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Jesseroberge
06-25-2014, 05:27 PM
Since i'm from Quebec Canada, we don't have Bbq joints close to home, that being said, we can't compare smoke tastes...

I have beed doing Big Bob Gibson ribs, turkey chicken and Aron Franklin's brisket in the WSM and oven... I jave to say without a doubt 250 low and slow with the rubs and sauces are damn good in the oven and smoker...

My issue here is that I find that the taste of the smoke always tastes the same and it's a taste that I don't like. It tastes like a fireplace or like your WSM once it's cold and you clean her up...

Am I doing something wrong ? I follow the recipie like a pro using briquettes and wood chunks as asked in the book but it does not taste like tripple D with guy fierry :)

Any tips ?

64Driver
06-25-2014, 05:32 PM
I don't own a WSM, so maybe someone who does can help.

All I know is the "health" of the fire can really affect that smokey taste. An oxygen starved fire will give off that creosote "bitter" smokey taste on meat. A clean burning healthy fire is what you're after. The heat will cook the meat and in turn, impart the correct smokey flavor. If you're constantly seeing billowing white smoke all the time coming out of your cooker, you're doing it wrong.

16Adams
06-25-2014, 05:33 PM
No problem here. I love to smok but I prefer to eat grilled. As for Tip: use a good lump charcoal when smoking. Prep your meat with Kosher Salt and black pepper only.

Start at the basics, and that includes a clean grill/smoker. Still not hitting your taste buds??? Then use your grill as a stovetop or oven yes pots pans cookie sheets muffin tins all work on the grill/smoker. To me the key is being outside and sipping a brew or four.

ssv3
06-25-2014, 05:38 PM
^^^

What the brethren said. Experiment with different woods for flavor or lump for that matter (different ones). Try to cook a little higher than 250* as well. I used to taste bad smoke flavor or overpowering smoke flavor before I found out about clean and healthy fire and Sweet Thin Blue. Turned things around for me major.

Good luck!

Blythewood BBQ'er
06-25-2014, 05:38 PM
What kind of wood are you using? Hickory and mesquite can be strong. Try some fruit woods or pecan if available. Also+1 on the high quality lump charcoal. Try with just lump and see if it hits your tastes better, if you like that then add wood in small amounts each smoke.

DaveAlvarado
06-25-2014, 05:42 PM
If you're using wood chips, stop.
If you're soaking your wood chunks, stop.
If you're using more than 3 wood chunks, stop.
If you're closing the top vent on your WSM at all, stop.
If you're putting meat in while there's billowy white smoke, stop.
If you're using Kingsford blue bag, stop.

I run Kingsford Competition, full charcoal ring, minion method, with 3-6 chunks of dry wood. I prefer hickory for a stronger smoke flavor, but try something mild like 3 chunks of apple. Top vent wide open, control temps with the bottom vents. Don't put meat in the smoker until the billowy white smoke stops and you get just little wisps of smoke.

aquablue22
06-25-2014, 05:46 PM
I found that a lot of my friends and family where turned off by TOO MUCH smoke, cut back of the chunks, chips or whatever your using for the smoke flavor to a minimum and then ramp it up until you end up with a happy flavor. That's what I did and found that I actually enjoyed a very mild smokey flavor better myself. I also found that fruit woods provided those milder flavors, Peach, Cherry (My fav), Apple, Orange, Grapefruit, etc. Like everything else you have to find a happy middle ground for you and your guests.

I like the smell so much I wish they made a cologne and toothpaste out of it!

Chef Jim
06-25-2014, 05:48 PM
Sounds like you need to open your top vent. You should rum your WSM with the top vent wide open all the time. Control your fire with your lower vents.

As said always use good charcoal. On a WSM you need to pack your charcoal very tight with no gaps. Someone here once said like a jigsaw puzzle.

I make a layer then start a second using my wood chunks dispersed throughout. Then make a small mountain in the middle and light it there. I use a weed burner and am ready to go in 15 minutes.

Also change your lower vent settings so your fire will work around burning all your charcoal evenly

When you learn to do this, never open the door and keep your lid closed until you are ready to make a change to your meat or remove it.

Hope this helps.

sliding_billy
06-25-2014, 05:49 PM
Agree with the above. Sounds like dirty smoke to me.

