Another what did I do wrong post.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by randycandy, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. randycandy

    randycandy Fire Starter

    I had a a nice 5 lb. center gut pork loin. Cut it in half. Put some mustard on the pieces and put a rub I found on the net,  on both sides. Wrapped them in glad wrap and put them in the fridge over night. Next day, took out of fridge and let sit on the counter for 1/2 hour. Cooked in my electric smoker for about 4 hours. when internal temp reached 145* I took out and foil wrapped for about 40 minutes. I think I overcooked it. The meat wasn't bad but a little dry. The outside or (skin) of the loin's is what was terrible. Salty and bitter tasting couldn't even eat it. I cooked them at 230*. I used two pans of wood chips. Temp stayed steady throughout the smoke.

    I cooked on the medium shelf covered with foil. I had my water bowl filled with sand. Last week I tried two beer can chickens and it was a failure to. Any ideas on what I did wrong? Thanks!
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like there was too much salt in the rub....   When I make a rub, I weigh the salt and add 2% to the meat....  then add other spices for flavoring...   About the temp.....  pulling the loin at 135 IT then foiling and wrapping in toweling so the IT will "carry over" to about 140 ish would be something to try next go-round....   The bitter taste could have been too much smoke or too much of a strong smoke flavor wood....  mesquite falls into the category of strong flavored woods...   Try mild flavors like apple, alder etc..  Lastly, did you have the exhaust wide open on your smoker....  when smoking foods, good air flow is a necessity for good flavors....  

  3. I'd have to agree with Dave

    Happy smoken.

  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    when you say "two pans" of wood chips... how full did you fill the pan.. slam full ? half full ? my understanding is to just use a couple oz's of chips at a time... sounds like to many wood chips which would create to much of the ugly white smoke (creosote) ... that's where the bitter taste would come from... as far as the dryness .. i always brine all my pork (about 24 hrs) to keep that moisture in them...

    as for the beer can chickens... BRINE as well to keep moist... pretty much the only thing I don't brine.. is beef....
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My 2 cents....pork loin is pretty lean, no internal marbling like a butt that's forgiving of some temp swings & goofs. Apply above advice...literally.....and try a small butt after adjusting what you're doing.....Willie
  6. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Did you rinse the rub off the loin before smoking? Did you do a fry test? I don't fry test always, but with pork loins, Canadian bacon, pork belly bacon, or pork butt bacon, I always fry test. Salt can make or break a smoke. Next time, fry test and if its too salty, soak in water for an hour or so while changing the water out with fresh water a couple times and fry test again after to make sure.

    Most likely you had to much salt in the rub / or combined with / to long of a brine, plus, without desalinating it & doing a fry test; additionally - your chips were too much and burnt at high temps causing the white smoke as said above..
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  7. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    I would say a combination of everything above!  To much rub and too much smoke!
  8. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    One more thing.... how sure are you of the temp of your cooker? And I have to chime in about too much smoke. Are you producing constant clouds of thick white smoke? Try things in moderation until you find your sweet spot. A little bit of rub..... little bit of'll get there.
  9. randycandy

    randycandy Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the great feedback fellows. By what you guys have said here, I can see I made some big mistakes.

    1) To Dave, I have a 8" round by 2" deep "smoke pan" that I fill up with wood chips. It has a cover over it full of holes. I use cherry,apple and a little mesquite. I have a wire grate over my element. The smoke pan is not touching the element but is no more than 1/4" from it. When I get the smoker close to temp, I put the smoke pan in. After about 10 to 15 minutes it will start to smoke like crazy (with smoke coming out the doors and any openings in the unit), for about 20 to 30 minutes then stop. After a couple hours I put another full smoke pan of chips in and it did the same thing.It looked like white smoke too. During the whole smoke, I had my exhaust CLOSED!

    2)JckDanls, Yes the wood chip pans I described  above were full to the brim! I' ll have to read up on this brining procedure. Would you brine pork ribs too?

    3)Thoseguys26. I DID NOT rinse the rub of the loin before smoking. After sitting all night in the fridge wrapped in plastic, there was plenty of rub on them. I thought you left the rub on while smoking, that this is what gives it its flavor. Will watch how much salt I use. I don't understand however what you mean by "FRY TEST". What do you do?

    4)geerock, I have a digital temperature controller. My temps were pretty accurate.

    I will take all your recommendations to heart and mull this over. I did just purchase a Maverick ET-732 from Amazing Products to help me out. :)
  10. torontoguy

    torontoguy Newbie

    Everything that I've bolded is exactly why the outside of your loin was inedible. I'm afraid you simply over smoked the meat. You don't ever really want your smoker to be "smoking like crazy" but rather you want a very thin, light looking BLUE smoke, not white. Have a search around this forum for "Thin Blue Smoke" or as many call it "TBS". 

    So why'd this happen?

    1) Your wood chip tray was way too full. I'm not sure what kind of smoker you're using but I'd say that a small handful (about enough to fill the palm of your hand) should be enough to create thin blue smoke for about 30 - 45 minutes. You'll have to monitor the smoker every once and a while just to make sure smoke is still coming out and when it almost gets to the point where there's no more smoke then it's time for another small handful of chips. 

    2) Your exhaust vent shouldn't ever be closed when smoking a piece of meat. The smoke just ends up lingering in the smoker and ends up becoming stagnant, this is probably the major cause of your bitterness. You want to create smoke, let it touch the meat, then you want it out of there. Keep the exhaust vent wide open :)

    This is a little example from a mid-winter smoke on my Masterbuilt electric smoker on how much smoke you want to be exiting the exhaust of the smoker. You can see that it's not very much, and it's more blue than it is white.

    I hope this helped! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
  11. Don't think of it as, "I'm doing something wrong.". I've been smokin Stuff for 9 couple years now, and just yesterday, I screwed up a slab of ribs.. You're always learning so don't be afraid to make mistakes from time to time.
  12. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Try switching to wood chunks instead of chips a couple of 2X2 or 2X3 inch pieces should work. That's what I use in my GOSM propane burner. They last about 45-50 minutes.
  13. vents always open. that smokes gotta go somewhere..chalk it up as one for experience buddy. and the whole TBS thing, well ill just say some of us like a little more smoke, i have no use for the amount of smoke a lit cigarette puts out, lol. no such thing as "Oversmoked" in my book. :)
  14. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Basically, you just slice a small piece off the loin and pan fry it, eat it and decide if its too salty or not. If to salty, then you can desalinate it by soaking it in water for an hour or more. Take it out of the water and do another fry test to make sure it has the desired level of saltiness.
  15. why would he do a fry test? its not cured.
  16. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    My thoughts exactly. This is a case of creosote from too much smoke in a closed chamber. Classic bitter taste.
  17. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Agree with the others, you are applying too much smoke.  Cut waaaay back on your smoke time.  Keep notes on the type of wood used along with the color and length of time and go from there.  You will do just fine.

  18. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      He did say it was very salty. Could be his rub had a lot of salt. A fry test is not necessary but can be beneficial even without curing.

  19. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    You mentioned it was too salty, that's why I suggested the fry test. Using cure or not, if it's too salty then that's a problem, not one that's typically fixed by smoke conditions. Unless you have a proven recipe, you gotta do a fry test or you just may end up with too salty of a product.

    Make sense?
  20. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    What's a fry test?

Share This Page