Help me out with slightly bitter flavors

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by miatawnt2b, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. miatawnt2b

    miatawnt2b Fire Starter

    I'm beginning to wonder if I'm thinking about this the wrong way. I am getting some bitter flavors with my MES30. I am using a DIY smoke generator constructed from a quart paint can a 3" elbow and a soldering iron to get the chips going.

    It's a simple enough setup. Inside the elbow, I made a baffle with three 1/4" holes drilled in it to limit the smoke entering the MES.

    Additionally around the bottom I have drilled a couple tiny holes (probably around 1/16") to allow airflow in and through the wood chips.

    So how this thing works is that once the MES is to temp I plug in the soldering iron and open the top vent in the MES all the way. In about 10 min, I have smoke at which point I unplug the iron. The draft through the MES and can keeps the chips smoking for up to 3-4 hours. The problem is that I am getting a bitter smoke flavor even with apple or pecan chips.

    The big question is why? I have a couple thoughts, and some ideas on how to mod the setup.

    Thought #1. I am wondering if maybe I am choking the smoke inside the can making the bitter flavor. So my first thought is to remove the baffle and let it smoke away, maybe increasing the holes in the bottom of the can slightly.

    Thought #2. I wonder if I should increase the length of the elbow by adding a couple feet of 3" flex. This would allow the smoke to cool and condense out the creosote prior to entering the MES. (in theory anyhow).

    I would like to hear some members thoughts on this.

    Thanks all!

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're probably getting an impure burn which is creating creasote. Is the smoke white or blue?
  3. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Number 2. Since your outside the product chamber the longer the run the better quality smoke per Mr T. Especially cold smoking and regardless of the outside temp because it'll be much cooler than the product chamber when hot smoking. Your burning vertically instead of horizontally. So fuel is above the burning fuel which may be a problem I'm not sure with people having Smoke Daddys. Might as well get an Amnps and a mailbox with flex pipe. It will condense creosote hot or cold smoking and burn at the same rate being horizontal with consistent smoke out put.
  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dr K has it. Regardless the type of generator used the longer the run between the fire box and the product chamber the cleaner the smoke will be. Then there is always the possibility that you are applying smoke longer than necessary, a common mistake.

    Keep notes on the type of wood being used, color and density of the smoke, time and results. Take the time and learn your equipment. After a few adjustments, you will have it. 

    Note: Times will differ between hot and cold smoking.


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