THoey1963
06-25-2014, 05:56 PM
Yeah, my first several smokes, I was putting the meat on too soon, while there was still white smoke. Wait until you can barely see the smoke coming out. That is what they call Thin Blue Smoke or TBS. That's the good stuff.

Jesseroberge
06-25-2014, 06:13 PM
I have to say thanks, I realy have to admit that I added my meat while the white puffy smoke was still there, I always thought that when the hot colorless blue smoke was there I lost all my apple wood chunks and the effect was not there...

I run my WSM top vent 100% open and I have an ATC Pitmaster IQ120 for the temp swing problems :)

I will change for lump charcoal and maby not add chunks at all to see the difference...

I ised to add chunks every hour to get the white puffy smoke going again :( poor me lol

1buckie
06-25-2014, 06:18 PM
There's a lot of people out there in the world that don't like really strong smoke flavor.....some of them are my close relatives......so, I've found how to know what the difference is & to know when I've fouled up a bit & have some bitterness to the smoke.....


Dave A. has a good rundown & what Chef Jim says about the top vent......I just run kettles, but the concept is the same.....95% of the time the top vent is all open.....the cooker needs to draft, or draw air thru cleanly, the bottom vents control the input & thereby the temp you run at.......it is the way they are designed to run............I've found a Weber brochure from 1958 that says that plain as day..................

Also, from having paid attention to what people say running large offsets (or even smaller size backyard cookers), the draft needs to flow thru at a fairly rapid rate & cleanly...........

http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd520/1buckie/1st%202013%20chicken/3-6-2013%20%20Beef/3-6-2013Beef022.jpg

I personally like a pork butt hammered with aged black walnut 'till it's mostly pink all the way thru, but I get that's not for everyone......
I tend to think of smoke flavoring like I suppose folks who are into fine wine would tend to view it.....some are rich, strong & full-bodied.....others, light & fruity.....and all ranges in between............

scrub puller
06-25-2014, 06:25 PM
Yair . . . much the same here, we don't much like extra smoke and find that with home brewed charcoal taste comes out just right with no extra smoke wood,

I don't understand the discussion about the smoke ring . . . but I seem to get them if I want them or not.

Cheers.

caseydog
06-25-2014, 06:29 PM
Like others have said, you can control how much smoke flavor you get. Myself, sometimes I want a lot of smokey flavor, and other times I don't. I sometimes do a pork butt southern smokey style, and this past weekend, I did a cuban roast pork butt, where smoke is a minor player.

My personal experience is that I can do a Cuban pork roast or decent Mexican style carnitas on my WSM if I just use charcoal, with no wood chunks. If I want a touch of smoke, I use just a few wood chunks at the beginning of my cook.

Basically, I can use my WSM as a charcoal fired oven. Here in texas in mid-summer, I do NOT want to use the oven in my kitchen. The WSM does the job, and keeps the heat outside.

Experiment, and find what works for you. Charcoal by itself adds relatively minimal smoke. That may be all you need for your taste buds.

CD

mike-cleveland
06-25-2014, 06:41 PM
If it is too smokey to stand next to it, you have to much. Just because the smoke is not easy to see does not mean it is not there. You should have a nice smell in the air then put your meat on. If it does not smell nice, don't put the meat on.

1buckie
06-25-2014, 06:45 PM
Yes, what casey's saying is also something to consider.....I won't use wood at all for some things, if there's a marinade, injection or rub involved that needs to come thru & be the main flavoring......certain lump charcoals are great left alone.....Wicked Good & Groveland Orange Tree are two I like just by themselves......good for seafood, where a light, very light smoke might be in order................

volfan411
06-25-2014, 06:46 PM
I have to say thanks, I realy have to admit that I added my meat while the white puffy smoke was still there, I always thought that when the hot colorless blue smoke was there I lost all my apple wood chunks and the effect was not there...

I run my WSM top vent 100% open and I have an ATC Pitmaster IQ120 for the temp swing problems :)

I will change for lump charcoal and maby not add chunks at all to see the difference...

I ised to add chunks every hour to get the white puffy smoke going again :( poor me lol

Yes do not add any more chunks after you have started. That is probably is what was giving you the strong smoke taste. I usually only use 2 chunks in my WSM. I use one fruit wood and one hardwood chunk.

