = Sweet smelling smoke

Billowing white = bitter ceasote smoke, lack of heat (incomplete combustion) or green wood...

JazzyBadger
08-06-2012, 04:13 PM
Like I said, the other thread I posted in the earlier link will explain exactly what bad smoke is.

Once you get good smoke on a WSM, you basically won't be able to get anymore bad smoke, because of the cooking style of a WSM. You typically NEVER need to add more fuel in, as whatever you're cooking will have fuel, and most likely extra you'll have to choke out and save for your next cook.

Wood burns inefficiently. Even lump to a certain degree, but not nearly as unevenly as splits or chunks will.

When you first load up the WSM, and you light a chimney and pop it in there, it's gonna ignite the other fuel gradually. As it does this it's consuming fuel it's directly against, and preheating the fuel that's on the outer edges. During that heating time, you're burning the "excess" off, and it's going to billow white. After 10-20 minutes, depending on how open the vents are, that'll disappear. At that point it'll be "sweet blue" or invisible. That's when you put the meat on.

If you're using chunks, put them in the ring along with the charcoal, or add it in during the heat up process, and just let them heat up with the cooker. It'll turn invisible with the other materials.

If you're going to add wood chunks through the cooking process, preheat them mofos. Stick em on cement in the sunlight, heat them in a charcoal lighter, whatever you gotta do, but get them hot BEFORE you add them, otherwise they'll burn inefficiently, the extra fuels will be burnt off, and end up on your food.

That's a sorta half ass explanation, that other thread goes into a LOT of detail, it's three pages long or so, but every post is pretty much great advice. Go give it a read.

Bob in St. Louis
08-06-2012, 04:42 PM
....... that other thread goes into a LOT of detail, it's three pages long or so, but every post is pretty much great advice. Go give it a read.

Big time. Be sure to check out that link.
Best wishes on #2 dude.

Bob