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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 08-16-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
Tuff Dawg
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Join Date: 07-08-10
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Default New smoker break-in BAAAD Taste

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.

Notes:
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.

Thoughts:
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.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
Tuff Dawg
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no i just put it on like I've always done.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:12 PM   #5
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I go for the wood/ blue smoke idea. Where did you get the ceramic insulation?
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:17 PM   #6
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Why not try a smoke with just charcoal in order to eliminate the wood from the equation?
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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Sounds like creosote build up on the meat caused by a poor burning fire.

Poofy white smoke = bad

Thin blue to invisible smoke = good.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
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.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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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 ).
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:19 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:40 PM   #12
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Lessee sum pitchers!! dag nab it!!!
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:15 PM   #13
CarolinaQue
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I agree...I think that you had to much wood on the fire. Insulated cookers don't need much at all!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:21 PM   #14
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I will try to post picts asap
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #15
Tuff Dawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
I go for the wood/ blue smoke idea. Where did you get the ceramic insulation?
McMaster-Carr has both the ceramic and rockwool.
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