Hoppy
06-25-2014, 06:52 PM
Have you tried using a few chunks on top of your hot coals at the begining and when they are done burning just use charcoal only?

caseydog
06-25-2014, 07:01 PM
If it is too smokey to stand next to it, you have too much. Just because the smoke is not easy to see does not mean it is not there. You should have a nice smell in the air then put your meat on. If it does not smell nice, don't put the meat on.

I agree completely. I personally think one should judge the quantity and quality of smoke with the nose, not the eyes. If the smoke smells harsh, I can't imagine it adding anything other than a harsh flavor. If the smoke smells good (even if you can't see it), it seems reasonable to think the meat should taste good.

CD

Boshizzle
06-25-2014, 07:11 PM
Think of the meat as Gladys Knight and the smoke and seasonings are the Pips. The Pips have to stay in the background and remain in harmony. No show boating allowed from any of the Pips. Their job is to make Gladys (the meat) sound good.

lantern
06-25-2014, 07:33 PM
I have to say thanks, I realy have to admit that I added my meat while the white puffy smoke was still there, I always thought that when the hot colorless blue smoke was there I lost all my apple wood chunks and the effect was not there...

I run my WSM top vent 100% open and I have an ATC Pitmaster IQ120 for the temp swing problems :)

I will change for lump charcoal and maby not add chunks at all to see the difference...

I ised to add chunks every hour to get the white puffy smoke going again :( poor me lol


You're definitely on the right track!! But, I will add one more thing. I suggest getting to know your cooker before adding the IQ120. They can hide mistakes that won't go away unless you know they're mistakes.

nucornhusker
06-25-2014, 07:50 PM
Think of the meat as Gladys Knight and the smoke and seasonings are the Pips. The Pips have to stay in the background and remain in harmony. No show boating allowed from any of the Pips. Their job is to make Gladys (the meat) sound good.

If I didn't see your username I would have thought that was Donnie talking. :heh:

What everyone is saying is what I would have said also. Keep the smoke thin and the food and your tongue will be happy.

caseydog
06-25-2014, 07:54 PM
You're definitely on the right track!! But, I will add one more thing. I suggest getting to know your cooker before adding the IQ120. They can hide mistakes that won't go away unless you know they're mistakes.

Not sure i agree with that. All the iQue, or any other temperature controller does is supply air in a measured way, to keep temperatures relatively even.

It really doesn't change the amount of smoke flavor you end up with in your meats. With or without the iQue, you have to choose the right fuel to achieve the taste you want.

CD

pjtexas1
06-25-2014, 08:07 PM
I agree completely. I personally think one should judge the quantity and quality of smoke with the nose, not the eyes. If the smoke smells harsh, I can't imagine it adding anything other than a harsh flavor. If the smoke smells good (even if you can't see it), it seems reasonable to think the meat should taste good.

CD
Well put. I will only add the same goes for smoke you can see. It doesn't have be completely invisible to give good flavor. It can be light as long as it smells good but not billowing. Just wanted to say that in case somebody can't get the tbs every time.

castlepines
06-25-2014, 08:41 PM
I have to say thanks, I realy have to admit that I added my meat while the white puffy smoke was still there

You don't have to change to lump, you don't have to use fewer wood chunks. If you stop adding meat while the smoke is white, your quality will increase dramatically. If you make no other changes but that one, you'll likely enjoy it much more.

Lake Dogs
06-25-2014, 08:42 PM
I have to say thanks, I realy have to admit that I added my meat while the white puffy smoke was still there, I always thought that when the hot colorless blue smoke was there I lost all my apple wood chunks and the effect was not there...

I run my WSM top vent 100% open and I have an ATC Pitmaster IQ120 for the temp swing problems :)

I will change for lump charcoal and maby not add chunks at all to see the difference...

I ised to add chunks every hour to get the white puffy smoke going again :( poor me lol
White, puffy, billowy smoke = BAD, creosote, black, bitter, OVER SMOKED, tastes like your fireplace...

Thin, blue-ish, almost invisible smoke = PERFECT, clean burning fire, clean smoked flavor without the black and bitter creosote

VanBo BBQ
06-25-2014, 08:58 PM
If you're using wood chips, stop.
If you're soaking your wood chunks, stop.
If you're using more than 3 wood chunks, stop.
If you're closing the top vent on your WSM at all, stop.
If you're putting meat in while there's billowy white smoke, stop.
If you're using Kingsford blue bag, stop.

I run Kingsford Competition, full charcoal ring, minion method, with 3-6 chunks of dry wood. I prefer hickory for a stronger smoke flavor, but try something mild like 3 chunks of apple. Top vent wide open, control temps with the bottom vents. Don't put meat in the smoker until the billowy white smoke stops and you get just little wisps of smoke.

All great advice except, for the Kingsford Blue bag! No problems outa the Blue bag.

Boshizzle
06-25-2014, 09:00 PM
I won first place Virginia State Championship Ribs at a KCBS competition against stiff competition (including Tuffy Stone) and used blue bag Kingsford doing it.

CBQ
06-25-2014, 09:06 PM
I ised to add chunks every hour to get the white puffy smoke going again :( poor me lol

When I cook ribs, I build a charcoal only fire, and add a couple of chunks of fruitwood when the ribs go on. That's all you need. Don't add more.

Draft controls work by cutting off the air to your fire. If you are using charcoal, that's fine, but when wood smolders it can impact a nasty over smoked taste to food. Adding wood every hour and using a draft control is a bad combination. People that make draft controls don't recommend them for all-wood fires for that reason.

Keep the draft control, cut way back on the wood.

Zin
06-25-2014, 09:44 PM
All great advice except, for the Kingsford Blue bag! No problems outa the Blue bag.

+1, nothing wrong with KBB must be operator malfunction.

Jesseroberge
06-25-2014, 10:41 PM
If I add wood chunks at the startup and wait for it to turn invisible blue ain't I wasting my wood ? When all is calmed down isn't it only heat from the hot coals ?

Is their still smoke in the blue fumes ?

pjtexas1
06-25-2014, 10:48 PM
If I add wood chunks at the startup and wait for it to turn invisible blue ain't I wasting my wood ? When all is calmed down isn't it only heat from the hot coals ?

Is their still smoke in the blue fumes ?

No. Put wood chunks in several places. It will create more smoke flavor as each one burns. There is magic in the blue smoke.

Roast Beast
06-25-2014, 11:56 PM
I personally prefer the character of the smoke in my WSMs running 275+. Tastes and smells sweeter and cleaner to me.

1buckie
06-26-2014, 08:04 AM
There's the smell being clean, the sight of lighter, bluish smoke outside the vent AND more importantly, for me, a fast FLOW of smoke coming out of the vent (which indicates the good movement of air thru the cooker)........



Here's something I look for, in addition to those things:

Opening up to add in beans partway thru the cook.....only open for a minute or so......the charcoal's almost up to the wood here:
http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd520/1buckie/1st%202013%20chicken/3-6-2013%20%20Beef/3-6-2013Beef031.jpg

A bit later, I took a pic to show what it looked like about 1/2way around, still open only a quick moment....
http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd520/1buckie/1st%202013%20chicken/3-6-2013%20%20Beef/3-6-2013Beef037.jpg


The instant the lid is opened, the wood catches fire, if it wasn't already on fire......means to me, the fuel is getting just the right amount of air, not sluggish or slow, billowing flow.......might be harder to check this on a WSM, but it's another way to notice what's happening with your fuel............

charrederhead
06-26-2014, 08:22 AM
You can get an idea of the smoke's smell by cupping your hand over the exhaust vent for a second then taking a whiff of it.

I second the idea of first just being more patient and letting the fire calm down and get past its initial billowing white smoke stage before adding meat. It can take 30-45 minutes.

Biloxidman
06-26-2014, 08:56 AM
When I cook ribs, I build a charcoal only fire, and add a couple of chunks of fruitwood when the ribs go on. That's all you need. Don't add more.

Draft controls work by cutting off the air to your fire. If you are using charcoal, that's fine, but when wood smolders it can impact a nasty over smoked taste to food. Adding wood every hour and using a draft control is a bad combination. People that make draft controls don't recommend them for all-wood fires for that reason.

Keep the draft control, cut way back on the wood.

I follow the same procedure and never have an acrid flavor from the smoke! Perfect every time so far.

smokainmuskoka
06-26-2014, 09:04 AM
Jesse,
Do you have a local source for either Maple Leaf brand briquettes or lump, or Basques Lump charcoal? Both are produced in Quebec. I know a lot of people swear by Kingsford, but I think you'll find the domestic charcoal burns cleaner. I love the Basques lump.

You're getting great advice - patience with the fire is key.

Bon Chance!

NickTheGreat
06-26-2014, 09:14 AM
I had the same thoughts on my first smoke; that I didn't want the thin blue smoke.

But you do. The wood is still in there, and still burning. Just burning cleanly. Trust us :grin:

dano
06-26-2014, 09:35 AM
Another for dirty smoke. Really no matter what type of wood you are using it should never taste like a "fireplace". That means you either have dirty smoke or you are exposing the food to smoke for too long. Long exposure times will give you a creosote build up on the outside of the meat due to the food not being able to absorb any more smoker, making it taste just like a fireplace.

DaveAlvarado
06-26-2014, 09:45 AM
If I add wood chunks at the startup and wait for it to turn invisible blue ain't I wasting my wood ? When all is calmed down isn't it only heat from the hot coals ?

Is their still smoke in the blue fumes ?
Yes.

The easiest test - just put your hand over the top vent for a minute, then walk away and smell your hand. If it smells like smoke, your food is getting smoked.

Billowy white smoke indicates an incomplete or inefficient burn, i.e. the wood isn't burning hot enough.

If you're really worried about it, you could put your wood chunks on a food grate while you bring the smoker up to temp, then chuck them onto the coals when your food goes on. That's a similar process to stick burner guys heating up their sticks on top of the fire box before throwing them in so they burn cleaner.

Oh and I didn't mean to ruffle feathers about KBB, I've just noticed that I've had some bags that burn clean and some that burn a little dirty. Plus there's like twice the ash, if you don't knock it off periodically it can choke your fire. I've never had problems with KC.

Goddahavit
06-26-2014, 09:53 AM
Disagree some people including me dislike the smell and taste from blue..

Stop adding chunks, try it without, everyone has a different tolerance for smoke flavor, try it just charcoal and go from there. We use it as like a spice, a little hint, is great, too much and yuck...

QDoc
06-26-2014, 09:59 AM
You've received some good advise. Here's more for true smoke haters.
first really clean your pit removing all black soot from the inside.
Don't worry about wasteing wood keep your pit temp above 250 preferably 275.
shoot for a range between 300 and 250.
1. do not use wet anything to burn. Choose only dry wood or charcoal
2. do not burn bark
3. do not use the minion method. Add glowing embers to your pit from a charcoal starter.
4. finally see how you like charcoal only using a high quality lump.

rdenn_58
06-26-2014, 02:12 PM
Another thing to consider is the type of meat your smoking. Smoking ribs doesn't need the amount of wood that a pork shoulder would need. I give a heavier amount of wood over a longer period of time to the shoulder so that by the time the shoulder is done and pulled, a little more smoky flavor is carried throughout the entire meat.

Friedturkeyspam
06-26-2014, 03:07 PM
The main ingredient of charcoal is wood. You can get enough smoke flavor out of just the charcoal if you're somewhat adverse to the strong smoke flavor.

I think you're understanding the situation and I suspect your next smoking experience will be much better. I use a 50/50 mix of lump and charcoal when I do indirect cooking in my Weber and still will get a beautiful smoke ring on brats, you don't have to use chunks to get that smokey flavor.

I'm a stick burner guy and so far have used mostly pecan as it's readily available in Oklahoma dirt cheap, sometimes it takes me close to an hour to get enough coals and TBS, I've learned to be patient. I've ate food off a friends WSM that was charcoal and just a chunk or two of pecan and it was delicious. She cooked me some of the best chicken that I have ever eaten.

lantern
06-26-2014, 04:26 PM
Not sure i agree with that. All the iQue, or any other temperature controller does is supply air in a measured way, to keep temperatures relatively even.

It really doesn't change the amount of smoke flavor you end up with in your meats. With or without the iQue, you have to choose the right fuel to achieve the taste you want.

CD


Yeahh.... I wasn't blaming the controller. I was simply stating knowing how to get the cooker to work properly BEFORE you place one on is a smarter way to go about things. Hard to troubleshoot when you add more parts. I have an iq120 for my wsm 22.5. It gets called into service during horrid weather conditions to keep me dry and what hair I have left on my head.:razz: